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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Defending regional autonomy and cultural identity: the case of Leeqaa Naqamtee and Leeqaa Qellem (1882-1937)
Author:Ta'a, Tesema
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
political history
Shawa polity
About person:Menelik II, emperor of Ethiopia (1844-1913)ISNI
Abstract:The last quarter of the 19th century witnessed the conquest and colonization of the independent States and peoples in southern and western Ethiopia. Leeqaa Naqamtee and Leeqaa Qellem were among the western States that were targeted for conquest and annexation by Emperor Menelik II (r. 1889-1913) of the kingdom of Shawa as he endeavoured to build the Ethiopian empire. While many of the conquered States in the region put up strong resistance against Menelik's forces and lost their sovereignty, these two entities opted for negotiation to obviate the depredation of war and to defend their regional autonomy and identity against the expanding Shawan and Gojjame forces. This paper highlights the political rationale of the Leeqaa leaders as they saw it then in deciding to opt for peaceful submission. The resultant internal autonomy did not give them a free hand to rule their domains, but it clearly spared the Leeqaa Oromo the ravages of war, avoided the unbridled exploitation of the 'nafxenyaa' (commanders), the superimposition of an alien administration and the loss of cultural identity. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]