Gallas ("invaders"), a race inhabiting the south and east of Abyssinia. "The general name by which the tribes designate themselves is Oroma (orma, men). Although generally belonging to the negro race; they are not purely negroes, but form with the Fulahs, Mandingoes, and Nubas, as it were, the transition to the Shemitic variety and seem to belong to that great family inhabiting the east of Africa, from the frontiers of the Cape land to Abyssinia, and usually denominated the Kafirs. They are a vigorous, well- formed people of a dark-brown color, with hair frizzled, but not quite woolly, round faces, and small, sharp eyes, and are distinguished not less by their energy and warlike spirit than by their mental capacities. They first appear in history in the 16th century as a barbarous people, extending their conquests from the interior of Africa, laying waste, by constant incursions, the countries of Eastern Africa to the mountains of Abyssinia, gradually subduing or expelling the original inhabitants (hence their name), occupying great part of Abyssinia, and advancing as far as the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden. It is only of late years that their power in Abyssinia, and their incursions into that country, have been partially checked, chiefly by the vigorous government of the king of Shoa, who has subdued some of the Gallas tribes, and induced them to profess such Christianity as exists in Abyssinia. hey still, however, occupy many districts of Abyssinia, and extend their power to an indefinite extent over the countries situated south and southwest of it. Politically, the Gallas do not form a single nation. but are divided into numerous tribes, forming separate kingdoms and states, which are frequently at war with each other. Most of the Gallas follow pastoral avocations. Some, however, through intercourse with the semi- Christian, semi-civilized Abyssinians, have become tillers of the soil. The wandering Gallas are mainly engaged in hunting andl the slavetrade. The larger number of the Gallas are still heathens, though Mohammedanism has lately made great progress among them. Their religion bears a resemblance to that of the Kafirs." Compare Jomard, Notices sur es Gallas (Paris, 1839); Beke, On the Origin of the Gallas (London, 1848); Plowden, Abyssinia and the Gall is Country (London, 1868). Behm (Geograph.
Jahrbuch, volume 1, Gotha, 1864) assigns to the Gallas a territory of about 280,000 sq. miles and 7,000,000 people. The Roman Catholic Church has a mission among the Gallas, which in 1841 was erected into a vicariate apostolic. The letters of the vicar apostolic, Massaja, in the Annales de la Propagat. de Foi, are along the chief sources of our information on the Gallas. Massaja was the founder of the mission, and was in 1869 still at its head. (A.J.S.)