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The Mao and Komo Languages in the Begi--Tongo area in Western Ethiopia: Classification, Designations, Distribution: Klaus-Christian Kuspert NMS Ethiopia.

1. Introduction

The ethnic and linguistic situation in the western part of Oromia Regional State and the southwestern part of Benishangul Gumuz Regional State in Western Ethiopia is complicated. The Oromo language is the only official and clearly dominating language in Oromia, and it serves as a lingua franca in the southern and western parts of Benishangul Gumuz. Amharic is the official language in Benishangul Gumuz where it is used as the language of instruction in most public schools, but in many areas it is of limited importance for daily communication. Berta, Gumuz, Shinasha (Borna), Mao and Komo are officially recognised as the nationalities in Benishangul Gumuz which have the right to get education in their mother tongues. While Berta, Gumuz and Shinasha as linguistic and ethnic terms seem to be fairly clear, Mao and Komo appear to be confusing.

There are good reasons that cause me to believe that those who are commonly referred to as "Mao and Komo" in the Western Wollega zone in Oromia and in Mao Komo Special Woreda and in the Asosa zone in Benishangul Gumuz speak as many as six different languages: Gwama, Komo, Hozo, Seze, Northern Mao and Ganza, some of them belonging to the Omotic (Afro-Asiatic) and some to the Koman (Nilo-Saharan) families. (1) It seems that Mao and Komo are - besides being self-designations for some groups - ethnically and linguistically ambiguous terms. They became the official terms in Benishangul Gumuz for different groups of people regardless of their own ethnic identity, and for different languages regardless of the self-designations and the linguistic classification.

Until now barely any comparative linguistic research has been done on those "Mao and Komo languages" and the findings are partially contradictory. There is no detailed overview on the linguistic situation of the area and there are no satisfactory language maps. The number of speakers of each language seems controversial, and the ethnic, social and linguistic terminologies are frequently mixed and confused with self-designations and outside labels.

This survey endeavours through field research along with a critical review of relevant literature to shed some light on the complicated socio-linguistic and language-geographic situation in the Begi--Tongo area in Western Ethiopia, and to suggest a more consequent use of relevant terminology. It strives for a clear distinction between ethnic and linguistic description, provides detailed language maps and proposes terms based on linguistic comparative word lists and sociolinguistic questionnaires. The findings of this study may function as a basis for further discussion and contribute to the more purposeful linguistic and social development of the concerned people groups and the area.

1.1 The Mao and Komo languages in Western Ethiopia: A state of confusion

The name Mao is used in different and partially confusing ways in the literature--both within linguistics and ethnology. In his ground-breaking article about "The Mao Problem", Lionel M. Bender (1975:128) states:
The people who are usually referred to as 'Mao' include the
following: (1) Anfillo, [...] not Nilo-Saharan speakers (at least not
now); (2) The Komo and Kwama of west and south of Begi [...] (3) The
Hozo and Sezo clans of the Begi area; (4) The Maramo clans of the
Bambeshi area.[...]. Of these only in Hozo ([ma.sup.w]) and Sezo
(ma:y), is 'Mao' or a variant of it, the word for 'people'. However,
Bambeshi seems to be fairly closely related to Hozo and Sezo, and I
shall henceforth refer to Hozo, Sezo, and Bambeshi as the Mao
languages. (2)


Davis et al. (2011:5) follow this tradition that Mao as a linguistic term is used for different Northern Omotic languages or dialects branching into Begi Mao (Seze and Hozo) and Northern Mao (Bambasi). Later they conclude with the contradictory statement that Begi Mao refers to a Koman language, most probably a variety of Gwama (Davis et al. 2011:19).

Bender (1975) mentions that also the Nilo-Saharan languages Komo and Kwama (3) are referred to as Mao. Ahland (2012:8) calls it a "complicating factor [...] that the name 'Mao' [...] may be used to refer to at least two [...] (Nilo-Saharan) languages"- Gwama and Komo. In the entry for Kwama language in the Encyclopaedia Aethiopica (Bryant et al. 2007:461) Mao appears as "one of the dialects of Kwama" i.e. a Koman language, spoken in the Begi and Tongo area and different from the 'Omotic Mao' around Bambasi. Kievit et al. (2011) seem to have the same idea when they classify the Mao language of Begi and Tongo as dialects of Gwama: "The Mao language of Bambassi and Didessa, sometimes called Northern Mao, is Omotic. The Mao language of Begi, sometimes called Southern Mao, is classified as Nilo-Saharan [...]" (ibid: 14). (4) Here as in Bryant et al. (2007) the Omotic "Begi Mao languages" Seze and Hozo are not mentioned, and one may get the impression that all Mao in this area speak a Koman language.

Zelalem Leyew (2005:1-2) only acknowledges two types of Mao: the Anfillo (Southern Mao) and what he calls Northern Mao; the latter he equates with Gwama. This seems to be contrary to a common opinion where the term Northern Mao is used for the Omotic language around Bambasi and in the Didessa valley (Ahland 2012) or for Seze and Hozo (Grotanelli 1941). Following Greenberg (1966), Anfillo is called Southern Mao, but Davis et al. (2011:2) confusingly use this term for Seze and Hozo opposite to Northern Mao around Bambasi.

In his article on Mao Ethnography in the Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, Smidt (2007:757) tries to balance the different opinions. He differentiates between three groups of Mao: the Omotic speaking Anfillo (Southern Mao), Seze and Hozo (Northern Mao, "Mao of Begi") and as a third group Nilo-Saharan speaking people, also being called Kwama or Northern Mao and listed as Begi Mao in Siebert et al (1994). Bambasi Mao is not included in this classification.

As we see from this short literature review, the picture is rather confusing. One of the problems seems to be that there is a mix between ethnic and linguistic designations, self designations and designations from outside, and a highly arbitrary use of terms. Since the situation particularly in the Begi area obviously is complicated and the linguistic and ethnic terms are not congruent, frequently only a bit of the truth is displayed. By differentiating between ethnic self- and alien designations on the one hand, and linguistic and geographical facts and findings on the other hand, this article tries to create some clarity and suggest a terminological and geographical foundation for further research.

In summary, we can say that Mao as a linguistic term is used for both Koman and Omotic languages and has therefore to be handled with extreme caution. In this article, I use Omotic Mao for Bambasi and Ganza (5) in Benishangul Gumuz and the related languages Seze and Hozo in Western Oromia. Following Ahland (2012) Northern Mao is used as a synonym for Bambasi (6), not for Seze/Hozo or any Koman dialect. Southern Mao may be synonym to Anfillo (7), spoken in a not connected area and reckoned as a different branch of the Omotic languages. Koman Mao is used for a cluster of Nilo-Saharan dialects mainly in Begi Woreda and Mao Komo Special Woreda. The relationship between Koman Mao and Gwama will be discussed later. Begi Mao is used only in reference and quotation since it arbitrarily refers to both Omotic and Koman languages. Komo is a separate language and is designated as such.
Table 1: Designations used in this paper (10)

Language              Linguistic             Ethnic
family (8)            designation            designation

Afro Asiatic          Bambasi                Mao
[right arrow] Omotic  (=Northern Mao)
                      Seze                   Mao
                      Hozo                   Mao
                      Ganza                  Ganza
                      Anfillo                Mao
                      (= Southern Mao)
Nilo-Saharan          Koman Mao              Mao
[right arrow]Koman    (T'wa Sit Shwala) (9)  (Sit Shwala)
                      Gwama                  Gwama/Komo
                      Komo                   Komo

Language              Remarks
family (8)

Afro Asiatic          Not spoken in the area covered by this survey; cf.
[right arrow] Omotic  Ahland (2012)
                      Possibly referred to as "Mao" by others
                      Not spoken in the area covered by this survey.
                      Does not belong to the same branch of the Omotic
                      languages.
Nilo-Saharan          In this paper a particular attention is given on
[right arrow]Koman    the complicated linguistic relationship between
                      Gwama and varieties of Koman Mao, and the use
                      of Mao, Gwama and Komo as ethnic designations


Who is referred to and refers to himself as "ethnic Mao" varies according to the social setting and is more dependent on the social situation than on linguistic facts. Generally, it seems that people give priority to ethnicity over language, and that the boundary between ethnic Komo and ethnic Mao is not coincident with the boundary between any (Koman or Omotic) languages. (11)

1.2 An overview over the area

This survey is roughly limited to the "Mao and Komo languages" spoken in Mao Komo Special Woreda in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State and the Begi and K'ondala Woredas in the Western Wollega Zone, Oromia Regional State. During the field research it turned out that there is a contiguous area of villages with speakers of "Mao languages" east of the Dabus River -in the westernmost part of Babo Gambel Woreda and the southernmost tip of Mana Sibu Woreda; these areas were included in this survey. The Omotic Mao language in Bambasi Woreda is not included here, neither is the Anfillo Mao in the Anfillo Woreda in Kelem Wolega Zone. There are speakers of Gwama and Komo in Gambela Regional State, and speakers of Komo, Gwama and Ganza on the other side of the border in Sudan/South Sudan; these are considered in this survey, but no particular investigation was conducted. There are a few references to villages with Mao and Komo speakers in the Jima Horro and Gidami Woredas in Kellem Wollega Zone in Oromia Regional State; those are not part of this survey.

The study area is located on the western edge of the Ethiopian highlands and the easternmost part of the Sudanese plain between 9[degrees]10' and 9[degrees]40' Northern latitude. In the east on both sides of the Dabus River there are vast and highly inaccessible swamp areas at about 1400 meters above sea level. Further west follow rugged highlands with more than 2200 meters elevation. The population is concentrated along the road on the plains east of Konso with large settlements of immigrants from the eastern and northern parts of Ethiopia, and in the fertile valleys further east. While the bigger villages along the road are mainly inhabited by Oromo with only a minor Mao population, the more exclusive Mao settlements in the Guma Gara Arba Mountains and towards the Dabus Swamps are remote, small and scattered.

Farther west the land expands to a rather densely populated highland around 1600-1700 meters over sea level with Begi as a natural focus and with road connections to the north (Bambasi/Asosa), south (Gidami/Dembi Dollo) and further west to Tongo. Also here the bigger villages close to the roads are mainly inhabited by Oromo or oromised Mao, but there are minor Mao settlements throughout the whole area, often at the peripheries of the Oromo villages.

The Begi-Tongo highland falls gradually to about 1100 meters towards the north to the area of Zebsher. West and south-west of Tongo the mountains rise to more than 2050 meters. The incline towards the south-west to a huge plain 600-800 meters above the sea level around the village of Yangu is abrupt. While the foot of the mountains is densely inhabited, the number of settlements decreases in the dry-hot plain to the west. Due to governmental settlement programmes the majority of the population seems to have been moved into larger villages such as Yangu, Lak'e, Keser and Zebsher, so that a vast strip of land towards the Sudanese border appears as largely uninhabited. The population in the lowland villages consists mostly of Gwama, Komo as well as Berta and Opo. (12) Oromo and immigrants from other parts of Ethiopia are found in all larger settlements, usually as government employees or merchants.

2. Data collection

2.1 Methods and activities

As a first step a questionnaire asking for social, linguistic and geographical conditions, and a short word list was developed (cf. appendix 1). The word list follows roughly the SIL comparative African wordlist (SILCAWL), (13) reduced to merely 38 words. This was sufficient for being able to swiftly and unambiguously assign the languages and dialects to their respective language families. Then three field teams consisting of two young locals each were organised and trained. For the work of these teams, the area was tentatively divided into three sections: The western lowlands from west of Tongo to the border of Sudan (team 1); a central area with the towns of Tongo and Begi and the surrounding highlands (team 2); and the eastern part from around K'ondala to the swamps at the Dabus river (team 3). (14) The teams should visit as many villages in their area as possible and collect data by individual and collective interviews for providing a first overview over the linguistic and ethnic situation. The main focus was on the following questions (cf. appendix 1):
* What do the 'Mao or Komo people' call themselves and their language;

*What are they and their language referred to by others;

*What is their clan identity;

*In which other villages do they speak the same language;

*Which (other) languages are spoken in their village.


With the help of the short wordlist (15) the teams were enabled to make a first rough identification of the languages they had found. The geographical location of the villages was described by coordinates (GPS detecting; appendix 2). Through this process a huge amount of data from more than 70 villages were provided. In many of the locations there had been more than one interview and the teams had recorded more than one "Mao Komo language". It is obvious that these teams of lay researchers with only a few days' training in using a GPS and checking a word list with predetermined choices, could not provide scientifically reliable data, and that a lot of additional questions would arise out of their findings. However, this approach gave an interesting overview as a basis for more specific investigations.

As a second step over a period of about two years I took a couple of field trips mainly to villages where particularly interesting questions had arisen from the overview survey. On these field trips a longer word list based on the short list but extended to 78 words was used for individual interviews. All interviews were recorded by an audio recorder and more specific questions were asked. (16) Additionally, the same teams as previously or other similar groups were sent back to some of the villages for collecting additional information. The wordlist recordings were roughly transcribed phonetically and compared with findings from other recordings. (17)

As a third step the corpus of data was organised, maps were drawn and the word lists were commented on by other researchers. (18) Fruitful cooperation with linguists and anthropologists working on relevant topics brought additional insight. Finally, the data was cross checked at a couple of workshops, and several meetings with resource people in the area for further clarification of linguistic and social details were accomplished.

2.2 Geographic distribution

Interviews were made in all villages marked with blue or green on this map; in 26 villages detailed interviews with voice recordings were accomplished. For all villages coordinates were determined by GPS. Details and the results of the field survey appear in the appendices 2 and 3. As can be seen, the border area towards the Sudan and South Sudan appears mainly uninhabited. The villages of Yiwa, Ganzo, Shumate and Met i may now be abandoned as the population has been resettled to Yangu and/or Lak'e. The area south of Begi along the road towards Gidami still requires further investigation as well as the area north of the road to Bambasi including the area of Bangatarko. Some Mao settlements in the Dabus Swamps in the south-eastern part of the survey area and north of the bridge over the Dabus River in Mana Sibu Woreda were recorded, but could not be approached.

3. Ethnicity and nomenclature

3.1 Ethnicity and language

One of the main factors that has contributed to the terminological confusion is the non-congruence between ethnic and linguistic terms (cf. section 1.1). Mao and Komo are primarily used as ethnic terms on several levels, both as a description from the outside as well as self-designations. Some of those who are called Mao or Komo by others would not use this term for themselves, while others would. Mao and Komo are also (parts of) names of languages belonging to different families (Koman and Omotic).

This figure is best understood when starting from both extremes on the language level. Those who declare that they speak one of the Omotic Mao languages Seze or Hozo (19) call themselves Mao and are called Mao by others. Those who say that they speak Komo language call themselves Komo and are normally called Komo by others (20). Within our survey area, these "proper Komo" live in Mao Komo Special Woreda in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State (21), while the speakers of Seze and Hozo with the exception of a few recent settlements (22) live in the Western Wollega Zone in Oromia Regional State.

The situation of speakers of the Gwama--Koman Mao/T'wa Sit Shwala dialect cluster is more complicated. The self-designation of these people is heterogeneous and they often just refer to their clan name such as Kuro or Kirin. The people in the eastern highlands who call themselves Sit Shwala would generally accept being called Mao, while the Gwama speaking people in the western lowlands might rather choose Komo than Mao for their ethnicity.

3.2 Mao and Komo as ethnic designations

Map 3 gives a rough picture of the use of Mao vs. Komo as official ethnic terms.
The term 'M[ao]' is mainly used by the western Oromo for all
'indigenous' peoples especially of western Wallaga [Oromia Regional
State] who accept to any degree a measure of association with the
Oromo (James 1981:29).


This statement by Wendy James corresponds well with the findings in the interviews. On question 6 in the questionnaire: "What do other people call you" (appendix 1), the vast majority of interviewees in the Western Wollega zone of Oromia answered "Mao". This can be considered as an official designation and is widely accepted by the different groups of indigenous people in the area. At this level, the language differences Koman vs. Omotic is not of importance. In Mao Komo Special Woreda, the picture is more complicated. While the term Mao is most common both as outside and self-designation of the indigenous people around Tongo and in the north-eastern part of the Woreda (cf. appendix 2), the indigenous people of the lowland areas around Lak'e, Yangu, Keser and Zebsher are called Komo. The term Komo here functions as an official designation used by the government. Also in this case the language differences (Komo vs. Gwama) does not play a decisive role.

In the transition area west and north of Tongo you will find people living together in the same village and speaking dialects of the same language, but attributing themselves either to Mao or to Komo, as well as people being summarised as Komo in spite of speaking different languages. The border between Oromia (Western Wollega zone) and Benishangul Gumuz (Mao Komo Special Woreda) does not function as a boundary between ethnic groups or ethnic designations; the boundary between the ethnic groups seems to rather go between lowlands and highlands--or in their "distance to the Oromo culture." (23)

3.3 The Mao: One ethnicity, different dialects

James (1981:29) states that Mao can be considered a social term that identifies indigenous people with a close relationship to the dominating Oromo population, not as equal partners but as servants or farm workers depending on the land owners. The highlands--lowlands opposition may reinforce this fact since the Oromo and thus the Mao population traditionally is limited to the areas with higher elevation. Mao can be speakers of Omotic languages, yet also speakers of a Koman language (cf. Bender 1975:125). However, on a deeper level we see some differences. When asked for self-designation, speakers of Omotic languages call themselves Mao without any hesitation, while it turns out that the term Mao is not equally accepted by speakers of Koman Mao:
They call us Mao--but we are Sit Shwala (Matiwos Adaba, Ac'wo Orda).


The word Mao (24) is Omotic and means 'man; people', occurring as [ma:i] in Seze and as [mo:] in Hozo (25). In the Koman Mao dialects the meaning of a word <mao> is opaque. It would, however, give a wrong picture to limit the term Mao to the speakers of Omotic languages.

In figure 2 the villages with mainly speakers of Koman Mao/Gwama and Komo are arranged in clusters according to the self-designation of the people (P) and their languages (L). The arrangement of the villages is based on the answers of the questions 3.What do you call your people? (P) and 4.What do you call your language? (L). Neighbouring villages with for the most part identical answers are combined in an oval.

Regarding the ethnic self-designation (P), we see a significant number of Mao entries all over the central area there, while Komo and Gwama is dominating in the western lowlands and the Kuro and Sit Shwala (26) mainly in the northern and eastern parts. It appears that Mao and Sit Shwala here often are used synonymously with a predominance of Sit Shwala when asked for ethnicity. The use of Sit Shwala is possibly a demarcation against the Oromos who prefer or even impose the term Mao. Mao may probably feel "closer to Oromo" than Sit Shwala.

In the villages around Shoshor Butuji east of Tongo and in Tongo town, Mao is the most common self-designation and Sit Shwala recedes. Here it seems that particularly the prominent Warra Seta clan (27) uses Mao both for ethnicity and language. A further investigation of this clan and its history and political influence might give some more information.

Conclusively we may state that Mao is frequently used as an ethnic term, and that there is a kind of Mao identity across the language differences. The fact that there is a considerable group of people speaking a Koman language who consider themselves and their language Mao makes it impossible to restrict this designation to speakers of an Omotic language.

3.4 Mao and Gwama: one language, different ethnicity

Somi Ambeyu is an old Mao man from Kokeb. The village is located about 15 km northwest of Tongo at 1230m altitudes, halfway down to the lowlands towards the border of South Sudan. When he was asked for the difference between Mao and Gwama in Kokeb, he recounted:
I was born in Tense [Begi Woreda, Oromia] and came down here during the
time of Haile Selassie and married here. There was only one single
[Mao] person when I came down here [...] there were only Komo people
living here. Now there are Mao, Komo and Gwama speakers here; the Mao
speakers understand the Gwama language. There is a lot of Oromo now and
our people start to speak Oromo.


Here Komo and Mao are used as both ethnic and linguistic terms, while Gwama seems to function only as a language term. Some Komo people may speak Komo, others Gwama.

In a group discussion with Gwama speakers in Zebsher, a few kilometres north-west of Kokeb and still further down in the lowlands, we recorded the following quotation:
The Mao lived up [in the highlands] but now they are down here and
mixed with us. (Group discussion in Zebsher 10/2012)


This area of transition between the highlands and the lowlands (cf. map 3), seems to be the area of some dynamic movements. Not only Oromo people move down as office workers, workers for land investors and farmers in search of fertile land, but also Mao from the highlands speaking a language very similar to Gwama, but with a different ethnic identity.

Gwama is, however, not merely the name for a language. As shown in figure 2, in the village cluster north-east of Tongo where amongst others Kokeb and S'ulgolo are grouped, we find Gwama and Mao as ethnic self-designations side by side. These terms do not refer to the same ethnic group as it is the case with Mao and Sit Shwala. The ethnic Gwama--called Komo by others - will not call themselves Mao while ethnic Mao do not accept the term Gwama nor Komo as a name for themselves. This seems to depend on a mutual dislike: The Mao with their Oromo-influenced way of living may consider the Gwama as "far from civilisation", while the Gwama look at the Mao as "mixed" and "oromised". (28)

3.5 Gwama: More than a linguistic term.

The following statement gives the impression that Gwama is merely a linguistic term:
They who speak T'wa Gwama are all Komo. (Tadesse Fayisa Ego Girmos,
4.10.2012)


As mentioned in 3.2, Komo is used by others as an ethnic term for speakers of Komo and Gwama. This may be because of political reasons. (29) In Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, Komo is--besides Mao - established as an ethnic term while Gwama is not (cf. the name Mao Komo Special Woreda); thus Komo is used for Komo and Gwama speakers by the authorities. On a lower level, the picture will be more nuanced:
We are called Komo, but we call ourselves Gwama. We call our language
T'wa Gwama.
(Group discussion in Penshuba, 3.10.2012).


Gwama is obviously used as an ethnic term as well, not only as a linguistic term. There are e.g. Gwama houses (30) in Ishgogo and in other areas, beehive huts that play an important role in the culture and believe of the Gwama people. (31) This indicates a cultural Gwama identity. Figure 2 shows further that Gwama is used as an ethnic term in most of the villages west of Ton-go when people were asked for the ethnic self-designation (cf. question 3, appendix 1).

We can conclude that there is a correspondence on the level of ethnic self-designation of the speakers of Komo and Gwama in the lowland areas west of Tongo. The Gwama speakers do have an ethnic Gwama identity, but are classified as Komo by the government and would rather call themselves Komo than Mao in spite of the language differences. The Komo always call themselves Komo, but they are aware that there are others called Komo speaking a different language than they do (Bryant et al. 2007:460).

3.5 Ethnic identity and clan affiliation

A deeper analysis of the relationship between clan affiliation, ethnic self-identification and language is beyond the scope of this study. A more detailed investigation of the raw data listed in appendix 2 might also give increased knowledge and insight. So far, my findings show that, to some extent, there is a cross linguistic clan identity; this clan affiliation seems to be stronger than the language affiliation, at least within the different language families.

Obviously there is a Mao identity beyond the borders of the language families, e.g. Koman Mao and Omotic Mao speakers may feel common clan loyalties which, amongst other things, result in intermarriage, while Gwama speakers have affiliations to the Komo in spite of language differences. At this point, it can only be assumed that this has to do with language change and voluntary or involuntary displacement of entire ethnic groups due to political and social conditions. Further investigations could possibly shed some light on language change and migration in this area. Slavery may have had a huge impact on the societies in the region - coupled with common exogamy in marriage practices, and may have caused creolisation or change of languages or cross linguistic ethnic affiliations.

4. Language and nomenclature

In spite of the frequent use of terms like "the Mao language" or "the Mao Komo language" even by officials in Tongo and Asosa who actually speak one of the concerned languages and are well aware that these are different and mutually unintelligible, it is now generally accepted that the languages subject to this survey belong to different language families: the Koman and the Omotic languages.

In the eastern part of the survey area we find the Omotic languages Seze and Hozo (32), while the related Northern Mao is spoken around Bambasi north of our survey area and in the Didessa valley. The Omotic language Ganza is spoken by small minorities in some Koman speaking villages around Zebsher. In the western part of the area and continuing to the other side of the border to Sudan/South Sudan, the indigenous peoples Komo and Gwama speak Koman languages. Mao is not the ethnic or linguistic self-designation of these peoples and is rarely used by others.

Between those distinct eastern and western groups we find a considerable number of speakers of a Koman language on both sides of the border between Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia region who would accept to be called Mao people speaking a Mao language and partly use Mao as ethnic and linguistic self designation (compare maps 3 and 4). This group is often overlooked, e.g. when the term "Mao languages" is reserved to the Omotic Hozo, Seze and Northern Mao, or when the Koman languages in the area are limited to Gwama and Komo

As shown in map 4, the border between Omotic and Koman languages goes slightly south and east of the road Bambasi--Begi, i.e. most of the speakers of Omotic Mao in this area do not live in Begi Woreda, but in K'ondala or in Babo Gambel Woredas. Along this road there are minorities of Omotic Mao speakers in villages with a relative Koman Mao majority (33) (cf. appendix 3 and map 2). Except these meeting places there are very few villages with both Koman and Omotic speakers. (34) The border between the regional states, i.e. the eastern border of Mao Komo Special Woreda neither occurs as a language border nor as a boundary between ethnic groups.

4.1 The Koman varieties

This survey focuses on the Koman languages Komo and Gwama without any further discussion of the internal relationship within the Koman languages or the relationship between the Koman languages and other Nilo-Saharan languages like Berta and Gumuz. (35) Opo is, together with Berta, mentioned in several villages as an additional language to Gwama and Komo. (36)

The relationship between Gwama and the closely related language varieties on both sides of the border between Mao Komo Special Woreda and Begi Woreda in Oromia - here referred to as Koman Mao - will be given special attention. This may give a satisfying answer to the question whether these Koman Mao dialects constitute one or more separate languages, or if they--together with Gwama - are varieties of one and the same language.

4.1.1 Komo and Gwama

In figure 2 on page 14 all villages with a Koman language speaking majority, which are part of this survey, are arranged in clusters according to the self-designation of the people groups regarding their ethnicity (P) and language (L). The findings are derived from the answers to question 3: "What do you call your people" and question 4 "What do you call your language" in the questionnaire (appendix 1). When systemising the answers of the questionnaires some decisions had to be made. This was particularly the case with the term Kwama that in some cases may be a synonym for Gwama, while in others--where it is mentioned side by side with Gwama and obviously refers to a different group of speakers - it may be taken as the Gwama term for the Komo language. (37)

The word list interviews and recordings (appendix 3) give a clear understanding that there are two different Koman languages in the area--disregarding Opo and possibly also Uduk: Komo and Gwama. (38) The word list in appendix 4 shows that there are around 30 % cognates between Gwama (with related varieties) and Komo. (39) This indicates that Gwama and Komo are related but not mutually understandable languages and corresponds with the findings in Davis et al. (2011:19), where a Kwama cluster and a Komo cluster are discovered: "The results of this survey have confirmed the existence of a separate Komo language but have also shown that the Komo people are commonly bilingual in Kwama."

The existence of two separate Koman languages in the area and the bilingualism of Komo speakers is confirmed in several field interviews. According to Abdulalem, a teacher in Penshuba and a Gwama speaker, Komo is spoken in Yangu, Lak'e and Kawi Shumate and is not understood by Gwama speakers. Abdulalem calls the language "Kwama Dini, which is the same as Komo" (Penshuba, 10/2012). (40) In a group interview in Zebsher it was mentioned that "they who live in Keser may also understand Komo. All Komo speakers understand Gwama. The Gwama speakers cannot understand Komo." (Zebsher 10/2012). The same information was given about Yangu and Lak'e:
You can say that 90 % of the Komo people can speak both the Komo
language and the Gwama language. (Andinet Arega, 3/2013)

The majority of speakers in Lak'e speak Gwama. All Komo speakers are
fluent in Gwama. (Wendemu Zeleke (41), Asosa, 7/2013).


See also Bryant et al. (2007:460)

Map 5 shows the distribution between Komo and Koman Mao/Gwama in our survey area. Komo was found to be spoken only in the westernmost part of the Koman speaking area--in the lowlands towards the border of Sudan. (42) There is a Komo speaking community in the Woreda town Tongo, which may be due to rather recent immigration. As shown in map 2, the Komo and Gwama speakers live together in the same village, which makes it difficult to draw language maps. (43)

According to interviews, the villages of Yiwa, Met'i and Kawi Shumate, which may have had a Komo speaking majority, were abandoned and the population has been moved to Yangu, Lak'e and Keser because of governmental resettlement programmes from 2009 to 2011. There they live as minorities in mainly Gwama speaking villages. (44) There are no or only few Komo speakers in villages with a majority of Koman Mao speakers. It may be repeated that the Gwama speakers living together with the Komo speakers prefer to be called Komo rather than Mao in spite of the fact that their language and the Koman Mao dialects appear to be very similar while the Komo language is not understandable for them (cf. 3.6 and 4.1.2).

Outside our survey area, some recordings indicate a few settlements with Komo and Gwama speakers further south along the border to South Sudan in Gidami Woreda in Oromia. A Komo speaking population is found in the Yabus area in Sudan. (45) Theis (1995:13) estimates the number of Komo speakers in Sudan to be around 5000. (46) In Gambela Regional State, Pokung Special K'ebele on the road to Itang, 28 km from Gambela town has mainly Komo speakers. There are small Komo speaking groups in Gambela town (Batur/Doser Lami) and in Bonga on the road to Bure in Oromia.

4.1.2 T'wa Gwama, T'wa Sit Shwala or Afaan Mao?

In the Koman speaking area east of the road Bambasi--Tongo there were 3 main answers to question 4 in the questionnaire (cf. appendix 1) "What do you call your language": T'wa Gwama, T'wa Sit Shwala and Afaan Mao (47). It seems that these terms designate closely related languages or varieties of the same language in spite of different ethnic affiliations of the speakers (cf. section 3). (48) The following section endeavours to shed some light on the use of these terms as linguistic designations and thus in the relationship between the language varieties.
K[wama] (also Takwama, Gwama, Goma, Gogwama, Afan Mao, Twa Kwama) is
one of the least-known Ethiopian languages and belongs to the Koman
subgroup of the Nilo-Saharan phylum. [...] One of the dialects of K.
called Mao is spoken in the Begi and Ton-go areas (different from the
Mao of Bambasi which belongs to a Mao group of Omotic languages
[...]. (Bryant et al. 2007:460f)


The reference to "[o]ne of the dialects of K[wama], called Mao" and "Afan Mao" as a synonym for Gwama/Kwama are of particular interest. Kievit et al. (2011:14/15) give the following information:
Hellenthal (2005) provides a sketch of the Mao spoken around Tongo
[...] and reports that it may be considered a dialect of Gwama. A
comparison of the Gwama data presented here and Hellenthal's data shows
there is strong similarity, though phonological, lexical, and
morphosyntactic differences do exist. [...] Gwama and the Mao of
Begi/Tongo appear to be dialects of the same language.


The findings of this survey do confirm that the language called "Mao [...] spoken in the Begi and Tongo areas" is a Koman language very similar to Gwama, spoken in a wide area in Begi Woreda and the eastern part of Mao Komo Special Woreda. This language or language variety is mainly called T'wa Sit Shwala or--oromised--Afaan Mao by the speakers.

Out of the results of the interviews and the word lists (cf. appendix 3) and on the basis of the data provided in map 2, 4 and 5 as well as in the figures 1 and 2 we can draw the following conclusions:

(1) Gwama and the languages varieties mainly called T'wa Sit Shwala by the speakers (Koman Mao) show a very high degree of cognates.

On the long word list (78 items in English; entries based on own voice recordings; cf. appendix 3) as well as on the short wordlist based on written recordings by the survey teams there are only few clear lexical differences between Gwama and the Koman Mao varieties T'wa Sit Shwala and Kuro. The cognates between Gwama and T'wa Sit Shwala are more than 90 %. Table 2 shows some of the few lexical differences. The forms for Gwama and Sit Shwala were cross checked with speakers from different villages; the Kuro-forms are taken from the word list and need further investigation. (49)
Table 2: Some lexical differences between Gwama and Koman Mao varieties

English        Gwama                Sit Shwala

'bridge'       [k.sup.w]ans50       [k.sup.w]ans
'goat'         [??]a                [??]a
'hand'         mit'                 bit'
'knife'        [??]ik'i/[??]igi 51  tul; albala
'man; people'  sit                  sit
'smoke of
fire'          si?k'                si?k'
'stone'        p'idin               pi'ngil
'sweet'        (a)mizi              (a)i?gi[??]
'tongue'       t'aki                t'agal

English        Kuro

'bridge'       de:p'e        Borrowing?
'goat'         mi'a
'hand'         bit'          Sound change
'knife'        kala
'man; people'  isi
'smoke of
fire'          sip'
'stone'        p'[??]k[??]m
'sweet'        ?
'tongue'       daik'u[??]    For [t'aki] vs. [t'agal] cf. table 3


In several interviews with Gwama speakers it was mentioned that the Mao (i.e. Koman Mao) speakers use a lot of different words, and that they are partly oromised. This may be the case in some areas; however, it is not clearly reflected in the limited material of this survey.

(2) There are some regular sound correspondences between Gwama and the Koman Mao languages varieties mainly called T'wa Sit Shwala by the speakers.
Table 3: Regular sound differences between Gwama and T'wa Sit
Shwala/Koman Mao

                           Gwama              T'wa Sit Shwala
                                              (Koman Mao)

(1) [i]/[j]/[-] vs [l]     dugi               dugul
                           kaja               kala
                           kiwi               k(i)wil
                           k'oki              k'okol
                           [??]j[??]          [??]l[??]
                           p'i                p'il
                           paja               fala
                           s'aja              s'ala
                           [s.sup.w]aja       [s.sup.w]ala
                           [s.sup.w][??]i     [s.sup.w]al
                           s[??]j(a)bit       [s.sup.w]albit
                           t'aki              t'agal
                           [t.sup.w]i         tul
(2): [p] vs. [f]/[?] (52)  bak'[??]p          balk'[??]f
                           dulpu              dulfu
                           paja               fala
                           k'up               k'uf
                           paka               faka
                           p[??]g[??]         f[??]go
                           [??]pi[??]i        (k)[??]fi[??]i
(3) [l] vs. [r] (53)       kala?/kara?        kara?
(4) [m] vs. [mb] (54)      k[??]m[??]t        k[??]mb[??]t
                           t'[??]t'[??]m[??]  t'[??]t'[??]mb[??]

                           English

(1) [i]/[j]/[-] vs [l]     'knee'
                           'sun'
                           'wind'
                           'cheek'
                           'clothes'
                           'neck'
                           'pot'
                           'anger'
                           'tree'
                           'house'
                           'nest', lit. 'house of bird'
                           'tongue'
                           'sadness'
(2): [p] vs. [f]/[?] (52)  'hair on the head'
                           (a type of) 'beans'
                           'pot'
                           'head'
                           injera (Ethiopian food)
                           'river'
                           'heart'
(3) [l] vs. [r] (53)       wott (Ethiopian food;
                           stew)
(4) [m] vs. [mb] (54)      'five'
                           door; gate


The most prominent of these sound differences is [j] vs. [l] as in [kaja] 'sun' in Gwama vs. [kala] 'sun' in all Koman Mao varieties. This feature is well known by the speakers. All other sound differences reflect tendencies, like e.g. the ?? and [mb] in (4). The Kuro variety normally shows the forms with [mb]. Together with some other Kuro features such as [[s.sup.w]ant'] vs. [sont'] 'foot', the retaining of ending vowels as in [ant'i] vs. [ant'] or [bit'i] vs. [bit'] and the lexical differences as shown in table 2, the dialects in the north-eastern part of the area seem to stand out in several ways. Our material is, however, not sufficient to give answers on theories regarding origin, migration and language change of these people groups.

None of the differences listed in table 2 and 3 should hinder the communication and enhance the theory that Gwama and the varieties of Koman Mao are mutual understandable.

(3) Gwama and the languages varieties of Koman Mao are mutually understandable.

In order to check statements like this gained through the interviews and the conclusion drawn from the word lists, we did two short experiments during a workshop in Asosa in July 2013 with speakers from different dialect areas. (55) In one case a T'wa Sit Shwala (Koman Mao) speaker told a story based on a series of pictures in their mother tongue and without the help of additional explanations in Afaan Oromo, and then the Gwama speakers would retell this story in Gwama. In the second case a Gwama speaker described a picture in Gwama and the T'wa Sit Shwala speakers would draw a picture based on what they had been told. In both cases, the listeners were able to reproduce the story respectively the images correctly.

The experiments confirmed the mutual intelligibility of the varieties represented at the workshop. These findings were strengthened by the fact that the Gwama speakers easily functioned as interpreters by using their mother tongue for 'Koman Mao' speakers who did not speak Amharic. In the cases where the communication between the Gwama speakers from the lowlands and the Koman Mao speakers mainly from Begi Woreda in Oromia Regional State was difficult or failed, the main problem seemed not to be a linguistic one. In almost all cases the Koman Mao speakers showed a significantly poorer language competence than the Gwama speakers from the lowlands, and in many cases they preferred to use Afaan Oromo instead of Gwama/Koman Mao.

(4) In spite of mutual intelligibility and a high degree of cognates, there is only little sense of unity between the speakers of Gwama and the varieties of Koman Mao.

In figure 2 above the information of the interviews are systematised and the villages grouped according to the ethnic and linguistic self-designation of the people. The figure shows a clear differentiation between an eastern, northern and central area (Begi Woreda and north-eastern Mao Komo Special Woreda) on one side and the West (western part of Mao Komo Special Woreda) on the other side. In the North, the East and around Tongo the people call themselves Sit Shwala or Mao and their language T'wa Sit Shwala or Afaan Mao. (56) Mao occurs more often as an ethnic designation than as a language name. Gwama is in very few cases mentioned as a language name only.

In the villages in the western and south-western part of the survey area the people call themselves Komo or Gwama and their language Komo for "proper Komo" and Gwama. Gwama and Komo speakers live normally together in the same village. The Gwama speakers would never call their language Afaan Mao or T'wa Sit Shwala, but they are aware of the existence of a people group commonly called Mao, which speaks a similar language as they do.
Speakers from Zebsher [Gwama] refuse that people in Ishgogo speak
Gwama. According to them the people in Ishgogo speak Mao; but they do
understand everything they say. (Anne-Christie Hellenthal,
p.c. 09.2012)


In the central western villages of Kokeb, S'ulgolo, Bobis Ishkaba and Mimi Akobo on the slope from the Tongo Highland down to the Sudan plains, both people groups meet and define themselves as either Mao/Sit Shwala, speaking Afan MaolT'wa Sit Shwala or as Gwama, speaking T'wa Gwama. In an interview conducted in Kokeb we got an immediate impression that there is a considerable difference between those people groups and their languages. While the Mao here occur as immigrants from the highlands looking for fertile soil, the Gwama are said to be the indigenous population with roots to the lowlands in the west and closely related to the Komo people. If we, however, take a look at the linguistic findings and compare the word list interviews with Somi Ambeya who calls himself and his language Mao and Abdulalem Atair who calls himself and his language Gwama, the difference is small and qualifies the forms as varieties of the same language. (57) Thus the difference between these two people groups which is expressed so clearly in the interviews seems to have other reasons than linguistic.

4.1.3 Gwama or Koman Mao - a language with no name

Map 6 shows the main self-designations for the Koman and Omotic languages subject to this survey. On the basis of linguistic findings, the Koman languages can be divided into Komo (light blue) and Gwama/Koman Mao (dark blue). It has been proved that Gwama and the Koman Mao varieties are mutually intelligible and thus can be considered to be varieties of the same language (cf. 4.1.2). The answers to question 10 in the questionnaire (cf. appendix 1): "Where else (in which villages) do people speak your language?" confirm this view. As seen in appendix 2, table 1, column 9, in many cases typical Gwama speaking villages are mentioned by Koman Mao speakers in Begi Woreda as references where they speak "the same language". There are few or no examples where it is the other way round. In typical Gwama speaking villages in the lowlands of Mao Komo Special Woreda, highland villages where the people call their language T'wa Sit Shwala, T'wa Kuro or T'wa Kirin are not mentioned as references where people might speak the same language.

As explained earlier the term Mao is arbitrary and would not be accepted by the Gwama people to designate neither their language nor their ethnicity. The--artificial--term Koman Mao (cf. map 5) used in this paper is a somewhat more precise term than just Mao and excludes the Omotic Mao languages. It would, however, not include Gwama. (58)

The term Sit Shwala for the people and T'wa Sit Shwala for the language is widely used as self-designations by the people groups called Mao by others, and may fit as a synonym of Koman Mao and as a generic term for the clan related terms Kuro and Kirin. (59) It would not include Gwama and is refused by the lowland Gwama speakers. This was made clear during the workshops on the Gwama language in Asosa in July and October2013. Adadik Habte, a young Gwama from Ya'a Baldigis in Mao Komo Special Woreda clearly refused the use of T'wa Sit Shwala in spite of the fact that his language and the T'wa Sit Shwala language of other participants were easily mutually understandable. According to Asadik the term Sit Shwala simply refers to "any kind of black people" and is not distinct enough for being used for a particular language; thus also speakers of an Omotic Mao language could be called Sit Shwala--'black people'. The discussion gave the impression that the Gwama speakers disliked this term and that Sit Shwala might have something to do with the complicated and asymmetric relationship between Mao and Oromo people particularly in Begi Woreda The Sit Shwala participants in the same workshop insisted that this term did not have any pejorative connotation, but they were more inclined to accept Gwama as a positive common designation than the Gwama people were to accept (T'wa) Sit Shwala.

There are Gwama people speaking the Gwama language on the other side of the border in Sudan. (60) The terms Mao and Sit Shwala do not seem to be in use in Sudan and would probably not be accepted. The Ethiopian Gwama are aware of the existence of Gwama in Sudan and they have an understanding of a common origin. The Mao--if Koman or Omotic speaking--have a rather vague idea of "coming from the highlands" and "belonging to the same family" in spite of different languages.

All this suggests that Gwama might be the more useful and even more prestigious term compared with T'wa Sit Shwala, which is ambiguous and potentially pejorative, and Koman Mao, which is an artificial term. Gwama is already widely accepted in literature, but it still excludes thousands of speakers of very similar dialects.

4.1.4 Kirin and Kuro

In some of the interviews Kirin (Kring; Kiring \\??1) and Kuro were mentioned either as ethnic terms for people groups and/or clans, or as language self-designations. Both terms seem to refer to clans or sub groups of 'Koman Mao' and to their language. (61)

Kirin is mainly reported from some villages around Tongo, such as Bobos Ishkaba and Wanga Git'en, as well as from Tongo town (cf. appendix 2 and map 6). There is one isolated reporting from Lak'e in the lowlands. In all cases, Kirin as a linguistic term stands in contrast to Gwama and Komo. The information that Gwama and Kirin are mutually understandable indicates that Kirin here designates a variety of Koman Mao. (62).

Kirin may also designate a particular group of Mao with Arabic origin and a light complexion that forms a kind of political "Mao elite" (Alexander Meckelburg, p.c.). According to oral traditions, they learned Koman Mao only three generations ago when they immigrated to or were placed in the Tongo area. Nowadays some Kirin people (Tongo Mao) may call their language Gwama, no longer Mao because of political or status reasons. This avoids confusion with the Omotic Mao languages east of Begi.

A discussion of this complex issue exceeds the boundaries of this paper, and a more thorough investigation of this form of Koman Mao and their speakers might be fruitful, as well as of the reported use of Kirin for the languages of the Seze and Hozo people. So far, the meaning of the term Kirin does not really seem clear to me.

Kuro as an ethnic and linguistic term is mainly reported from some villages in the northeastern part of the survey area, such as Kongilo Gara Kelo, Giba Gulanza, Shombo Bayida and Kobor Chandi (cf. figure 2, appendix 2 and map 6). Differing from Kirin, Kuro often occurs as the only term both for the language and the people in the villages of this defined area. According to other Koman Mao speakers, Kuro is a clan name, and as a language term it is simply "a dialect of T'wa Sit Shwala" (63). As mentioned in 4.1.2 (cf. table 2), the Kuro speakers use a significant number of different words compared with all other Koman Mao and Gwama varieties, which could give a reason to consider Kuro a distinct dialect of Koman Mao. A confirmation of this assumption would require further investigation. It should be noted that an Omotic speaking minority (Mao Seze or Mao Hozo; cf. appendix 2) is reported from the Kuro villages mentioned above; Kuro thus appears at the interface between Koman Mao and Omotic Mao.

In the villages Gemi Gaba and Laliftu Lop'i with a Hozo or Seze speaking majority, Kuro is mentioned as an additional language. This might suggest that there is a Koman Mao speaking minority in these villages. The information we got from Shagga that there were some old people in this village, who speak "an old and traditional language called Kuro" could indicate a similar situation. According to Kasim Hassan, Kuro is a "dying language" in this area that is different from all other languages; young people would not understand it. (64)

In Shera Kama, also on the boundary between Koman Mao and Omotic Mao, Kuro is mentioned as the name of a clan (cf. appendix 2). Some of the Kuro people in Shera Kama appear to speak Koman Mao and others an Omotic language - Seze or Hozo. It is noteworthy that some of the speakers of Koman Mao in Shera Kama acknowledge the people in Shagga and Kabache, villages that have clearly Omotic speaking populations, as "the same people".

Tadesse Fayisa from Ego Girmos, a Koman Mao speaking village, explains that the majority of the people in his village belong to the clan of Kur. They traditionally intermarry with Seze and Hozo. He states:
The grandfathers of the people of Ego Girmos originally came from
Kabache, but today the people in Kabache only speak Seze. There are
still a few people in Shagga and Kabache who speak Kuro and they are
Kur just as we are. (Tadesse Fayisa, Ego Girmos, 4.10.2012).


This information could be connected to the notice from Shagga, Kabache's neighbouring village, about the rests of a Kuro speaking population and would possibly also explain why there is a relationship between the Koman Mao speakers in Shera Kama and the people in Shagga and Kabache.

It seems obvious that the clan membership is more important for the people than belonging to a particular language group. This is also the case for people from the Hozo clan, who may speak Hozo in one place and Seze in the other (cf. appendix 2). These findings lead to a couple of additional questions: Do the remains of Koman Mao speakers called Kuro in Shagga on one side and the Omotic speaking Kuro in Shera Kama on the other side indicate that there is an on-going language change from Koman Mao to Omotic Mao in this area? Or is the opposite the case--that the Kuro in the north-east of the survey area as well as the Kur in Ego Girmos, originating from Kabache, spoke an Omotic language while today they are Koman Mao speakers? If some radical language change has been going on in recent times in this area, could this so help us to explain the origin and the migration of the Mao? Could this give some answers to the question why some groups who speak a Koman language closely related Gwama today consider themselves to be 'Mao' and look at Seze or Hozo speaking clan as the same people, but who do not look at Gwama people from the lowlands this way?

The enigmatic term Kuro at the interface between "Mao and Mao" would be an interesting starting point for further studies, preferably together with historians and anthropologists.

4.1.5 What is Kwama?

The use of term Kwama has caused some confusion. What does it mean? Is it a separate language or a dialect variety of Gwama or even Komo, or is it merely a synonym of Gwama? In much of the literature such as Bender (1975; 1983); Siebert et al. (1993; 1994) and Davis et al. (2011) Kwama is used for the language or at least for a part of a dialect cluster, which is here called Gwama. (65) In The Ethnologue (Lewis 2009) we find an entry on Kwama, where Gwama is mentioned as one of the synonyms and as the term used by Komo speakers.

All relevant entries in Encyclopaedia Aethiopica (cf. Bryant et al 2007; Bender 2007; Fleming 2007) follow this terminology. In other publications such as Hellenthal (2005), Zelalem Layew (2005) and Kievit et al. (2011), as well as in this survey, Gwama is used to refer to this language or to a part of this dialect cluster. All this indicates that Gwama and Kwama can simply be considered to be synonyms, addressing the same Koman dialects spoken in the western part of our survey area (cf. map 6). This fits with several statements made in the interviews with Gwama people who mentioned that the most correct designation of their language would be T'wa Kwama.

This opinion is confirmed by Asadik Habte from Ya'a in the transition area between highland and lowland. According to him, the Gwama speakers would use [t'[w.sup.a] [k.sup.w]ama] or [t'[w.sup.a] [g.sup.w]ama] for the language and [[k.sup.w]ama] or [[g.sup.w]ama] for the people - with strikingly fronted [a]'s. Whether it is pronounced with an initial [g] or [k] does not seem to be of relevance.

There is, however, other evidence that makes it difficult to believe that Kwama merely is a synonym of Gwama. In our material Kwama sometimes was noted besides Gwama, particularly in villages such as Lak'e, Shumate and Bangatarko with a mixed Gwama and Komo speaking population. Here it was reported that there are people who speak Gwama while there are others who speak Kwama.

From Yiwa, most likely a purely Komo speaking village west of Yangu (66), we received the notice that the people call themselves Komo while others call them or their language Kwama. This again fits with what is explained in Kievit et al. (2011:13) (67) and what is mentioned by Theis (1995). Otero (p.c.) and Hellenthal (p.c.) suggest that T'wa Kwama might be the term Gwama speakers use when they refer to the Komo language. Accordingly, Kwama here could be considered to be the Gwama word that is used when referring to the Komo language.

This opinion was confirmed in interviews in the villages around Penshuba, a multilingual area in Mao Komo Special Woreda (cf. appendix 2 and map 2). Here the Gwama speakers clearly state that there are people who speak a language that is not understood by them - the same languages that is spoken in Yangu and Lak'e. Gwama speakers call it Kwama Dini. It is obvious that they here refer to Komo. So Kwama Dini and T'wa Kwama Dini is at least in this area the Gwama designation for the Komo people and their language. The Komo of the area would call them themselves [kom] and there language [t'a kom] (68); [[g.sup.w]ama] and [t'a [g.sup.w]ama] is the Komo designation for Gwama. (69) Krell (2011:11) presents a similar suggestion:
"Komo speakers from the village of Gondolo call themselves Koma. They
call their language Koma or Kwoma. The Ganza and Kwama [Gwama] people
also call them Koma or Kwoma."


In summary we can say that Kwama may either - as frequently used in literature--be a synonym for Gwama or the Gwama word for the Komo language.70 There is no evidence proving the existence of a separate Kwama language or even a Kwama dialect of either Gwama or Komo. In order to avoid misunderstandings and terminological confusion, I would recommend sticking to the terms Gwama and Komo both for the people and for their language.

4.2 The Omotic Mao languages

4.2.1 Designations and relationships

The scientific discussion with regard to the genetic position of the Mao languages is thoroughly documented in Ahland (2012:13-18). While it is generally accepted today that Omotic is one of the primary branches of the Afro-Asiatic family, the position of the four languages Hozo, Seze71, Ganza and Northern Mao is still being discussed. Ahland, (2012:15f) refers to Bender (2003) who suggests a 2-way split from Proto-Omotic into Mao and all other Omotic languages72, and to Hayward (2000) who classifies the Mao languages as one member of a 3-way split from Proto-Omotic into Mao, South Omotic and North Omotic.73 Ahland further refers to Bender (2000) who states that the Mao languages are the most divergent in Omotic and supports a 2-way split solution lumping Omotic Mao in one group and all other Omotic languages in another branch. Finally, he concludes:
What's most important here is that these scholars each position the Mao
group [i.e. the Omotic Mao languages Hozo, Sezo, Northern Mao and
Ganza] as an early split from Proto-Omotic. Ahland (2012:16)


This discussion regarding the genetic classification of Mao only addresses the Omotic Mao languages. We cannot overlook that a substantial number of speakers in the Begi - Tongo area at least in certain circumstances call themselves and their Koman language Mao, and that for the Oromo, the entire indigenous population of the area indiscriminately speaks what is referred to as "Afaan Mao".

This survey has no intention of interfering with the discussion about the internal classification of the Omotic languages. It merely intends to suggest the use of terms that are as clear and unambiguous as possible. I would therefore like to make the following statements:

(1) We do not use the term Mao as an linguistic term unless it is well defined and specified in detail through its combination with another term.

As shown in figure 2, Mao is used as a designation for a Koman language--often synonym to T'wa Sit Shwala but different from Gwama (cf. 4.1.2). The term "Begi Mao" is ambiguous and misleading.

(2) Seze, Hozo, Northern Mao and Ganza are Omotic languages and may be called Omotic Mao. (74) Anfillo is a Northern Omotic Kefoid language, not belonging to the Mao branch of the Omotic languages though its speakers call themselves and their language Mao.

This is regardless of whether Omotic Mao is classified as an independent second or third branch of the Omotic languages (Bender 2003; Hayward 2000) or as a branch of the North Omotic languages. The degree of affiliation between Ganza and this group is not yet clear (cf. 4.2.4). Northern Mao here designates the Omotic language, which is spoken around Bambasi and in the Didessa valley and may form the "eastern branch" of the Omotic Mao languages. (75) The closely related languages Hozo and Seze may so form the "western branch" of this language group. There is no common name for these two languages/dialects; here I will use SezelHozo even if the status of Hozo and related dialects is not completely clear yet, or just Omotic Mao--well knowing that this term normally also includes Northern Mao and Ganza.

4.2.1 The Seze--Hozo language area

Seze, Hozo and closely related dialects are spoken in the eastern part of the survey area with their centre in K'ondala Woreda. There are also recordings from villages with Seze and Hozo speakers east and north of the Dabus River in the western part of Babo Gambel Woreda and the southernmost part of Mana Sibu Woreda (cf. maps 1 and 2). In the eastern part of Begi Woreda and along the road from Begi to Bambasi there are villages with at least Seze or Hozo minorities. It is not known if there are villages with speakers of Hozo, Seze or related dialects in the northern part of Jima Horro Woreda, but that would not be unlikely. (76)

The Omotic Mao languages Seze and Hozo form a compact area in Oromia Regional State surrounded by Oromo speakers on three sides (cf. map 4). Today there may be a majority of Oromo speakers within the whole area. These as well as immigrant groups from southern and north-eastern Ethiopia live mainly along the Begi--K'ondala--Babo Gambel road, while there are still villages with almost exclusively Omotic Mao speaking inhabitants in the remote parts of the Guma Gara Arba mountains and in the Dabus Swamps.

In the West close to the road from Gidami via Begi to Bambasi there may be some overlap between the Omotic Mao and Koman Mao areas. In some of the mainly Koman Mao speaking villages such as Kobor Chandi and Kongilo Gara Kelo, there are reported Hozo or Seze minorities (cf. appendix 3), as well as in the Girmos-area south of the Begi--Tongo road. Investigations in this area have shown that those "minorities" in some cases are women moved there by marriage, something that again confirms the close relationship between the Omotic Mao and the Koman Mao with a common ethnic Mao identity in spite of the languages differences. Regarding the role of the Kuro clan and the obviously bilingual area around Shera Kama cf. 4.1.4. (77)

As we can see from this figure, Seze is spoken in the central and northern part of this Omotic Mao area, while Hozo is mainly spoken in the south and southwest (cf. also map 6 and appendix 2). Shuluyo here considered closely related to Hozo or as a part of a Hozo dialect cluster is reported as the only Omotic Mao language in the east. In the southern and western part both Seze and Hozo speakers are reported from most of the villages. (78) This may amongst other reasons be because of the existence of minorities due to intermarriage or the confusion arising from the fact that a significant portion of the members of the Hozo clan speaks Seze. The H behind the name of villages on figure 3 indicates that the majority of the speakers in this village belong to the Hozo clan--regardless if they speak Seze or Hozo. The K indicates that there is reported a "Kuro speaking minority".

The only occurrence of Seze/Hozo in Mao Komo Special Woreda seems to be in the village of Mimi Akobo (cf. appendix 2 and map 6; not included in figure 3). The interview with Atherpha Dina (10/2012) confirms the findings of survey group 2 that there is a significant Omotic speaking population in this Gwama/Koman Mao speaking village. (79) The word list recording shows that these people speak Seze without any obvious differences to other Seze speakers. The Seze speakers in Mimi Akobo belong to the typical Omotic Mao clan of Madego and call their language Dashen or Fargashi. They claim that they came from Hofa Fargashi in K'ondala Woreda down to the lowlands looking for fertile land. Curiously the people in Hofa Fargashi all seem to be Hozo speakers and belong to the Gadatso, a mainly Hozo speaking clan (cf. appendix 2).

4.2.2 Seze--Hozo--Shuluyo

There seems to be some disagreement amongst the scientists (80) as well as amongst the speakers in how far Seze and Hozo can be classified as two different languages or as dialects of the same language. Furthermore, in the interviews and wordlist recordings, three language self-designations occur; besides Hozo and Seze there is a considerable group of speakers who consistently call their language Shuluyo. When discussing the question how many different Omotic Mao languages are spoken in the area with the speakers, I got the following statements:
You cannot say that they [Seze and Hozo] are two different languages.
There are just different dialects from village to village. [...] Hozo
and Seze are from the same family; their language is Krirj (81) (Hika
Dinbasha from Konsa in Guma Gara Arba k'ebele, Seze speaker, Survey
team 3, 1.10.2012)

Our language [Hozo] is the same [as Seze] but there are differences
like in Oromo--there are different dialects [...]. (Asafa Sambo, Hozo
speaker, Hofa Fargashi, 1.7.2011) This [Shuluyo] is also our
language--only a little bit different. It is the same language and we
understand it well. They just use some other words and different
sounds. (Ramadan Hassan, Seze speaker, Shagga, Survey tem 3,
1.10.2012) (82)


Those interview statements may give the impression that there is only one Omotic Mao language in this area, and that Seze, Hozo and Shuluyo are just different varieties of the same language. Hika and Ramadan would even establish a hierarchy between these "dialects":
Shuluyo is under Seze; Hozo is also under Seze (Hika Dinbasha and
Ramadan Hassan, both Seze speakers, 1.10.12)


There may be several reasons for this statement. Seze has a well defined distribution area with a centre in Guma Gara Arba K'ebele. This area in K'ondala Woreda on both sides of the road to Babo Gambel still seems to have a rather homogenous and vivid Seze speaking community that is well aware and conscious of their language. Another reason may be that Seze as a linguistic and ethnic term is well known and established, and is used indiscriminately by all speakers for their language. Dialect differences in Seze are not reported.

This is not the case for Hozo and Shuluyo. The Hozo area appears to be scattered, and there are only a few villages where Hozo is reported as the only Omotic Mao language (cf. figure 3). Additionally, Hozo is used as a clan name for both Hozo and Seze speaking people in the area. The main difference, however, seems to be that Hozo is by far as known and generally accepted as Seze. In our interviews in the south-eastern and eastern part of the area, in Boji Gara Arba k'ebele (83), in the remote Guma Gara Arba Mountains, in the Dabus Swamps, on the eastern bank of the Dabus River and in the swamps on the K'ondala side, we recorded word lists, which were more or less identical with the Hozo recordings in the south-western part of the area and with the findings for Hozo in the literature (cf. appendix 3). The speakers, however, did not accept the term Hozo for the people or for the language. In these remote areas they only use Mao Shuluyo. This is also the term that Seze speakers in the more central areas of Guma Gara Arba use to refer to them. When the Shuluyo speakers mention villages where they speak "the same language" (cf. appendix 1, question 10) they only refer to villages in the close surroundings. There are no recordings of connections to the Hozo language that is spoken in e.g. Hofa Fargashi in the south-west of the Omotic Mao area (cf. map 6; appendix 2).

The informants on the eastern side of the Dabus River, in Bishawo Dabus and Malka Ebicha did not even have a specific name for their language. They called themselves and their language [mo:] (84), 'Mao', and supposed that their language was not spoken any other place. However, when we talked about marriage they did admit that they took wives from Boji Gara Arba on the K'ondala side "where they speak the same language". Any relationship to the language or clan called Hozo was denied.

The linguistic facts, however, show a different picture. The cognates between Seze and Hozo in my material are not more than 70 %, while I could not find any systematic differences between what was called Hozo and Shuluyo by the speakers. (85) In table 4 a few examples of systematic sound contrast with common roots are shown:
Table 4: Examples of regular sound differences between Seze and
Hozo/Shuluyo:

                    English  Seze        Hozo/Shuluyo

[w] vs. [b]                  [w]         [b]
                    'bird'   ka:wi       kabi
                    'eye'    a:wi        a:bi
[s] vs. [t]                  [t]         [s]
                    'moon'   emti        emsi
                    'tear'   (h)amsi     amti
                    'tree'   e:nsi       inti (H)
Loss of consonants
                    'goat'   [??]ak'i    [??]a
                    'heavy'  pek'i       pe?i
                    'nose'   [??]mti    [??]ini
                    'water'  ha:ns(')i  ha:ni


In about 30 % of our--very limited--material, Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo show different roots.
Table 5: Some known cases of different roots in Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo:

English   Seze              Hozo/Shuluyo  Comments

'donkey'  huldi             kure(:)       cf. [kuru] in Gwama
'foot'    t[??]gi           daka
'heart'   [??]in?t[??]i     niba          Hozo also [diba]
'house'   kja:i             kera          Sound contrast?
'road'    [k.sup.w]e:i      ka[??]i       Sound contrast?
'stone'   [??]oewi          wa:dzi
'tail'    wi[??]i           umbili
'wind'    (?i[??]a)w[??]gi  [??]a:wi      Seze also [pi[??]aw[??]gi]
'one'     i[??]ile:         [??]n[??]


These findings correspond well with the data in Bender (2007:85):"The lexical resemblance between Hozo and Sezo is about 65 % of basic lexicon, implying a low degree of mutual intelligibility"

In contrast to what was previously stated, there are a couple of reports that would deny that Hozo and Seze are mutually intelligible, as the informants from the very remote place Tullu Berc'uma prove. These Shuluyo speakers clearly assured that they prefer Oromo when communicating with Seze speakers. They admitted that there were many similar words, but the mutual intelligibility was not guaranteed or at least very arduous.

These findings may lead to the conclusion that Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo should be considered two different languages rather than a dialect cluster. The statements mentioned above indicating the opposite can thus be taken as wishful thinking, as expressions of an ideal "Mao unity" in a situation where all Mao languages, at least in Oromia region, are endangered and extremely pressed by Oromo.

With regard to Shuluyo, our material does not give any evidence for a distinguished third Omotic Mao language in the area. There are only few differences between Hozo and Shuluyo, which might even be due to different words randomly used for the same concept or interference from Seze or Oromo. Hozo and Shuluyo may thus be considered to be the same language (cf. appendix 3). However, since the speakers in the north-eastern part of the survey area--on both sides of the Dabus River--do not accept the term Hozo for their language and consequently use Mao Shuluyo as the linguistic self-designation, we may face a terminological problem in case of a development and further description of this language.

4.2.3 The Ganza mystery

According to The Ethnologue (Lewis 2009), Ganza is a language spoken in the Yabus area in Sudan belonging to the same branch of the Omotic languages as Hozo, Seze and Northern Mao. However, geographically it is rather distant and isolated from the three other Omotic Mao languages. Ganza is supposed to be closer related to Hozo (86) or to the Seze/Hozo cluster than Northern Mao. (87) These statements are not substantiated and may be taken only as assumptions until the degree of relatedness between Ganza and the other Omotic Mao languages is investigated more closely.

Ahland (2010:2) questions the idea of Fleming (1986) and Bender (2003) that Ganza only is spoken in the Yabus area of Sudan. (88) He refers to speakers of Northern Mao who suppose that Ganza speakers also live on the Ethiopian side of the border west of Bambasi town, and that their language is somewhat similar to their own language.

When travelling in Mao Komo Special Woreda I was frequently told that there are Ganza people in the area of Penshuba and Ya'a Baldigis (cf. map 2). (89) In fact, during field visits in the area this could be proved. According to the people in Penshuba (90), there are around 15-20 households of Ganza speakers in the village--probably less than 100 speakers. Also in Ya'a Baldigis there may be not more than 100 Ganza speakers. (91) A few Ganza speakers may be found in Banga Kesi in Penshuba k'ebele, 4h on foot from the k'ebele village. The references to Yangu k'ebele regarding Ganza speakers gave negative results. According to all interviewees, the majority of Ganza speakers are still found in the Yabus area of the Sudan. (92)

The Ganza in Penshuba and Ya'a are supposed to come from the Duga Bele Mountain in Sudan; they did not live in Ethiopia at the time of Almahdi. (93)

The Ganza in Penshuba and Ya'a Baldigis call their language Gwami; Ganza as a language name is only used by others. The self-designation of the people seems to be Ganza (Ganzo), while Gwami is limited to the language. They are divided into several clans as e.g. Ganza deshis, Ganza dokanuku, Ganza punil^uni, Ganza walagimbu and Ganza gwunzi.

All Ganza in Penshuba and Ya'a Baldigis seem to be bilingual and use Gwama/Koman Mao as lingua franca. There is no or only limited knowledge in Komo, Oromo and Amharic, but they may know some Berta. The Ganza community occurs rather closed where Ganza only intermarry with Ganza and children do not attend any school. This contributes to the conservation of the language in spite of the small number of speakers. (94) An exchange with Ganza from Yabbus area in Sudan is not reported. On a social level the Ganza seem to have lower status compared to the Gwama, and use their own language only inside their houses or in other 'safe' settings.

On the basis of these interviews, the two villages with Ganza speakers in the survey area are marked with G on map 6; the green-yellow colour indicates Omotic Mao. Very little linguistic research has been done on Ganza, and only based on my limited material the relationship between Ganza and other Omotic languages such as Seze/Hozo or Northern Mao is impossible to state with certainty. (95) An analysis of the recorded word list (cf. appendix 3) shows--with all reservation--the following cognates: 39% with Seze/Hozo, 11% with Gwama and 5.5 % with Komo. (96) For 44.5 % no clear cognates with any of those languages could be found.
Table 6: Possible Ganza and Seze/Hozo cognates

English          Seze (S)/Hozo (H)

'ashes'          pendi (H)
'bird'           kawi(S)/kabi (H)
'cow'            imi (S/H)
'to drink'       i[??]i
'ear'            we:?i (S)/we (H)
'to eat'         ma(?) (S/H)
'eye'            a:wi (S)a:bi (H)
'foot'           togi (S)
'goat'           [??]agi (S)/[??]a (H)
'hand'           kosi (S)/ k'idzi (H)
'house'          kja:i (S)/kera (H)
'lip'            wa:n g[??]?ki (S)
'meat'           [??]s:i (S)/[??]s'i (H)
'moon'           emsi (S)/ emti (H)
'nest'           kawkja:i (S)/ kabikera (H)
'nose'           [??]i:nti (S)/ [??]ini (H)
'road'           [k.sup.w]e:?i (S)
'smoke of fire'  s'[??]:wi (S)/ s'[??]:bi (H)
'sun'            a:w-t[??]i (S)/ abi (H)
'tree'           e:nsi (S)/ inti (H)
'water'          i. ha:nsi (S)/ ha:ni (H)
'woman'          [??]a:i (S)/ [??]e: (H)
'one'            i[??]ile (S)
'two'            n[??]mbe (S)/ d[??]mb[??] (H)
'three'          si:ze (S)/ [??]eazi (H)
'four'           bes'e (S)/ bes'i (H)
'five'           [k.sup.w]ize (S)/ (g)is'i (H)

English          Ganza                          Comments

'ashes'          kenda                          -i - -a
'bird'           kapi/ka?i                      aw/ab--ap/a?
'cow'            imi                            also Gwama
'to drink'       i[??]i-
'ear'            woja                           e:?i - oja
'to eat'         ma?
'eye'            ap/a?                          aw/ab--ap/a?
'foot'           toko/t[??]g[??]                -i- -[??]
'goat'           [??]a?a                        -i - -a
'hand'           k[??]ns[??]                    -i - -[??]?
'house'          ka?a                           -i- -a
'lip'            nana g[??]?g[??]/ g[??]?k[??]  -i- -[??]
'meat'           wasi
'moon'           anzi/ans'i                     "S" vs. "T"
'nest'           kapika(?a)                     aw/ab--ap
'nose'           [??]i:nt(i)
'road'           [k.sup.w]oja                   e:?i - pja
'smoke of fire'  s'[??]ba                       w/b--b; -i- -a
'sun'            aba/awa                        w/b-b; -i - -a
'tree'           ins'a                          "S" vs. "T"; -i- -a
'water'          ha?a                           -i- -a
'woman'          sa?a                           a:i - a?a
'one'            i[??]i-                        Only Seze!
'two'            mambu
'three'          dizi/t'izi    ?
'four'           mazi/maz'i    ?
'five'           [g.sup.w]us'i/[k'.sup.w]izi


My tentative findings support the classification of Ganza as an the Omotic Mao language. In the column of comments, a couple of observations are listed which might indicate regular differences--like [w]/[b] in Seze/Hozo vs. [p]/[?] in Ganza, or [-a]/[-[??]] endings in Ganza where Seze/Hozo has [-i]/[-]. It would be particularly interesting to compare the 1700 items list recorded by David Ford (unpublished) with a Northern Mao word list for assessing the family relationship between those two languages. Generally we need more linguistic research on Ganza to able to make any final statements.

In summary my investigation has revealed that there are around 200 - 300 Ganza speakers in Mao Komo Special Woreda in Ethiopia. These Ganza live in villages with a majority of Gwama speakers and are aware of their descent from the Yabus area in Sudan, where the majority of Ganza speakers live. The wordlist shows a connection to Seze/Hozo that indicates that Ganza together with Seze, Hozo and Northern Mao belongs to the Omotic Mao languages. (97) The relationship to Seze and Hozo and probably also Northern Mao is, however, beyond mutual intelligibility.

5. The status of the "Mao--Komo languages"

5.1 Number of speakers

It is difficult to give dependable statistics of the number of speakers of each of the "Mao -Komo languages" in the survey area. One of the reasons for this is the general lack of reliable data with regard to inhabitants and language use. The arbitrary and confusing ethnic and linguistic designations are another challenge. Finally, there is probably a considerable number of bilingual people in this area, many of whom are about to lose the language of their ancestors and acquire a new mother tongue, and who would classify themselves differently depending on the context in which and by whom the data was collected. (98)

The Ethiopian census only uses the categories Mao and Komo. According to the census of 2007, there are 46,026 ethnic Mao in Ethiopia; 33,683 of them state that Mao is their mother tongue. There is no indication of the distribution of these Mao speakers to the different language groups. (99)

With regard to the number of speakers of the single languages, relevant literature mainly refers to The Ethnologue (Lewis 2009), which provides the following figures: Seze 3,000; Hozo 3,000; Bambasi Mao 5,000; Gwama 15,000; Komo 1,500 (Ethiopia) and Ganza 5,400 (Sudan). Some of these figures are controversial. Ahland (2012:13) assesses that the number of Northern Mao speakers (Bambasi and Didessa area) may not exceed 2,000-3,000; according to Krell (2011:11) the number of Ganza speakers in Sudan may only be around 2,600. With regard to Gwama, Kievit et al. (2011:11) suppose that the number of 15,000 speakers is too high. They argue that the total population of Mao Komo Special Woreda is put to 42,050 (2007 census) and estimate that only 5 % of them are Gwama speakers, i.e. little more than 2000 people. However, in this calculation they have not taken the Koman Mao speakers in eastern Mao Komo Special Woreda and in Begi Woreda in Oromia Regional State into account. Many of them may either be counted as Gwama in The Ethnologue or as Mao in the Ethiopian census.

My own material obtained through the interviews is not very consistent either. The difference between "households" and "people" (cf. appendix 1, questions 8 and 9) was frequently misunderstood. Furthermore, the questionnaire did not differentiate between people with full mother tongue competence and others who only have a basic knowledge of the language of their ancestors. But even if the numbers resulting from the addition of the tentative figures given in the interviews should be notably too high, we can gain interesting insights by e.g. looking at the mutual size ratio of the languages regarding the number of speakers.

For the Omotic Mao we got the following tentative figures: Seze: around 13,000 speakers; Hozo (including Shuluyo): around 6,000 speakers. These figures reflect the impression we got during the interviews - that Seze is the dominating language with a solid and compact language area (100), while the Hozo area is more mixed with Seze speakers in the south and south- west, and scattered in the remote mountains and swamps in the south-eastern and eastern part. On the basis of our information, the number of Ganza speakers in Ethiopia is estimated to be less than 500 people. Together with the estimation for Sudan mentioned in Krell (2011), there may not be more than 3,000 Ganza speakers in both countries together.

For Koman Mao and Gwama the situation is more complicated and there is much room for interpretation. If we add all entries for Koman Mao (Afaan Mao, T'wa Sit Shwala; T'wa Kirin, T'wa Kuro), we come to the impressive figure of 16,000 speakers. The number of Gwama speakers obtained by this method amounts to 8,700.101 Together there would be nearly 25,000 speakers of this dialect cluster. Even if this estimation of Koman Mao speakers is significantly too high and many people who have already abandoned this language in favour of the Oromo language have been counted,102 it is obvious that the Koman Mao speakers are a non-negligible group. It is not really surprising that there are at least historically more Koman Mao speakers in the densely populated highlands around Begi and Tongo than "proper Gwama" in the vast and sparsely populated lowland. Still, the average Gwama speaker surely has considerably better language skills and a higher linguistic self-confidence than most of the Koman Mao speakers who are linguistically and culturally highly influenced by the dominating Oromo surroundings.

On the basis of my material, it is not possible to give any reliable estimation of the number of Komo speakers in the survey area. Komo is in all places mentioned as a minority language with Gwama as the dominating language. The number of Komo speakers in Ethiopia may not exceed a few thousand. The situation in Sudan seems to be similar where Krell (2011:11) does not report a particular number of speakers, but we get the impression that there are not more than a few thousand either. For Gambela there are rather different estimations regarding the number of Komo speakers, but even here they do not exceed 1,000-2,000 people. So we would not be far off if we assume that, all together, there are no more than 5,000 to 10,000 Komo speakers--probably with a majority in Sudan. (103)

5.1 Degrees of Endangerment and Development

Even if we add the highest estimates with regard to the number of speakers for all 5 languages subject to this survey, their number will not exceed 50,000-0,06 % of the Ethiopian population of at least 90 million; the number of speakers with full language competence will still be significantly lower. What makes the situation worse is that all Mao and Komo people are highly marginalised and underprivileged with low self-esteem and with less education, influence and access to participation in the civil society than the members of the dominating people groups in the area such as the Oromo. (104)

In the field interviews, most of the interviewees drew a picture of languages degraded to "house languages" that are highly endangered.
Our language is on the brink of extinction. We still use T'wa Sit
Shwala at home and with our neighbours, but the children learn in Afaan
Oromo at school and when they come back from school they use this
language also at home. (Hadi Bula, Kama Chandi, 4.10.2012) (105)

We are not afraid to use our language [Shuluyo], but normally we use it
inside the house only. Our children are more and more accustomed to use
Afaan Oromo. (Aza Fato, Bishawo Dabus, 15.9.2012)


There are only few statements that indicate the opposite, some from Gwama speakers in the lowlands of Mao Komo Special Woreda, and a few from Seze speakers from Guma Gara Arba in K'ondala Woreda.

It goes beyond the capacity of this survey to make profound statements on the degree of endangerment of the five languages subject to this survey--e.g. as Ahland (2012) (106) is able to do for the Northern Mao around Bambasi and in the Didessa Valley. He analyses the situation for these language according to the indicators for measuring the degree of endangerment of languages in the report of UNESCO's Ad Hoc Group on Endangered Languages (2003) and concludes clearly that "the Northern Mao language is endangered." (Ahland 2012:31):
In reference to the UNESCO report's terminology, the language use
pattern is characterized as "dwindling" [...]. That is, the language is
not used outside the home domain, and there is evidence that the more
dominant language, in this case Oromo, is beginning to be used in the
home.(Ahland 2012:34).


Through my field research and discussions with native speakers I got a similar impression of the sociolinguistic situation for the indigenous languages within the survey area. Schools seem to play an important role in the negative development of these small languages--at least in Oromia, where Oromo as the only school language reinforces the dominating role of this language in the society. The same can be said for at least the protestant churches where only Oromo is used as a medium of reading, preaching and instruction.

The Omotic Mao languages Seze and Hozo are exclusively spoken in Oromia Regional State. In Oromia, Oromo is the only medium of instruction and the only language used in public, and it is the only language recognised in the constitution of the regional state. As long as this situation continues, the negative development for Seze and Hozo probably will continue. As far as I know, there are no plans to develop neither Seze nor Hozo to be used as languages of instruction or even to be recognised as existing languages.

What makes it even more difficult is that Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo are not easily mutually understandable. Speakers of these languages live in the same area, often together in the same villages, but Oromo most often functions as a means of communication and takes a more and more important role as the home language of the younger generation. Younger speakers with full mother tongue competence are therefore often found only in very remote areas.

Up to now, very little linguistic research and data collection has been done on these two languages (107), no orthography has been developed and no script decision has been made. SIL Ethiopia supports some linguistic work on Seze and Hozo, and starting from 2014 a couple of workshops on these languages will be arranged within a Mao Komo language development project. Through this more clarity on the current sociolinguistic situation and the degree of language erosion amongst young speakers is expected. It can be hoped that it is not too late, and that in the near future, small texts in Seze and Hozo can be developed for informal use.

The situation for Koman Mao/Gwama is even more complicated. The Gwama speaking area is mainly limited to the lowlands in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State. It is a compact area with rather little influence from outside and where Gwama even plays the role as lingua franca in communication with speakers of even smaller languages such as Komo, Ganza and Uduk. Most Gwama speakers in this area seem to have a well-developed awareness of their language, and you will easily find young people with fully developed language competence.

Gwama is included in a multilingual education programme run by Benishangul Gumuz Regional State and facilitated by SIL, and it is on the way to become a medium of instruction in at least some pilot schools in the lowlands in Mao Komo Special Woreda. A script decision has been made, and the last decision on the orthography is imminent. First texts in the preliminary Gwama orthography are developed will be printed in 2014. More linguistic research will be done, and a comprehensive grammar and a dictionary will hopefully soon be developed. (108)

There seems to be an interest in developing this language both from the regional government's side and from the side of the speakers around Zebsher, Keser, Yangu and Lake in Mao Komo Special Woreda. What obviously makes a difference is that Amharic functions as the language of instruction in Benishangul Gumuz Regional sate, a fact that lessens the pressure from the side of Oromo. It will remain interesting to see in how far those who classify themselves as Sit Shwala (Koman Mao) and would not accept their language to be called Gwama can benefit from this development programme in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State.

The situation for the Koman Mao speakers is much more uncertain; this people group seems to be neglected or overseen since they do not belong to the Omotic Mao, nor are they included in the development of Gwama. Whether Koman Mao speakers around Tongo will profit from the development of Gwama in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State will probably depend on the question if the "Maos" accept Gwama as their language--and if they are accepted by "proper Gwama speakers". In Oromia, where the majority of the Koman Mao speakers live, there will barely be efforts to introduce Koman Mao as a school language or in public life, and there is fear that this language will be crowded out by Oromo within a relatively short period of time. The workshops in 2013 have clearly shown that it already now is almost impossible to find young and literate Koman Mao speakers with fully developed language competence. The majority of the young Sit Shwala from Begi Woreda only have basic skills in Koman Mao and prefer to use Oromo in daily conversations, even with each other. (109) This does not mean that these Koman Mao speakers are not interested in the use and development of their language. In contrary, the loss of their mother tongue on one hand and the lack of acceptance in the Oromo society on the other hand, seem to make it even more difficult to find a positive cultural identity. This increases their interest in the language of the ancestors--particularly for the active young people who suffer from the loss of their mother tongue. To actively involve Koman Mao speakers in the development of the Gwama orthography and literature and to stimulate the use of Mao Koman orally and in writing in the non-state sector seem to be the only option to counteract the negative development.

Here it is very difficult to say something about the degree of endangerment of Komo. Since Komo is an extreme minority language throughout the area, a high degree of vulnerability is likely. On the other hand, Komo is exclusively spoken in the Gwama language area in Benishangul-Gumuz, and there it is far less exposed to the pressure from the side of Oromo than e.g. Koman Mao or Omotic Mao in Oromia Regional State. Interestingly Komo, not Gwama is one of the languages mentioned in the constitution of Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, what gives this language group huge prestige and a far greater level of visibility than the small number of speakers would suggest.

Komo is part of the same governmental development programme for multilingual education in Benishangul Gumuz Regional State as Gwama, and has even come farther. The orthography is decided and first writer's workshops are accomplished; there is on-going linguistic research on Komo. (110) The problem for Komo may be that the language area is extremely scattered with few if any areas where Komo is spoken as the only language, that most of the Komo speakers are bilingual in Gwama or in another local language and that the number of native speakers is very small in all areas--no good conditions for the use of Komo in schools and in other public fora.

My field research has provided evidence that there is a vibrant Ganza language community in Ethiopia. Here Ganza is spoken as an extreme minority language in some villages in Benishangul Gumuz. The majority of the Ganza speakers may live in South Sudan, but the total number of speakers is small. Research or development activities on Ganza are not known, and it is not likely that there will be any development programme for Ganza as a medium of instruction in schools in Ethiopia.

Surprisingly the information both from Ethiopia and from Sudan indicate that the Ganza speaking community is stable and that the children still show fluency in this language. (111) The reason for this may be the relative remoteness of all Ganza speakers, their limited exchanges with other groups in the society and that their children do not join any schools. With only a few hundred speakers within a changing multilingual society, the survival of the Ganza language will anyway be doubtful.

5.3 Summary and Outlook

In conclusion, we can state that all the information gathered in this survey indicates that all Mao-Komo languages are endangered. Koman Mao already seems to be highly reduced and displaced by Oromo as the native language for the younger generation. Gwama in the lowlands of Mao Komo Special Woreda appears to have a much better chance for surviving as a mother tongue. Since Koman Mao and Gwama are closely related dialects of the same language and Gwama is subject to a governmental language development project and it can be hoped that the development of Gwama may have a positive effect on the survival of Koman Mao.

The risk status of Seze and Hozo is difficult to assess, and more sociolinguistic studies are needed. Since these languages are exclusively spoken in Oromia and the local population, e.g. through schools and churches, is exposed to a severe linguistic assimilation in favour of Oromo, it can be taken as granted that these languages are highly endangered and already declining both quantitatively and qualitatively. No official development programmes are planned, but there are a few attempts through private organisations and churches to implement development tasks such as recordings of music and poems and printing of traditional stories on an informal level.

Ganza and Komo are only spoken by very small groups that are exclusively minorities in their respective settlements. The relatively good survival of these languages may amongst other reasons be related to the lack of formal education of its speakers. However, small changes may have large impacts and may quickly bring these languages to the brink of extinction if appropriate measures are not taken. Ganza is by far the least explored indigenous language of the area. It will, however, be included in a research project by SIL and should be given priority for further research. The development and research work of Komo is on-going and currently, much attention is given to this language. Whether the use of Komo as a language of instruction will be successful or even possible since the number of Komo students will always be a minority within the Gwama majority, remains to be seen. In the worst case, the lack of skilled teachers and the unclear use of ethnic and linguistic designations could lead to increased confusion.

Acknowledgements

I am much indebted to the following people and organisations for their invaluable assistance: Mike Bryant and Andreas Neudorf, SIL Ethiopia, for their encouragement and for many good ideas for the accomplishment of the research; the members of the research teams, Ramadan Harun, Wendemu Zeleke, Matiwos Adaba, Samuel Walakury, Ramadan Hassan and Hika Dinbasha for all the kilometres they traversed in the mud of the rainy season and the dust of the dry periods; Anne-Christie Hellenthal, SIL Ethiopia, for all her critical and helpful comments and for sharing her own research with me; Andinet Arega for the doors he opened for me, and Asadik Habte for his patience when correcting the Gwama word lists and answering many times the same questions; the linguists Michael Ahland, Manuel Otero, Girma Mengistu and Getachew Kassa for answering my questions and willingly providing insights from their own research; Alexander Meckelburg, Hamburg University, for many good ideas, encouragement and for our invaluable discussions about the "nature of the Mao and Komo". My daughters Alma and Sophie for reading and commenting on earlier versions of the text, and Sophie for her great effort for producing the first texts in Gwama; the Ethiopian Ministry of Culture and Tourism for giving me the permission to carry out the research; the Norwegian Mission Society, for granting me the time and funds for carrying out this survey; the administration of the Begi Gidami Synod within the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus for their positive attitude towards my activities; the hundreds of people around Begi and Tongo who willingly accepted to be interviewed, who repeated the words on the word lists and who answered all my questions.

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Appendix 1

Questionnaire (English/Oromo/Amharic)

Name of responsible:

Date of interviews:,

Name of the village/k'ebele:
1. General Information

Coordinates of the place (by GPS)                        * '  " N /
Iddichi kan itti argamu(.,, Kaaba 1... "'... Ba'a)       * '  " E
Description of the place (roads? rivers? mountains?
communications? institutions?)
Ibsa Bakka kanaa(daandii,laga,tulluu,Bus,mana
barumsaa,wajjira ykn...
[phrase omitted]
Interview partners (group? individuals? m/f?) ; if
possible names of the interview partners
Namoota gaafataman (garee?nama tokkodhiira ykn dubara?)
yoo danda'ame immoo maqaa warra gaafatamanii
caqasi (barreesi)
[phrase omitted]
Which language do YOU think the people of this
village are using?
Namooti mandara kanaa afaan kam waan dubbatan
sitti fakkaata
[phrase omitted]

2. Questions about the place, the peoples and
the languages

1.What is the name of this village/Kebele?
Maqaan ganda(Kebele) kanaa maali?
[phrase omitted]
2.What is the name of the Woreda?
Maqaan Aanaa kanaa maali?
[phrase omitted]
3.What do you call your people?
Sabichi maal jedhee ofii isaa waama?
[phrase omitted]
4.What do you call your language?
Afaan dhalootaa keessan maali?
[phrase omitted]
5.What do you call your clan?
Qomoon keessan maal jettu?
[phrase omitted]
6.What do other people call you?
Namooti biroon eenyu jedhanii isin waamu?
[phrase omitted]
7.What do other people call your language?
Namooti (sabi)biroon afaan keessan maal jedhanii
waamu?
[phrase omitted]
8.How many households in your Kebele speak this
language?
Maatii(abbaa warraa) meeqatu afaan kana dubbata
ganda kana keessaa?
[phrase omitted]
9.How many people in your Kebele speak this language?
Namoota meeqatu afaan kana dubbata ganda kana keessaa?
[phrase omitted]
10.Where else do people speak your language?
Bakki biroon itti afaanni keessan dubbatamu eessa?
[phrase omitted]
11.Which language do you speak with your children?
Afaanni kamiin ijoolee kessanii wajjin dubbattu
[phrase omitted]
12.Which language do you speak at the market?
Afaan kam gargaaramtu lafa gabaatti
(iddoo bittaa fi gurgurtaatti)
[phrase omitted]
13.Which other languages do your people know?
Affanni biroo sabni keessan beeku kami?
[phrase omitted]
14.Are there people in this village with
another mother tongue? How
many? How is it called?
Namooti biroon ganda kana keessaa afaan ofii
isaani qaban jiruu? Meeqa
ta'u? afaanichi maal jedhama?
[phrase omitted]
15.Do you think your children should learn
to read and write in their mother tongue?Why?
Ijooleen (daa'mni) keessan yoo afaan haadha
isaanii dubbisuu fi barreesuu barachuu qabu jettanii
yaadduu? Yoo eyyee, maaliif?
[phrase omitted]


Appendix 2

Villages covered by this survey--organised on the basis of language identification on the word lists (112)

The following tables give an overview over the villages investigated in this survey. One of the interesting findings of the interviews and the word lists (113) is the fact that there are very few villages where speakers of Omotic Mao and Koman languages mix, but there is a high number of villages where speakers of different Koman languages and speakers of different Omotic Mao respectively live together. Exceptions are the speakers of Ganza, an Omotic language with only few speakers who live as minorities in villages with speakers of Koman languages. In a few Koman Mao villages, Hozo and Seze speakers are reported as a minority. Mimi Akobo seems to be the only Koman Mao village with a considerable number of Seze speakers, which is due to recent immigration.

On the basis of these findings, the investigated villages are organised in two groups--villages with (almost) exclusively Koman Mao/Gwama and Komo speakers (Table 1) and villages with (almost) exclusively speakers of Omotic Mao (Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo) (Table 2). Ganza is, thus Omotic, entered into Table 1 since there is no village with a majority of Ganza speaers.
Table 1: 'Koman Mao'/Gwama, Komo and Ganza

Village Name     Woreda &    Coordinates              Rec. (114)
                 RS

Abshala Dinka    Begi,       9[degrees]17'44.96"N     I G2
                 Oromia      34[degrees]30'35.21"E    SW
Ac'wo            Begi,       9[degrees]18'31.80"N     I G2;
Orda             Oromia      34[degrees]29'41.4"E     own;
                                                      LW/V
Badesa Sherama   Mao Komo    Unclear                  I G1
                 SW,         (not noted on
                 BG          map 2)
Bangatarko       Mao Komo    9[degrees]39'27.60"N     I G2120
                 SW,         34[degrees]23'29.40"E
                 BG
Bobosh Ish-kaba  Mao Komo    9[degrees]26'59.99"N     I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees]
                 BG          18'39"E
Deldu Daga-boka  Begi        9[degrees] 24' 39.0"N    I G2
                 Oromia      34[degrees] 29'7.80"E
Deldu Tongo      Mao Komo    9[degrees] 23' 43.2" N   I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees] 27'22.8"E
                 BG
Ego Girmos       Begi,       9[degrees] 19'           I G2;
                 Oromia      34.2"N 34[degrees]       own
                             29'41.4"E                LW/V
Fafa             Mao Komo    9[degrees] 34' 4.8"      I G2
                 SW,         N 34[degrees]
                 BG          29'16.8"E
Fongo Wabera     Begi        9[degrees]16'48.99"N     I G2
                 Oromia      34[degrees]30'17.48"E    SW
Ganzo            Mao Komo    Unclear coordinates.     I G1
                 SW,         May be
                 BG          abandoned and
                             the people resettled
                             to Yangu etc.
Giba Gulanza     Begi,       9[degrees]31'26.34"N     I G3
                 Oromia      34[degrees]32'31.40"E
Girmos           Begi,       9[degrees] 20'           I G2
Kombolcha        Oromia      28.8"N 34[degrees]
                             28'31.8"E
Ishgogo          Mao Komo    9[degrees] 34' 5.4"      I G2
Godashola        SW,         N 34[degrees]
                 BG          30'46.2"E
Kama Chandi      Begi        9[degrees]25'14.62"N     Own
                 Oromia      34[degrees]32'6.97"E     LW/V
Kawi Shumate     Mao Komo    Unclear                  I G1
                 SW,         Cf. Shumate. The
                 BG          same village?
                                                      I G1
Keser (121)      Mao Komo    9[degrees]27'42.58"N     Cf. footnote
                 SW          34[degrees]18'7.50"E
                 BG
Kobor Chandi     Begi        9[degrees]28'28.31"N     I G3
                 Oromia      34[degrees]33'39.79"E    SW
Kokeb            Mao Komo    9[degrees]29'55.85"N     I G2
                 SW          34[degrees]23'51.23"E    SW;
                 BG                                   own
                                                      LW/V
                                                      (2)
Kongila Gara     Begi,       9[degrees]33'27.47"N     I G3
Kelo             Oromia      34[degrees]36'48.58"E    SW
Lak'e            Mao Komo    Uncertain                I G1
                 SW,
                 BG
Met'i            Mao Komo    Uncertain                I G1
                 SW,
                 BG
Mimi Akobo       Mao Komo    9[degrees]25'51.30"N     I G2;
                 SW,         34[degrees]22'39.40"E    own
                 BG                                   LW/V
                                                      122
Penshuba (123)   Mao Komo    9[degrees]32'45.53"N     I G2;
                 SW,         34[degrees]21'29.03"E    own
                 BG                                   LW/V
                                                      I G2;
                                                      own
                                                      LW/V
                                                      own
                                                      LW/V
Shera Kama       Begi,       9[degrees]22'55.10"N     I G3
(125)            Oromia      34[degrees]31'24.70"E    Ref
Shombo           Begi,       9[degrees]31'43.80"N     I G3
Bayida           Oromia      34[degrees]35'22.30"E    SW;
                                                      own
                                                      LW/V
Shoshor Butuji   Mao Komo    9[degrees] 23' 28.2" N   I G2
                 SW, BG      34[degrees] 25' 19.2"E   SW
Shumate          Mao Komo    Unclear                  I G1
                 SW,         Cf. Kawi Shumate.
                 BG          The same
                             village?
S'ulgolo         Mao komo    9[degrees]28'8.60"N      I G2;
                 SW,         34[degrees]25'39.70"E    SW
                 BG
Tongo            Mao Komo    9[degrees]22'27.97"N     I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees]26'18.86"E    SW
                 BG
                                                      I G2;
                                                      own
                                                      LW/V
Tulu Dokono      Begi,       9[degrees]27'21.77"N     I G2
                 Oromia      34[degrees]28'8.91"E
Tulu Gebeya      Begi,       9[degrees] 26' 4.2"N     I G2
                 Oromia      34[degrees] 28' 27"E
Wanga Git'en     Mao Komo    9[degrees]21'50.70"N     I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees]24'14.60"E
                 BG
We'se Wadesa     Mao Komo    9[degrees]25'19.74"N     I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees]24'58.09"E    SW
                 BG
Ya'a Baldigis    Mao Komo    9[degrees]33'21.27"N     Own
                 SW,         34[degrees]24'52.56"E    LW/V
                 BG
Yangu            Mao Komo    9[degrees]12'31.6"N      I G1;
                 SW,         34[degrees]14'04.0"E     own
                 BG                                   LW/V
                                                      I G1;
                                                      own
                                                      LW/V
Yiwa             Mao Komo    Uncertain                I G1
                 SW,
                 BG
Zeba             Mao Komo    9[degrees] 35' 10.2"N    I G2
                 SW,         34[degrees] 29'31.2"E
                 BG
Zebsher          Mao Komo    9[degrees]32'17.90"N     I G1;
                 SW,         34[degrees]22'21.90"E    own
                 BG
                                                      I G1;
                                                      own

Village Name     People  (115)    Clans (116)    Language  (117)

Abshala Dinka    Sit Shwala       Yala           T'wa Sit Shwala
                                                 (GW)
Ac'wo            Mao              Yala;          T'wa Sit Shwala
Orda                              Kor            (GW)
Badesa Sherama   Gwama            Poshal;        Gwama
                                  P'osh-         (GW)
                                  s'yaka
Bangatarko       Gwama            Mahogo;        Gwama
                                  Kwama;         (GW)
                                  Kugeman-dungu;
                                  Boshol;
                                  Kugi
                                  T'ege
Bobosh Ish-kaba  Gwama            Manasasa;      Gwama
                                  Mashawo;       (GW)
                                  Yaya;
                                  Boshol
Deldu Daga-boka  Mao              Mashawo        T'wa Sit Shwala
                                                 (GW)
Deldu Tongo      Mao              Mashaw;        T'wa Sit Shwala
                                  Kor            (Mao)
                                                 (GW)
Ego Girmos       Mao              Kor            T'wa Sit Shwala
                                                 (Mao)
                                                 (GW)
Fafa             Mao;             Mawajo;        T'wa Sit Shwala
                 Sit Shwala       Mak'ezo;
                                  Kuro           (GW)
Fongo Wabera     Sit Shwala       Mayala         T'wa Sit Shwala
                                                 (GW)
Ganzo            Komo             Poshal         Gwama
                                                 (GW)
Giba Gulanza     Kuro             Kuro           Kuro
                                                 (GW)
Girmos           Mao              Makasho;       T'wa Sit Shwala
Kombolcha                         Wara Seta      (GW)
Ishgogo          Sit Shwala       Mankasha;      T'wa Sit Shwala
Godashola                         Isman;         (GW)
                                  Mana Walama;
                                  Wap'i
                                  Manayama;
                                  Gugul
                                  Manakunbu
Kama Chandi      Sit Shwala       Is Gulo        Twa Sit Shwala
                                  (= Sit         (GW)
                                  Gulo)
Kawi Shumate     Komo             Kwasha;        Gwama
                                  Busho          (GW)
                                  zebishaw
                 Komo                            Komo
                                                 (KO)
Keser (121)      Komo                            Gwama
Kobor Chandi     Kuro             Kuro           Kuro
Kokeb            Mao              Mashawo;       Mao/Twa Sit
                 (Komo)           Kirin          Shwala
                                  Manasasa;      (Gwama)
                                  Makanbo;       (GW)
                                  Kugiu; Kor;
                                  Manganza;
                                  Kwawasha
Kongila Gara     Kuro             K'osha         Kuro
Kelo                                             (Gwama)
                                                 (GW)
Lak'e            Komo             Mangunza       Gwama
                                  Buyolt         (GW)
Met'i            Komo             Yaya;          Komo
                                  Posho          (KO)
Mimi Akobo       Mao              Kugul;         Mao/Twa Sit
                                  Yala;          Shwala
                                  Bosher         (Gwama)
                                  Kirin          (GW)
Penshuba (123)   Gwama            Boshal;        Gwama
                                  Buyu           (GW)
                 Komo             Bidebe;        Komo
                                  Boshwal;       (KO)
                                  Buyu
                 Ganza            Ganza deshi;   Ganza (124)
                                  Ganza          (GA)
                                  dokanuku
Shera Kama       Sit Shwala       ?              Gwama
(125)                                            (GW)
Shombo           Sit Shwala;      Masho          Twa Sit Shwala:
Bayida           Kuro             Kuro           Kuro
                                                 (GW)
Shoshor Butuji   Sit Shwala       Wara Iso       Twa Sit Shwala
                                  Farakirin      (GW)
Shumate          Komo             Posho;         Gwama
                                  Selou [?]      (GW)
S'ulgolo         Gwama            Kor;           Gwama
                 Sit Shwa-la      Mashu'o;       Twa Sit Shwala
                 (GW)             Makanba;       (GW)
                                  Manp'es'e
Tongo            Mao              Wara Seta;     Mao/Twa Sit
                 (Gwama)          Kukul;         Shwala
                                  Makanbo        (Gwama)
                                                 (GW)
                 Komo             Nasho          Komo
                                                 (KO)
Tulu Dokono      Mao/             Manabosh       Mao/
                 Sit Shwala       Yala           Twa Sit Shwala
                                  Kukulu         (GW)
Tulu Gebeya      Mao/             Kukulu         Mao/
                 Sit Shwala                      Twa Sit Shwala
                                                 (GW)
Wanga Git'en     Mao              Manasasa;      Mao
                                  Wara Seta      (GW)
We'se Wadesa     Mao/             Manasasa;      Mao/
                 Sit Shwala       Mankasha;      Twa Sit Shwala
                                  Wara Seta;     (GW)
                                  Kukul
Ya'a Baldigis    Mao                             Mao
                 Gwama                           (GW)
                 Gwami            Gwami          Gwama
                 (Ganza)          (=Ganza)       Berta
                                  (GA)
Yangu            Komo             Bosho          Gwama
                 Gwama                           (GW)
                 Komo             Manganza;      Komo
                 (Komo Dani)      Warini;        (KO)
                                  Shew (?)
Yiwa             Komo             Bikwami;       Komo
                                  Manganza       (KO)
Zeba             Sit Shwala       Isiman         Twa Sit Shwala
                                  Hogo;          (GW)
                                  Kugul
Zebsher          Gwama            Manganza;      Gwama
                 (Komo)           Kug;           (GW)
                                  Nashi
                 Komo                            Komo
                                                 (KO)

Village Name     Other              Reference
                 languages (118)    villages (119)

Abshala Dinka    no                 Mimi Akobo; Shoshor
                                    Butuji; Wes'e Wedesa;
                                    Wanga Git'en
Ac'wo            no                 Mimi Akobo; Shenbola;
Orda                                S'ulgolo; Zeba; Ego
                                    Girmos; Girmos Kom-bolcha;
                                    Wanga Git' en
Badesa Sherama   Komo               Lak'e; Shumat'e; Ganzo
Bangatarko       Berta (Ruta)       Zebsher, Keser, Mimi
                 Komo?              Akobo, Lak'i, Badesa
                                    Sherema; Kokeb;
                                    S'ulgolo, Yangu; Yiwa
Bobosh Ish-kaba  no                 Zebsher, Bangatarko,
                                    Mimi Akobo; Yiwa;
                                    Yagu; Keser, Penshuba
Deldu Daga-boka  no                 Ego Girmos; Girmos
                                    Kombolcha; S'ulgolo;
                                    Ac'wo Orda; Ifteri
                                    Sanbo; Tongo; Wanga
                                    Git'en: Shoshor Butuji;
                                    Mimi Akobo
Deldu Tongo      no                 Fongo Wabara; Wanga
                                    Git'en; Wes'e Wedesa;
                                    Shoshor Butuji ; Tulu
                                    Dokonu; Deldu Daga-boka;
                                    Ego Girmos;
                                    Boshema Karikege (unknown)
Ego Girmos       no                 Fongo Wabera; Shera
                                    Kama; Kobor; Ihud
                                    Gebeya; Tulu Gebeya;
                                    Fach'asa; Deldu Tongo;
                                    Deldu Dagaboka; Ton-go,
                                    Git'en Keche;
                                    Ac'wo Orda, Abshala
                                    Dinka; Shera Kama;
                                    Kama Chandi, Shoshor
                                    Butuji; Wes'e Wedesa;
                                    Kokab ; S'ulgolo; Shemal
                                    Toke; Bobos
                                    Ishk'aba; Ishgogo Goda
                                    Shola; Giba Gulanza;
                                    Kawi Shumate; Yangu;
                                    Bangatarko
Fafa             Berta (Ruta)       Zeba; Ishgogo; Kobor;
                                    Ego Girmos; Mimi
                                    Akobo; Bobos Ishkaba;
                                    Kokeb; S'ulgolo
Fongo Wabera     no                 Mimi Akobo; Wes'e
                                    Wedesa; Shoshor Butuji;
                                    Wanga Git'en; Bobosh
                                    Ishkaba; S'ulgolo;
Ganzo            Komo               Pawala; P'ashimi;
                                    Wadesa
Giba Gulanza     no                 No references to other
                                    villages
Girmos           no                 Yangu; Kawi Shumate;
Kombolcha        (unconfirmed       Mimi Akobo; Bobos
                 reference to       Ishk'aba; Ishgogo; Shoshor
                 Seze)              Butuji; Wes'e
                                    Wedesa; Wanga Git'en;
                                    Kokeb; Bogos Keseri;
                                    Penshuba; Damshir
                                    Kikit
Ishgogo          Berta              Mimi Akobo; Bobos
Godashola        (Ruta)             Ishk'aba; Kobor; Kongilo
                                    Gara Kelo; Giba
                                    Gulanza; Shombo
                                    Bayida; Kober; Ego
                                    Girmos; K'arkage;
                                    S'ulgolo;
Kama Chandi      no                 Kobor Chandi, Shombo
                                    Bayida, Gara Kelo,
                                    Shenta Goba, Giba Gulanza;
                                    Ego Gimos, Shoshor
                                    Butuji, Wes'e
                                    Wedesa; Zebsher
Kawi Shumate     Komo               Wadesa; Bangatarko;
                                    Yabus (Sudan)
                 Gwama
Keser (121)      Komo
                 (Opo)
Kobor Chandi     Hozo (?)           Giba Gulanza
Kokeb            Berta              Keser; Penshuba Zebsher;
                 Komo               Bangatarko;
                                    Tsulgolo; Mimi Akobo;
                                    Bobosh Ishkaba; Ya'a
                                    Masera; Keser; Bergushu
Kongila Gara     Seze               Shera Kama; Kobor
Kelo                                Chandi
Lak'e            Komo               Keser; Zebsher; Shumate
                 (Kaya?)
Met'i            Gwama              Keser; Lak'e; Badesa;
                                    Penshuba
Mimi Akobo       Seze               Zebsher; Bangatarko;
                                    Bobos Ishkaba; Yangu;
                                    Keser; Penshuba; Badesa
                                    Sherama; Lak'e;
                                    Met'i; Tongo, Wanga
                                    Git'en; Ac'wo Orada;
                                    Girmos
Penshuba (123)   Komo; Ganza        Zebsher; Bangatarko,
                                    Keser; Kokeb; Kawi
                                    Shumate; S'ulgolo;
                                    Lak'e; Shumate; Yangu;
                                    Badesa Sherama
                 Gwama,             Yiwa; Met'i; Yiwa;
                 Ganza              Kawi Shumate; Lak'e,
                                    Gambela
                 Gwama; Komo        Ya'a Baldigis; Banga
                                    kesi (Penshuba), (South)
                                    Sudan
Shera Kama       Hozo               (Ref. from other Koman
(125)            Seze               Mao villages to Shera
                                    Kama)
Shombo           no                 Kongila Gara Kelo;
Bayida                              Shant'a; Goba; Shera
                                    Kama; Kobor Chandi
Shoshor Butuji   no                 Wanga Git'en; Mimi
                                    Akobo; Girmos;
                                    S'ulgolo; Bobos
                                    Ishk'aba; Bangatarko;
                                    Yangu;
Shumate          Komo               "Begi Mao"?
                 Opo
                 (Kaya?)
S'ulgolo         Berta              Mimi Akobo; Bobos
                                    Ishkaba; Zebsher, Keser
                                    and Bangatarko Yangu,
                                    Lak'e, Met'i; Ya'a Masera,
                                    Ishgogo; Shera
                                    Kama; Ego Girmos;
                                    Wes'e Wabera; K'elem
                                    Afteri Sanbo
Tongo            Different other    Mimi Akobo, Shoshor
                 groups; many       Butuji, Ya'a Mesera,
                 im-migrants        Wanga Git'en, Zeba,
                                    Yangu, Keser; Kokeb;
                                    Zebsher; S'ulgolo;
                                    Bangatarko; Giba Gulanza,
                                    Shera Kama, Kongilo
                                    Gara Kelo
                                    Lak'i; Yiwa; Shumate;
                                    Yangu; Met'i; Badesa
                                    Sherama
Tulu Dokono      Berta (Fadashi)    Zeba; Kokeb; Ego Girmos;
                                    Wanga Git'en;
                                    S'ulgolo; Girmos Kombolcha;
                                    Mimi Akobo;
                                    Bangatarko; Bobosh
                                    Ishk'aba;
Tulu Gebeya      Berta (Fadashi)    Deladu Tongo; S'ulgolo;
                                    Ego Girmos; Girmos
                                    Kombolcha; Shosho
                                    Butuji; Wes'e
                                    Wadesa; Ac'wo Orda
Wanga Git'en     no                 Shoshor Butuji; Bangatarko
                                    Bobos, Ishkaba;
                                    Ego; Girmos Kombolcha;
                                    Mimi Akobo;
                                    Zebsher; Yangu;
                                    Penshu-ba; Wes'e
                                    Wedesa
We'se Wadesa     no                 Shoshor Butuji; Mimi
                                    Akobo; Tongo; Wanga
                                    Git'en; Shera K'ama;
                                    Giba Gulanza; Bosho;
                                    Ego Girmos; Girmos
                                    Kombolcha;
                                    Mak'arekege; Bangatarko;
                                    Zebsher; Begi;
                                    Shash; Yiwa; Yangu
Ya'a Baldigis    Ganza              ?
                 Berta
                 Penshuba; Yabbus in
                 Sudan
Yangu            Opo (=K'ina)       Laki, Meti; Zebsher;
                                    Kawi Shumate; Keser,
                                    Penshuba; Mimi Akobo;
                                    Bangatarko; Odush;
                                    Buldadina; Ya'a Mesera
                                    Lak'e, Met'i, Penshuba,
                                    Gambela, Keser, Odush,
                                    Buldadine, Wadesa;
                                    Pawala; Dazo; P'ashim
                                    in South Sudan
Yiwa             Opo (K'ina)        Yangu; Ganzo; Pawala
Zeba             Berta (Ruta)       Ishgogo Godashola;
                                    Kongila Gara Kelo;
                                    Kobor; Boshima Karakege;
                                    Girmos; Mimi
                                    Akobo; Bobos Ishk'aba;
                                    Kokeb; Ego Girmos;
                                    Giba Gulanza; Shanta
                                    Goba; Tagaba Goba;
                                    Gure
Zebsher          Berta              Bangatarko; Keser;
                                    Penshuba; Yangu

Village Name     Comments

                 (T'wa) Sit Shwala for people
Abshala Dinka    and language. The language
                 is called Mao on the
                 word list. References to
                 'Koman Mao villages'
                 around Tongo.
                 G2: SHORT WORD LIST
                 (2)
Ac'wo            Mao for people and T'wa
Orda             Sit Shwala for the language.
                 References to 'Mao/
                 Twa Sit Shwala villages' ;
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording
Badesa Sherama   Komo and Gwama speakers.
                 Gwama here also as an
                 ethnic self-description; by
                 others all called Komo.
                 G2: References for Komo
                 from Penshuba and Tongo.
                 References to bilingual villages
                 in the close surroundings
Bangatarko       G2: Gwama speaking village
                 with some Berta
                 speakers. Consequent use
                 of Kwama and T'wa
                 Kwama (always "K"); here
                 transcribed as Gwama. cf.
                 4.1.5. G1 refers to Bangatarko
                 as bilingual Gwama--Komo.
                 The reference to
                 Mimi Akobo indicates
                 Gwama/Koman Mao; reference
                 to Yiwa could indicate
                 Komo speakers
Bobosh Ish-kaba  Use of Kwama and Gwama
                 arbitrary, mostly double
                 writing in fidels (Kwama
                 Gwama). Gwama also used
                 as a name for the people.
                 Probably mainly Gwama
                 speakers, but references to
                 Yiwa and other partially
                 Komo speaking villages.
                 Kirin is mentioned as language;
                 cf. 4.1.4.
Deldu Daga-boka  The people are called Mao
                 and the language consequently
                 T'wa Sit Shwala;
                 cf. Ac'wo Orda and the
                 Girmos-villages. Reference
                 to Shoshor Butuji where
                 people and language are
                 called Gwama (Kwama).
Deldu Tongo      Mao or T'wa Sit Shwala
                 for the language and Mao
                 for the people. References
                 to many Koman Mao villages
                 with T'wa Sit Shwala
                 or Gwama as language
                 terms.
Ego Girmos       Language always T'wa Sit
                 Shwala; however, references
                 to many Gwama
                 speaking villages. According
                 to in depth interview
                 the people speak the same
                 language in Zebsher and
                 Penshuba, but they are
                 "Komo people" there and
                 call their language Gwama,
                 never Twa Sit Shwala.
                 The existence of a Hozo
                 and Seze speaking population
                 (Girma) could not be
                 verified; there live a few
                 Seze speakers through intermarriage
                 who are considered
                 Mao in the same
                 way as the 'Koman Mao'
                 speakers.
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording
Fafa             Belongs to a group of villages
                 in Mao Komo SW
                 where they call themselves
                 Mao and their language
                 T'wa Sit Shwala (cf. Zeba
                 and Ishgogo). References
                 to typical Koman Mao villages.
                 Berta minority
Fongo Wabera     Cf. Abshala Dinka; Consequent
                 use of (T'wa) Sit
                 Shwala for people and for
                 the language. References to
                 'Koman Mao villages'
                 around Tongo
                 G2: SHORT WORD LIST
                 (2)
Ganzo            May be or as been a bilingual
                 Gwama--Komo
                 community. Komo as only
                 ethnic designation. No reference
                 from G2 to this
                 place! References to unknown
                 villages Pawala and
                 Pashimi (Sudan?). G2 describes
                 Wadesa as Gwama
                 speaking only.
Giba Gulanza     Kuro as name of the clan
                 and of the language. The
                 terms Sit Shwala or
                 Gwama do not occur; cf.
                 Kongila Gara Kelo and
                 Kobor. No references to
                 other villages. Acc. to the
                 wordlist, Kuro seems to be
                 a variety of the Koman
                 Mao.
                 G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                 Kuro
Girmos           Consequent use of Mao for
Kombolcha        the people and T'wa Sit
                 Shwala for the language.
                 Yangu and Penshuba as a
                 reference villages is surprising
                 since they are "far
                 away Gwama speaking villages".
                 This may confirm
                 the similarity of T'wa Sit
                 Shwala and Gwama as
                 spoken in Yangu.
                 Some Seze speakers at
                 least in the surroundings.
Ishgogo          Consequent use of (Twa)
Godashola        Sit Shwala for people and
                 language. Gwama according
                 to the wordlist. The
                 same pattern as in Fafa and
                 Zeba. Berta minority. References
                 to 'Koman Mao
                 villages' in the surroundings.
Kama Chandi      Only (T'wa) Sit Shwala for
                 language and people. Reference
                 to Gwama in Zebsher
                 noteworthy. The Seze
                 (Hozo) speakers (Omotic)
                 in Kabache and Shagga are
                 recognized as "the same
                 people, namely Mao".
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording
Kawi Shumate     Bilingual community;
                 wordlist identification both
                 Komo and Gwama. Komo
                 as ethnic description for
                 both speaker groups.
                 Kwama may be synonym
                 to Gwama for language or
                 another word for Komo.
                 Use of both Gwama and
                 Komo with the children indicates
                 bilinguity. Koman
                 Mao is mentioned as third
                 language; cf. Kokeb.; G2
                 refers to Kawi Shumate as
                 Gwama speaking village.
Keser (121)      According to my information
                 a big village with
                 both Gwama and Komo
                 speakers, calling themselves
                 Komo. In addition
                 some "Mao who speak a
                 similar language as
                 Gwama" (cf. Kokeb); minor
                 groups of Opo speakers
                 in the surroundings.
Kobor Chandi     Kuro as name of the clan
                 and of the language. The
                 term Sit Shwala does not
                 occur; cf. Giba Gulanza
                 and Kongila Gara Kelo; for
                 Kuro cf. 4.1.4. Hozo as
                 clan name and (rests of?)
                 Hozo speakers around; cf.
                 4.2.2.
                 G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                 Kuro
Kokeb            Mainly Mao or (T'wa) Sit
                 Shwala for people and language.
                 Komo for "other
                 people group". The references
                 to Zebsher, Keser
                 and Bangatarko point to
                 Gwama; confirmed in the
                 interviews. Berta speakers
                 and a small group of Komo
                 speakers (newly resettled).
                 Boundary between Koman
                 Mao/Sit Shwala and
                 Gwama. The recordings
                 confirm the similarity of
                 the languages, but the interviews
                 point out the difference
                 between the people
                 groups.
                 G2: SHORT WORD LIST
                 (3)
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording Mao
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording Gwama
Kongila Gara     Kuro as name of the people
Kelo             and of the language. The
                 term Sit Shwala does not
                 occur; cf. Giba Gulanza,
                 Shombo Bayida and Kobor
                 Chandi. Gwa-ma is mentioned--influence
                 from the
                 word list? G3: SHORT
                 WORD LIST Kuro
Lak'e            Komo used as an ethnic
                 term also for Gwama
                 speakers. Bilingual village,
                 Gwama and Komo (minority).
                 Kwama could refer to
                 Komo; cf.: "other people in
                 the village speak Kwama";
                 references to other bilingual
                 villages. Kaya is mentioned
                 twice as a language;
                 unknown term. Lak'e is
                 one of the resettlement areas
                 with a population of
                 both Komo and Gwama
                 speakers. Kirin speakers
                 are mentioned; refers probably
                 to Koman Mao.
Met'i            Komo according to the
                 word list identification; bilingual
                 village with Komo
                 (=Kwama?) and Gwama.
                 References: Villages with
                 at least some Komo speakers.
                 G2 refers to Met'i as
                 Komo and Gwama speaking.
                 May be abandoned
                 now and people resettled at
                 Lak'e (and Yangu?)
Mimi Akobo       Cf. Kokeb. Mainly Mao/
                 (T'wa) Sit Shwala for people
                 and language, but also
                 reference to Gwama both
                 for language and people.
                 The interviews show that
                 different clans/groups call
                 themselves and their languages
                 differently: Mao/
                 (T'wa) Sit Shwala or
                 Gwama. Wordlists show
                 only minor lexical differences.
                 References point in
                 different directions: the
                 Gwama speakers refer to
                 villages in the lowlands,
                 the Mao speakers (Bosher
                 Kirin clan?) refer mainly to
                 villages around Tongo.
                 LONG WORD-
                 LIST/recording Mao
Penshuba (123)   Three languages: Gwama,
                 Komo and Ganza. The majority
                 in Penshuba speaks
                 Gwama and uses Gwama
                 as a designation for the
                 people who are "officially
                 called Komo". Mao is
                 mentioned neither for people
                 nor language. Kwama
                 Dini is synonym for Komo,
                 not Gwama. The Komo
                 (Kwama Dini) speakers are
                 bilingual Komo/Gwa-ma.
                 The Ganza speakers are a
                 small minority who are bilingual
                 at least with
                 Gwama
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording Komo
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording Gwama
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording Ganza
Shera Kama       3 "Mao languages" seem to
(125)            meet: T'wa Set Shwala/Koman
                 Mao, Seze and
                 Hozo; needs further investigation;
                 Cf. Shera Kama
                 on Table 2 below.
Shombo           Two interview groups; one
Bayida           uses consequently (Twa)
                 Sit Shwala for people and
                 language. The other uses
                 only Kuro as language and
                 clan name. Gwama is not
                 mentioned by either; cf.
                 Kongila Gara Kelo. The
                 word list recordings of the
                 two groups do not show
                 significant differences.
                 LONG WORDLIST/voice
                 recording "Gwama"
                 G3 SHORT WORD LIST
                 Kuro
Shoshor Butuji   (T'wa) Sit Shwala for people
                 and language; in one
                 case the language is called
                 T'wa Sidi Gindil; unique
                 designation. People and
                 language called Mao by
                 others. Frequent ref. to
                 Wanga Git'en. References
                 to Yangu, Bangatarko and
                 Bobos Ishk'aba surprising.
                 No indication of Komo.
                 G2 SHORT WORDLIST
                 T'wa Sit Shwala
Shumate          Probably bilingual community
                 where Kwama
                 could indicate Komo. The
                 main language may be
                 Gwama; ref. to BegiMao =
                 Koman Mao? Ref. to
                 Gambela and Sudan indicate
                 Komo connections.
                 Komo is consequently used
                 as an ethnic term. G2 refers
                 to Shumate as Komo
                 speaking village. Opo and
                 Berta minorities. Kaya
                 needs clarification.
S'ulgolo         Mainly Gwama (Kwama)
                 for people and language
                 Other recordings mention
                 (Twa) Sit Shwala for people
                 and language; cf.
                 Kokeb: different people
                 groups who speak very
                 similar dialects. The references
                 Bobos Ishkaba, Zebsher,
                 Keser, Yangu, Lak'e,
                 Met'i and Bangatarko indicate
                 Gwama; Shera Kama,
                 Ego Girmos, Wes'e
                 Wabera etc. indicate Koman
                 Mao. Some Berta
                 speakers.
                 G2: SHORT WORD LIST
Tongo            There is a small Komo
                 speaking community in
                 Tongo; recent immigrants
                 from the lowlands. The
                 'Koman Mao' speakers are
                 divided into those who call
                 themselves and their language
                 Mao or Twa Sit
                 Shwala with roots to the
                 immediate surroundings
                 and those who call themselves
                 and their language
                 Gwama and who may have
                 connections to the lowlands.
                 Clan differences.
                 Ref. to many different villages
                 according to the
                 background.
                 G2 SHORT WORDLIST
                 Twa Sit Shwala
                 LONG WORDLIST/Voice
                 recording Komo
Tulu Dokono      Mao or (Twa) Sit Shwala
                 for language and people,
                 Gwama not mentioned.
                 Same as Tulu Gebeya; Berta
                 speakers here Fadashi.
                 Ref. in interview 1 points
                 to the west (Mimi Akobo;
                 Bangatarko; Bobos
                 Ishk'aba) where the language
                 is called Gwama;
                 references to 'Koman
                 Mao' villages in other interviews.
                 Diff. clans?
Tulu Gebeya      Consequently Mao or
                 (Twa) Sit Shwala for language
                 and people, Gwama
                 not mentioned. Same as
                 Tulu Gebeya; Berta speakers
                 Fadashi. References only
                 to Koman Mao villages
                 in the surroundings.
Wanga Git'en     Mao as ethnic and linguistic
                 term. References to the
                 west: Mimi Akobo; Bangatarko;
                 Penshuba; Yangu,
                 where the language is
                 called Gwama; other references
                 are 'Koman Mao'
                 villages". Some conscious
                 speakers start to call themselves
                 and their language
                 Gwama. cf. 4.1.3.
We'se Wadesa     Mao or (Twa) Sit Shwala
                 for language and people;
                 Gwama is not mentioned.
                 References are both Koman
                 Mao villages and
                 Gwama villages. Clan Wara
                 Sata appears in Tongo,
                 Girmos Kombolcha and
                 Wanga Git'en and seems to
                 be dominant for 'Tongo
                 Mao' (Koman). Do ref. to
                 Yangu and Yiwa indicate
                 Komo speakers in Wes'e
                 Wadesa?
                 G2: SHORT WORD LIST
Ya'a Baldigis    Multilingual village; language
                 recordings only for
                 Ganza (small minority).
                 The language situation is
                 complex. The majority in
                 the village are T'wa Sit
                 Shwala and/ or Gwama
                 speakers. These terms are
                 used by different people
                 with different ethnic background.
                 There are few or
                 no speakers of Komo. Different
                 from Penshuba
                 where only Gwama, Komo
                 and Ganza is mentioned,
                 not Mao.
                 LONG WORDLIST/Voice
                 recording Ganza
Yangu            Komo used as ethnic and
                 linguistic term. As ethnic
                 term for Gwama speakers
                 only from outside. Gwama
                 here as ethnic selfdesignation.
                  Recorded
                 wordlist for both Komo
                 and Gwama. Opo speaking
                 minority. References from
                 G1 and G2 for Komo and
                 Gwama from all over the
                 area. Resettlement place.
                 References to P'awala;
                 Dazo; P'ashim in South
                 Sudan and to Gambela for
                 Komo. The same designation
                 as in Penshuba: Komo
                 Dani (Dina); Kwama here
                 a Gwama term for Komo,
                 not synonym to Gwama,
                 cf. 4.1.5.
                 LONG WORDLIST/Voice
                 recording Komo
                 LONG WORDLIST/Voice
                 recording Gwama (2)
Yiwa             Only Komo speakers recorded,
                 but bilingualism in
                 Gwama is mentioned for
                 Komo speakers. Komo
                 used as a linguistic and
                 ethnic term. Opo speakers
                 like in Yangu.. Pawala in
                 South Sudan. Village may
                 be abandoned; people
                 moved to Yangu etc.
Zeba             Consequent use of (Twa)
                 Sit Shwala for people and
                 language. Mao only as foreign
                 designation. Wordlist
                 identification: Gwama.
                 Same pattern as Fafa and
                 Ishgogo Godashola with
                 Sit Shwala as dominating
                 term. References mainly to
                 'Koman Mao' - highland,
                 but not exclusively. In all
                 these villages there is a
                 Berta minority (Ruta).
Zebsher          Komo used as an ethnic
                 term, but also Gwama for
                 Gwama speakers; three
                 people groups identified:
                 Komo, Gwama and Koman
                 Mao. Mao is only used for
                 new immigrants from the
                 highlands who speak a
                 "language similar to
                 Gwama ". The term
                 Kwama used by Gwama
                 speakers means Komo.
                 Komo speakers are a small
                 minority. There is also a
                 Berta minority (Ruta). References
                 only to other lowland
                 villages.

Table 2: Omotic Mao: Seze and Hozo/Shuluyo

Village            Woreda    Coordinates                       Rec.
Name               & RS                                        (126)

Andi Giltu         K'ondala   9[degrees]22'30.93"N             I G3
Jale               Oromia    34[degrees]33'43.65"E;
                               uncertain
Bishawo            Babo       9[degrees]29'18.83"N             I G3;
Dabus              Gambel,   34[degrees]58'3.90"E              Own
                   Oromia                                      LW/V
Boji Gara          K'ondala   9[degrees]29'49.88"N             I G3
Arba               Oromia    34[degrees]53'52.30"E
(area)                         Coordinates approximate
Bot'i              K'ondala   9[degrees]23'25.35"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]45'28.08"E             SW
Gaje Gaje          K'ondala   9[degrees]25'27.30"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]44'33.86"E
Gemi Gaba          K'ondala   9[degrees]16'43.52"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]40'24.96"E
Giba Gulanza       Begi,      9[degrees]31'26.34"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]32'31.40"E
Guma Gara          K'ondala   9[degrees]24'11.60"N             I G 3
Arba (area)        Oromia    34[degrees]45'56.67"E
Hofa Fargashi      K'ondala   9[degrees]18'23.58"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]38'33.90"E
Ilala Macho        K'ondala   9[degrees] 18'54.36"N            I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]37'20.51"E
                               (tentative)
Jimbila Tuwambi    K'ondala   9[degrees]26'3.48"N              I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]46'14.10"E
                               (tentative)
Kabache            K'ondala   9[degrees]20'42.70"N             I G3
Dume               Oromia    34[degrees]37'39.74"E
Karma Babane       K'ondala   9[degrees]24'58.05"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]39'0.31"E
Karma Gunfi        Begi       9[degrees]18'2.52"N              I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]35'42.00"E
Karma              K'ondala   9[degrees]22'24.00"N             I G3
Shora              Oromia    34[degrees]37'22.70"E             I G2
Kobor              Begi,      9[degrees]28'29.02"N             others
Chandi             Oromia    34[degrees]33'39.60"E
Kongilo Gara Kelo  Begi       9[degrees]33'27.47"N             others
                   Woreda    34[degrees]36'48.58"E
                   ORS
Konsa              K'ondala   9[degrees]25'25.20"N             IG 3
(Guma Gara         Oromia    34[degrees]46'29.30"E             own
Arba)                                                          SW;
                                                               LW/V
Lalifto Lop'i      K'ondala   9[degrees]15'18.18"N             IG 3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]38'13.26"E
Malka              Babo       9[degrees]25'35.60"N             I G3
Ebicha             Gambel    35[degrees] 0'52.15"E
                   Oromia
Mimi Akobo         Mao Komo   9[degrees]25'51.30"N             I G3;
                   SW, BG    34[degrees]22'39.40"E             others
Shagga             K'ondala   9[degrees]21'0.82"N              I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]36'19.91"E             (2)
                                                               SW
                                                               own
                                                               LW/V
Shera Kama         Begi       9[degrees]22'55.10"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]31'24.70"E             SW
Sholli Gara        K'ondala   9[degrees]20'43.63"N             I G3
Arba               Oromia    34[degrees]47'17.73"E
                               (tentative)
Shonge             K'ondala   9[degrees]19'26.3"N              Own
                   Oromia    34[degrees]37'16.5"E              LW/V
                                                               others
Shura              K'ondala   9[degrees]23'19.33"N;            I G3
Lik'it'i           Oromia    34[degrees]42'22.92"E             (2)
                                                               SW
Shura Mara-        K'ondala   9[degrees]19'35.38"N             I G3
mo                 Oromia    34[degrees]40'29.13"E
                               or
                              9[degrees]18'14.20"N
                             34[degrees]43'32.90"E
                                                               I G3
                                                               (2);
                                                               SW
Tirmi              K'ondala   9[degrees]20'23.10"N             I G3
                   Oromia    34[degrees]43'13.20"E             SW
Tullu              K'ondala   9[degrees]20'3.74"N              Own
Berc'uma           Oromia    34[degrees]49'1.51"E              LW/V
(Guma Gara                     (tentative)
Arba)
Wandi Do-          K'ondala   9[degrees]21'30.82"N34[degrees]  I G3
chi                Oromia    33'45.13"E
Wanja              K'ondala   9[degrees]25'1.66"N              I G3
Ch'irri            Oromia    34[degrees]41'7.50"E
Wanja              K'ondala   9[degrees]24'24.16"N             I G3
Machabara          Oromia    34[degrees]41'14.93"E
Yari K'orio        K'ondala   9[degrees]29'29.02"N             I G3
(Boji Gara         Oromia    34[degrees]55'13.71"E             SW
Arba)

Village            People  (127)  Clans (128)  Language (129)
Name

Andi Giltu         Mao Seze       Hozo         Seze
Jale                                           (SE)
Bishawo            Mao            Gondacho     Schuluyo
Dabus              Schuluyo       ("Mo")       (Bischawo)
                                               (HO)
Boji Gara          Mao Seze       Makep'o      Seze
Arba                                           (SE)
(area)
Bot'i              Mao Seze       Makep'o      Seze
                                               (SE)
Gaje Gaje          Mao Seze       Madego       Seze
                                               (SE)
Gemi Gaba          Mao Hozo       Gadatso      Hozo
                                               (HO)
Giba Gulanza       Mao Seze                    Seze
                                               (SE)
Guma Gara          Mao Seze       Kosasi       Seze
Arba (area)                       (Kosaji?     (SE)
                                  unclear
                                  writing)
Hofa Fargashi      Mao Hozo       Gadasho      Hozo
                                               (HO)
Ilala Macho        Mao Seze       Makep'o      Seze (Saba)
                                               (SE)
Jimbila Tuwambi    Mao Seze       Maburo       Seze
                                               (SE)
Kabache            Mao Hozo       Mayalo       Hozo
Dume                                           (Ho)
Karma Babane       Mao Seze       Hozo         Seze
                                               (SE)
Karma Gunfi        Mao Seze       Madego       Seze
                                               (SE)
Karma              Mao Seze       Hozo         Seze
Shora                                          (SE)
Kobor              Mao            ?            Seze
Chandi             Seze                        (SE
Kongilo Gara Kelo  Mao Hozo       ?            Hozo
                                               (HO)
Konsa              Mao Seze       Makep'o      Seze
(Guma Gara                                     (SE)
Arba)
Lalifto Lop'i      Mao Seze       Madego       Seze
                                               (SE)
Malka              Mao            Gondacho     Schuluyo
Ebicha             Shuluyo                     (HO)
Mimi Akobo         Mao Seze       Madego       Seze
                   (G3: Far-                   (Dashe)
                   gashi ?)                    (SE)
Shagga             Mao Seze       Hozo;        Seze
                                  Matui (?);   (SE)
                                  Kirinyi (?)
Shera Kama         Mao Seze       Kuro         Seze
                                               (SE)
Sholli Gara        Mao Hozo       Hozo         Hozo
Arba                                           (HO)
Shonge             Mao Seze       Mayalo       Seze
                                               (SE)
Shura              Mao Seze       Maburo;      Seze
Lik'it'i                          Mayalo;      (SE)
Shura Mara-        Mao Seze       Maburo       Seze
mo                                             (SE)
                   Mao Hozo       Maburo       Hozo
                                               (HO)
Tirmi              Mao Seze       Makep'o      Seze
                                               (SE)
Tullu              Mao            T'e Gic'o    Shuluyo
Berc'uma           Shuluyo
(Guma Gara                                     (HO)
Arba)
Wandi Do-          Mao Seze       Madego       Seze
chi                                            (SE)
Wanja              Mao Seze       Mayalo       Seze
Ch'irri                                        (SE)
Wanja              Mao Seze       Maburo       Seze
Machabara                                      (SE)
Yari K'orio        Mao Hozo       Makep'o      Shuluyo
(Boji Gara         (Shuluyo)
Arba)                                          (HO)

Village            Other languages (130)    Reference villages (131)
Name

Andi Giltu         Hozo (Shuluyo)           Ilala Macho; Shagga
Jale
Bishawo            no                       Maramo; Karsa Mora
Dabus                                       (Malka Ebicha
                                            k'ebele), Boji (Gara
                                            Arba), Gindi k'ebele
                                            (Manasibu woreda)
Boji Gara          Shuluyo                  Guma Gara Araba
Arba               (Hozo)
(area)
Bot'i              no                       Konsa; Shagga
Gaje Gaje          no                       Guma Gara Arba
Gemi Gaba          Kuro                     Nanino Maramo
Giba Gulanza       'T'wa Kuro'
Guma Gara          Shuluyo                  Konsa; Yrashi (writing
Arba (area)        (Hozo)                   unclear)
Hofa Fargashi      no                       Maramo, Gemi Gaba,
                                            Shonge
Ilala Macho        no                       Shagga; Karma Gunfi
                   (Hozo?)
Jimbila Tuwambi    no                       Guma Gara Arba; Shura
                                            Maramo
Kabache            Seze                     Maramo, Hofa Fargashi,
Dume                                        Gemi Gaba
Karma Babane       no                       Shagga; Shura Maramo
                   (Hozo?)
Karma Gunfi        no                       Laliftu Lop'i; Shagga;
                                            Ilala Macho
Karma              Hozo                     Gemi Gaba, Shura
Shora                                       Maramo
Kobor              Twa Sit Swala
Chandi             (Gwama)
Kongilo Gara Kelo  Twa Kuro
                   (Gwama)
Konsa              Shuluyo                  Kamsi, Bot'i, Kirashi,
(Guma Gara         (Hozo)                   Geeshe; (all Guma Gara
Arba)                                       Arba) Ilala Macho;
                                            Shagga;
Lalifto Lop'i      Hozo;                    Kave; Ulagubo; Shura
                   Kuro                     Falat'a
Malka              (Seze)                   Yari K'orio; Karsa
Ebicha                                      Mora; Bishawo Dabus
Mimi Akobo         Mao/T'wa Sit Shwala      Guma Gara Arba;
                   (Gwama)                  Jarso Gambel (?)
Shagga             Hozo (?)                 Gunfi; Karma Babane;
                   Kuro                     Konso (Guma Gara
                                            Arba); Kama Shoro;
                                            Gemi Gaba; Manazi;
                                            Shura Maramo
Shera Kama         T'wa Set Shwala          Shagga; Shonge
                   Hozo
Sholli Gara        (Seze)                   Fargashi
Arba
Shonge             Hozo                     Guma Gara Arba,
                                            Gemi Gaba, Hofa Fargashi,
                                            Kabache
                                            Dumme, Gunfi Karma
Shura              no                       Ilaala Maccho; Guma
Lik'it'i                                    Gara Arba; Konsa;
                                            Bot'i
Shura Mara-        Hozo                     Shura Lik'it'i; Guma
mo                                          Gara Arba
                   Seze                     Gemi Gaba, Fargashi;
                                            Kabache Dumme
                   Maburo clan with mainly
Tirmi              Hozo                     Shagga, Shoro Gaba
Tullu              no                       Kirashi, Sholli, Gol
Berc'uma                                    Bella,Kawa, Gomi
(Guma Gara                                  Shashi, Yari K'orio (in
Arba)                                       GGA K'ebele)
                                            Malka Ebicha,
                                            Bishawo, Boke (Babo
                                            Gambel)
Wandi Do-          Hozo                     Guma; Gunfi
chi
Wanja              no                       Guma; Iggi; Konsa
Ch'irri
Wanja              no                       Shura; Geshe
Machabara
Yari K'orio        no                       "no other places"
(Boji Gara
Arba)

Village            Comments
Name

Andi Giltu         Village with Seze speakers (132).
Jale               Some people may
                   know Hozo cf. Shagga
                   and Ilala Macho where
                   there may be a similar
                   situation. Shuluyo' is unexpected
                   in this area.
Bishawo            Mao Shuluyo as self designation
Dabus              for the people.
                   Word list identification:
                   Hozo; full concordance
                   with other Hozo word
                   lists. The informants hesitate
                   with regard to the
                   name of their language.
                   They don't call it Hozo.
                   Afaan Bishawo seems to
                   be used randomly, the
                   same for the clan: Mo
                   means just 'man'. Getachew:
                   Hozo
                   LONG WORD-
                   LIST/recording: Shuluyo
                   (2)
Boji Gara          Seze and Hozo speaking
Arba               area. Shuluyo (Hozo) in
(area)             the more remote villages;
                   references from Shuluyo
                   villages on the other side
                   of the Dabus river. cf.
                   Bishawo Dabus. Cf. also
                   Guma Gara Arba for Seze
Bot'i              Guma Gara Arba k'ebele.
                   Village in the central
                   Seze speaking area; no
                   Hozo recorded.
                   G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                   Seze
Gaje Gaje          Village with Seze speakers
                   only. No indication of
                   Hozo speakers.
Gemi Gaba          Only Hozo speakers; Seze
                   not reported. Hozo name
                   of the language, not the
                   clan! Kuro language is
                   mentioned; reference to
                   Koman Mao? cf. 4.1.4.
                   Girma: Seze minority.
Giba Gulanza       Koman Mao majority
                   (T'wa Kuro); cf. Table 1
                   above. Seze speakers confirmed
                   by G3 and Girma.
                   G2 only Koman Mao references.
Guma Gara          A wide area with mainly
Arba (area)        Seze speakers in the central
                   places; Hozo
                   (Shuluyo) speakers in the
                   more remote areas. An
                   area with several Mao
                   speaking villages (e.g.
                   Bot'i, Iggi, Konsa) Girma:
                   Seze; Getachew:
                   Hozo
Hofa Fargashi      Village with Hozo speakers.
                   Hozo as name of the
                   language, not the clan!
                   Seze is not mentioned.
                   Reference to other villages
                   with Hozo. Getachew:
                   Hozo
Ilala Macho        Mainly Seze speakers.
                   Hozo is not mentioned.
                   Term Saba unclear.
                   The relation between
                   Ilala Macho and
                   Shonge is confusing;
                   Hozo reference; neighbouring
                   villages with
                   Seze and Hozo and
                   speakers? Getachew:
                   Hozo. Wordlist by Meckelburg
                   from Shonge:
                   Hozo. Probably bilingual
                   area with Seze and Hozo
                   speakers.
Jimbila Tuwambi    Village with Seze speakers.
                   Reference to Shura
                   Maramo--only for Seze?
                   Coordinates tentative.
Kabache            Village with Hozo (majority)
Dume               and Seze speakers;
                   Hozo not name of the
                   clan! References to villages
                   with Ho-zo speakers.
                   Getachew: Hozo;
                   Girma: Seze (minority)
Karma Babane       Probably mainly Seze
                   speakers. The people may
                   not speak Hozo, but belong
                   to Hozo clan (cf.
                   Andi Giltu Jale and
                   Shagga). According to
                   SIL (133) Hozo speaking,
                   Girma: Seze; Getachew:
                   Hozo (minority).
Karma Gunfi        Village with Seze speakers.
                   Hozo is not mentioned.
                   The east coordinates
                   are not sure. SIL
                   and Girma: Seze. G1:
                   Seze
Karma              In spite of an interview in
Shora              2011, the main language
                   may be Seze; Hozo is the
                   clan name. cf. Shagga.
                   Confirmed by G2 and
                   others; however, references
                   to Hozo speaking
                   villages. G2 and G3 : different
                   information
Kobor              Koman Mao majority
Chandi             (T'wa Sit Shwala); cf.
                   Table 1 above. Seze
                   speakers conformed by
                   G3 and Girma. G2 only
                   Koman Mao references,
                   Getachew: also Hozo
Kongilo Gara Kelo  Koman Mao majority
                   (T'wa Kuro); cf. Table 1
                   above. Hozo speakers
                   conformed by G3 and
                   Getachew. G2 only Koman
                   Mao. Girma: also
                   Seze
Konsa              Guma Gara Arba k'ebele.
(Guma Gara         Village with Seze speakers.
Arba)              Shuluyo (Hozo) in
                   the surroundings; cf. Boji
                   Gara Arba with a similar
                   situation. [right arrow] Guma Gara
                   Arba
                   SHORT WORDLIST recording
                   'Seze'
                   LONG WORDLIST recording
                   Seze (2x)
Lalifto Lop'i      Probably mainly Seze
                   speakers. Hozo is mentioned.
                   200 speakers of
                   Kuro, cf. 4.1.4. Cf. Gemi
                   Gaba and Shagga. References
                   to unknown villages.
                   Girma:Hozo
Malka              Only Shuluyo speakers.
Ebicha             Word list identification:
                   Hozo. Seze is known but
                   not spoken. Ref. Yari
                   K'orio: Shuluyo speakers.
                   Cf. Bishawo Dabus. Getachew:
                   Hozo
Mimi Akobo         Cf. Table 1. There is a
                   considerable group of
                   Seze speakers besides
                   Koman Mao/Gwama.
                   Newly immigrated. They
                   call their language
                   'Dashe'. The reference to
                   Guma Gara Arba indicates
                   Seze.
                   LONG WORDLIST Seze
                   (Alexander Meckelburg)
Shagga             Seze speakers; Hozo as a
                   clan name for Seze
                   speakers (cf. Andi Giltu
                   Jale and Karma Babane);
                   there may be Hozo
                   speakers in the k'ebele.
                   Kirinyi (clan name)is difficult
                   to understand. The
                   Kiring are Koman Mao
                   speakers from around
                   Tongo; for Kuro cf. 4.1.4.
                   G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                   LONG WORDLIST recording
                   Seze (2x)
Shera Kama         3 "Mao-languages" seem
                   to meet: Twa Sit Shwala
                   (majority), Seze and
                   Hozo. If so, both Omotic
                   and Koman Mao (cf. Table
                   1 above). The members
                   of the Kuro clan
                   seem to speak Omotic;
                   different languages within
                   one clan? G2 and Getachew:
                   Hozo.
                   G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                   Seze;
Sholli Gara        Hozo (Shuluyo) speakers.
Arba               Hozo as the name of the
                   clan and of the language!
                   At least knowledge of
                   Seze language; Shulyuo
                   references from Tullu
                   Berc'uma
Shonge             Seze and Hozo speakers;
                   Seze dominateing. References
                   to Hozo speaking
                   villages. Relation between
                   Ilala Macho and
                   Shonge is confusing;
                   neighbouring villages
                   with Seze and Hozo and
                   speakers? Wordlist
                   (Meckelburg): Hozo. Recordings
                   (Andinet
                   Arega): Seze.
                   LONG WORD-
                   LIST/recording Seze
Shura              Seze speakers. Hozo is
Lik'it'i           not mentioned; cf. Bot'i,
                   Guma Gara Arba etc. According
                   SIL: Seze; Girma:
                   Seze; Getachew:
                   Hozo.
                   G3 SHORT WORD LIST
                   Seze
                   Linguistic Discovery 13.1:1-63
Shura Mara-        Both Hozo and Seze
mo                 speakers; separate interview
                   for Hozo. SIL III only
                   Seze, Girma: Seze and
                   Hozo.
                   Bilingual village or
                   neighbouring villages.
                   Seze speakers; Ref. from
                   many Hozo speaking villages.
                   Acc. to the wordlists
                   very similar to
                   Shuluyo, but the speakers
                   would deny this. Girma:
                   Seze; Getachew: Hozo
                   G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                   Hozo
Tirmi              Mainly Seze speakers;
                   there may be Hozo
                   speakers in the area; at
                   least do people know
                   Hozo; cf. map; the village
                   lies south of the central
                   Seze area.
                   G3 SHORT WORDLIST
                   Seze
Tullu              Only Mao Shuluyo
Berc'uma           speakers. Many small and
(Guma Gara         remote villages scattered
Arba)              over the Guma Aara Arba
                   mountains. The language
                   on the other side of the
                   Dabus seems to be the
                   same: cf. Bishawo
                   Dabus. The informants
                   never use the term Hozo
                   nor see themselves as part
                   of a Hozo community.
                   LONG WORD-
                   LIST/recording Shuluyo
Wandi Do-          Both Hozo and Seze
chi                speakers; cf. Andi Giltu
                   Jale. Girma: Seze; Getachew:
                   Hozo.
Wanja              Only Seze speakers The
Ch'irri            people may not know
                   Hozo. Seze references.
                   The coordinates are tentative.
Wanja              Probably only Seze
Machabara          speakers; Hozo is not
                   mentioned; cf. Wanja
                   Ch'irri.
Yari K'orio        In Boji Gara Arba
(Boji Gara         k'ebele. No reference to
Arba)              other villages. Hozo and
                   Shuluo are not considered
                   to be identical. Makep'o
                   in other areas a Seze
                   speaking clan; G3
                   SHORT WORDLIST
                   Shuluyo

Appendix 3
Word List - Seze / Hozo / Ganza / Gwama / Komo

English      Amharic           Oromo

arm          [phrase omitted]  irree
ashes        [phrase omitted]  daaraa
bed          [phrase omitted]  siree
aggar
bird         [phrase omitted]  simbirroo
blood        [phrase omitted]  dhiiga
bone         [phrase omitted]  lafee
bridge       [phrase omitted]  riqicha
                               (nooraa)
brother      [phrase omitted]  obboleess
clothes      [phrase omitted]  uffata
cow          [phrase omitted]  saawwa
(to) drink   [phrase omitted]  dhugaatii
donkey       [phrase omitted]  harree
door, gate   [phrase omitted]  balbala
drum         [phrase omitted]  dibbee
ear          [phrase omitted]  gurra
(to) eat     [phrase omitted]  nyaachuu
empty        [phrase omitted]  duwwaa
eye          [phrase omitted]  ija
feather      [phrase omitted]  baallee
fire         [phrase omitted]  abidda
fish         [phrase omitted]  qurxxummii
flower       [phrase omitted]  abaaboo
foot         [phrase omitted]  miilla
frog         [phrase omitted]  fattee
(to) go      [phrase omitted]  deemuu
goat         [phrase omitted]  re'ee
grass        [phrase omitted]  marga
hair
(on head)    [phrase omitted]  rifeensa
hand         [phrase omitted]  harka
head         [phrase omitted]  mataa
heart        [phrase omitted]  honnee
heavy        [phrase omitted]  ulfaataa
house        [phrase omitted]  mana
knee         [phrase omitted]  jilba
knife        [phrase omitted]  haaduu
lip          [phrase omitted]  hidhii
long         [phrase omitted]  dheeraa
man          [phrase omitted]  namicha
meat         [phrase omitted]  foon
milk (n)     [phrase omitted]  aannan
moon         [phrase omitted]  ji'a
mountain     [phrase omitted]  tulluu
mouth        [phrase omitted]  afaan
name         [phrase omitted]  maqaa
nest         [phrase omitted]  mana simbiraa
new          [phrase omitted]  haaraa
nose         [phrase omitted]  funyaan
old (thing)  [phrase omitted]  moofaa
red          [phrase omitted]  diimaa
river        [phrase omitted]  laga
road         [phrase omitted]  karaa
(to) run     [phrase omitted]  fiiguu
sand         [phrase omitted]  cir'achaa
short        [phrase omitted]  gabaabaa
smoke
(of fire)    [phrase omitted]  haara
star         [phrase omitted]  urjii
stone        [phrase omitted]  dhagaa
sun          [phrase omitted]  biiftuu
[s.sup.w]eet [phrase omitted]  mi'aa
(to) swim    [phrase omitted]  dakuu
tail         [phrase omitted]  eegee
tear (eye)   [phrase omitted]  immimamaan
thick        [phrase omitted]  furdaa
thin         [phrase omitted]  qallaa
tongue       [phrase omitted]  qoonqoo
tooth        [phrase omitted]  ilkaan
tree         [phrase omitted]  muka
water        [phrase omitted]  bishaan
(to) weep    [phrase omitted]  boo'uu
wind         [phrase omitted]  bubbee
woman        [phrase omitted]  dubartti
one          [phrase omitted]  tokko
two          [phrase omitted]  lama
three        [phrase omitted]  sadii
four         [phrase omitted]  afur
five         [phrase omitted]  shan
six          [phrase omitted]  ja'a
ten          [phrase omitted]  kudhan

English      Seze

             long word               short word
             list (134)              list (135)
             average (137)           average

arm          [ka.sup.w]i
ashes         p[??]si                pusi
bed          sa:nzi
aggar
bird         kawi (140)              ka:wi
blood        hambili                 hambili
bone         bak'ili                 bak'ili
bridge
             [k.sup.w]a[??]:i        [k.sup.w]a[??]i/ ko[??]i
brother      de:mali
clothes      [??]em:i
cow          i:mi
(to) drink   i[??]i                  i[??]e-
donkey       h[??]ldi                huldi
door, gate   gifan(i) (148)
drum         gibi
ear          we: i                   we:?i
(to) eat     moe?
empty        ke:wi
             me?ke/-ge
eye          a:wi                    a:wi
feather      ba?ki
fire         tam:i (150)             tami
fish         W[??]S'i
flower       ?/pundi                 ?/pundi
foot         t[??]gi                 t[??]gi
frog         [k.sup.w]aki/-gi
(to) go      [??]o:i
goat         [??]oek'i/[??]agi (153)  [??]ak'i/-gi
grass        mizi
hair
(on head)    uns[??]li
hand         k[??]si                 k[??]si(:)
head         tu:i                    tu[.sup.w]i
heart        [??]in t[??]i           [??]in t[??][.sup.w]i
             [??]i[??]i(:)i          k'[??]pdu
heavy        ?/pek(.)i/e-
house        [k.sup.j]a:i            [k.sup.j]ai
knee         g[??]b:i
knife        [??]iki:                [??]iki(:)
lip          wa:n g[??]?ki            wa(:)ngo[??]rjki
             wa:ni                    wan i
long         [??]a:mi
man          ma:i                     ma:i
meat         [??]si                   [??]si
milk (n)     ba:zi (168)
moon         emsi                     emsi
mountain     g[??]li
mouth        wa:ni                    wa(:)ni
name         i:[??]i (169)
nest         kaw[k.sup.j]a:i          kaw[k.sup.j]ai
new          [??]:li (170)
nose         [??]i:nt(')i             [??]int'i
old (thing)  mo:fai (171)
red          ta:nti
river        k[??]zi
road         [k.sup.w]e:i
(to) run     zinz(')e/i
sand         [??]ak[??]i/ [??]awi
short        k'and[??]:[w.sup.i]
smoke
(of fire)    s'[??]:[.sup.w]i         s'uwi
star         k[??]zi                  k[??]zi
stone        [??]oewi/[??]a-           [??]awi
sun          a:[w.sup.]tui (179)      a:[w.sup.]tui
[s.sup.w]eet ma?ki
(to) swim    kinde: (180)
tail         wi:rji                   wi?i
                                      wi?i
tear (eye)   (h)amsi
thick        tumb[??]li
thin         ze?emi
tongue       jens'ili
             g[??]lgi                 g[??]lgi
tooth        as'i
tree         e:nsi/i:-
water        ha(:)nsi                 hans'i
(to) weep    s'i:[.sup.w]i
wind         bi[??]a?[??]gI           b/?i[??]aw[??]gi
             bi[??]aw[??]gi
woman        [??]a:i
one          i[??]ile                 i[??]ile:
two          n[??]mbe (190)           n[??]mbe
three        si(:)ze                  size
four         bes'e                    bes'e
five         [k.sup.w]ize             g'/k'[??]se
six          [??]a:i (193)
ten          k[??]:se

English       Hozo                              Ganza

              long word           short word    long word
              list (136)          list          list
              average             average       average

arm           kimi                              [k.sup.w]Dpa
ashes         p(')endi            pendi         kenda
                                                pianda (138)
bed           fin:i                             angar (139)
aggar
bird          kab:i               kabi          kapi/ka?i
blood         hambili             hambili       ha(:)nda
bone          bak'ili             bakili        mat'a[??]
bridge
              [k.sup.w]a[??]:i    ko[??]i       [g.sup.w] anza (142)
brother       diabi                             (ti)nawan
clothes       [??]sma(:)                        b[??]ran
cow           imi                               imi
(to) drink    i[??]i              i[??]i        i[??]i-
donkey        kure(:)             kure          ga?a
door, gate    kaba/-p'a (149)                   kano(n[??])
drum          giba(:)                           [g.sup.j]eluk(w)a
ear           we:/we?e            we:           wqja/woeja
(to) eat      ma:/ma?                           ma?-
empty
              i?ki                              bat-
eye           a:bi                a:bi          ap/a?
feather       ba?ka                             (wo?a) mul
fire          tam:i               tami          tama
fish          w[??]s'i/waz'i                    maka
flower        pundi               pundi         k'us(')-

foot          daka                daka          toko
frog          k'[w.sup.]aka                     t[??]kul
(to) go       [??][??]'                         ha-
goat          [??]a:              [??]a         sa'a
grass         [??]s'a/ [??]z'a                  kuda (154)
hair
(on head)     t[??]k [??]ntili                  [k.sup.w]adi mul
hand          k'is'i (157)        kosi          k[??]ns[??]/[g.sup.w]-
head          t[??]ki             t[??]ki       [k.sup.w]adi
heart         niba/d-             niba          kiz/kis'
heavy         pe?i                              paj-
house         kera                kera          ka?a
knee          k'[??]mi                          ukul
knife         [??]iki(:)          buto (161)    kandil
lip
              wandi               wa(:)nd       nana g[??]?g[??]
                                  wandigonk'o
long          d'is'i/-t[??]i                    pili
man           m[??]:              m[??]:        asi (165)
                                                ganza (166)
meat          [??]s'i/[??]t[??]i  [??]s:i       wasi
milk (n)      -                                 ata
moon          emti                emti          anzi/ans(')i
mountain      guns'i/-t[??]i                    [k.sup.w]e
mouth         wandi               wandi         nana
name          i[??]i                            wasa
nest          kabikera            kab(i)kera    kapika([??]a)
                                                ka?ika([??]a)
new           hel:i                             k'a-
nose          [??]i:ni            [??]ini       [??]in(t)
old (thing)   ?                                 sas-/naka- (172)
red           k'-/gunta                         bumba-/w-
river         k[??]z'i/-[??]i                   wdma
road          ka[??]:i                          [k.sup.w]DJa
(to) run      k[??]:nti                         wa?a
sand          [??]egu([w..sup.]i)               sima
short         kandi:[.sup.w]i                   [??]ira-
smoke
(of fire)     s'u:bi/ t[??]-      s'obi         s' [??]ba/-wa
                                                k'urum (176)
star          maz'i/-[??] (178)   koze/-a       pjala
stone         wa:z'i/-[??]i       waz'i         [??]a(:)?a
sun           abi                 abi           aba/awa
[s.sup.w]eet  tant[??]i/gan[??]i                mis'-/miz-
(to) swim     k[??]ndi                          m[??]lig
tail
              [??]mbili           [??]mb[??]li  [k.sup.w]ende/[k.sup.w]
                                                u-
tear (eye)    amti                              a:p/a:?
thick         [t.sup.w]aJ-                      s'aza/s'as'a
thin          [??]ela                           ?
tongue
              go(:)ra             golgi/-e      insgal/k'al
                                                ins'al (183)
tooth         az'i/ad[??]i                      nana [k.sup.w]is
                                                nan [p.sup.w]es'
tree          inti                              ins(')a
water         ha:ni               hani          ha?a
(to) weep     [i.sup.j]abi                      aje:
wind          z'[??]?ka/[??]-     [??]awi/sawi  [??]u(:)bi/[??]u(:)wi
woman         [??]e:                            sa:(?a)- (187)
                                                pali
one           [??]n[??]           [??]n[??]     i/[??]Ji[g.sup.w]ain/-en
two           d[??]mb[??]         d[??]mb[??]   mambu
three         seazi/[??]-         sia:zi        dizi/tizi
four          bes'i/-t[??]i       bes'i         mazi/maz'i
five          (g)is'i/it[??]i     kis'i         [g.sup.w][??]s'i/k'uzi
six           gans'[??]n[??]                    i[??]gibin
ten           gand[??]mb[??]                    k[??]nz[??]wp/-ba

English      Gwama                       Twa Sit Shwala
                                         Koman Mao
             long word                   long word
             list                        list
             average                     average

arm          [k.sup.w]apa                [k.sup.w]apa
ashes
             p'ikin                      p'ikin
bed
aggar        jesij
             aggar                       seansa
bird         bit (141)                   bit
blood        s'am                        s'am
bone         si                          si
bridge
             [k.sup.w]ans'               [k.sup.w]ans'
brother      wer[k.sup.w]am (144)        wor[k.sup.w]pm(a) (145)
clothes      [??]l[??]
cow          imi                         imi
(to) drink   -t'[??]p'                   -t'[??]p'
donkey       kuru                        kuru
door, gate   t'[??]t'om[??]              t'[??]t'ombo
drum         pamba                       pamba
ear          s'e                         s'e
(to) eat     [??]a                       [??]a
empty
             digi                        digi
eye          zi                          zi
feather      bak                         bak
fire         ant'                        ant'
fish         was'                        was'
flower       (h)inzi                     inzi
foot         sont'                       sont'
frog         pap[??]?g[??]               papa?g[??] (152)
                                         k'[??]g[??]g[??]
                                         [k.sup.w]aga
(to) go      -h[??]                      -h[??]/-h[??]
goat         ?a                          ?a
grass        ([??]u)[??]u[??]u           m[??](n)z[??] (155)
                                         [??]u[??]u
hair
(on head)    [??]ak [??]p (156)          bak of/-op
hand         mit' (158)                  bit'
head         (k')up                      k'up
                                         k'uf
heart        up(p)i?i (160)              ?i?i
heavy        si                          s(')il
house        [s.sup.w][??]i              [s.sup.w]al
knee         d[??]gi                     d[??]gul
knife        [??]iki (162)
             bila                        [??]iki
                                          bila
lip
             k'ek't'[.sup.w]a            k'ek't'[w.sup.a]
long         atu (164)                   aldu
man
             sit                         sit
meat         sum                         sum
milk (n)     bas'                        bas'
moon         s'ewan                      s'ewan
mountain     k(w)[??]                    k[??]
mouth        t'[w.sup.a]                 t'[w.sup.a]
name         [??]igi/[??]egi             tul
                                         s[??]nt
nest         s[??]j(a)bit                [s.sup.w]albit
new          -didi[??]                   -didi[??]
nose         [??][??][??]/ [??][??]n[??] [??][??]
old (thing)  -sasi (173)                 ?
red          -k'a[??]                    ga[??](aga[??])/k'-
river        p[??]g[??]                  f-/p[??]g[??]
                                         s'ul (174)
road         [p.sup.w]aga                a?a
(to) run     -g[??]s                     g[??]s(ag[??]s)
sand         wa?as'                      wa?as'
short        -g[??]t                     aldu?o (175)
                                         -g[??]t
smoke
(of fire)    si?k'                       si?k'
star         bis'an                      bis'en
stone        p'idin                      p'i?gil
             (p'idin)                    p'ingil
sun          kaja                        kala
[s.sup.w]eet -mizi/s'i                   -i?gi[??]
(to) swim    soe?k'                       [??]m(b)[??]t (181)
tail
             [??]g[??]                   [??]g[??]
tear (eye)   m[??](n)zi                  m[??](n)zi
thick        -tindi                      -tindi
             -waga                       -waga
thin         -zinzi                      -zinzi (182)
tongue
             t'aki                       t'agal
tooth        [??]i                       [??]i
tree         [s.sup.w]aja                [s.sup.w]ala
water        ija                         ija
(to) weep    -ku                         -ku
wind         kas(:)                      kas(:)
             kiwi (185)
woman        ki[k.sup.j]ata (188)        ki[k.sup.j]ata (189)
                                         [d.sup.w]a
one                        sene          -sene
two          [s.sup.w]ija (191)          sija
three        [t.sup.w]asen(e)            [t.sup.w]azen(e)
four         bizin/s'in                  bizin/s'in
five         k[??]m[??]t'                k[??]m(b)[??]t'
six          k[??]-/[k.sup.w]azen (194)  k[??]basene
                                         [ku.sup.w]asene
ten          k'[??]zi (195)              k'[??]([.sup.w]a)
                                         [zi.sup.j]a

English       Kuro                Komo

              short word          long word
              list                list
              average             average
arm                               k[??]p
ashes
              p'igin              p'in
bed
aggar
                                  a?gar
bird          bit                 [di.sup.w]u
blood         s'am                ba[??]
bone          si                  [??]uma(k')
bridge
              [k.sup.w]ans'
              denp'e (143)        k'as(')i
brother                           kam(ba)
clothes                           bulan
cow                               bib
(to) drink    -t'[??]p'           ip-
donkey        kuru                kura147
door, gate                        t'ot'omo
drum                              bul
ear           s'e                 s'e
(to) eat                          [??]a/ u[??]
empty
eye           zi(:)               b'i/ p'i/6i
feather                           mul
fire          ant'/ant'i          wot'i
fish                              was'
flower        hinz
              minp'it' (151)
foot          sont'               [??]og/ [??]ok
frog                              (b[??])b[??]?g[??]
(to) go                           i/ja-
goat          ?a                  me
              mi'a
grass
hair
(on head)                         mul([.sup.o]k[??]p)
hand          bit'                k'[??]l[??]
head          k'up   k' [??]p
              k'up (159)
heart         [??]in[??](i)
              [??]i[??]i(:)
heavy                             did-
house         [s.sup.w]al         gubi
knee                              bom
knife
              albala
              [??]eg
              kala (163)          [??]iba/ [??]i?a
lip
              k'ek't'wa  t'a
long                              t[??]l-
man
              sit/sid             jiba
              isi (167)
meat          sum                 Jum
milk (n)                          ko
moon          s'ewon              paj
mountain                          b'i/6i
mouth         t'wa                t'a
name                              zaga
nest          [s.sup.w]albit(i)   gubi diw[??]
new                               -s'i[??]
nose          [??][??]n[??](i)    [??][??][??]
old (thing)                       guba
red                               t'el-
river                             s'[??]

road                              k[??]ma
(to) run                          paj(a)
sand                              p[??][??]
short                             kud-
smoke
(of fire)     sink'               kur
              sip' (177)
              (t'oba)t'ob
star          bis'an              kil
stone
              p'ingil             o[??]
sun           kala                t'i/ t'e
[s.sup.w]eet                      -s'em-
(to) swim                         ?/pag(i)
tail
              [??]?[??]           sin
              are?
tear (eye)                        ima[.sup.n]bi
thick                             did-
thin                              moes'[.sup.w]an
tongue
              t'agal              let'
              daik'u[??] (184)
tooth                             [??]e/[??]ei
tree                              sa
water         ija                 ji
(to) weep                         ko/ k[??]
wind          k(i)wil             p[??]d/?[??]d
              kaJa (186)
woman                             boemit
one           -sene               d'i(d'i)
two           sija                su([.sup.w]in)
three         [t.sup.w]asen(e)    di[??](in)
four          bis'in              doyon(in)
five          kum(b)ut' (192)     bus(in)
six                               kaj(agi)di
ten                               k[??][??]([.sup.i]n)k[??]l[??] (196)


(1) For the genectic classification of each of these language groups cf. the works of Ahland (2012); Bender (1975; 1985; 1996; 2000); Ehret (2001); Heming (1974; 1976; 1986) and Hayward (2000). A discussion of the different suggestions would go beyond the scope of this survey.

(2) Since Anfillo Mao is not used in the Begi area, it is not treated in detail here. This article follows Ahland (2012:8) and uses Northern Mao for what is called "Bambeshi" by Bender, today mainly Bambasi for town and Woreda. Bender uses Northern Mao as a general term for Seze, Hozo and Bambasi.

(3) For Kwama vs. Gwama cf. 4.1.5; here Kwama and Gwama are considered to be synonyms.

(4) Southern Mao is traditionally used for the Omotic Anfillo Mao, not for a Nilo-Saharan language.

(5) Ganza is a closely related Omotic language, but is normally not referred to as Mao (cf. 4.2.4).

(6) For the designation of this and related "Mao languages" language by the speakers cf. Ahland (2012:7)

(7) Cf. Moges Yigezu 1995: Dying twice: the case of Anfillo languages. Afrikanistische Arbeitspapiere 43.

(8) A discussion of the internal classification within the language families is not within the scope of this paper; for references cf. 4.1 and particularly 4.2.1 for the Omotic languages.

(9) Different linguistic and ethnic self designations. Most used is (T'wa) Sit Shwala, cf. 4.1.2.

(10) Cf. sections 3 and 4 for discussions regarding linguistic and ethnic self--and foreign designations.

(11) Cf. particularly map 3 and map 4.

(12) Cf. 3.4 for the (ethnic) terms Gwama and Mao; Mao here is not considered identical with Gwama.

(13) Cf. http://www.sil.org/resources/publications/entry/7882

(14) Team 1: Ramadan Harun (Gwama and Komo speaker) and Wendemu Zeleke (Gwama and Komo speaker); Team 2: Matiwos Adaba (speaker of Koman Mao; cf. 4.1.2) and Samuel Walakuri (Komo speaker); Team 3: Hika Dinbasha (Seze speaker) and Ramadan Hassan (Seze speaker with knowledge of Hozo); cf. map 1.

(15) The word list contained word choices in Seze, Hozo, Ganza, Gwama and Komo taken from the relevant literature for facilitating a quick and proper placement of the languages.

(16) Recorded interviews and wordlist with people from 26 different villages; cf. appendix 3. The interviews were conducted with the help of local translators (English - Amharic or English - Oromo); in the case of Ganza, a translation via Amharic into Gwama was necessary.

(17) The transcription took place at the office in Addis Ababa mainly without native speakers available. Doubtful cases were clarified when back in the field. This method is acceptable as no phonetic or phonemic analysis was intended, but the creation of a comparison corpus consisting of a limited number of words. What is said in the sections 4.1 and 4.2 on cognates must be taken with great caution. For clear statements on degrees of relationship and diachronie developments a larger corpus and the inclusion of morphologic and syntactic facts would be necessary.

(18) Seze by Girma Mengistu, Addis Ababa University, Hozo by Getachew Kassa, Addis Ababa University, Komo by Manuel Otero, Oregon University and Gwama/Koman Mao by Anne-Christie Hellenthal, SIL Addis Ababa;

(19) Shuluyo [julub] or [juluwo] is used for varities of or as a different designation for Hozo; cf. 4.2.3.

(20) For Komo ethnicity and language and the differences between Komo and Gwama cf. 3 and 4.1.1.

(21) Komo people speaking Komo language may also live in Gidami Woreda in Kelem Wollega Zone in Oromia south of our survey area. For the Komo in Gambela Regiona State cf. 4.1.1.

(22) Mimi Akobo; cf. 4.2.2 and appendix 2 and appendix 3.

(23) All since the research by James (1981) it seems to be widely accepted that the close relationship of subordination under the ruling and dominant Oromo is a constituent factor for the term Mao; the forthcoming PhD dissertation by Alexander Meckelburg on the history of the Mao, Hamburg University, will bring new insights.

(24) Prono(unced [maw] by the people of the area, not [ma'o] as heard from "outsiders", particulary Amhara.

(25) Cf. Bender (1975:125) and Ahland (2012:5) for Northern Mao; cf. also Smidt (2007:756).

(26) Sit Shwala 'black people' does in principle not seem to be pejorative, at least for those who use it as a self-designation. The language T'wa Sit Shwala 'mouth of black people' is part of Koman Mao/Gwama dialect cluster; cf. 4.1..2. For Kuro as an ethnic and linguistic term cf. 4.1.4.

(27) The Warra Seta clan seems to play an important role in the hierarchy of the Koman speaking Mao community. According to informants from Zebsher, the Warra Seta are "mixed with Oromo and speak Mao language". However, Tadesse Fayisa from Ego Girmos points out that "the Wara Seta live around [Wanja] Git'en. They speak also Twa Sit Shwala". Many members of this clan are less dark than other Mao. They might be immigrants with Arab descent who mixed with the Mao, took their language and became their landlords (cf. Sheik Harun in Ton-go, called "the father of the Mao"). The forthcoming PhD dissertation of Alexander Meckelburg, may shed some light into these correlations. Cf. also Theis (1995) on people with Arab-Berta descendants who played an important role as slave trades and tax collectors for the Komo people in South Funj in Sudan. Cf. also Ahmad (1999) on the same topic.

(28) Cf. Neudorf (2011:9): "The Gwama, who speak a very similar language variety as Mao in Tongo, sometimes call themselves Komo, but not Mao; and Mao do not want to be called neither Gwama nor Komo."

(29) See also Davis et al. (2011:6-7): "[...]the researchers encountered conflicting reports on whether Komo and Kwama [Gwama] are separate groups speaking different languages. They were told that Kwama speakers call their language T'wa Kwama but their people Komo. Government officials and other language groups call this language and the people Komo.'"; for Gwama vs. Kwama cf. 4.1.5

(30) The Gwama houses, swal gwama and swal ushombo ('healer houses'), are traditional houses, beehive huts, as described by Grotanelli (1941); they are not the same as the well known Dorze houses. The term was recently used by Alfredo Gonzalez-Ruibal (2014).

(31) Information from Alexander Meckelburg, Hamburg University, about Gwama traditions (p.c.).

(32) Several other designations for the same language or closely related dialects; cf. 4.2.3.

(33) The majority of speakers in all those villages along the road will be Oromo anyway.

(34) Mimi Akobo is one of the few exceptions with newly immigrated Seze speakers; cf. Appendix 2.

(35) "K[oman] is one of the 'small' language families of the Ethio-Sudanese border area, belonging to Nilo-Saharan, probably within a larger 'core' grouping which includes East Sudanic, Gumuz (exclusive to Ethiopia), and the Kadu languages [...].There are five distinct K[oman] languages: Twampa (usually known as Uduk), Komo, Opuuo, Kwama and Gule." (Bender, 2007:416-417). The 5 Koman languages Gwama, Komo, Uduk, Opo and Gule are frequently put together with Gumuz into a "Komuz family". This classification is, however, controversial (cf. Kievit et al., 2011 and Colleen Ahland, 2010).

(36) Berta and Opo (also Opuuo) are mainly spoken outside of the survey area and are thus not treated in detail herel. The villages where Berta and Opo speakers were reported are listed in appendix 3. For Berta we find the designations Ruta, Fadashi and Berta in the interviews - with the following pattern: In the north-western area - around Fafa, Zeba, Ishgogo and Bangatarko - only Ruta is mentioned, in some highland villages around Tongo Fadashi is used and in many villages in the lowlands they use Berta. Additionally we have many references to Arabic in the lowlands which could also refer to Berta. Opo (K'ina and Dana) speakers are reported in the southwestern lowland villages of Shumate, Yangu and Yiwa. The Ethnologue (Lewis, 2009) lists Kina as a synonym for Opo, while Dana is the Gwana and Komo designation for the same language/people group. The term Opo is not mentioned in any of the interviews.

(37) Cf. note (a) and (d) in Figure 2, and 4.1.5: What is Kwama.

(38) Here Gwama may stand for related dialects, called T'wa Gwama, T'wa Sit Shwala, Afaan Mao or T'wa Kuro by the users. For the relationship within this Gwama/Koman Mao dialect cluster cf. 7.2

(39) What is said here and in the following sections about cognates must be taken with great caution. For clear statements on degrees of relationship and diachronic developments, a larger corpus and the inclusion of morphologic and syntactic facts would be necessary.

(40) Here the Komo were considered one of the Gwama sub-groups. Cf. 4.1.5 for Gwama vs. Kwama.

(41) From Lak'e; member of Survey Team 1. Ethnic Komo who speaks Komo and Gwama fluently.

(42) The Bangatarko area in the north-western part of the survey area needs further investigation. There might be bilingual villages with mainly Gwama and a few Komo speakers and a Berta minority. Cf. appendix 2.

(43)Penshuba close to Zebsher records 108 households with Gwama speakers and only 10 households with Komo speakers. There may be similar proportions in other villages with Gwama and Komo speakers,

(44) esfaye Nagash (p.c.) 4.9.2012; confirmed by Manuel Otero (p.c.).

(45) For the Komo in this area cf. the detailed descriptions in Theise (1995:13); cf. also Krell (2011).

(46) For the number of speakers in Ethiopia cf. 5.1.

(47) T'wa 'mouth' i.e. 'language' in Gwama and Koman Mao (afaan also means 'mouth' or 'language' in Oromo.) Sit Shwala 'black people'. T'wa Sit Shwala 'mouth/language of the black people'.

(48) For the clearly distinct Komo language cf. 4.1.1.

(49) Kuro (cf. figure 2 and 4.1.4) is locally considered a clan of Sit Shwala people and the language a variety of T'wa Sit Shwala. However, the people in some north-eastern villages consequently call themselves and their language Kuro and may feel a certain distance to other Koman Mao speakers. This is confirmed by the word list (cf. appendix 3) where there are a few obvious lexical differences to other Koman Mao varieties, possibly due to borrowings ans/or creolisation. A thorough dialectological survey of this area would be required.

(50) These are phonetic 'average forms'. That means that the most frequent forms in the interviews/on the word lists are used as heard and transcribed from the audio recordings. For further information cf. appendix 3.

(51) Possible confusion between the voiced plosives [b], [d] and [g] with the corresponding ejectives [p'], [t'] and [k']. This is mainly the case for handwritings in fidels by the survey teams. Examples:
[g] - [k'] [p'igin] - [p'ik'in]: 'ashes'
[b] - [p'] [t'ob] - [t'op']:   'to drink'
[d] - [t'] [sid] - [sit']:    'man; people


The phonemic analysis by Hellenthal & Kutsch Lojenga (2011) shows three series of stops, voiceless, voiced and ejectve on bilabial, alveolar and vear places: /b/ - /p/ - /p'/; /d/ - /t/ - /t'/; /g/ - /k/ - /k'/; however, the pronunciation of the ejectives often occurs to be soft so that they are easily mixed with the corresponding voiced plosives even by people trained in written Amharic where the distinction +/- ejective is crucial.

(52) My findings confirm the analysis of Hellenthal & Kusch Lojenga (2011), who do not propose a separate phoneme /f/, but a phoneme /p/ with free allophonic realisations as [p], [?] or [f]. The word for 'river' can thus be pronounced [p[??]g[??]], ^[??]g[??]] or [f[??]g[??]] by speakers of the Koman Mao varieties--but always [pogo] by Gwama speakers. That means that in Koman Mao, this phoneme has three allophones and in Gwama it does not vary. The variation in Koman Mao is subphonemic and not predictable.The speakers of Kuro-dialects in the north-east clearly seem to prefer the [f] variety. According to Ahland (p.c.) this is also the case in the Omotic languages in the area (e.g. Northern Mao), where the bilabial stop has free allophonic realisations.

(53) Koman Mao allows variation between [l] and [r], Gwama does not: Koman Mao [gelges]/[gerges] // Gwama [gerges]; Anne-Christie Hellenthal (p.c.); only one case was found in the material of this study.

(54) According to Michael Ahland, (p.c.) Strengthening of m > mb is commonly found in Ethiopia and beyond, cf. Northern Mao, Bertha, Amharic.

(55) Wendemu Zeleke from Lak'e, Mao Komo SW (Gwama) ; Asadik Habte from Ya'a Baldigis, Mao Komo SW (Gwama); Subeda Hadi from Kama Chandi, Begi Woreda (Sit Shwala) and Matiwos Adaba from Ac'wo Orda, Begi Woreda (Sit Shwala); cf. appendix 2 and 3 and map 2.

(56) Oromo speakers use Mao, and this is partly accepted as a self-designation. It is interesting to note that combinations as *Afaan Sit Shwala or *T'wa Mao do not occur in our material. Hellenthal, however, reports T'wa Mai from Ishgogo.

(57) According to Anne-Christie Hellenthal (p.c.), there are a couple of morphologic and tone differences besides the already mentioned phonetic differences and some rather well known varieties in the vocabulary. The morphologic differences concerning topics such as the systems of personal pronouns would need further investigation, as well as the partial (?) loss of tone distinctions in Koman Mao.

(58) It is worth mentioning that Mao and Komo are two of the five recognised indigenous people groups of Benishangul Gumuz Regional State, not Gwama and Komo as could be expected, cf. article 2 in the constitution of Benishangul Gumuz Regional State: "[...] the indigenous nation nationalities of the Region are Berta, Gumuz, Shinasha, Mao and Como."

(59) Cf. map 5 and map 6 ; for Kuro and Kirin cf. 4.1.4.

(60) Cf. Theis (1995) and Krell (2011).

(61) In a few cases this or a similar term was used for speakers of Omotic Mao as by the Seze speakers Hika Dinbasha of the Seze people 'Krir)'.

(62) Cf. Mauel Otero, p.c., September 2012: "Kirin is an ethnic and/or language term. Kirin and Gwama are mutually

(63) Matiwos Adaba, Ac'wo Orda, Begi Woreda, Survey Team 2.

(64) From an interview with Kasim Hassan from Shagga, belonging to Hozo Clan, speaker of Seze.

(65) Cf. Kiewit et al. (2011: 14): "[...] the term Kwama is used in these surveys to refer to Gwama"

(66) Now abandoned because of governmental "villagesation"; people mainly resettled to Yangu and Lak'e

(67) "The Gwama people are known by others as Komo. This name is, however, also applied to another ethnic group. On the basis of language and cultural identity those that the name Komo is applied to can be divided into two groups: proper Komo and Gwama. The former call themselves T'a Komo and are called T'wa Kwama by the Gwama. The Gwama call themselves T'wa Gwama and are called T'a Gwama by the Komo. This is summarized in table 1." Cf.also Kievit et al. 2011: 13

(68) [kom] or [[k.sup.w]om] may be heard. It seems that the vowel quality [o]/[[w.sup.o]] vs. [a]/[[w.sup.a]] is most decessive

(69) According to Abdarahman Bitu, Penshuba, the Ganza call the Komo people [[k.sup.w]?m?] and their language [[t'.sup.w]? [k.sup.w]?m?] - with a clearly velar A-sound.

(70) What makes this case more complicated is the fact that Gwama, Komo and Ganza speakers have their own way of pronouncing this word - that additionally may have different meanings in the different languages. The "colour" of the A-sounds seems to be at least as important as the initial [g] vs. [k].

(71) One may find different varieties of this name; Sezo seems to be most used in older literature. Siebert et al. (1993/2002), Davis et.al. (2011) and Ahland (2012) use Seze (Seeze, Seezi). Girma Mengistu, who works on a PhD dissertation on Seze at Addis Ababa University, has decided to use Sezi as the language designation in his work since all nouns in this language terminate in an [i] (p.c. 29.4.2013). I here follow most of the newer literature by using Seze. The frequently heared pronounciation [se:?o] may be developed by Oromo speakers.

(72) Cf. Figure 1.5 in Ahland (2012:15), based on Bender (2003:1).

(73) Cf. Figure 1.6 in Ahland (2012:16), based on Hayward (2000:242).

(74) As far as I can see, Ganza speakers would not call themselves or their language Mao.

(75) Cf., however, Smidt (2007:756), where Northern Mao is used differently: "The Northern M[ao] are a cluster of several, linguistically and culturally closely related Omotic-speaking groups, mainly consisting of the Hozo and Sezo, who call themselves collectively the Beg-mawa ('M. of Begi')."

(76) Very little reliable linguistic research has been done on the indigenous languages of this area. Cf. Siebert et al. (1993/2002; 1994/2002). In Siebert et al. (1993/2002) word lists of Hozo, Seze 1 and Seze 2 are given without specifying the origin of the Seze-varieties. In Davis et al. (2011) this word lists are the basis for a statistics of cognates. The result is surprising: only 58 % of cognates between Seze 1 and Seze 2 and 50 % respectively 37 % between Hozo and the two Seze varieties (cf. p.14). The existence of different Seze varieties is not confirmed by my material and may be due to a mixture between Seze and Hozo forms or the different understandings of the English terms.

(77) The Seze recordings from Shera Kama do not show any significant differences from recordings from other Seze speaking villages e.g. in the central Guma Gara Arba area.

(78) Girma Mengistu and Getachew Kassa, Addis Ababa University, assume an even bigger number of bilingual villages than could be confirmed in this survey. See also appendix 2, table 2; right column.

(79) According to Aterpha Dina there are as many as 1000 Seze speaking people in Mimi Akobo--in addition to a majority of around 5000 Gwama/Koman Mao speakers.

(80) Cf. e.g. Bender (2003) who lists Seze/Hozo as one branch of the Mao languages contrasting to the two other branches: Ganza and Northern Mao ("Bambassi-Diddesa").

(81) The term Kri; is unclear; a Koman Mao speaking Kirin clan seems to exist in some villages near Tongo, which is obviously not meant here. Cf. 4.1.4.

(82) When mentioning this, Ramadan was listening to an audio recording from Bishawo Dabus; however, he has good knowledge of Hozo.

(83) Boji Gara Arba was called the heart of the Shuluyo area. There are no references to other areas, but the predominant clan in Boji Gara Arba is Makep'o which in other areas seems to be a typical Seze speaking clan (cf. appendix 2). Here as in other cases we cannot find any clear coincidence between clan and language.

(84) The meaning is 'man', 'person' in Hozo and related dialects.

(85) Because of unclear recording about 14 % of the total material has not been counted. Especially regarding the adjectives, a large number of varieties were mentioned. They may often have similar meanings. On closer examination, the percentage of cognates would probably increase slightly. See also 2.1 regarding the limitations of the method for making statements about genetic relationships and mutual understandability of languages out of a very limited corpus of words.

(86) Cf. Smidt (2007): "A group culturally linked to the Kwama (but, unlike them, speaking an Omotic language belonging to the Mao language group), and related to the Hozo, are the Ganza [...]"

(87) Cf. also the "Ganza" article in EAE by Fleming (2007:756): "Ganza [...] is one language with no recorded internal diversity. First discovered by Redhead and James, it is found nearby in Sudan in the hill country near the Ethiopian border, being the only Omotic language found outside of Ethiopia. [...]. [T]here is some indication that--lexically--Ganza is a little closer to the Hozo-Sezo cluster than it is to the Bambeshi-Didessa branch."

(88) Theis (1995) refers to a strong and culturally self conscious Ganza population along the Yabus River just west of the Ethiopian border south of Asosa. According to Theis, the Ganza settle together with Komo, Gwama, Uduk and Shita. Cf. the map in Theis (1995:35) with the settlement area of these people groups.

(89) Girma Mengistu (p.c.) informed me about Ganza speakers in Ya'a Baldigis and gave me a short word list he had noted down. Ahland (2012:4) refers to Krell (2011:10) who reports that Ganza speakers live in a place called Yamasala; this could refer to the village Ya'a Mesera, close to Ya'a Baldigis. Cf. also Hofmeister (2010) with references to Ganza speaking villages in Sudan.

(90) Group interview with Gwama, Komo, Berta and Ganza speakers 3.12.2012; the interview was conducted in Gwama which is the lingua franca in the village. The findings were confirmed in an iterview with Abdurahman Bitu (3.10.2013).

(91) Interviews with Yakub Allejawo (18.1.2013) and Mengistu Abdulla (3.10.2013) from Ya'a Baldigis

(92) Krell (2011:10) reports from the Ganza in South Sudan, as a vital ethnic and linguistic group: "Ganza speakers from Dahmoh call themselves Gwami [gwami]. The Uduk also call them Gwami. They say that Ganza is an Arabic term. When speaking their mother tongue, the Ganza speakers also call it Gwami. [...] Other villages where Ganza/Gwami is spoken include Tugubele, Korbum, Darsoma, and Yeshkab. Yamasala, Ethiopia is a village where Ganza is also spoken. Apparently, all the people living in Dahmoh speak Ganza."

(93) Almahdi, 1941-1974, son of Khojali and governor of Begi

(94) According to Mengistu Abdulla (3.10.2013), the Ganza speaking community is even growing because of high fertility and the fact that the Ganza do not send their children to school and do not intermarry with others.

(95) In September/October 2013 David Ford, SIL Ethiopia, elicited, transcribed and recorded the CWL 1700-word wordlist for the Ganza language with Abdurahman Bitu from Penshuba and Mengistu Abdulla from Ya'a Baldigis as informants (unpublished). This word list is currently the biggest and most reliable corpus of Ganza words. A thorough examination of this list and a comparision of similar list from the other Omotic Mao languages may answer some questions regarding the relationship and the mutual intelligibility.

(96) 78 words were asked, 72 Ganza correspondences could be used for comparison; in six cases the answers were unclear or arbitrary. The answers from the interviews were checked against the wordlist of Girma Mengistu, Addis Ababa University, Krell (2011) and the 1,700-word wordlist elaborated by David Ford, SIL.

(97) Cf. Ahland (2012:398ff) on /ha/ formative in Ganza and Northern Mao that may indicate a grammatical relationship that can not be found in other Omotic Mao languages.

(98) Theis (1995:171and:178) draws an impressive picture of the "ethnic and linguistic flexibility" of the Komo in the "South Funj" (South Sudan).

(99) http://www.csa.gov.et/index.php; cf. Ahland (2012:10)

(100) In most of the villages there is majority of Oromo; most of the Seze speakers are able to speak Oromo.

(101) There may be a few hundred Gwama speakers in Gambela. I do not have any figure for Gwama speakers in Sudan. The Ethnologue (Lewis 2009) only mentions Yabus, included in the estimated total of 15,000 speakers; Cf. also Theis (1995) who frequently refers to Gwama speakers in "South Funj".

(102) This was confirmed in several workshops on Gwama in Asosa in autumn 2013. Almost all Koman Mao speakers from the highlands (Begi Woreda and around Tongo in Mao Komo SW) no longer had full mother tongue competence. Even if the wordlists indicate a huge number of cognates and thus mutual intelligibility (cf. 7.2), the communcation with the Gwama speakers from the lowland did often fail and the Koman Mao speakers felt more comfortable when using the Oromo language. However, in spite of their poor competence in Afaan Mao/T'wa Sit Shwala, the participants from the highlands made it very clear that they by no means were Oromo but Sit Shwala, 'black people'.

(103) The forthcoming MA dissertation by Manuel Otero, University of Oregon, may provide more reliable data regarding the number of Komo speakers and their geographical distribution.

(104) The situation in Mao Komo Special Woreda may be somewhat different with "Mao and Komo" recently assigned for use in governmental positions. But even there the Oromo--the largest the ethnic group in the Woreda town Tongo - as the economically and culturally dominating group have much influence.

(105) Hadi Buli is conscious of the situation of his mother tongue and the negative role the school plays for its preservation. His now grown up and well educated children are not longer fluent in Koman Mao, the language of their ancestors, and have to be considered as Oromo speakers in spite of their clear identity as Mao (Sit Shwala).

(106) Cf. particularly chapter 1.9: The Sociolinguistic Situation.

(107) Currently, Girma Mengistu, Addis Ababa University, works on a PhD dissertation on Seze and Getachew Kassa, Addis Ababa University, works on Hozo.

(108) Anne-Christie Hellenthal, SIL Addis Ababa, has contributed to the research of the sound and tone system in Gwama and to the development of the Gwama orthography. Hellenthal is involved in the production of the first written texts in Gwama and is assigned as a coordinator of the further work on the "Mao--Komo language development". Amare Tsehay, Addis Ababa University is currently working on a Master's thesis on Gwama. Further linguists are expected to come from abroad to SIL to do research on this languags.

(109)According to Anne-Christie Hellenthal (p.c.) these speakers have e.g. lost the tone distinctions, show a vowel system that is reduced from 7 to 5 phonemes and the verbal system is significantly simplified. There may also be changes or simplifications in the pronominal system. The technical and elaborated vocabulary is Oromo.

(110) Manuel Otero, University of Oregon, has contributed a lot to the development of a Komo orthography. Tesfaye Nagash, Addis Ababa University, currently works on a PhD on Komo language and culture.

(111) "The Ganza are a settled population in Sudan with a distinct ethnolinguistic identity. They consider speaking the Ganza language a basic component of being Ganza. [...] Ganza is a vital language with no indication of language shift." (Krell 2011:15)

(112) Many villages are bi- or trilingual. Then the village is placed according to the language of the majority of speakers--Oromo not included.

(113) As a first and rough language identification, the Survey Groups (G1/G2/G3) presented word lists over the following languages: Komo (KO), Gwama (GW), Seze (SE), Hozo (HO) and Ganza (GA); the different "Mao speakers" had so to choose their language. Twa Sit Shwala speakers regularly chose Gwama without hesitation.

(114) I: Interview by group G1/G2/G3 (Appendix 1); own: In depth interview; LW/V: Long Wordlist; voice recorded and wordlist transcribed (Appendix 3); SW: Short written word list by G2 or G3 (Appendix 3).

(115) Self designation acc. to no. 3 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1) or in depth interviews; for the complicated situation for Komo/Mao/Sit Shwala etc. cf. section 3.

(116) The clan names are not verified or studied systematically; there may be mistakes or incorrect designations.

(117) Self designation acc. to no. 4 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1) or in depth interviews; for Gwama/Twa Sit Shwala etc. cf. 4.1.2; the language identification (majority) of the word list is mentioned here. In brackets the choices of the interviewees on the wordlist: Komo (KO), Gwama (GW), Seze (SE), Hozo (HO) and Ganza (GA).

(118) Oromo is found in all villages and not separately mentioned here; Amharic is found in many villages particularly in Mao Komo SW and not mentioned here; Language names with (Girma) according to p.c. from Girma Mengistu; with (Getachew) according to p.c. from Getachew Kassa, both Addis Ababa University.

(119) Answer to no. 10 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1): "Where else (in which villages) do people speak your language".

(120) Data not sufficient (no word list) and information from G1 and G2 partly inconsistent; the north-western part of the survey area needs further investigation.

(121) Information about this village with Gwama and Komo speakers from Tesfaye Nagash, PhD student at Addis Ababa University and Manuel Otero, MA student at Oregon University, USA.

(122) Additionally written information from Alexander Meckelburg, Hamburg University who visited the village and recorded interviews amongst others with Omotic Mao speaker; cf. table 2.

(123) Penshuba is one of the two villages where Ganza speakers were found; Omotic Ganza is only spoken as a minority language in Koman speaking villages; cf. 6.3.4

(124) This seems to be a term used by others; the Ganza speakers call their language Gwami; in Ya' a Baldigis Gwami is used both for the language and for the people.

(125) Interview and Wordlist only for Seze (Omotic Mao); the information about 'Koman Mao'/Tw'a Set Shwala is obtained through references.

(126) I: Interview by group G1/G2/G3 (Appendix 1); own: In depth interview; LW/V: Long Wordlist; voice recorded and wordlist transcribed (Appendix 3); SW: Short written word list by G2 or G3 (Appendix 3).

(127) Self designation acc. to no. 3 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1) or in depth interviews.

(128) The clan names are not verified or studied systematically; there may be mistakes or incorrect designations.

(129) Self designation acc. to no. 4 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1) or in depth interviews; the language identification (majority) of the word list is mentioned here. In brackets the choices the interviewees made on the wordlist: Komo (KO), Gwama (GW), Seze (SE), Hozo (HO) and Ganza (GA).

(130) Oromo is found in all villages and not separately mentioned here; Amharic is found in many villages particularly in Mao Komo SW and not mentioned here; Comments: Girma: language spoken according to Girma Mengistu; Getachew: language spoken according to Getachew Kassa, both Addis Ababa University

(131) Answer to question no. 10 on the questionnaire (Appendix 1): "Where else (in which villages) do people speak your language?"

(132) In most villages there is an Oromo speaking majority.

(133) Siebert et.al. (2002): Third S.L.L.E. Survey on Languages of the Begi/Asosa Area, with maps of villages with Seze and Hozo speakers

(134) Long word lists: Average phonetic transcription from own audio recordings.

(135) Short word lists: Transliterated from wordlists filled in Oromo orthography (Seze and Hozo) or fidels (Gwama) by the interview teams; no differences between open and closed vowels; many double writings when Oromo orthography was used; Amharic sound system in case of Fidels.

(136) Mainly interview with Shuluyo speakers from the eastern part; many affricates [tf] and [dg] where other dialects may have [s'] and [z'] or even [s] and [z]

(137)"Average" means in all cases that the most frequent forms in the interviews/on the word lists are used. If more than one word is filled, the reason will normally be explained in a foot note. When nothing is written in the columns for the long word lists, there were mentioned many different words/forms so no single form could be extracted as "average".

(138)Sudan; cf. Krell 2011.

(139)Probably Komo word used in Ganza and in some Gwama villages in the lowlands.

(140)Girma Mengistu: kawwi; cf. 'arm'; tone difference; tones may be distinctive in all "Mao-Komo languages", but are not written here because of poor data.

(141)Different from [bit'] 'hand' also by tone.

(142)David Ford, Ganza word list: [gwantsa]; unclear if [z] or [s']/[ts].

(143)[denp'e] or [de:p'e] only in Kuro; cf. 4.1.4.

(144)Phonetic varieties.

(145)Cf. the term Kwama that may be related to [wor[k.sup.w]r>m(a)].

(146)Gwama [j] vs. T'wa Sit Shwala [l]; cf. 4.1.2.

(147)Or [kuru]? cf. also [kuru] in Gwama and [kure(:)] in Hozo

(148)Several other words are mentioned

(149) [b], [p] or [p']? "soft ejective", most like [b']; the same as in [pamba] 'drum'?

(150) Probably short vowel; not long consonant.

(151) Only Kuro.

(152) [papor)go]: mainly T'wa Gwama (cf. T'a Komo); [k'ogogo]: only T'wa Sit Shwala.

(153) Different phonetic varieties [a/oe] and [k'/k/g]

(154) [kuda] 'dry grass'; [mati] 'green grass'.

(155) [m[??](n)z[??]] 'small grass'; [[??]u[??]u] 'big gras'; common for all.

(156) Sound change [f] vs.[p]: T'wa Sit Shwala mainly [-[??]f]; T'wa Gwama [-up]; cf. 4.14.

(157) Or [kiz'i]/[kidzi]; "soft ejective" or fricative; same sounds as in 'fish' and 'grass'.

(158) Dialect varieties [b] vs.[m]

(159) Kuro always [k'uf]

(160) Both words are common over the whole area

(161) This word is also used by some T'wa Sit Shwala speakers and found in the literature as "Hozo word"

(162) Probably "soft ejective" or [[??]igi]

(163) Only Kuro

(164) Cf. 4.1.2

(165) David Ford, Ganza word list: 'tribe, ethnic group'

(166) Sudan; cf. Krell 2011

(167) Kuro always [isi]; T'wa Sit Shwala mainly [sit], in some dialects [is-]; cf. place name Ishgogo.

(168) Or [ba:s'i]; cf. Koman Mao/Gwama; Oromo word aannan seems to be more usual.

(169) Girma Mengistu: With L.L tone; [?i:Ji] ;with L.H tone means 'honey'.

(170) According to Girma; many different words are recorded.

(171) Cf. Oromo.

(172) [naka-] 'old people'.

(173) Many different words are mentioned; similar meanings.

(174) Only T'wa Sit Shwala.

(175) [alduno] only T'wa Sit Shwala.

(176) Sudan; cf. Krell 2011.

(177) Only Kuro.

(178) Only Shuluyo.

(179) Literally "head of day" or "head of God" (Girma).

(180) Many other words are mentioned both in Seze and Hozo.

(181) Many differnt suggestions.

(182) Many different words; not clear.

(183) Sudan; cf. Krell 2011.

(184) Only Kuro.

(185) [k?w?] 'air' in Gwama; also in use in T'wa Sit Shwala as [kiwil].

(186) Only Kuro; phonetic varieties.

(187) [sa?a]: not married; [pali]: married.

(188) [kikjata] - [tikjata] and other varieties.

(189) [kikjata] 'woman'; [dwa] 'girl'.

(190) Stress on last vowel.

(191) Several cases of labialization in the lowlands; cf. 'mountain'.

(192) Kuro always with [b].

(193) Oromo.

(194) Several short forms like [kw?z?n] or [k?z?n] in the lowlands.

(195) Dialect varieties.

(196) With ejective [k']?.

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