A History of Hirna Town from Its Foundation Up to 1991

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Addis Ababa University


The thesis tries to reconstruct the social, economic, administrative, religious, institutional, and population history of Hirna town focusing on the period between 1924 and 1991. Hirna grew from a caravan route resting place into a market site and then into a small town following the appointment of Fitawrari Takla Hawariyat over C;arrar in 1924. Therefore, Hirna also grew from one ethnic group into a settlement of multi-ethnic and linguistic groups. From 1941-1974 there was a significant social change in Hirna mainly following the construction of a hard surface trunk road that crossed Hirna into Harar and Dire Dawa. From 1974-1991 Hirna grew with more social changes due to its strategic locatioll at a crossroad. This created a good opportunity for the jlow of the multi-ethnic groups into Hirna. The caravan merchants rested to Hirna when they traded between Harar and Sawa. When Takla Hawariyat planted a market in Hirna the area continued to serve as a point of exchange mostly originating out of Hirna around Burqa, Doba, Masala and Galeli. Hirna then developed into the center of cash crops (khat and cojJee). Economic change in the town started to jlourish following the establishment of private and government organizations in Hirna. This economic change and growth of production in and outside Hirna hastened the process of urbanism in the town. After the conquest of Dajazmac Walda Gabrel a new administrative ;ystem was arranged in which the nafiana replaced the local Itu traditional administrative system called Gada system. In 1923, Fitawrari Takla Hawariyat adopted new administrative regulation called Ya C;art;:iir Danb (The . Administrative Regulation of C;iirrar) and implemented in Hirna. Hirna continued to serve as the administrative center of Tullo until recently. Religious life of the people in Hirna included waqeejJanna, Islam, Ethiopian Orthodoxy and Protestant believers. WaqeejJanna was the earliest religion of Hirna followed by Islam and Ethiopian Orthodoxy. Protestant religion was introduced to Hirna much more recently. The formation and introduction of service sectors in Hirna had also a long history mainly after the restoration of the imperial power and consolidated with the coming of Darg to power. Institutionally, the formation of idirs, iqubs and maradaja mahbars dated back in the early formation of Hirna as a town. The population of Hirna formed relationships and networking through the above institutions that played an important role to consolidate the harmonious life in the town. The relationships among the people of Hi rna is said to be strongfor the period of discussion of this thesis.



History of Hirna