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GAFAT

The original country of the Gafat lies south of the Abay (Blue Nile) River adjoining the old kingdom of Damot. It is not clear from the scanty records in Ethiopian chronicles whether the Gafat “ tribes” formed a “state” or “kingdom,” but the province or tribal district was apparently under the political hegemony of Prester John (Lebna Dengel 1508-1540), presumably because the Gafat mountains provided a rich source of gold (Crawford, 1958: 105). In the sixteenth century the Gafat were driven across the Abay by invading Galla, who eventually settled permanently along the river course and founded the Kingdom of Bizamo (Beckingham and Huntingford, 1954:18, 36). A century later Almeida (ibid: 18) reported some intermarriage between the Galla and the “Gafates.”