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People and Ethnic Groups

Ethiopia's population is highly diverse. Most of its people speak a Semitic or Cushitic language. The Oromo, Amhara, and Tigreans make up more than three-fourths of the population, but there are more than 80 different ethnic groups with their own distinct languages within Ethiopia. Some of these have as few as 10,000 members. In general, most of the Christians live in the highlands, while Muslims and adherents of traditional African religions tend to inhabit lowland regions. English is the most widely spoken foreign language and is taught in all secondary schools. Amharic is the official language and was the language of primary school instruction but has been replaced in many areas by local languages such as Oromifa and Tigrinya.

Surma

Surma is the Ethiopian government's collective name for the Suri, the Mursi and the Me'en with a total population of 186,875. All three groups speak languages of the southeast branch of the Surmic language cluster. Some have used the terms

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Tsamai people

The Tsamai people (also spelled Tsemay, Tsamay, Tsemai, Tsamako, or Tsamakko) are an ethnic group of southwestern Ethiopia. They speak an East Cushitic language called Tsamai, which is one of the Dullay languages, and thus related to the

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Gumuz

Gumuz (also spelled Gumaz) is an ethnic group living in the Benishangul-Gumuz Region and the Qwara woreda of Ethiopia, as well as the Fazogli region of Sudan; they number about 200,000. In the past, they have been lumped with other peoples living along the

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Afar people

The Afar (Afar alphabet Qafár, Feera ዐፋር ʿāfār, Arabic: عفار‎, Amh. translit. āfār, also spelled አፋር) are an ethnic group in the Horn of Africa who reside principally in the Danakil Desert in the Afar Region of Ethiopia, as well as in Eritrea and Djibouti.

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