Ethiopia was the last strong hold of slavery. Slavery and slave trade were abolished by the active intervention of the British in the middle of 18th century. However the institution of slavery and slave trade continued in the eastern part of Africa until the middle of 19th century. The objective of this paper is to show the institutional feature of slavery in Ethiopia in general and the historical kingdom of Jimma in particular. The paper as a historical study attempted to explain the legal position of slaves in the Ethiopian traditional code. It also described the system of slave acquisition with a particular emphasis on the Kingdom of Jimma and the work and trade of slaves not only in Jimma but also in the country. At the end, the paper provides the efforts of Ethiopian monarchs in abolishing slavery in Ethiopia.
Key words: Slavery, slave trade, Jimma, Ethiopia, Africa.