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Habesha is a term Ethiopians and Eritreans use to refer to themselves. Habesha is a term of pride and used to eliminate the distinction between different tribes and celebrate unity as people of the same region.
For example : You ask "Are you habesha?" instead of "Are you Ethiopian/Eritrea?"
by Haben August 04, 2004
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Habesha is a word used to refer to both Eritreans and Ethiopians, or, more specifically, to the Semitic-speaking inhabitants of those countries. The first inscription to refer to "Habesha" is a Sabaean South Arabian inscription ca. 200 AD referring to king GDRT of Aksum (an ancient Kingdom located in modern Ethiopia and Eritrea) as king of the city of Aksum and the "clans of Habesha." As Sabaic and Ge'ez (the ancient language and alphabet of Ethiopia, still used) it was unvocalized, it is written as "'t" (put the dot under the h and the apostrophe on top of the s) and later as vocalized as h.abs'aat (put the dot under the h, apostrophe over the s, and make the two a's a long "a" - meaning an a with a line over it), which evolved into today's Habesha. The term was translated by the famous Christian King Ezana of Aksum in the mid 4th century as "Ethiopia" in Greek, which previously referred to Africa south of Egypt in general, or Nubia (in modern-day Sudan) in particular. The term is not, as commonly assumed, of Arabic origin, but of local Semitic origin. Spurious Arabic etymologies tend to connect the term with the meaning "mixed," on the false assumption that the peoples of the Horn of Africa are the product of African-Arab mixes.

The term was also used by the Turks as "Habesh" or "Habeshistan" to refer to their small territory taken from Ethiopia in 1557, comprising of the port cities of Massawa and Hergigo (Habeshistan also included Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the capital of the province, Suwakin in Sudan, and Aden in Yemen).
Shamir of Dhu-Raydan and Himyar had called in the help of the clans of Habashat for war against the kings of Saba. (ancient Sabaic inscription)

Habesha nesh? (Amharic: Are you habesha? (to a female))
by Ge'ez August 08, 2006
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100% Habeshaz in da room... (100% Eritreans or Ethiopians)
by Senait May 11, 2003
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Habesha is a tribe that's divided into 5 languages which are not mutually intellgible.

The 5 languages of the Habesha tribe are:

Tigre, Tigrinya, Gurage, Amharic & Harrari.

The Habesha tribe initially spoke one language (Ge'ez) but over the centuries of migrating all over modern day Eritrea/Ethiopia, the Habesha developed into a pento-lingual tribe.

Contrary to popular belief, the Habesha are not a "mixed" people or descendents of Sabeean migration to the Horn of Africa.

This outrageous theory was first spread by European "historians" in the 16th century who have done minimal research in order to maintan the Eurocentric view of the world at that (meaning, Africans could not be capable of great accomplishments or glorious history).

That false and outrageous theory became propelled worldwide by the Arab/Muslim world as they were grateful to receive credit for Habesha history freely.

Thankfully, historians of this last decade (2000-2010) have shown that the Habesha are not a "mixed" or Sabeean descendent people and that Semitic languages were spoken by ancient Habesha in modern day Eritrea/northern Ethiopia from at least 2000BC. Centuries before any Sabeean interaction/trade.

The many wars and conflicts of the last 120 years in Eritrea/Ethiopia led to minimal resources for study/research, but once peace has been restored...more of glorious Habesha history will be revealed to the world!
Are you Habesha?


Which languages do you speak?

-I speak Harrari and Gurage. How about you?

I only speak Tigre
by pages July 30, 2011
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Habesha, is frequently used to refer to all Ethiopians and Eritreans, refers more specifically to the Semitic-speaking peoples of those countries. It is sometimes used to refer to just the two politically dominant Semitic-speaking Amhara and Tigray-Tigrinya ethnic groups of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Habesha speak Semitic languages, but they intermarried and absorbed the surrounding indigenous Cushitic-speaking peoples to a great extent. While Habeshas,are often though to be "Semitic," this term (as well as the term Cushitic) is merely a linguistic one, and has no bearing on ethnicity. However, according to some Ethiopian sources,the name "Habesha," is a synonym for dibilliq ("mixed"), referring to the hybrid mixture of Semites from Yemen with the indigenous "Hamitic" (ie, Cushitic) peoples, and is thus explained as Ham "-be-" (with) Shem.
Both the Amharic and Tigrinya languages are descended from the ancient Ge'ez.
According to tradition, the Habesha, people also trace their roots back to Menelik I who was the son of the Queen of Sheba and King Solomon, whose lineage historically gave kings a divine right to rule.
habesha =amhara,tigray and Eritreans
by Hose binyam August 22, 2006
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Habesha is an old arabic word in reference to the dark-skinned people of the Horn of Africa. Confusingly associated with those influenced by the Aksumite Empire of Eritrea and Ethiopia, it is actually more closely related to the Abyssinian Kingdom. The Abyssinian Kingdom was an empire similar in size to modern Ethiopia, though it had uneasy relations with the northern peoples of the Horn, including todays Sudanese and Eritrea.
Are you habesha? (in lieu of "Are you Ethiopian?")
by Merhawie Woldezion October 20, 2005
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Habesha is a term currently used by many Eritreans and Ethiopians to identify them selves. Habesh is a term frequently used by Sudanese people to refer to Eritreans and Ethiopians. Centuries ago the present Eritrea used to be called Habeshistan. Visitors to the area noticed the differences in life style and looks between the Nubians (Sudanese) and Habeshans (Eritreans). While the Nubians were nomads with dark black color, the habeshans were mostly pastoralists with the color of their face looking like a sun burn. The term habesha came from abyss which implies burned faces. One may ask why people from current Ethiopia refer to them selves as habeshans or Abyssinians. Good Question! During the old times it was impossible for visitors to go all the way to Ethiopia due to the harsh terrains of the area and those hostile inhabitants. As was the case in many parts of Africa visitors just referred everything around present Eritrea and beyond as Abyssinia or habesha per se.
1)Please refer to old maps and memos for Habesha
2) Aksumite Kingdom - the kingdom of present Eritrea and Tigrai .....
by Tom Bass April 21, 2006
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