The Damot kingdom was a powerful and prosperous African kingdom that ruled for over 200 years. Located in what is today Ethiopia, the kingdom of Damot was one of the most influential political entities that emerged during Africa’s “era of kingdoms” from the 14th to 19th centuries. The ruling dynasty was believed to have been founded by two brothers and traced its lineage through ten ruling families.
The people who resided within the boundaries of this great realm were known as Oromo or Wolamo as they referred to themselves, and their language was called Afaan Oromo. It is believed that this varied and cosmopolitan population used multiple languages to communicate including Amharic, Tigre, Agaw, Somali and Gurage.
Damot’s economy was based primarily on agriculture with their primary crops being barley and wheat which were later supplemented with tea cultivation during the 19th century. The wealth generated from trading these products helped foster economic expansion and boost local agriculture related businesses like blacksmithing for tools and animal husbandry for food production. This growth resulted in artistic development, revered monuments such as stelae found throughout the region are evidence of monumental religious structures from this time period
Despite such prosperity, this mighty empire experienced numerous wars with neighboring Axumite forces resulting in oscillations in territorial holdings. It reached its peak during the 16th century when it had extended its control even further down into modern day Eritrea before suffering a decline brought about by periodic droughts, infighting between rival claimants to power, disruptive famines and external military pressure brought by neighboring forces.
The Damot kingdom finally collapsed due to foreign intervention which greatly weakened its strength after ancient European empires like Spain trying to colonize Ethiopia began to play a major role in how politics were conducted within this ancient indigenous African nation. While not completely erased from history books thanks to various archaeological sites found across modern day Ethiopia where evidence of their existence still remains today, no one can deny that Damot was a major political entity once active in Africa's "era of kingdoms."