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Al-Masudi, a tenth-century Gulf Arab traveler to the region, described Habesha country in his geographical work The Meadows of Gold. Zaylaʿ, a town on the coast of the Red Sea, is a very populous commercial center... Opposite al-Yaman there is also a big town, which is the sea-port from which the Habasha crossed the sea to al-Yaman, and nearby is the island of ʿAql." By the end of the 8th century, most of the prominent Yemeni kingdoms ended and areas they once controlled were under foreign occupation.He wrote that "the chief town of the Habasha is called Kuʿbar, which is a large town and the residence of the Najashi (nagassi; king), whose empire extends to the coasts opposite the Yemen, and possesses such towns as Zayla, Dahlak and Nasi." Al-Harrani, another Gulf Arab traveler, also asserted in 1295 CE that "one of the greatest and best-known towns is Kaʿbar, which is the royal town of the najashi . Yemen’s turbulence, coupled with its ecological volatility likely shifted the international trade of incense from South Arabia to the Horn region.
When Portuguese missionaries arrived in the interior of what is present-day Ethiopia in the early 16th century CE, they took the altered word Abesha (without the letter “H” beginning) which is used by Amharic speakers and subsequently Latinized it to Abassia, Abassinos, ; Abessina and finally into Abyssinia.
), also known as Habesha, are a panethnicity inhabiting the Horn of Africa.
They include a few linguistically and culturally related ethnic groups in the Eritrean Highlands and Ethiopian Highlands.
The Amharic, Argobba, Harari and Gurage tongues spoken in central Ethiopia are characterized by an Eastern Sidamo or Highland East Cushitic substratum, as well as Oromo and Somali influences.
Overall, the linguistic impact of the Cushitic languages is more marked toward the south.