Kingdom of Gumma

Kingdom of Gumma

Part of Ethiopian Empire (1885-1899)

c. 1770–1902

Not specified

Sunni Islam



c. 1770

Separatist Government

Annexed by Ethiopian Empire

Succeeded by

Ethiopian Empire

The Kingdom of Gumma was one of the kingdoms in the Gibe region of Ethiopia that emerged in the 18th century. Its eastern border was formed by the bend of the Didessa River, which separated it from (proceeding downstream to upstream) Limmu-Ennarea to the northeast, and the kingdoms of Gomma and Gera to the south. Beyond its northern border were various Macha Oromo groups, and to the west Sidamo groups. Its territory corresponds approximately with the modern woredas of Gechi and Didessa.
This former kingdom was mostly located on a plateau with an average elevation of 6500 feet, and had a population estimated in 1880 of about 50,000. Its inhabitants had a reputation as warriors.[1] Beckingham and Huntingford considered Gumma, along with Gomma, was the least economically developed of the Gibe kingdoms; however Mohamed Hassen notes that, with the exception of the northern and western boundaries where constant raiding by her neighbors, the Arjo in the north and the Nonno in the west, forced those living in those parts to embrace pastoralism, the land was intensively farmed and grew many of the same crops as the other Gibe kingdoms — sorghum, wheat, barley and cotton — except for coffee.[2]
The latest kings of Gumma traced their origin to a man called Adam. Around 1770, he came to live in the area, and is said to have then helped in the deposition of the last king of the previous dynasty, Sarborada. The historian Mohammed Hassen, in discussing this tradition, suggests this tradition about Adam “was invented so as to Islamize the original founder of the dynasty.”[3]
King Jawe was converted to Islam by merchants from Shewa and Begemder, and in turn he imposed his religious faith upon his subjects.[4]
In 1882, King Abba Jubir of Gumma convinced the kings of Ennerea, Gomma and Jimma to form a confederacy known as the “Muslim League”, to counter the threat from some of the Macha Oromo, who in turn formed their own alliance, the “League of the Four Oromo”. At first the Muslim League had little success against this threat, for the other members did not support Abba Jubir against the Macha, until his eld