Selassie's father was paternally Oromo but maternally Amhara. The Emperor's mother was maternally of Gurage descent.
Haile Selassie, originally Lij Tafari Makonnen, was born on July 23, 1892, in Ejersa Gora, Ethiopia (the Ethiopian Empire at the time). He was the only surviving son of all legitimate children of Ras Makonnen Wolde Mikael, the governor of Harar and chief adviser to Emperor Menelik II. Selassie's mother was Woizero (equivalent to "Lady") Yeshimebet Ali Abba Jifar, daughter of Dejazmach Ali Abba Jifar, a renowned ruler of Wollo province.
Haile Selassie was direct descent from Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, and King Solomon of ancient Israel, though his paternal grandmother, Woizero Tenagnework Sahle Selassie, was aunt of Emperor Menelik II and the daughter of Negus Sahle Selassie, Amhara King of Shewa.