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Shanqella (Ge'ez: ሻንቅላ šānḳillā sometimes spelled Shankella, Shangella, Shánkala, Shankalla or Shangalla) is an exonym for a number of ethnic groups that today reside primarily in the westernmost part of Ethiopia near South Sudan (especially Benishangul-Gumuz Region), but are known to have also inhabited more northerly areas until the late nineteenth century.[1] A pejorative, the term was traditionally used by the local Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations to refer to "Negro" persons generally, particularly those from communities speaking Nilo-Saharan languages. The etymology of Shanqella is uncertain. It has been suggested that the appellation may stem from an Amharic epithet meaning "black". However, it is likely that the term is instead of more ancient, Agaw derivation given the Agaw substratum in the Amharic language.[2][3]


  1. ^ Swainson Fisher, Richard (1852). The book of the world, Volume 2. Retrieved 17 May 2016.
  2. ^ Lipsky, George Arthur (1962). Ethiopia: Its People, Its Society, Its Culture, Volume 9. Hraf Press. p. 36. Retrieved 16 May 2016.
  3. ^ Smidt 2010, p. 525.


  • Smidt, Wolbert (2010), "Šanqəlla", in Uhlig, Siegbert, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica, 4, pp. 525–527

Further reading

  • Wikisource Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Shangalla". Encyclopædia Britannica. 24 (11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. p. 24.
  • Deane, John Bathurst (1833), "Chapter VII", Worship of the Serpent, pp. 427 and 437
  • Harley, Timothy (1885), "Chapter III", Moon Lore, pp. 113–114
  • Malthus, Thomas (1826), "Chapter VIII ¶ 8 (polygamy among the Shangalla) and ¶ 22 (premature aging)", An Essay on the Principle of Population, London: John Murray
  • Microsoft Encarta staff (1994), "Ethiopia", Encarta, University of Pennsylvania (republisher)
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