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  Names of families and tribes
Sundstrom, Richard

(The J is pronounced as i in Swedish, in Sundstroms language)

AD HABTES: One of the three Habab tribes, Ad Habtes, Ad Tekles and Ad Temariam. In former times migrated a man, from Adi Nefas a village in Hamassien, one hour North East of Asmara. *
And having passed by the Mensa territories he came with his men to a rora, highland, which he called Rora Asgede i.e. the highland of Asgede = Habab.
Asgede had a son by the name Mafles, after whom the three tribes of Habab are called the three Mafles.
To Mafles three sons were born: Habtes, Tekles and Abib. The first born of the sons of Abib was Temariam. The descendants og Habtes, Tekles and Temariam are now called Ad Habtes, Ad Tekles and Ad Temariam. Colloquially Habab is equal to Ad Habtes.
Whether the name Habab is the original one given by the ascendants of Asgede is not yet certain.

* Some say it was Asgede himself who migrated, others say it was his son Mefles.

Ad HABAJ (Geez Habey) is originally ZAWRA (Saora) living with the Ad Sawarjam. But their ancestor HABOY left once the territories of AD TEMARJANA and came to the Mensas. Here he joined himself to a nobleman SAMARALUL and became his bondsman (Tigre) and his descendants after him. They give tribute entirely as tigre, bondsmen. They live now at GHELEB and MEHLAB.

AD LAWAJ (Geez Leway): In the genealogy of the Mensas is the seventh from MANZU called SARAQE – ZANGAB. He begat two sons: HAFAROM and LAWAJ. The descendants of Haferom are the Ad Haferom at ZALALE. Of Lawaj are the Ad Lawaj, which is divided into AD GABRES, AD AJLAJ (Aylay), and AD BULA at ZELALE. These three Ads together with the Ad Haferom and BET ABBASA form the BET ABRAHE.

AD THIMRUGA (Geez Timkaga?): derive their origin from a tribe by AZANABARA, which tribe, at the time of the immigration of ZERA – BRUK, lived in the regions of Anseba, north of Keren where the tribe of BET JUK, the descendants of ZARI – BRUK, now live. They belong to the AD GABRES and live at ZELALE but are not fully regarded as bondsmen and therefore do not give full tribute to their noblemen. They give not GSLZA, the name of butter as tribute.

AD HARISH: members of this family live at HALHAL and at the villages of Anseba. They are not tigre, bondsmen.

AD HASHALA: Hashala, Aibai and Jagin were sons of TASFATJOU, a Mensa man. His descendants are called AD HASHALA, AD AJLAJ and AD JAGIN. But all together form now the AD AJLAJ.

AD HISHAL: a family of this is to be found at MEHLAB BET SHAHAQAN. Another lives at GHELEB, BET ABREHE and belongs to AD GABRES.

AD HADEMBES: live in KARAU village near Keren.

AD HAFEROM: of Ad Jawaj. The chieftaincy belongs now to this family.

AD MEHARI: The ancestor of this family is the forenamed Lawaj. One of his sons was Mehari. They live in Geleb and give the ordinary tribute with Ad Bula.

AD SAWRA: a part of the Ad Gabres.

AD SOTALAJ (Geez Soteley): live together with the Ad Harish and Halhal.

AD SA’ADA: Saadya was a harlot in the Ad Temariam.

AD SHUMA: is part of the ZAWRA and their village is GUMHOT, north of Ginda’.

AD SHUBOT: they are BILEN and live in ONA, near Keren.

AD KEDRASH: They are Zawra. Their ancestor was called AB ADEM and he joined himself voluntarily to ASME’E, son of Haferom, cf. above. Asme’e’s descendants are called AD ASME’E and form a part of Ad Haferom. Afterwards Ad Asme’e sold a part of them to chief Tedros AD GABRASI, a second part to KAMAL, Ad Haferom, and a third part to HASHALA, AD AJLAJ. Now they are to be found both at Geleb and Mehlab.

AD BULA: Their ancestor is LAWAJ, cf above. They form one of the five head families of Bet Abrehe (Geleb) and have their own leader (sotto capo).

AD BORHANU (Geez Berhanu): They are Bilen and their village FARAZARIB is situated near Keren at the way between Geleb and Karau.

AD TEMARIAM: cf above. Their head village is AF ABUD, north of Mensa. They have no chieftaindom, because their chief has not been nominated installed by the emperor.

AD TEKLES: cf above Ad Habtes. Their territory is RORA MARJAN AD EKUD to the west, and Rora Asgede to the east and is traversed by Anseba. Their head village is ADE ATBA. As Ad Temariam they have no chieftaindom which belongs to Ad Habtes.

AD NASHIH: or Ad Kentibay Nashih, is part of Ad Tekles.

AD NAIB ETMAN: Belongs to the Belew and live at Arkiko. Their ancestor is said to have come from the Barka lowlands.

AD AMIR MUSA: are relatives of the Ad Naib Etman and live together with the LAWHASJ cf above.

AD ASME’E: cf above Ad Kadrash.

AD ABRAHIM: Their ancestor is a certain SHAK MAHAMUD. They live at ‘ASUS, DAKANO (Archico, from Hargigo) and ZELA (i.e. Zula). Their relations are the AD MA’ALLOM living with the Ad Temariam at AF – ABAD.

AD KARER (Geez Kereir) is really not a name of a special family or tribe but now only the name of the northern part of the Mensa lowlands. The southern part is called AD ZAWLAJ. (Why they are so called I have not been able to find.)

AD KOROSH (Geez Krosh): forms a part of the Ad Temariam. This ancestor is said to be a certain KEROSH, who, together with Mafles, immigrated to the Habab. Their relations is the AD ZEN in Hamassien.

AD KEKYA: is Balaw and relations of the AD NAIB ETMAN. They are now nomads, but their head village is Dakano (Archico).

AD AMMAR (Geez Emar): is tigre belonging to the Ad Haferom and live at Geleb but derive their origin from Habab.

AD AMR SHURUF: is tigre belonging to the AD AJLAJ. They form a part of the AD DOBA’AT which lives at Geleb. The Ad Doba’at is said to have come from the other side of the frontier i.e. the English Territory, where their relatives still live.

AD ERET: 1, is part of the Ad Hashala at Geleb. 2, a part of the Ad Hashal at Mehlab (Bet Shahaqan).

AD ABDAL KERIM: is part of the AD NAIB ETMAN and live in Dakhano.

AD ANDALOJ (Geez Andeloy): is the name of Ad Gabres and Ad Ajlaj together. Their ancestor was ANDALOJ a descendant of LAWAJ cf above, AD LAWAJ.

AD AJLAJ (Geez Ailay): one of the five head families of Bet Abrehe at Geleb.

AD ZEMAT: Bilen who live in Anseba from Keren towards Hamassien.

AD ZAWLAJ (Geez Zawlay): Their ancestor is said to have migrated from Zager, a village in Hamassien, and their relations live there still. They are tigre and are to be found in the Bet Shahaqan and in the territories of Ad Zemat especially.

AD DOBLOJ (Geez Dubloy): are the near relations of the Ad Haferom (Bet Abrahe) for Haferom begat KAMEL and Kamel begat DOBLOJ, whose descendants are the Ad Debloj.
They were brave but bullying and truculent and killed not few of their “brothers” of the Ad Haferom, stole the chieftaindom which Ad Haferom once received together with the chieftaincy from emperor Fasil, and sold it to the Bet Shahaqen.
On account of their evil deeds first chief EQBAMKAL punished them by killing some of them and furthermore banished them.
Later on, KAMAL (not the afornamed, but one who lived about 80 years ago) banished them too. Some of them fled then to Hamassien and some to the Ad Temariam.
About ten years ago some few returned from Hamassien into the Mensa territory and live now at Geleb and pay tribute with the Ad Haferom. Dabloj probably from Amharic DABOL = the young of beasts of prey.

AD DEBRE SINA: Debre Sina is a mountain with a convent and a village. It is east of Keren: The villagers are not a special family or tribe, but are people from different tribes and families and villages in the Hamassien. Some of them belong to the Ad Dabloj and are called AD SHUM DAHAN.

AD DANASH: forms a part of Ad Temariam.

AD DAYEN: are tigre and live with Ad Habtes at Naqfa.

AD FAR: nothing written

AD GEMIL: are tigre and live with Ad Habtes at Naqfa.

AD GEME’ (Geez GemeE): forms a part of the Ad Tekles.

AD GERGIS: forms a part of the Ad Habtes at Naqfa.

AD GEBRES: are one of the five head families of Bet Abrehe at ZALALE cf. above Ad Lawaj.

BET HELAL: a tribe in the north of Colonia Eritrea.

BET HARRAN: Ad Mehari cf. above.

BET MA’AMEN: Adi Na’amin, a village in Anseba valley towards Hamassien.

BET SHAHAQEN: a part of the Mensa people cf. below, Mensa.

BET TA’AWQUE: or Bet Tawqe. Though not originally Bilen they are called so, because they are living together with the Belen people, learned to speak the Belen language. They live in the regions north of Keren from the pass ZABBAB up to Halhal.

BET ASGEDE: cf. above Ad Habtes. The three tribes, Ad Habtes, Ad Tekles and Ad Temariam are called Bet Asgede after their ancestor Asgede.

BET ABREHE: a part of the Mensa people. Cf. below Mensa.

BET ABBAZA (Geez Abeza): a small family in the Mensa, Bet Abrehe. Though not in reality a part of the Bet Abrehe it is colloquially counted with it.
They have now their “sotto Capo”, who collects the tribute and gives it to the “Kantabay” = chief. Cf. below, Mensa.

BET AB-GALAJ (Geez Ab Gelai): a nearly extince family in Mensa. Having been shemagelle QATIN, they became tigre, bondsmen, because of the deed of DASIT son of GABRAL.
Some of them belong to the Ad Gabres and some to the Ad AJLAJ. Some few are to be found at Mehlab Bet Shahaqen. Cf. below, Mensa.

BET ATKAME (Geez Atkeme): a part of Ad Temariam.

BET DJUK (Geez Bet Juk): Bet Afre Bruk. Chief Zera Bruk immigrated from Kandebba, (not from Wakki) in Hamassien and settled down in Anseba north of Keren. His descendants are the Bet Djuk and their head village is WASENTAT.

BET ARBAJ (Geez Aarbay): regarding their relationships to the Mensa, see cf. below, Mensa.

Source: Carolina Redeviva Library, Uppsala - Sweden