Gabra people

The Gabbra or Gabra are an ethnic group in the Chalbi desert in northern Kenya and southern Ethiopia in living traditionally as camel nomads. Their population was estimated in the 1970s to around 30,000.

They spoke well initially, as well as the precursors of the Rendille, Sakuye and Garre, a somaloide language that was probably similar to the modern Rendille. But since the expansion of the Oromo in the 16th century it came under the influence of the Borana Oromo and speak their dialect of Oromo today.

With the neighboring Borana and Rendille the Gabbra are connected by complex relationships. Nevertheless, there are also conflicts between these groups to cattle rustling and scarce resources.


  • Günther Schlee: Interethnic Clan Identities among Cushitic -Speaking Pastoralists. In: Africa. Journal of the International African Institute. Vol 55, No. 1, 1985, ISSN 0001-9720, pp. 17-38.
  • Muchemi Wachira: Neither Ethiopian Kenyan standards, Just Gabra, Garre Or Borana. In: The East African. August 31, 2009,
  • Ethnic group in Ethiopia
  • Ethnic group in Kenya
  • Oromo