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Oromia: Knoweldge and Society: Mammaaksa Oromoo March 4, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer, Afaan Oromoo, African Literature, Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Culture, Cushtic, Indigenous People, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Khemetic Africa's culture, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Art, Oromo Literature, Oromo Wisdom, Uncategorized.
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OOromianEconomist
True Knowledge is wisdom.  The Oromo value wisdom to the highest degree: ‘Rather than to be kissed  by foolish man, I prefer to slapped by  a wise man.’ How is true knowledge acquired?  The Oromo proverbs  answers: By inference, by study, through suffering, by moulding another person, by heart. ‘  One who does not  understand  an inference  will never  understand  the thing as it is.. …  But the great school of knowledge is  experience, long life and old age. … The Oromo proverb  offers  no definition of  knowledge; they are not interested so much in nature of knowledge  as the type of knowledge  they propose  as  a model for  man-in-society, and  it is clearly  a knowledge  obtained through  experience through proximity  to the object, as ‘the calf  is known by the enclosure to have become a bull.’ See  Claud Summer, Ph.D., Dr.h.c (1995), Oromo Wisdom Literature,  Volume I , Proverbs Collection and Analysis.

Makmaaksa Oromoo (Oromo proverbs):

Abba hin qabdu akaakyuuf boochi
Abbaa iyyu malee ollaan namaa hin birmatu
Abbaan damma nyaateef ilma hafaan hin mi’aawu
Abbaatu of mara jedhe bofti hantuuta liqimsee
Abjuun bara beelaa buddeena abjoota
Addaggeen hamma lafa irra ejjettu nama irra ejjetti
Afaan dubbii bare bulluqa alanfata
Afaan gaariin afaa gaarii caala
Afaanii bahee gooftaa namaa ta’a
Akka madaa qubaa, yaadni garaa guba
Akka abalun sirbaan boquu nama jallisa
Akkuma cabannitti okkolu
Akukkuun yeroo argate dhakaa cabsa
Alanfadhuuti gara fira keetti garagalii liqimsi
ama of komatu namni hin komatu
Amartiin namaa hin taane quba namaa hin uriin
Ana haa nyaatuun beela hin baasu
Ani hin hanbifne, ati hin qalbifne
arrabni lafee hin qabdu lafee nama cabsiti
Asiin dhihoon karaa nama busha
“Aseennaa natu dide, kennaa warratu dide otoo nabutanii maal ta’a laata”,jette intalli haftuun
Badduun fira ishee yoo hamattee, baddubaatuun niiti ishee hamatti
Bakkka oolan irra bakka bulan wayya
Bakka kufte osoo hin taane, bakka mucucaatte bari
Balaliitee balaliite allaattiin lafa hin hanqattu

Bara bofti nama nyaate lootuun nama kajeelti!!
Bara dhibee bishaan muka namatti yaaba
Bara fuggisoo harreen gara mana, sareen gara margaa
Barri gangalata fardaati
Beekaan namaa afaan cufata malee hulaa hin cufatu
Biddeena nama quubsu eelee irratti beeku
Billaachi otoo ofii hin uffatiin dhakaatti uffisti
Bishaan gu’a gahe nama hin nyaatiin, namni du’a gahe si hin abaariin
Bishaan maaltu goosa jennaan waan achi keessa jiru gaafadhu jedhe
Bishingaan otoo gubattuu kofalti
Boru hin beekneen qad-bukoon ishee lama
Boftii fi raachi hanga ganni darbutti wal faana jiraattu
Bulbuluma bulbuli hangan dhugu anuu beeka
Buna lubbuuf xaaxa’u warri naa tolii kadhatu
Cabsituun tulluu amaaraatiin giraancee jetti
Citaan tokko luqqaasaniif manni hin dhimmisu
Dabeessa uleen (jirmi) shani
Daddaftee na dhungateef dhirsa naa hin taatu jette sanyoon
Dawaa ofii beekan namaa kudhaamu
Deegan malee waqayyo hin beekani
dhalli namaa otoo nyaattu diida laalti
Dhirsi hamaan maaf hin nyaatiin jedha niitii dhaan
Dhirsaa fi niitiin muka tokko irraa muramu
Dugda hin dhungatan, hunda hin dubbatani
Durbaa fi jiboota garaa gogaa lenjisu
Iyyuuf bakkeen naguma, dhiisuuf laphee na guba
Dhuufuun waliin mari’atanii dhuufan hin ajooftu
Diimina haaduun nyaatani,diimaa arrabaan nyaatu
Dinnichi bakka gobbitetti hordaa cabsiti
Doqnaa fi garbuu sukkuumanii nyaatu
Du’aan dhuufaa jennaan kan bokoke dhiisaa jedhe
Dubbii baha hin dhorkani galma malee
Dubbii jaarsaa ganama didanii galgala itti deebi’ani
Duulli biyya wajjinii godaansa
Eeboo darbatanii jinfuu hin qabatani
Edda waraabessi darbee sareen dutti
Fagaatan malee mi’aa biyyaa hin beekani
Farda kophaa fiiguu fi nama kophaa himatu hin amaniin
Firri gara firaa jennaan kal’een gara loonii jette
Foon lafa jira allaatti samii irraa wal lolti
foon lakkayi jennaan rajijjin tokko jedhe
fokkisaan nama qabata malee nama hin kadhatu
Fuula na tolchi beekumsi ollaa irraa argamaa jette intalli
Gaangeen abbaan kee eenyu jennaan eessumni koo farda jette
Gaangoonn haada kutte jennaan oftti jabeessite jedhani
Gabaan fira dhaba malee nama dhabinsa hin iyyitu
Galaanni bakka bulu hin beekne dhakaa gangalchee deema
Gaalli yoom bade jennaan, gaafa morma dheeratu bade

Gama sanaa garbuun biile (asheete) jennan warra sodaanne malee yoom argaa dhabne jedhe  jaldeessi
Gamna gowomsuun jibba dabalachuu dha
Ganaman bahani waaqa jalaahin bahani
Gara barii ni dukkanaa’a
Garaa dhiibuu irra miila dhiibuu wayya
Garbittii lubbuuf walii gadi kaattu, warri qophinaafi se’u
Jaalalli allaatti gara raqaatti nama geessa
Gaashatti dhuufuun daalattii dha
Gogaa duugduun yoo dadhabdu saree arisaa kaati
Gola waaqayyoo itti nama hidhe lookoo malee ijaajju
Goomattuuf goommanni hin margu
Goondaan walqabattee laga ceeti
Gowwaa wajjin hin haasa’iin bakka maleetti sitti odeessa, karaa jaldeesaa hin hordofiin halayyaa nama geessa
Gowwaan ballessaa isaa irraa barat, gamni balleessaa gowwaa irraa barata
Gowwaan bishaan keessa ijaajjee dheebota
Gowwaan gaafa deege nagada
Gubattee hin agarre ibiddatti gamti
Guulaa hin bitiin jiilaa biti
Gowwaa kofalchiisanii, ilkee lakawu
Gowwaa fi bishaan gara itti jallisan deemu
Haadha gabaabduu ijoolleen hiriyaa seeti
haadha laalii intala fuudhi
Haadha yoo garaa beekan ilmoo jalaa qabani
Halagaa ilkaan adii, halangaan isaa sadi
Hanqaaquu keessa huuba barbaada
Haati ballaa (suuloo) ya bakkalcha koo jetti
Haa hafuun biyya abbaa ofiitti nama hanbisa
Haati hattuun intala hin amantu
Haati hattuun intala hin amantu
Haati kee bareeddi jennaan, karaa kana dhufti eegi jedhe
Habbuuqqaa guddinaaf hin quufani
Hagu dhiba jette sareen foksoo nyaatte
Hagu dhiba jette sareen foksoo nyaattee
Halagaa gaafa kolfaa fira gaafa golfaa

Hantuunni hadha ishee jalatti gumbii uruu bartii

Harka namaatiin ibidda qabaa hin sodaatani
Harki dabaruu wal dhiqxi
Harkaan Gudunfanii, Ilkaaniin Hiikkaa Dhaqu
Harree ganama badee, galgala kur-kuriin hin argitu
Harree hin qabnu, waraabessa wajjin wal hin lollu
Kan harree hin qabne farda tuffata
Harreen nyaattu na nyaadhu malee bishaan ol hin yaa’u jette waraabessaan
Harreen yoo alaaktu malee yoo dhuuftu hin beektu
Hidda malee xannachi hin dhiigu
Hidda mukaa lolaan baaseetu, hidda dubbii farshoo (jimaa)n baase
Hidhaa yoo tolcha, gadi garagalchanii baatu

hin guddattuu jennaan baratu dhumee jedhe
Hiriyaa malee dhaqanii gaggeessaa malee galu
hiyyeessaf hin qalani kan qalame nyaata
Hoodhu jennaan diddeetu lafa keenyaan hatte
Hoolaan abbaa abdatte, diboo duuba bulchiti
Hoolaan gaafa morma kutan samii(waaqa) arkiti
Ija laafettiin durbaa obboleessaf dhalti
Ijoollee bara quufaa munneen ibidda afuufa
Ijoollee hamtuun yoo nyaataaf waaman ergaaf na waamu jettee diddi
Ijoolleen abaa ishee dabeessa hin seetu
Ijoolleen quufne hin jett, garaatu na dhukube jetti malee
Ijoolleen quufne hin jettu beerri fayyaa bulle hin jettu
Ijoolleen niitii fuute gaafa quuftu galchiti
Ijoollee qananii fi farshoo qomocoraa warratu leellisa
Ijoollee soressaa dhungachuun gabbarsuu fakkaatti
Ilkaan waraabessaa lafee irratti sodaatu
Ilmi akkoon guddiftu dudda duubaan laga ce’a
Intalli bareedduun koomee milaatiin beekamti
Intallii haati jajju hin heerumtu
Itti hirkisaan kabaa hin ta’u
Ittiin bulinnaa sareen udaan namaa nyaatti
Jaamaan boru ijji keen ni banamti jennaan, edana akkamitin arka jedhe
Jaarsi dhukuba qofaa hin aaduu, waan achisutu garaa jira
Jaarsii fi qalqalloon guutuu malee hin dhaabatu
Jabbiin hootu hin mar’attu
Jaalalli jaldeessa yeroo fixeensaa garaa jalatti, yeroo bokkaa dugda irratti nama baatti
Jaalala keessa adurreen ilmoo nyaatti
Jaalalli allaatti gara raqaatti nama geessa
Jarjaraan re’ee hin horu
Jarjaraan waraabessaa gaafa ciniina
Jibicha korma ta’u elmaa irratti beeku
Jiraa ajjeesuun jalaa callisuu dha
Kadhatanii galanii weddisaa hin daakani
Kan abbaan gaafa cabse halagaan gatii cabsa

Kan abbaan quba kaa’e oromi(namni, halagaan) dhumdhuma kaa’a
Kan afaanii bahee fi kan muccaa bahehin deebi’u
Kan bishaaan nyaate hoomacha qabata
Kan citaa qabaa tokko namaa hin kennine mana bal’isii gorsiti
Kan dandeessu dhaan jennaan gowwaan galee nitii dhaane Adaamiin ollaa hagamsaa jiru bara baraan boo’aa jiraata
Kan gabaa dhagahe gowwaan galee niitii dhokse
Kan hanna bare dooluutu sosso’a
Kan hordaa natti fiiges, kan haaduun natti kaates bagan arge jette saani du’uuf edda fayyitee booda
Kan humnaan lafaa hin kaane yaadaan Sudaanitti nagada
Kan ilkaan dhalchu kormi hin dhalchu
Kan namni nama arabsi irr, kan abbaan of arabsutu caala

kan qabuuf dabali jennaan harreen laga geesse fincoofte
Kan of jaju hin dogoggoru
Kan quufe ni utaala, kan utaale ni caba
Kan tolu fidi jennaan, sidaama biyya fide
Kan tuffatantu nama caala, kan jibbanitu nama dhaala
Kan tuta wajjin hin nyaanne hantuuta wajjin nyaatti
Kan waaqni namaa kaa’e cululleen hin fudhattu
Karaa foolii nun hin jedhani jette wacwacoon
Karaan baheef maqaan bahe hin deebi’u
Karaan sobaan darban, deebi’iitti nama dhiba
Karaa dheeraa milatu gabaabsa, dubbii dheeraa jaarsatu gabaabsa
Karaa fi halagaatu gargar nama baasa
Keessummaan waan dhubbattu dhabde mucaa kee harma guusi jetti
Keessummaan lolaa dha abbaatu dabarfata
Keessa marqaa boojjitootu beeka
Kijiba baranaa manna dhugaa bara egeree wayya
Kokkolfaa haati goota hin seetu
Kormi biyya isaatti bookkisu biyya namaatti ni mar’ata
Kursii irra taa’anii muka hin hamatani
Lafa rukuchuun yartuu ofiin qixxeessuu dha
Lafa sooriin du’e baataatu garmaama
Lafaa fuudhuutti ukaa nama bu’a

Lafti abdatan sanyii nyaatee namni abdatan lammii nyaate
Laga marqaa jennaan ijoolleen fal’aanaan yaate
Lama na hin suufani jette jaartiin qullubbii hattee
Leenci maal nyaata jennaan, liqeeffatte jedhe, maal kanfala jennaan, eenyu isa gaafata jedhe
Lilmoon qaawwaa ishee hin agartu, qaawwaa namaa duuchiti
Lukkuun(hindaaqqoon) haatee haateealbee ittiin qalan baafti
Maa hin nyaatiin jedha dhirsi hamaan
Maal haa baasuuf dhama raasu
Mammaaksi tokko tokko dubbii fida tokko tokko dubbii fida
Mana haadha koon dhaqa jettee goraa bira hin darbiin
Mana karaa irra kessumaatu itti baayyata
Manni Abbaan Gube Iyya Hin Qabu
Maraataa fi sareen mana ofii hin wallalani
Maraatuun jecha beektu, waan jettu garuu hin beektu
Marqaa afuufuun sossobanii liqimsuufi
Marqaan distii badaa miti, irri ni bukata, jalli ni gubata
Marxoon otoo fiiganii hidhatan otuma fiiganii nama irraa bu’a
Mataa hiyyaassaatti haaduu baru
Midhaan eeguun baalatti hafe
Mucaa keetiin qabii mucaa koo naa qabi jettehaati mucaa
Muka jabana qabu reejjiitti dhibaafatu
Morkii dhaaf haaduu liqimsu
Nama foon beeku sombaan hin sobani
Namni akka fardaa nyaatu, gaafa akka namaa nyaate rakkata
Namni beela’e waan quufu hin se’u
Namni dhadhaa afaan kaa’an, dhakaa afaan nama kaa’a
Namni gaafa irrechaa duude, sirba irreechaa sirbaa hafa
Namni guyyaa bofa arge halkan teepha dheessa
Namni hudduu kooban galannii isaa dhuufuu dha
Namni mana tokko ijaaru citaa wal hin saamu
Namni nama arabsu nama hin faarsu
Namni badaan bakka itti badutti mari’ata
Namni gabaabaan otoo kabaja hin argatiin du’a
Namni qotiyyoo hin qabne qacceen qalqala guutuu dha
Nama kokkolfaa nama miidhuu fi bokkaan aduu baasaa roobu tokko
Niitiin dhirsaaf kafana
Niitiin marii malee fuudhan marii malee baati
Niitiin afaan kaa’aami’eeffatte yoo kabaluuf jedhan afaan banti
Nitaati jennaan harree qalle, hin tatuu jennaan harree ganne, qoricha jennaan isuma iyyuu dhaqnee dhabne
Obboleessa laga gamaa mannaa gogaa dugduu(faaqqii) ollaa ofii wayya
Obsaan aannan goromsaa dhuga
Obsan malee hn warroomani
Ofii badanii namaa hin malani
Of jajjuun saree qarriffaan udaani

Ofi iyyuu ni duuti maaliif of huuti
Ofii jedhii na dhugi jedhe dhadhaan
Okolee diddu okkotee hin diddu
Ollaa araban jira akkamittin guddadha jette gurri
Ollaan akkam bultee beeka, akkatti bule abbaatu beeka
Ollaafi garaan nama hin diddiin
Ollaa fi kateen nama xiqqeessiti
Ol hin liqeessiin horii keetu badaa, gadi hin asaasiin hasa’aa keetu bushaa’a
Otoo beeknuu huuba wajjin jette sareen
Otoo garaan tarsa’e jiruu, darsa tarsa’eef boossi
Otoo farda hin bitiin dirree bite
Otoo fi eegeen gara boodaati
Otoo garaan dudda duuba jiraate, qiletti nama darbata
Otoo sireen nama hin dadhabiin tafkii fi tukaaniin nama dadhabdi
Qaalluun kan ishee hin beektu kan namaa xibaarti
Qaban qabaa hin guunnee gad-lakkisan bakkee guutti
Qabbanaa’u harkaan gubnaan fal’aanan
Qabanootuharkaa, hoo’itu fal’aanaan
Qabeenyi fixeensa ganamaati
Qalloo keessi sibiila
Qalladhu illee ani obboleessa eebooti jette lilmoon
qaaqeen yoo mataan ishee marge bade jetti
Qarri lama wal hin waraanu
Qeesiinwaaqayyoo itti dheekkam, daawwitii gurgurtee harree bitatte
Qoonqoon darbu, maqaa hin dabarre nama irra kaa’a
Qoonqoon bilchina eeggattee, qabbana dadhabde
Qorichaofii beekan namaa kudhaamu
Qotee bulaa doofaan, miila kee dhiqadhu jennaa, maalan dhiqadha borus nan qota jedhe
Qurcii dhaan aboottadhu jennaan, qophoofneerra jedhe
Raadni harree keessa ooltedhuufuu barattee galti
Sa’a bonni ajjeese ganni maqaa fuudhe
Saddetin heerume jarjarrsaa akka baranaa hin agarre jette jaartiin, salgaffaa irratti waraabessi bunnaan
Salphoo soqolatte soqolaa gargaaru
Saree soroobduun afaan isheef bukoo ykn. dudda isheef falaxaa hin dhabdu
Sabni namatti jiguu irra gaarri (tulluun) namatti jiguu wayya
Sareen duttu nama hin ciniintu
Sanyii ibiddaa daaraatu nama guba
Sareen warra nyaattuuf dutti
Seenaa bar dhibbaa baruuf bardhibba jiraachuun dirqama miti
Shanis elmamu kudhanis, kan koo qiraaciitti jette adurreen
Sirbituu aggaammii beeku
Sii uggum yaa gollobaa, anaafoo goommani ni dorroba inni gurr’uu soddomaa jette jaartiin horii ishee gollobaan fixnaan
Sodaa abjuu hriba malee hin bulani
Soogidda ofiif jettu mi’aayi kanaachi dhakaa taata
Sombaaf aalbee hin barbaadani
Suphee dhooftuun fayyaa gorgurtee, cabaatti nyaatti
Taa’anii fannisanii dhaabatanii fuudhuun nama dhiba
Takkaa dhuufuun namummaa dh, lammmeessuun harrummaadha
Tikseen dhiyootti dhiifte fagootti barbaacha deemti
Tiksee haaraan horii irraa silmii buqqisaa oolti
Tokko cabe jedhe maraataan dhakaa gabaatti darbatee
tokko kophee dhabeetu booha, tokko immoo miila dhabee booha
Tufani hin arraabani
Udaan lafatti jibban funyaan nama tuqa
Ulee bofa itti ajjeesan alumatti gatu
Ulee fi dubbiin gabaabduu wayya
Ulfinaa fi marcuma abbaatu of jala baata
Waa’een garbaa daakuu fi bishaani
Waan ergisaa galu fokkisa
Waan jiilaniin kakatu
Waan kocaan kaa’e allaattiin hin argu
Waan namaa kaballaa malee hin quufani
Waan samii bu’e dacheen baachuu hin dadhabu
Waan uffattu hin qabdu haguuggatee bobbaa teessi
Waan warri waarii hasa’aan, Ijoolen waaree odeesiti
Wadalli harree nitii isaa irraa waraabessa hin dhowwu
Wal-fakkaattiin wal barbaaddi
Wali galan, alaa galan
Wallaalaan waan beeku dubbata, beekaan waan dubbatu beeka
Waaqaaf safuu jette hindaaqqoon bishaan liqimsitee
Warra gowwaa sareen torba
Waraabessi bakka takkaa nyaatetti sagal deddeebi’a
Waraabessi biyya hin beekne dhaqee gogaa naa afaa jedhe
Waraabessi waan halkan hojjete beekee guyyaa dhokata
Yaa marqaa si afuufuun si liqimsuufi
Yoo ala dhiisan mana seenan, yoo mana dhiisan eessa seenan
Yoo boora’e malee hin taliilu
Yoo ejjennaa tolan darbatanii haleelu
Yoo iyyan malee hin dhalchanii jedhe korbeesi hoolaa kan re’eetiin
Yoo suuta ejjetan qoreen suuta nama waraanti
yoo dhaqna of jaalatan fuula dhiqatu
Yoo namaa oogan eelee jalatti namaa marqu
yoo ta’eef miinjee naa taata jette intalli


Mammaaksota Dubartootaa Oromoo

1.     Heeruma dharraanee(hawwinee) heerumnaan rarraane (rakkannee)

2.     Asuu oolle jette tan heerumaaf muddamte”

3.     Takkattii qayyannee taduraa hanqannee  ykn takkaa qayyannee lukaa gubanne

4.     Bakka dhiiganii hin fiigan.

5.     Kana muranii kamiin fincaayan jette haati manaa inni ofirraa mura jennaan.

6.     Kaanittuu abbaa argadhu jette haati intalaan.

7.     Intalti ariifattuun haadha ciniinsuubarsiifti

8.     Akka beekutti dhalaa(dahaa) nadhiisaa jette intalti harka namaa diddu

9.     Sirbaaf bayanii morma hin dhofatan jettee intalti waa hin saalfannee.

10.  Akka ebaluutti sirbaan morma nama jallifti jette intalti qalbii qabdu.

11.  Mucaa deenna malee mucaa hin geennu jette intalti of tuffatte.

12.  Wol  akkeessee ollaan marqa balleesse jette intalti ofiin bultun .

13.  Akka aadaa teennaa gaara gubbaa baanee teenna jedhe harmi dubartootaa.

14.  Ati baldi ta dhiirsa ka’imaa jette intalti abbaan manaa isii jaarsaa.
(Baldu : ashuu,qoosuu,taphachuu, busheesuu)

15.  Har’allee moo jette haati ijoolleen beelofne (shoomofne) jennaan isiin bakka cidhaatii quuftee waan galteef

16.  Ani ufiif hin jennee, mucaan keessan ka hangafaa sun fuudha hin geennee? jette intalti mucaa kajeelte.

17.  Soddaa fi dayma hin duudhatan.

18.  Osoo dhukubsataan jiru, fayyaalessi du’a.

19.  Ana bakki na dhukubu asii mitii maraafuu bakkuma gooftaan kiyya jedhe san kooba jette bookeen.

20.  Makkitu malee makkaa hin hajjan

(Makkitu : naamaaf mijooftu/mijaa’u)

21.  Akka dida’aa fi akka didanaatti na galchi

22.  Daalun xaraan kaanu tara.

Qopheessan : Abdii Boriiti

Source: http://opride.com/hamba/?p=231


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Fascinating world of Kenya’s Borana Oromo

More information about Borana can be found at www.boranavoices.org
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  • The majority of the 500,000-strong Borana tribe live in Kenya but some also live in Ethiopia and Somalia
  • Women use clarified butter (ghee) to keep their hair in perfect condition and wear it in elaborate plaits
  • Girls have the crown of their heads shaved, with the hair only allowed to grow after they marry
  • Other beliefs include the fear that having your photo taken removes some blood and steals your shadow 
  • They also believe in a single god named Wak, although more are converting to Christianity and Islam 

A nomadic people, their lives revolve around finding good grazing for their herds of camels and cattle, which combined, provide everything they need to survive in the striking semi-arid scrub land they inhabit.

But while men dominate village life and are in charge of the herds, women play a vital role and are in sole charge of building Borana homes and performing the elaborate dances that signal the birth of a baby.

Dressed in her best: A Borana woman wearing traditional garb made from goat skins. The expensive dresses are now kept only for best

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Rules: Many of the Borana’s rules apply to children, including a prohibition on addressing anyone older than themselves by their first name

With so little water to be had, their beauty routine is an unusual one and involves anointing their locks with ghee (clarified butter) to keep hair smooth and shiny.

Girls are given the most striking hairdos and wear the crown of their heads shaved until they marry, at which point the hair is allowed to grow back while the rest is plaited into elaborate designs.

But hair isn’t the only part of life governed by the Borana’s centuries-old laws. The majority of rules apply to children who, for instance, aren’t allowed to call anyone older than themselves by their first names.

Those names are also governed by tribal law and are inspired by the time of day they were born. ‘Boys born in broad daylight are always called Guyo,’ explains photographer Eric Lafforgue who took these incredible pictures.

‘Some are named after a major event, a ceremony (Jil), a rainy season (Rob) or a dry season (Bon). Others are named after weekdays while a few get odd names such as Jaldes (ape), Funnan (nose), Gufu (tree stump) and Luke (lanky long legs).’

Whatever their parents decide to call them, all children are given a place in the social pecking order at birth – and once done, it is rare for it to be changed.

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Welcome: The birth of a baby of either gender is marked by a traditional women-only dance which welcomes the infant into the world

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Hard work: Women are in sole charge of building Borana homes and since they move four times a year, have to work extremely hard

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Elaborate: A woman carries milk in an engraved gourd and shows off a bead ring (left). Right: The chief’s wife is given special jewellery

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Shaved: Girls such as this one have the crowns of their heads shaved until marriage. Afterwards, hair grows back and is plaited

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Changing times: Traditionally, the Borana believed in a single god called Wak. Now Islam and Christianity are beginning to make inroads

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Moving: Many of the young people are leaving the tribe behind for jobs in town, among them this trio who send money home to their families

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Screened: Borana women are not allowed to come face-to-face with their son-in-laws. If they do, both must immediately cover their faces

The luckiest are the sons of village chiefs who are placed in the top grade, daballe, at birth and show their status with long locks that make them resemble girls.

As future chiefs themselves, no one is allowed to punish them, even when they misbehave, while their mothers gain an honoured place in society and are frequently asked to bless well-wishers.

These women are also given special jewellery to wear usually made from colourfully beaded leather, enlivened on occasion with recycled Coca-Cola caps.

Those who aren’t married to a chief, although often forced to share a husband, do get some special benefits including being in sole charge of who can and cannot enter their homes – spouses included.

‘A wife always decides who will enter in the house,’ explains Lafforgue. ‘If her husband comes back and finds another man’s spear stuck into the ground outside her house, he cannot go in.’

Women are also in sole charge of raising their daughters and usually insist that they become excellent housewives. Men, when they come to choose a wife, will often judge the girl by her mother, which makes getting it right all the more important.

Older women are honoured as the keepers of tribal lore, although not all of it makes sense to Western ears. ‘Old people are afraid of having their picture taken,’ says Lafforgue. ‘They believe that when you take their photo, you remove their blood and steal their shadow.’

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New religion: An increasing number of Borana are becoming Muslim and have adopted Islamic customs such as the headscarf

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Respected: Older women are honoured as keepers of village lore while this boy (right) is the son of a chief and can never be punished

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Important man: This man is the overseer of one of the Borana’s network of wells. It is taboo to fight over water

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Chief: The Borana elect a leader every eight years. The ‘father of the village’ wears a special headdress called a kalacha

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Home: Women have the final say on who can enter their homes. If a man finds another man’s spear outside his wife’s hut, he can’t go in

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Laborious: Women are tasked with building all the houses, as well as dismantling and rebuilding them when the village moves on

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Livelihood: The Borana’s cattle and camels are their most precious possessions and are nearly always cared for by men

Sorce: TKG News


For more click Borana Voices

Source: http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/fascinating-world-of-kenyas-borana-oromo-tribe-revealed/

Oromia: Featuring Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo) People. #Oromo. #Africa January 8, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in 10 best Youtube videos, 25 killer Websites that make you cleverer, Africa, Because I am Oromo, Black History, Boran Oromo, Culture, Cushtic, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Meroetic Oromo, Munyoyaya Oromo, Orma Oromo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Waata Oromo, Wardei Oromo.
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Featuring Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo) People: Northernmost Cushitic Oromo People

January 8, 2014 (kwekudee trip down memory lane) — Celebrating our African historical personalities,discoveries, achievements and eras as proud people with rich culture, traditions and enlightenment spanning many years.

Raya Oromo girls

The Raya  Wollo people, sometimes called Raya Oromo are agricultural and music-loving Cushitic Oromo people but now mixed with small amalgamated Tigre and Amhara bloodlines living in the Debubawi Zone of the current Tigray Regional State at the eastern edge of the Ethiopian highlands in Ethiopia.

61_Girls_from_the_Raya_Wollo_tribe_shopping_atHistorically, the Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo), with the Yejju Oromo, are the northernmost groups of the Oromo people and are a part of the Wollo Oromo Tribe. Their women especially are known by their distinctive hair-braiding styles and facial tattoos.

The official map of Oromia shown below includes the Raya-Azebo territory on its northernmost tip.

The Wollo Oromo (particularly the Raya Oromo and Yejju Oromo) were early Oromo holders of power among the increasingly mixed Ethiopian state. The later north-to-south movement of central power in Ethiopia led to Oromos in Shewa holding power in Ethiopia together with the Shewan Amhara. “In terms of descent, the group that became politically dominant in Shewa – and Subsequently in Ethiopia – was a mixture of Amhara and Oromo; in terms of language, religion and cultural practices, it was Amhara.

73. Man from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia

Currently, Debubawi Zone/Raya-Azebo woreda (county) is bordered on the south by Alamata, on the southwest by Ofla, on the northwest by Endamehoni, on the north by Hintalo Wajirat, and on the east by the Afar Region. The administrative center of this woreda (county) is Mersa; other town in Raya-Azebo includes Weyra Wuha.

Despite their historic resistance against dominance (read any literature on Ethiopian history, the Raya Oromo revolt given below is mentioned as the first revolt against the Teferi government as early as the late 1920′s and as the predecessor of the Bale Oromo revolt), Raya’s ties with the rest of Oromia have weakened due to years of wars in that part of the region. Today, the challenge should be given to Oromo artists to produce music of the Raya in Afan Oromo; music serves as a cultural ambassador as well as a path to reconnect to one’s historic past (heritage). It’s also paramount that the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) set up a session during its annual meeting to deliberate on the history of Raya Oromo and on ways to bring about the renaissance of Oromummaa in Raya.

Why the name Raya Wollo?
Wollo was an historical region and province in the northeastern part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Dessie. The province was named after the Wollo Oromo, who settled in this part of Ethiopia in the 17th century. An older name for Wollo is Lakomelza.

Following the invasion by Britain that toppled Italian colonial authority in 1941, the provinces of Amhara Sayint, Azabo, Lasta, Raya Province, Wag, and Yejju were added to Wollo. A number of peasant rebellions rocked Wollo, which included the Woyane rebellion in 1943, and revolts of the Yejju Oromo in 1948 and 1970. With the adoption of the new constitution in 1995, Wollo was divided between the Afar Region, which absorbed the part of the province that extended into the Afar Depression; the Tigray Region, which annexed the northwestern corner; and the Amhara Region, which absorbed the remainder of the province in the Ethiopian highlands.

Raya Wollo man

Young woman from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia. johangerrits

Northern Marginalization under Shewan Rule
The northern provinces of Gonder, Gojjam, Wollo and Tigray are  the heartland of  the “core” culture of Ethiopia — the Ethiopian Orthodox church, the Amharic language and script, plow-based agriculture, and many elements of the social system of the country derive from this historic region.  Most of the Emperors also came from here.

At the end of the 19th century, the center of power in Ethiopia decisively shifted from the north to Shewa, with the assumption of  the  title of Emperor by Menelik, King of Shewa.  Menelik was an Amhara, from  the dynasty that  ruled Manz, at the northern  tip of  the modern province of Shewa.  The majority of the inhabitants of the rest of Shewa were Oromo — as is the case  today.    In  terms  of  descent,  the  group that  became  politically  dominant  in  Shewa  (and subsequently in Ethiopia) was a mixture of Amhara and Oromo; in terms of language, religion and cultural practices, it was Amhara.  The northern Amhara regarded the Shewans as “Galla” (the pejorative  term  for Oromo), and together with the Tigrayans and  some of  the Agau and Oromo people in Wollo, resisted the new Shewan domination, which led to their economic and political marginalization.

Tatooed Wollo Woman, Mezan Teferi , Ethiopia © Eric Lafforgue

Revolt in Wollo
Between 1928 and 1930 there was a rebellion — or a series of rebellions — in northern Wollo  against  Shewan  domination.   The  specific  political  cause was  support  for Ras Gugsa  Wale, a northern Amhara lord with a strong claim on the throne, against the Shewan Ras Teferi  (who crowned himself the Emperor Haile Selassie after defeating the revolt). The government  suppression of the revolt led to quartering soldiers with local people, interrupting the salt trade,  and  involved massive  looting and confiscation of cattle.   Combined with drought and  locusts,  the  result was  famine. Haile Selassie  ordered  the  importation  of grain  from  India  to  supply  Addis Ababa, but there was no relief for north Wollo. Political measures were taken after the revolt, including the replacement of much of the administration, which formerly had local roots, with  appointees  from  Shewa;  and  the  joining  of  the  rebellious  districts  to  the  province  of  southern Wollo,  which  was  ruled  with  harshness  and  venality  by  the  crown  prince. These helped to contribute to the further marginalization of the area, and the series of famines which plagued the area up to the fall of the Emperor.

The  cumulative  impact  of  imperial misrule  and  the  petty  tyrannies  of  local  landlords created  an  atmosphere  in  which  development  was  extremely  difficult,  as  described  by  two consultants investigating the possibility of starting livestock projects:
Wollo is virtually impossible … there is such an obscuring weight of disbelief, suspected innuendo and antagonisms; such a mess of mis-government at petty levels, and such a
lading  of  landlords  that  there  is almost nothing  to  start with and nowhere  to start  that
will  not  go  wrong  or  sour  …  [there  is]  the  smothering  welter  of  the  weeds  of  an
entrenched and stagnant society.

The Weyane in Tigray

Following the restoration of Haile Selassie after the defeat of the Italians in 1941, there was a  revolt  in Tigray.   Known as  the Weyane,  this was  the most  serious  internal  threat  that Haile Selassie  faced.   An alliance of  the Oromo semi-pastoralists of Raya Azebo, disgruntled peasants, and  some  local  feudal  lords, under  the military  leadership of a  famous shifta, Haile Mariam Redda, the rebels nearly succeeded in overrunning the whole province.4  British aircraft had to be called in from Aden in order to bomb the rebels to ensure their defeat.  While some of the  aristocratic  leaders,  such  as  Ras  Seyoum Mengesha,  were  treated  gently  and  ultimately allowed  to  return  and  administer  the  recalcitrant  province,  there  were  reprisals  against  the ordinary people.  Most notably, the Raya and Azebo Oromo were subjected to wholesale land alienation, and much of their territory was transferred to the province of Wollo.  This area was badly hit in subsequent famines, partly as a consequence.

Girl from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia. johangerrits

Tax Revolts in Gojjam
Gojjam treasured its independence for centuries, and did not submit willingly to Shewan rule. The  issue around which opposition  repeatedly coalesced was any attempt by  the central government  to measure  land and  tax  it.   Taxation was not only  resented as  the  imposition of unjust exertions by government, but was feared as the means whereby the traditional land tenure system would be undermined, and the farmers’ independence destroyed.

  In the 1940s and ’50s there was a series of attempts to measure land in Gojjam, prior to taxation.  In the face of peasant resistance, including violence, all attempts failed.  In the early 1960s, only 0.1 per cent of the land had been measured, and Gojjam, one of the richest and most populous provinces, paid less land tax than the poor and thinly populated province of Bale.  In 1950/1 there was armed resistance, including a plot to assassinate Haile Selassie.  However the most  serious  revolt  occurred  in  1968,  in  response  to  the most  systematic  attempt  to  levy  an agricultural income tax to date.

  In  February  1968,  in  reaction  to  the  arrival  of  parties  of  government  officials accompanied  by armed  police,  the  peasants  of Mota  and Bichena  districts  resorted  to  armed resistance.  After months of stalemate while much of the province remained out of government control, Haile Selassie sent troops to Gojjam in July and August.  The air force bombed several villages;  it burned houses but  its main  task was probably  intimidating  the  resistance.   Several hundred people died, according  to contemporary accounts, but the Gojjamis remained defiant.

Finally, in December, Haile Selassie backed down.  He visited Gojjam in 1969, cancelled all tax
arrears, and made no serious attempt to collect the new taxes.

Famines in Wollo and Tigray
In 1974,  the Emperor Haile Selassie became notorious  for his attempts  to conceal  the existence of  the  famine of 1972-3  in Wollo.   This, however, was only one  in a succession of such incidents.  Prof. Mesfin Wolde Mariam of Addis Ababa University has documented how the  famines  of  1958  and  1966  in  Tigray  and Wollo were  treated  with  official  indifference, bordering on hostility towards the peasants who were considered sufficiently ungrateful for the divinely-sanctioned  rule  of Haile Selassie as  to allow  themselves  to defame his  reputation by dying of famine.

  There was severe famine in Tigray in 1958 which went without significant government relief.  In 1965/6, reports of famine from Were Ilu awraja in Wollo arrived at the Ministry of the Interior in November 1965, one month after the situation became clear to the local police, but no action was  taken.   The  information  took  a  further  302  days  to  reach  the Emperor, who  then requested the Ministry of the Interior to act — which it did by asking officials in Wollo to send a list of the names of the people who had died.6  A small relief distribution was then authorized.

The only consistent response to famine was to regard it as a security problem — famine created destitute migrants, who needed to be prevented from entering towns, particularly Addis Ababa.
Both the 1958 and 1965/6 famines killed tens of thousands of people.

  The famine that struck Wollo during 1972-3 played a crucial role in Ethiopian history:
“the revelation of that famine by the British television journalist Jonathan Dimbleby played a key
role  in  precipitating  the  downfall  of  the  rule  of Haile Selassie.   Between  40,000  and  80,000
people  died.” The  famine  also  led  directly  to  the  creation  of  the  Relief  and  Rehabilitation
Commission (RRC), the powerful government department mandated to prevent and ameliorate
future famines, and to coordinate international assistance.  The 1972-3 famine was the last one
in which  there were  no  functioning mechanisms  for  the  delivery  of  large-scale  humanitarian
relief.

  The Wollo  famine was  popularly  blamed  on  drought,  a  backward  and  impoverished
social system, and the cover-up attempted by the imperial government.  These factors were all
important — though it must be remembered that specific actions by the government, especially
after  the  Ras  Gugsa  and  Weyane  revolts,  were  instrumental  in  creating  the  absence  of
development.  In addition, forcible alienation of resources and violence also played an important
role.

  The  group  that  suffered most  from  the  famine were  the Afar  pastoral  nomads  of  the
Danakil desert.  Famine had already gripped them in early 1972.  The Afar inhabit an arid semi-
wilderness, utilizing pastures over a large area to support their herds.  In times of drought, they
are  forced to move  to areas which they do not normally exploit.   Traditional drought reserves
included the Tcheffa Valley, on the rift valley escarpment, and pastures along the inland delta of
the Awash  river where  the waters  dissipate  into  the  desert.    In  the  1960s  the Tcheffa Valley
became the location of commercial sorghum farms, and small farmers from nearby also began
to use much of the land.  Meanwhile, large cotton plantations were developed along the Awash.
By 1972, 50,000 hectares of irrigated land had displaced 20,000 Afar pastoralists.

  During the years of good rainfall, the loss of the drought reserves was not noticed by the
Afar, but when repeated drought struck, they found that a necessary resource they had utilized
sporadically for generations had been alienated, without compensation.  Famine among the Afar
was certainly caused by drought — but by drought acting on a society that had been deprived of
the means of responding to that threat.

Portrait of a Man Holding a Christian Symbol, Bieta Golgotha, Lalibela, Wollo Region

Official indifference to the plight of the Afar is illustrated by an incident in 1974, when
the flood waters of the Awash river were directed to the Dubti valley in order to irrigate cotton
plantations.  The resident Afar population was not informed, and 3,000 lost their homes, while
100 were “missing.”

  Mobility is crucial to survival among the Afar.  Nomadic in normal times, the ability to
move freely over large distances becomes a vital concern when resources are short.  In the early
1970s,  the Afar’s mobility  was  further  restricted  by  the  flow  of  weaponry  to  their  nomadic
neighbors  and  competitors,  the  Issa  (who  are  ethnic  Somali).    The  Issa  themselves  were
suffering from the alienation of much of their pasture and restrictions on their movement.  The
result was an attempt by  the Afar  to appropriate wells  formerly used by  the  Issa.   This  led  to
widespread armed clashes, especially in 1972.  One Afar reported “Many people die.  Disease is
the first cause but the Issa are the second.”  Meanwhile, a survey done among the Issa reported
that homicide by the Afar was a major cause of death.  The famine also resulted in large-scale
armed clashes between the Afar and their Oromo neighbors in Wollo.

Man from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia.  johangerrits

The second group which suffered severely from the famine included farmers in a narrow
strip  of middle-altitude areas  of northern  and  central Wollo.   Those who  suffered most were
tenants.  The Raya and Azebo Oromo had been reduced to that state by massive land alienation
after they participated in the Weyane revolt against Haile Selassie in 1943.  Others were forced
to mortgage  or  sell  their  land  by  the  stresses  of  repeated  harvest  failures  in  the  early  1970s.
Landlords  took  advantage  of  their  tenants’ penury  by  insisting on  the  payment  of  large  rents,
often in kind.   This demand could be backed up by  force, as most  influential  landlords had a
retinue of armed guards.  The enforcement of crippling tenancy contracts in time of shortage had
the effect of taking food from the hungry.  Thus, during 1973, the famine area exported grain to
the provincial capital, Dessie, and to Addis Ababa.

  The famine was much less severe in Tigray province, despite the drought affecting both
provinces.  The difference can be largely accounted for by the different modes of land tenure —
in Tigray, most farmers owned their own land; in middle-land Wollo, most were tenants.
Finally,  the Emperor Haile Selassie considered that the peasants and nomads of Wollo
were shaming His reputation by starving, and resolved to ignore them.  Reports of famine were
consistently  ignored  or  denied.    In  response  to  a  report  by  UNICEF  documenting  famine
conditions  in  July  1973,  the Vice-Minister  of  Planning  retorted:  “If we  have  to  describe  the
situation in  the way you have in order  to generate  international assistance, then we don’t want
that assistance.  The embarrassment to the government isn’t worth it.  Is that perfectly clear?”

  Though  the  governor  of Wollo,  Crown  Prince  Asfa Wossen,  was  both  greedy  and
incompetent  (at the time of  the  famine he forced  the closure of commercial sorghum farms in
the  Tcheffa  Valley  by  engaging  in  litigation,  claiming  their  ownership),  Haile  Selassie was
never  in  ignorance  of  the  conditions  in Wollo.   A UN  official visited him  in early 1973 and
found  him well-informed  —  his  attitude was  that  peasants  always  starve  and  nothing  can  be
done,  and  that  in  any  case  it was  not  the  Shewan Amhara who were  dying.   On  belatedly
visiting the province in November 1973, his one remedial action was to announce that all who
had sold or mortgaged their land in the previous year could return and plow it during the coming
season, only leaving it to their creditors afterwards.  Even this minimal and tardy gesture was
not enforced.

The 1975 Northern Rebellions
The Wollo famine contributed to the downfall of Haile Selassie, not because the hungry
peasants  and  nomads  revolted  and  forced  him  out,  but  because  the  issue  gained  political
currency among the students and middle classes of Addis Ababa.  However, that is not to say
that the famine, and more generally the eight decades of political marginalization and economic
stagnation that preceded it, did not have serious consequences at the time of the 1974 revolution
and the years following.

Proud father with his daughter from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia.  johangerrits

In  the  early  1970s,  “peasant  risings  in  various  provinces  [were] an even more closely
guarded  secret  than  the  famine”.   These  revolts  intensified  in  during  the  revolution, with  a
series of rebellions led by feudal leaders in each of the northern provinces.  In Wollo, there was
a  revolt  by  a  feudal  lord,  Dejazmatch  Berhane  Maskal.    In  March  1975,  he  destroyed  an
Ethiopian airlines DC3 at Lalibella.  In October, he rallied supporters after a spree of killings of
former landlords by peasants and government security officers.  Dej. Berhane’s ill-armed force
of 5,000 was defeated by government militia and air  force attacks near Woldiya in December
1975, but he continued to cause problems for the government for years.  Another feudal leader,
Gugsa  Ambow,  had  brief  military  successes  in  northern Wollo,  before  the  army  foiled  an
attempt  to  capture  Korem  in  mid-1976,  reportedly  causing  1,200  fatalities  among  Gugsa’s
peasant army and local villagers.18  Other smaller revolts occurred in Gojjam and Shewa.

  The most  significant  rebellion  started  in Tigray.   This was  an  insurrection  led  by  the
former governor, Ras Mengesha Seyoum (son of the governor at the time of the 1943 Weyane).
Ras Mengesha fled to the hills with about 600 followers in November 1984, when the Dergue
executed 60 officials of the previous regime.  Ras Mengesha combined with other members of
the aristocracy, notably General Negga Tegegne  (former governor of Gonder) and formed the
Ethiopian  Democratic  Union  (EDU)  in  1976.    They  obtained  encouragement  from  western
countries.  With Sudanese military assistance, the EDU occupied the towns of Metema, Humera
and Dabat (all in Gonder province) between February and April 1977,19 but was defeated by the
militia force sent to the province in June-July.

Young woman from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia.  johangerrits

The  EDU  remained  active  in  Tigray,  where  two  other  rebel  groups  were  also
operational.  The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) was set up in February 1975 by a
group  of  left-wing  students  and  peasants,  incorporating  the  Tigray  National  Organization,
created  three  years earlier.   Prominent among  its early  leaders was Berihu Aregawi;  later  the
front was  headed  by Meles Zenawi.    In  1978,  the TPLF  set  up  the Relief Society  of Tigray
(REST),  headed  by  Abadi  Zemo.    It  espoused  a mix  of  Tigrayan  nationalism  and  socialist
transformation.   The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP), after defeat  in the urban
Red Terror (see chapter 6), retreated to a base in rural eastern Tigray in mid-1977.
The EDU was rent by divisions between its leaders, and its aristocratic leaders failed to
gain popular support among their erstwhile tenants.  Crucially, it suffered defeat at the hands of
the TPLF.20  The EPRP was also defeated by the TPLF and driven into Gonder, creating lasting
bitterness between the two organization.

  After  the  ill-fated Peasants’ March  of  1976,  the  government  launched  a  series  of  five military  offensives  in Tigray: November  1976,  June  1978, October-November  1978, March-
April 1979 and May-June 1979.  Small towns such as Abi Adi changed hands several times.  By
1979,  REST  estimated  that  50,000  people  in  Tigray  were  displaced  on  account  of  war.
Refugees from Tigray and Gonder began to arrive in Sudan in early 1975.  By May there were
34,000; by 1978  there were 70,000.    In February 1979,  the Ethiopian army  invaded Sudanese
territory at Jebel Ludgi, forcing the evacuation of the nearby refugee camp of Wad el Hileui.

Young woman from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia.  johangerrits

Dates and  Event of Raya Wollo (Raya Oromo) people
1929: Oromo peasants and nomads in Yejju, Raya or Wajerat districts of present southern Tigray and northern Wallo revolted against the rule of Haile Selassie and refused to pay the heavy taxes imposed on them.  The government dispatched troops to put down the revolt.  The peasants with few arms they possessed were able to defeat the troops and capture a large quantity of arms and ammunition.  Additional arms were obtained by the nomads from the Red Sea coast in Tajura.

1929: The Oromo fighters of the revolt in Yejju and Raya controlled a large part of their area and closed the trade route that connected Dasee, the capital of Wallo, to the south.  In a battle with the government forces in October 1929, the Oromo fighters captured 2,000 rifles and 12,000 cartridges.

1930: Tafari Makonnen, throne name Haile Sellassie I, Conquering Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Elect of God and Emperor of Ethiopia, succeeded Zawditu to the throne.

1930: A large government force, led by the war minister, Mulugeta, arrived in Yejju and Raya regions.  The Oromo fighters put up stiff resistance.  The Oromo resistance was finally put down, although temporarily, mainly by the use of airplanes.  It was the first time airplanes were ever used in a war in the Empire.

1931: The first constitution of Ethiopia was introduced.  In this document the term “Abyssinia” was dropped in favor of “Ethiopia,” thereby defining Abyssinians and all the colonized peoples as “Ethiopians.”

1935/1936: Oromo of Raya and Qobbo were fighting Haile Selassie’s army.  At one point, on April 3, 1936 near Ashange Lake, they almost trapped Haile Selassie himself fleeing from the Italians.  He never put his feet in this area again after that.  During the same period, the Oromo guerrillas attacked the retreating Ethiopian army led by Ras Mulugeta and inflicted heavy casualties.  They revenged his earlier (1930) aerial attack on them by killing his son; he himself narrowly escaped.  One of the reasons for the attack was, the Ethiopian army on its way to the war had looted the property of the Oromo communities.

1943: The Oromo uprising in Raya was temporarily suppressed with the assistance of the British Royal Air Force stationed in Aden.  Many of the leaders of the Oromo movement were also implicated in the Woyane revolt in Tigray in 1943.

1947/1948: The Raya Oromo rose up in arms again.  Again after they had liberated a large area of their land, the movement was stopped when the British Royal Air Force in Aden, at the request of the Ethiopian regime, bombed the Oromo guerrilla positions

56. Woman from the Raya wollo tribe woman from the Raya Wollo tribe at Hayk market. Ethiopia.  johangerrits

Source: kwekudee trip down memory lane




Read more @ original source:  http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/featuring-raya-wollo-raya-oromo-people-northernmost-cushitic-oromo-people/

THEORIZING WAAQEFFANNAA: OROMIA’S INDIGENOUS AFRICAN RELIGION AND ITS CAPACITY AND POTENTIAL IN PEACEMAKING September 21, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, African Literature, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Rock paintings in Oromia, Ateetee, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Culture, Cushtic, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Irreecha (Irreesa) 2014, Irreecha (Irreessa) 2014, Irreecha Birraa, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Meroetic Oromo, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Wisdom, Oromummaa, Qaallu Institution, The Goddess of Fecundity, Waaqeffanna (Oromo ancient African Faith System).
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OTHEORIZING WAAQEFFANNAA: OROMIA’S INDIGENOUS AFRICAN RELIGION AND ITS CAPACITY AND POTENTIAL IN PEACEMAKINGThe article is Originally published by OromoPress @http://oromopress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/theorizing-waaqeffannaa-oromias.htmlSee  also Fulbaana/September 18, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.comhttp://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/09/oromopress-theorizing-waaqeffannaa-oromias-indigenous-african-religion-and-its-capacity-and-potential-in-peacemaking/

In most of Africa, indigenous African religions have been pushed to the margin because of a number of factors. The implied and open relegation of indigenous African religions to the levels of inferiority and inconsequentiality in world affairs by colonial powers and post-colonial contemporary African states not only undermines and stereotypes the examination of the unique contributions of these religions to peacemaking, but also discards with them unique mythologies, values, laws, cultures and meaning-making systems. I argue that applying North American conflict resolution models, without considering African religious values that existed for many millennia before the arrival of world religions, will be an enormous hindrance to building lasting peace from the bottom-up in the vastly rural and agrarian Africa that is still steeped in traditions and rituals.

Contributing to a range of negative stereotypes about African religions (example, uncivilized, barbaric and conflict-generating) is the fact that many of them have been orally transmitted from generation to generation and lack written major holy books unlike the world religions. The purpose of this paper is to shift attention from common misconceptions about African religions to a productive examination of the constructive roles they can be made to play.

I will focus on the case of Waaqeffannaa, an Oromo indigenous religion of East Africa, and its core values and laws. It will be significant to examine Waaqeffannaa’s complex concepts, such as concept and view of Waaqaa (God), Eebba (prayers and blessings), safuu (the place of all things and beings in the cosmic and social order), issues related to cubbuu (sin) and other religious and ritual practices. Although there is no holy book forWaaqeffannaa thus far, I will obtain my data from published ethnographic books, journal articles, periodicals, relevant reports and press releases. The interactions between Waaqeffannaa and other organized religions, such as Christianity and Islam, will be examined in context.

The paper will seek answers to three related questions:

What are the contributions or lack thereof orally transmitted values and laws of Waaqeffannaa to peacemaking and relationship-building? If there are any contributions, how can they be compared to other forms of conflict resolution? What will be the role of Waaqeffannaa in peacemaking in the ever changing global and local contexts of religious diversity and difference?

The Concept of God in Waaqeffannaa’s Monotheistic System

In order to examine the hermeneutic advantages and disadvantages of Waaqeffannaa and compare it to modern or Western conflict resolution methods, it is essential to examine the concept of God (Waaqaa) in the religion in its own right. There is a consensus among researchers and observers of Waaqeffannaa—the most prominent of whom are pre-colonial European missionaries, explorers and anthropologists and local religious leaders and scholars—that Waaqeffannaa is one of the ancient indigenous African monotheistic religions.[1] The Oromo, the Cushitic African people of Ethiopia, among whom this religion emerged and developed, call their one God Waaqaa or more intimately and endearingly Waaqayyoo (good God). It is difficult to capture with one definition the complexity of the ways in which the followers of this religion (Waaqeffataas) relate to God and make sense of God (not gendered) is hard to capture just with one definition. The question of ways of understanding and relating to God is a question of Waaqeffannaa’s worldview that is indigenous and unique, in some ways, and thus, different from ways in which followers of major world religions understand and relate to God.

While monotheism is a key similarity it shares with Judaism, Christianity and Islam, Waaqeffannaa has the following worldview of its own:

We believe in God who created us. We believe in Him (sic) in a natural way … We believe in God because we can see what God has done and what he does: he makes rains and the rains grow greenery, and crops that we consume. He lets the sun shine. So believing in him is instinctive and inbuilt. It is as natural as the desire we have for food and drink, and as natural as the reproduction of living things. We go to the nature, the nature that He created: mountains and rivers to praise and appreciate Him impressed by His works … [2]

This contemporary declaration of the faith centers on nature and creation that can be pragmatically seen and experienced in daily life. There is no mention of “heaven” and “hell” here. Concerning the followers’ perceptions of the residence of God, Bartels writes, “They do not visualize Waaqaa(sic) existing outside this world in time or space … In this sense Waaqaa is as much of this world as the vault of the sky.”[3] Bokku concurs with Bartels findings that God exists among people on earth, but Bokku makes a radically different claim as follows: “Waaqeffataas don’t [sic] believe in after life. They don’t believe that God would come in the future to judge people and send the righteous to heaven and the sinful to hell. God is with us always.”[4] Bokku’s claims can be controversial because in much of the literature I reviewed, I found that the question of “after life” is either overlooked or ambiguously treated, except in the work of Father De Salviac whose much older field research (1901) explicitly states the existence of the belief in life after death among Waaqeffataas in eastern Oromia as follows:

They acknowledge three places destined to receive the souls after death. The paradise, which they call: the ‘Happiness of God’,Ayyaana Waaqaa; or the: ‘Response of God’, Bayanacha Waaqaa; or even Jenneta Waaqaa; ‘Paradise of God’, is reserved for the just who go there to enjoy the company and infinite blessings of the Lord … they say of death ‘That he passed on to Waaqaa;’ – ‘That he entered into Waaqaa,’ – ‘That he went to his eternal house with Waaqaa’.[5]

Reference to life after death, punishments and rewards in hell and heaven respectively are very rare features of the religion. Nonetheless, the argument that De Salviac makes about the existence of the belief in life after death in Oromo society is enough to make Bokku and other writers’ denial of the existence of “life after death” contested and curious. The issue of justice and how people relate to each other may hold for every writer. The question of relationships between peoples, and nature and justice will be treated in later sections for safuu.

Waaqeffataas generally view and worship Waaqaa based on their amazement with the ingenious works of Waaqaa’s hands that they experience and find them overwhelming to comprehend and explain. Even family prayers around the hearth contains many such instances: “UNIQUE AND SO GREAT GOD SUPPORT WITHOUT PILLAR THE DOME OF THE BLUE SKY.”[6]

Waaqeffataas view the earth as one of the major ingenious works of God. The earth is viewed inseparably from God. The image that followers of this religion have of the relationship between Waaqaa and the Earth “comes close to that of a human couple”[7]: ‘the earth is Waaqaa’s wife—Lafa niti Waaqaa,’[8] According to Bartels, there are four manifestations of the close connection between Waaqaa and the earth in four spheres of theWaaqeffannaa religious life:[9]

  1. Blessings

May the Waaqaa and the earth help you.

May Waaqaa and the earth cause you to grow up (a blessing for children.) …

  1. Curses

Be not blessed either by Waaqaa or the earth.

May Waaqaa and the earth burn [make dry] your kidneys and your womb (the curse is addressed to a woman).

  1. Oaths

The man who takes the oath breaks a dry stick, saying:

‘May the earth on which I walk and Waaqaa beneath whom I walk do the same to me, if I have done such and such a thing.’

  1. Rituals

There are rituals of slaughtering a bull or sheep for Waaqaa and making libation (dhibayyuu) under a tree for the earth.[10]

Waaqeffannaa rituals honor both God and the earth. Followers of the religion seem to take cue from God Himself, who created the earth, to inform their ways of relating to Waaqaa and earth (lafa). Evidence that suggests a relationship based on fears, intimidations or punishment between God and persons is less prevalent than those that are mostly based on respect for God, one another and for the earth. Waaqeffataas embrace and celebrate the egalitarian view of God and the diversity of names people call God. Despite some differences among people, research points to followers’ similar attitudes towards God. “… it has become clear that their attitude towards him [sic] is not only inspired by awe but also marked by familiarity and even, from time to time, by lack of respect. In his despair, a man may claim: ‘Waaqaa does not exist!’”[11] This just showsWaaqeffataas have a more liberal relationship with God. It does not mean that they are less pious as there is enough evidence to suggest many magnificent examples of humility, piety and obedience.

The question of Waaqeffataas’ acknowledgement of the oneness of God and the multiple names various religions call Him does not only show the openness of the concept of God to various interpretations, but it also shows the religion’s acceptance of religious diversity. It is easier to engage in interfaith or other conflict resolution activities when such an acknowledgement is extant than when religions claim “my way or the highway.” The ways some prayers are rendered testify to this progressive values of Waaqeffannaa: “O Black God who created the dark sky and the clean waters, who is one but called by multitudes of names, who has no competitor, the omniscient, the omnipotent, the omnipresent, who is eternal and ever powerful, whose power can never decline.”[12] Because of the view of God described here, Waaqeffataas believe that God is patient and that it is not in His nature to become angry if people believe in other things abandoning Him. Bokku holds the Waaqeffannaa God is too self-confident to be angered into punishing people who do not obey or defect to other religions.[13]

Prayers and Blessings

Boran society sometimes appears to float on a river of prayers and blessings…

Paul T. Baxter.[14]

Common to private, collective and family prayers is the focus of Oromo/Waaqeffataas’ prayers on the material conditions and well-beings of the self, the family and the group. Prayers mediate conditions of people to God so he can intervene and alter their current conditions.[15] The faithful pray for peace, health, deliverance from wrongdoing and harmful sprits and things, human and livestock fertility, growth of babies (little ones), long life for adults, for the goodness of the inside and the outside, rain, harvest and development, inter alia.

The Waaqeffannaa prayer is barely about inheriting the kingdom of heaven nor is it about seeking the help of God in a battle against Satan and sin. Evidence suggests that the concept of Devil/Satan does not exist in Waaqeffannaa while spirits that cause all kinds of suffering and misfortune or harm (ayyaana hamaa) are believed to exist.[16] Instances of talk about Devils by Waaqeffataas are generally understood as the borrowing of a religious vocabulary from the adjacent/co-existing major faiths, such as Christianity and Islam. For instance, Waaqeffataa pray to God to prevent them from wrongdoing and errors committed in ignorance. The religion has no room for addressing anxieties and fears arising from the imaginary realm of the devil/evil. For instance, words used in prayers include, “Prevent us from wrongdoing …” (dogogora nu oolchi). In terms of how people experience and understand misfortunes and fortunes (good things) Oromo proverbs capture the peoples’ dependence on Waaqaa. Indeed, the proverbs below indicate how Waaqaa is perceived as the source of good and bad things that happen in real life:[17]

A house that is built by Waaqaa will be completed.

It is Waaqaa who brings hunger;

It is Waaqaa who brings a full stomach.

The one Waaqaa clothes will not go naked.

Who trusts on Waaqaa will not lack anything.

Man wishes, Waaqaa fulfills.

Waaqaa is there [therefore] the sun rises.

It is Waaqaa who makes a person sick;

It is Waaqaa who restores him to health.

Waaqaa is never in a hurry;

But he is always there at the proper time.

There are standard prayers that have been codified in oral tradition and bequeathed down to generations. The codification of prayers, rituals and ceremonies in oral traditions serve the purpose of making Oromo worships definite and unarbitrary. The question of precise transmissions of spoken messages are always up for debates as there are obviously some room for improvisation and modification as the word of mouth (message) travels through time and space. I believe that the improvisation aspect of oral narratives will add an interesting dimension of dynamism to the hermeneutics of Waaqeffannaa.

De Salviac praises the endurance of Waaqeffannaa for many millennia in spite of the oral mode of transmission. De Salviac aptly critiques the West for generally believing that the sole sources of “valid” or “authentic” knowledge are written texts (books) as follows: “We, accustomed to the cycle of knowledge by turning pale over the books, our careless memory resting on the permanence of typography, we hardly take into account the power of tradition, which sufficed, for centuries, for the civilization of many peoples. With the Oromo, religious and secular traditions are formulated in thousands of short sentences …”[18]

What I understand from De Salviac is that Western or modern industrialized societies privilege written knowledge. His critique is on tangent because preference for written and formal communication in the West will certainly shape intervention policy-making, official diplomacy and the attitudes of interveners towards indigenous cultures. Third party interveners with fixed or rigid approaches are not only likely to disrespect and shun local knowledge systems, but they are also likely to impose rigid and unproductive conflict resolution processes developed in the context of limited civilizations.

One can only anticipate the stiff resistance that locals are likely to put up against Western models in today’s Africa where there is an increasing awareness about the importance of self-reliance and going back to the roots in order to solve indigenous problems. The true superficiality of strict Western models of dialogue, mediation, problem-solving workshop can be revealed by observing how in most of Africa’s peripheries cut of modern laws, bureaucracies and infrastructures, people thrive on the strong indigenous knowledge systems. This is how most conflicts are resolved and how people do communal work in either irrigating the land or protecting the environment. In the contexts of corrupt and partisan politics, these efforts by local people to overcome the daily challenges must be given credit because some of them are providing themselves important social services that that their governments have failed to provide them. In any effort of conflict resolution or peacemaking in such dire circumstances, it is imperative to bring local knowers (the wise men and women) into the sphere of diplomacy and peacemaking.

Prayers, sometimes synonymously called blessings or benedictions, in the form of litany and chants are integral parts of indigenous communities. Every communal activity whether it is weddings, funerals or dances and music begins with blessings or prayers. Eebba is aimed moderating the way people relate to each other at certain venues and beyond. They are about building constructive relationships even in times of wars. Here are some examples of Oromo prayers/blessings of different periods and crowds’ responses.

Pre-colonial prayers[19]:

Ya Waaq, have pity on us;              Yes, yes, have pity on us

Ya Waaq, bless us;                          Yes, yes, bless us.

Ya Waaq give us happy days;             Yes, yes, happy days.

Ya Waaq in our discussions inspire us;  Yes, yes, inspire us.

Ya Waaq in our counsel give us light;            Yes, yes, give us light.

Ya Waaq bring back rebellious son to his father; Yes, yes, bring back.

Ya Waaq bring back unruly son to his mother;   Yes, yes, bring back.

Ya Waaq to good man give cows;                  Yes, yes, give.

Ya Waaq preserve our house from ruin;                     Yes, yes preserve.

Contemporary prayers:[20]

Yes! Yes! Yes!

God of Nature and of Creations;

Waaqaa who created the Haroo Walaabuu (lake)[21];

Waaqaa who let us spend the night in peace;

Let us spend the day in peace;

Prevent us from entering into fatal errors;

Guard us against straying from the right path;

Guard us against mistakes/wrongdoings;

May the Creator we pray to hear us!

May Waaqaa guard us against the harmful!

May Waaqaa bring good things our way!

May children (the little ones) grow up!

May the grown-ups live longer!

May the ignorant know!

May experts/the wise last!

May Kormaa (uncustrated bull) reproduce!

May pregnancies stay healthy and hold!

Let Him keep away harmful things!

Gadaa (social system) is the system of rain and peace!

The year is the year of abundance/development and full stomach.

These contemporary prayers cited from the Waaqeffannaa magazine are powerful. They are usually used in order to open any public/communal gatherings secular and spiritual. This is how things are called to order. The religious prayers give authority or credibility to whatever event that is to take place. At the center of this messaging is reaching the hearts and minds of parties to an event by cleansing the air of any hard feelings and ensuring that the heart and minds are softened and ready for the secular or non secular events and exchanges that will proceed from that.

Historically, Oromos made ecumenical pilgrimages to holy sites of Abbaa Muudaa, Spiritual Father,[22] in order to receive blessings for them and to bring back blessings into their communities with them. Blessings are still considered serious religious activities that serve as glues of social life. Spiritual Fathers can give blessings to people on a range of personal and communal matters: such as long life, being alive, more property and wealth, peace in the household, on productions (calves, children, crops).

I have not come across modern mediation, negotiation or other third party intervention processes that start with prayers. Obviously, if blessings are not built into the processes, an attempt at conflict resolution in African societies, such as the Oromo, will be in vain. In the first place, people will not recognize what is not authorized and endorsed by their own knowledge system. Most importantly, empowering and funding Abbaa Mudaas or elders to engage in conflict resolution is likely to be accepted and bear fruit because of the tremendous reputations these people wield in society. They are highly regarded in society and leaving them out of official processes simply works against peace.

In Waaqeffannaa, one sees from the content of the payers and blessings above that most of them take on the nature of what Gopin succinctly characterizes as “Premordial prosocial moral/spiritual values.”[23] Although many of the conflicts in Ethiopia (Africa) are not religiously driven, the application of religious values will have a huge impact on conflicts driven by ethnicity, nationalisms and competition over resources and power. People listen when one reaches out and talks to them at their own level. Gopin provides a detailed critique of why current modern conflict resolution approaches fail to understand the importance of using prosocial religious values in the context of the Arab/Israel conflict in the Middle East, but his appraisal also holds true for the Horn of Africa region, where the volatility and intractability of conflicts are comparable to the ones in the Middle East. Among the important reasons Gopin cites are the West’s refusal to recognize non-Western models and knowledge systems. Gopin articulates the consequences of modern cultures failure to reckon with indigenous religious and cultural systems as follows:

As religion becomes more important in the lives of hundreds of millions of people, the political power generated by this commitment will either lead to a more peaceful world or to a more violent world, depending on how that power is utilized … Methods of peacemaking that continue to focus only on political and intellectual elites or that fail to address the broadest possible range of religious believers are leading to systematic and potentially catastrophic diplomatic failures in key areas of the world … [24]

Survival through Religious Diversification and Rituals

It is accurate that Waaqeffannaa and similar Africa indigenous religions are being reincarnated and are slowly starting to become explicitly important in the lives of so many people. Religious traditions, including those from indigenous religions, form the bedrock of the values of those Africans who converted to Christianity and Islam. Often these values moderate the foreign values associated with the cultures from which these major religions originated. It is not just the Waaqeffataas who only follow the indigenous religion, but a swathe peoples seem to have accepted double or triple religious lives. They shuttle between various religious and cultural values in their daily decision-makings so as to adapt to changing socio-economic circumstances. Pointing to the loose nature of individual’s and group’s negotiations between multiple religious identities, Aguilar[25] presents a case of the importance of “religious diversification for survival” among the Kenyan Boran/Oromo in northern Kenya. Aguilar provides the best illustration for survival and adaptation by accepting diverse religious values. He cites how Muslim and Waaqeffaannaa parents send their children to Catholic schools in northern Kenya and that the children do perfectly well shuttling between religious worldviews without facing physical dangers.[26] The same religious rituals performed by followers of Waaqeffannaa form the cores of the rituals and daily cultural practices of the followers of Islam and Christianity, as a mechanism of preserving and transmitting their identity. For instance, some of the religious traditions and rituals kept by Oromo communities who converted to major religions in north Kenya include similar types of blessings, prayers, and peacemaking through rituals of coffee beans-slaughtering and symbolic prayers.[27] These subtle practices of syncretism not only form the core identity of Oromo in north Kenya and connect them to the mainland (Oromia-Ethiopia), but they also play stabilizing roles in a families and communities there.[28]

The phenomenon of syncretism/ “religious diversification” serves as a survival strategy where minority communities cut off into another country from the mainstream because of colonial map-making try to cope with the alien majority they are swallowed up by. The case of Kenyan Oromos imitating the Waaqeffannaa values of the mainland is an example of such an essential survival strategy. Aguilar puts this as, “It is clear that the strategy of diversification provides the household (and a manyatta [place of settlement]) with security should something happen to either of the herds.”[29]

It is no accident that somebody whom an outsider may perceive as a follower of one religion is actually found at the crossroads of multiple religious values. It takes a deeper look to discern such subtle and significant dynamics. For an intervener who has no interest or who is not patient to take time and learn, the subtlety of the power of tradition will ever remain inaccessible. Because one has no access to the right cultural tools, the very people he/she trying to reach and help will become inaccessible and unresponsive, especially if one attempts to impose some ivory-tower (imported) conflict resolution framework or process on local situations. People have been handling their affairs everyday for centuries independently of outsiders. To assume that they somehow do not or their methods are not in par with modern approaches will defeat the purpose of thinking to help others in the first place.

Safuu in Peacemaking and Social Harmony

This section analyzes the role of Safuu as one of the key elements of Waaqeffannaa. Safuu is a prosocial variable that needs a deeper analysis to see its roles in indigenous peacebuilding. Safuu is a broad concept that governs relationship in and between families, communities, national groups and relationship between people and nature and things.

Bartels provides a nuanced anthropological definition of the term Safuu:[30]

Saffu is a fundamental and all-pervading concept in the Matcha’s [Oromo] life. It implies that all things have a place of their own in the cosmic and social order, and that they should keep this place. Their place is conditioned by the specific ayana [good spirit] each of them has received from Waaqaa. Every creature, and especially man, has to act according to its own ayana and to respect the others’ ayana. Saffu implies both rights and duties. In the people’s eyes wisdom is ‘knowing saffu and abide [sic] by it.’

Gemetchu Megerssa, a leading Oromo anthropologist and former research assistant to Lambert Bartels, probably influenced by Bartels himself, states that safuu is one of the key founding concepts in Oromo culture and Waaqeffannaa tradition.[31] Bartels’ definition is more encapsulating, while it shares one central common feature with Megerssa’s definition, “… the concept of saffu(mutual relationship between elements of the social and cosmic orders) which maintains practice obligatory [sic] through ethical conduct.” They both agree that safuu governs relationships between people and people, and people and nature, but Megersa introduces a newer and more specific idea of safuu as “an ethical conduct.”

Another leading expert on Waaqeffannaa, Bokku quotes Bartels directly and extends the concept of Safuu to broad areas of “morality”, “norm” and “laws” that govern social and ecological order.[32] Bokku states his extended definition building on Bartels: “Safuu is the understanding of differences and appreciation of differences for the peaceful coexistence of all natural things.” For Bokkuu, as opposed to man-made laws “safuu is not subject to change.” He concludes that safuu as laws of nature is necessary for the “smooth operation of life”, which is harmony. Everyone invokes the notions that Safuu owes its authority over social relationship because it derives from the will or the spirit of God (ayyaanaa). Thus, experts agree that Safuuis one of the fundamental principles of Oromo culture that governs relationships and keeps society together.

In Waaqeffannaa in particular and Oromo culture in general, it is believed that “breaking safuu would cause some sort of trouble.”[33] Breaking safuulaws is seen as committing sin. The consequences of breaking various categories of safuu are understood as generating unhappy reactions from God. In Waaqeffannaa when someone sins, God turns His back on him/her. The meaning behind this is that if one misses the face of God, it means that one lacks ayyana (a guardian, blessings or will of God). This core law encourages people to maintain friendly relationships between themselves and with nature. Safuu is a law of rights and obligations. Since Safuu is not something in people, but something between them, it is assumed to promote collective harmony. Paying attention to the concept of “sin” in the meaning system of Waaqeffannaa is important because it comes from the Oromo word, “‘balleessuu’, which actually means ‘to destroy, to damage, to spoil’”[34]

When one engages in destructive activities one is considered to be destroying, damaging, and spoiling relationships between at least three parties: God, creation (nature) and other human beings. In Oromo life, not damaging relationship between oneself and creations is given more importance than not damaging relationship between human and God.[35]

The Dynamisms of the Indigenous Faith System

It is hard to understand how one can be effective in conflict resolution in Africa without having at least the working knowledge of important key principles governing all-rounded relationships, such as safuu. Religious values of Waaqeffannaa may not require so much hermeneutic transformation because they already exist in pro-social form. Keeping natural and social orders is already a stringent requirement on top of acceptance for differences of any sort.

In Waaqeffannaa, destroying (for example killing humans in conflict) is prohibited by the religion’s laws. Those who violate traditional laws and destroy anything will face alienation and banning from God as well as from fellows humans. They are denied opportunities to sit and eat at a table with family members and others; they become social outcasts. My evidence does not suggest any anti-social principles/laws in the Waaqeffannaaworldview so far. Even some of the curses that are put on people have the goal of ensuring social harmony and can be viewed positively. If I had come across anything that says, “if you kill your enemy or someone, God will reward you with heaven or sainthood or some other rewards,” I would have paused and thought, this is a justification for war and destruction that needs to be hermetically transformed. Transformation may be due if violence is made into something sacred. In my opinion the values of this religion particularly those about safuu are poised to play important peacebuilding and relationship-building roles at least in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

One can think of the lack of written scriptures (there are oral ‘scriptures’) for African religion as both advantages and disadvantages. In terms of the creativity and improvisation of transmissions of oral values/laws, the lack of written scriptures is an advantage because followers or leaders of indigenous religions will have the ability to interpret the concepts in ways that meet the physical and spiritual needs of their time. But that can also be a disadvantage since some lament that African could not have converted to Christianity and Islam if they had written scriptures and transformed their religions into organized faith systems.[36]

The question of whether Africans had concepts of God or not or whether they were ‘pagan hordes’ as the colonialists viewed them is now an outdated and irrelevant question because a number of scholars have produced research revealing that indeed Africans had believed in one God even before the advent of Middle Eastern religions.[37] Mbiti’s findings are credible because he stayed in Africa for 15 years and conducted studies on about 300 African communities and their belief systems.

Because indigenous African religions, including Waaqeffannaa, lack written scriptures, culturally biased scholars who judge everything according to Western standards may think religions, such as Waaqeffannaa, are inferior, static and things of the past. In rebuttal, one can respond to that arguing that oral mode of transmission makes African religions dynamic, ever-changing and ever-adapting to social changes even after some converted to other faiths. This happens because African religions do not punish defections and because their religious leaders are less likely to make claims to the permanence of specific oral texts or think of the values/traditions of their religion as the only “Truth” to die for.

About the locus of the existence of African religions, Mbiti writes, “Religion in African societies is written not on paper but in people’s heart, minds, oral history, rituals, and religious personages like the priests, rainmakers, official elders … African religions have neither founders nor reformers.”[38]Mbiti’s notion of the lack of founders and reformers can be contested because it could be that founders and reformers might have existed millennia ago and simply no written records were kept about them. The key point here is that words of mouth are dynamic. The best way to reach the hearts and minds of the vast peoples of rural Africa should be through oral traditions and spoken language. The prevalent practice by third party interveners shows an opposite tendency of bureaucratizing everything and transmitting messages via the written medium (forms and documents) through the agency of “rational professionals”.

Authors caution against viewing Waaqeffannaa religious traditions as part of a static tradition of the past[39], and encourage us to view them as dynamic traditions that are continually changing based on wider experiences that are part of their present. Aguilar is succinct about the advantages of the dynamism of Waaqeffannaa’s hermeneutics: “… traditions are transmitted, never as static forms but as changeable manifestations of an Oromo religion [Waaqeffannaa] that interacts [sic] with other traditions and other ethnic groups, and therefore becomes capable of reshaping society itself.”[40]

Lessons for Conflict Resolution

The values and laws of Waaqeffannaa identified and analyzed in this research suggest the importance of recognizing African indigenous religious systems and the prosocial contributions of their values and laws to conflict resolution.

I deliberately tried not to impose a theoretical framework over my analysis although my approach was influenced by hermeneutics.[41] Engaging in peacemaking in indigenous African communities requires the use of what Gopin, drawing on Lederach, calls “elicitive and cross-cultural methods.”[42] Concepts such as safuu, the Waaqeffannaa worldview, prayers, blessings, harmony are predominantly about building relationships between people and people, and them and nature. The most effective way of arriving at these principles and using them in interventions is to do one’s best to involve indigenous peoples, religious leaders, elders and parties to conflict and to elicit from them the best practices they have evolved over centuries in peacemaking.

Indigenous African religions are caught up in multipronged challenges, such as lack of recognition from interveners, states and richer and more organized religions despite their prevalence and appeal to many African communities. Established conflict resolution methods, such as mediation, negotiation, facilitation, problem-solving workshop and dialogue, are often too Western, rationalistic, elitist and foreign to accommodate other grassroots approaches to peacemaking, such as obeying safuu. If we look at official mediation, for instance, we find the reliance on rigid processes and professionals as its main features. Such formal stages may include collecting data, building hypothesis about a conflict, searching for theories, selecting theory, making intervention, and verifying and nullifying hypothesis.[43] It is not necessarily bad to prepare for mediation in stages, but when everything is prefigured, there is a danger of learning very little on the field while doing the intervention itself. In most rationalistic conflict resolution methods listed above, the immediate settlement of conflict is desired. This may turn out to be a shortcoming because long-term relationship-building and peacemaking, which is the hallmark of indigenous systems, are and sidelined.

Limitation of the Indigenous Religion

The most important limitation of many African indigenous religious values and traditions, including Waaqeffannaa, is that the practice of peacemaking is inbound to groups in which these traditions originated. There are also perceptions and tendencies to associate the good prosocial aspects of religious principles this religion with ethno-nationalist competitions of the day, and therefore, to readily dismiss them as unrepresentative of the whole. A much productive approach, however, is to see the commonalities of multiple African religious traditions and to take key principles from each of them and combine them in order to make everyone feel good about their faiths. There is so much to learn from this culture if one is willing to follow the elicitive path to conflict resolution.

The second obvious limitation is the lack of written scriptures and the challenges of accessing oral scriptures for outsiders due to language barriers, but which can still be overcome with translators and interpreters.

Thirdly, African indigenous religions have not been given the places they deserve in some continental interfaith organizations whose member religions tend to be organized and rich major religions. For instances, the United Religious Initiative (URI) Africa chapter, an international faith network that operates in 25 African countries, professes that it aims to look for solutions to Africa’s challenges at community levels in the areas of corruption, human rights violation, poverty and HIV/AIDs[44], but unfortunately no indigenous African religious tradition from any community is represented by such an important organization. The network carries it activities in Africa through major faiths, such as Christianity and Islam. Another domestic (Ethiopian) interfaith network, Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (IPI), a member of the URI, has no indigenous Ethiopian religions (Waaqeffannaaincluded) as its members.

The problem with URI and IPI is not only a simplistic and envious question of who is represented or who is not, but it appears that the mentioned interfaith networks have been systematically coopted and used to advance the interests of the Ethiopian state since Ambassador Mussie Hailu is serving simultaneously as the Regional Director of URI and the Board Chair of IPI.[45] The more intractable and absurd aspect of IPI is that it is an interfaith organization as far as the major religions are concerned, but the founders and its leaders are members of a single ethno-national group who are publicly known to lean toward the ruling party from the same group. This is a clear negative messaging to others in Ethiopia where the issues of ethnicity are sensitive. To be sure, it is possible to have an interfaith organization with wonderful goals like IPI, but with ethno-nationalist ideological agenda at same time. That will do more to keep peoples apart than bring them together.

Despite its growing popularity in Oromiya regional state, the most populous in Ethiopia, Waaqeffannaa’s attempts to transform itself into an organized religion have failed many times so far because the Ethiopian state has first denied and then revoked the license of the group citing that its leaders sympathize with the Oromo Liberation Front[46], a secular rebel group in conflict with the government on the question of autonomy and self- determination for Oromiya.

Conclusion

Waaqeffannaa’s pro-social principles, laws and values did and will contribute to building constructive relationships between communities. In addition to improving human relations, laws, such as safuu, that emphasize the need to maintain good relationship with nature, can be extended and used in areas of environmental conflict resolution, specially where climate change is threatening pastoralist and agrarian communities in many observable ways today.

I explored and discussed the ways in which the egalitarian but respectful views of God by Waaqeffataas can be helpful in curbing extremist tendencies. Neither oral scriptures of the religion nor its leaders condone acts of violence as something leading to rewards or sainthood. Prayers and blessings function as authoritative moderators and they can be used in opening and closing any intervention efforts. Waaqeffannaa is a very pragmatic religion whose most themes are linked to and earthbound to the material conditions of people. Therefore, people in conflict may have the same questions they want answered through prayers to be answered through interventions.

The potential and capacity of the religion in national or regional peacemaking is promising if it be recognized and the multi-pronged obstacles in its way are removed.

=======================================

References

Abu-Nimer, Mohammed. Nonviolence and Peace Building in Islam: Theory and Practice. Gainesville: University Press of Florida, 2003.

Aguilar, Mario I. The Politics of God in East Africa: Oromo Ritual and Religion. Trenton, N.J.: The Red Sea Press, 2009.

Appleby, Scott R. “Retrieving the Missing Dimension of Statecraft: Religious Faith in the Service of Peacebuilding.” In Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik, ed. Douglas Johnston, 2003. Oxford: OUP.

____ The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation. Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, 2000.

Bartels, Lambert. Oromo Religion: Myths and Rites of the Western Oromo of Ethiopia-An Attempt to Understand. Berlin: Dietrich Reamer Verlag, 1983.

Bokku, Dirribi Demissie. Oromo Wisdom in Black Civilization. Finfinne, Ethiopia: Finfinne Printing & Publishing S.C., 2011.

De Salviac, Martial. An Ancient People: Great African Nation: the Oromo. Translation from the 1901 original French edition by Ayalew Kanno. Paris, the French Academy, 2005.

Douglas, Johnston. Faith-Based Diplomacy: Trumping Realpolitik. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003.

Gopin, Marc. Between Eden and Armageddon: The Future of World Religions, Violence and Peacemaking. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2000.

____ Holy War, Holy Peace: How Religion Can Bring Peace to the Middle East. New York: Oxford University Press, 2002.

Megerssa, Gemetchu. “Oromumma: Tradition, Consciousness and Identity.” In Being and Becoming Oromo: Historical and Anthropological Enquiries, Edited by P.T.W. Baxter, Jan Hultin and Alessandro Triulzi. Lawrenceville, N.J.: The Red Sea Press, 1996.

Montville, Joseph V. “Psychoanalytic Enlightenment and the Greening of Diplomacy.” In The Psychodynamics of International Relationships, Eds. Vamik D. Volkan, Demetrios A. Julius, and Joseph V. Montville. Lexington Mass.: Lexington Books (1990-1991): 177-192.

Moore, Christopher W. The Mediation Process: Practical Strategies for Resolving Conflict. 3rd Ed. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2003.

MTA. Waaqeffannaa: Ayyaana Irreechaa Birraa, 2010.Vol. V. No. 1. Finfinnee: MTA, 2010. (trans. Waaqeffannaa: Thanksgiving Holiday of Fall 2010.)

Sandole, Dennis J.D. “Paradigm, Theories, and Metaphors in Conflict and Conflict Resolution: Coherence or Confusion?” In Conflict Resolution Theory and Practice, Ed., Dennis Sandole. Manchester and New York: Manchester University Press, (1993): 3-24.

Stenger, Mary Ann. “Gadamer’s Hermeneutics as a Model for Cross-Cultural Understanding and Truth in Religion.” In Religious Pluralism and Truth: Essays on Cross-Cultural Philosophy of Religion, Ed., Thomas Dean. New York: State University of New York Press, (1995): 151-168.

Volkan, Vamik D. “Psychological Processes in Unofficial Diplomacy Meetings.” In The Psychodynamics of International Relationships, Eds. Vamik D. Volkan, Demetrios A. Julius, and Joseph V. Montville. Lexington Mass.: Lexington Books (1990-1991): 207-219.

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Footnotes

[1] De Salviac, 1901:43; Bartels, 1983:89; Bokku, 2011: 54). The two previous books on Oromo religion (now named Waaqeffannaa) by European missionaries are widely regarded as authoritative secular scholarly sources closest to the source ever to be published on an indigenous African religion of antiquity. Bokku adds his own recent perspectives on the religion and revises his predecessors’ perspectives without altering the essence of their work.

[2] Bokku, 2011:54.

[3] Bartels, 1983:91.

[4] Bokku,2011:73.

[5] De Selviac, 1901;155.

[6] De Selviac, 1901:173, emphasis in the original.

[7] Bartels, 1983:108

[8] Haberland 1963 in Bartels, 1983:108.

[9] Bartels, 1983:108-109.

[10] Bartels, 1983: 109.

[11] Bartels, 1983;107

[12] Bokku, 2011: 66. The quote was an English translation the author provides from the Afaan Oromoo (Oromo language) version, which runs:“Gurraacha garaa garbaa, leemmoo garaa taliilaa, tokkicha maqaa dhibbaa, guddicha hiriyaa hinqabne, kan waan hundaa beeku, kan waan hundaa gochuu danda’u, kan bakka maraa jiru, kan hinkufine, kan hinduuneefi kan hincabne.”

[13] see footnote number 11.

[14] P.T.W. Baxter, Age, Generation and Time, 155 in Aguilar, 2009:13).

[15] De Salviac, 1901:153, 163; Bartels, 1983:96; Bokku, 2011:66-67; Megerssa, 1996:92-103.

[16] De Salviac, 1983:120; Bokku, 2011: 67.

[17] Bartels, 1983:95.

[18] De Salviac

[19] De Salviac, 1901:163.

[20] Translated by me from Afaan Oromoo into English from the Waaqeffannaa magazine, p i.

[21] Haroo Walaabuu is considered the origin of Oromo community and the source of all walking humans on earth. It plays an important symbolic/mythic role in standard prayers. Water bodies are considered sources of life.

[22] De Salviac, 1901:177.

[23] Gopin, 2000:84.

[24] Gopin, 2000:35.

[25] Aguilar, 2009:13-32.

[26] Aguilar, 2009:28.

[27] See footnote 24

[28] Augilar, 2009:

[29] Ibid., p.27.

[30] Bartels, 1983:170.

[31] Megersa, 1996:96-97.

[32] Bokku, 2011:75.

[33] See footnote 31.

[34] Bartels, 1983:339, Bokku, 2011:76.

[35] Bartels, 1983:339.

[36] Bokku, 2011: 61.

[37] Mbiti, 1992:29.

[38] Mbiti, 1992:4.

[39] Megerssa, 1996:98; Aguilar, 2009:5.

[40] Aguilar, 2009:5

[41] Stenger, 1995.

[42] Gopin, 2000:60-61.

[43] Moore,2003:66

[44] URI. “Purposes and Activities.” http://www.uri.org/cooperation_circles/explore_cooperation_circles/region/africa

[45] IPI Ethiopia. http://www.ipiethiopia.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=111&Itemid=110

[46] U.S. Department of State on Religious Freedom in Ethiopia, 2010: 4.

Meroe, Oromo and Old Nubian: Solving the Mystery of Meroitic Language July 23, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Afaan Publication, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ancient Egyptian, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Cushtic, Gadaa System, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Language and Development, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Oromia, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromummaa, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Sidama, State of Oromia, The Goddess of Fecundity, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System.
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Meroe, Oromo and Old Nubian: Solving the Mystery of Meroitic Language
By Dereje Tadesse Birbirso (PhD),  College of Social Science and HumanitiesHaramaya University, Ethiopia
Abstract
 
 Meroitic language is one of the most controversial ancient languages but one of the few having advanced writing systems. Some classify it Asian, European, non-African, Semitic,or ‘unclassified’. This paper contends Meroe, similar to their Cushitic friends, are left victims of preconceived ideas based on an entirely argument from silence, an hegemonic epistemology that elevates a single perspective and silences other(s). This paper, thus,comparatively analyzes Meroitic and Old Nubian lexical and grammatical items with corresponding Oromo, a Cushitic family which, 
a Cushitic family which,vocabulary possibly the Ancientlanguage of the Nile Valley and/or Horn of Africa. Meroitic and Old Nubian lexical, grammatical and epigraphic data were collected from secondary sources by Meroitic researchers. Oromo corpora are obtained both from classical and modern descriptions and native-speakers. Results indicate Oromo lexemes show significant level of cognates with not only Meroitic and Old Nubian, but also with the Ancient Egyptian to their northern part.
Keywords:  Oromo, Meroe, Nubian, Ancient Egyptian, Cushitic, Chiekh Anta Diop
 Related Reference:
The Meroitic Ethiopian Origins of the Modern Oromo NationBy Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

This paper deals, among others, with the development of Meroitic studies, the Meroitic civilization, the destruction of the city of Meroe, the dispersal of the Meroitic people after the collapse of their state, the Christianization of the post Meroitic states, the migration of the remnants of the Meroitic people in the direction of the Blue Nile and their possible relation of ancestry with the modern Cushitic language speaking Oromo nation. It must be stated clearly at the outset that the issue of Meroitic ancestry of the Oromo nation has not been considered, much less published in an academic journal or scholarly books. The paper was first presented in an academic conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association. Footnotes have been added recently.

1. The Development of the Meroitic Studies, the History of Kush and Meroe, and the Efforts to Decipher the Meroitic Scripture

Interest in what was Ethiopia for the Ancient Greeks and Romans, i.e. the Northern territory of present day Sudan from Khartoum to the Egyptian border1, led to the gradual development of the modern discipline of the Humanities that long stood in the shadow of

Egyptology: the Meroitic Studies.

Considerable advances had been made in academic research and knowledge as the result of the exploratory trips of the Prussian pioneering Egyptologist Richard Lepsius2 (1842 – 1844) that bestowed upon modern scholarship the voluminous ‘Denkmäler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien’ (Monuments from Egypt and Ethiopia), and the series of excavations by E. A. Wallis Budge3 and John Garstang4 at Meroe (modern Bagrawiyah) in the first years of the twentieth century, Francis Llewellyn Griffith5 at Kawa (ancient Gematon, near modern Dongola, 1929 – 1931), Fritz Hintze6 at Musawwarat es Sufra, Jean Leclant7 at Sulb (Soleb), Sadinga (Sedeinga), and Djebel Barkal (ancient Napata, modern Karima) in the 1950s and the 1960s, D. Wildung8 at Naqah, and Charles Bonnet at Kerma. . The pertinent explorations and contributions of scholars like A. J. Arkell9, P. L. Shinnie10 and Laszlo Torok11 that cover a span of 80 years reconstituted a large part of the greatness and splendor of this four-millennia long African civilization.

Yet, due to the lack of direct access to original sources and genuine understanding of the ancient history of Sudan, the legendary Ethiopia of the Greeks and Romans, which also corresponds to what was ‘Kush’ of the Hebrews Bible and ultimately ‘Kas’ of the ancient Egyptians12, we face a serious problem of terminology. We are confined to such terms as Period (or Group) A (3100 – 2700 BCE),13 Period B14 (2700 – 2300 BCE that starts with Pharaoh Snefru’s expedition,15 and the beginning of time-honored enmity between Egypt and Kush), Period C16 (2300 – 2100 BCE, when we have no idea to what specific ethnic or state structures the various Egyptian names Wawat, Irtet, Setjiu,Yam, Zetjau, and Medjay refer)17, Period Kerma18 (2100 – 1500 BCE, named after the modern city and archeological site, 500 km in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border). What we know for sure is that, when the first Pharaohs of the New Empire invaded and colonized the entire area down to Kurgus19 (more than 1000 km alongside the Nile in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border), they established two top Egyptian administrative positions, namely ‘Viceroy of Wawat’ and ‘Viceroy of Kush/Kas’. Wawat is the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel or properly speaking, the area between the first and the second cataracts whereas Kas is all the land that lies beyond. With the collapse of the Kerma culture comes to end a first high-level culture and state in the area of Kush.

We employ the term ‘Kushitic Period’20 to refer to the subsequent period: a) the Egyptian annexation (1500 – 950 BCE) that was followed by a permanent effort to egyptianize Kush and the ceaseless Kushitic revolutions against the Pharaohs;

b) the Kushitic independence (950 – 800 BCE, when a state is formed around Napata21, present day Karima, 750 km in the south of the Sudanese – Egyptian border);

c) the Kushitic expansion and involvement in Egypt (800 – 670 BCE, which corresponds mostly to the XXVth – ‘Ethiopian’ according to Manetho22 – dynasty of Egypt, when the Theban clergy of Amun made an alliance with the Kushitic ‘Qore’ – Kings of Napata, who had two capitals, Napata and Thebes);23 and d) the Kushitic expulsion from Egypt (following the three successive invasions of Egypt by Emperors Assarhaddon24 in 671 BCE, and Assurbanipal25in 669 and 666 BCE, and of Assyria, who made an alliance with the Heliopolitan26 priesthood and Libyan princes against the Theban clergy and the Kushitic kings), and gradual decline (following the invasions by Psamtik/Psammetichus II27 in 591 BCE, and the Achaemedian28 Persian Shah Kambudjiyah/Cambyses29 in 525 BCE) until the transfer of the capital far in the south at Meroe, at the area of present day Bagrawiyah (at the end of the reign of Qore Nastasen30between335 and 315 BCE).

We call ‘Meroitic’ the entire period that covers almost 700 years beginning around 260 BCE with the reign of the successors of Nastasen (Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes31 (the most illustrious among the earliest ones and the first to be buried at Meroe / Bagrawiyah), down to the end of Meroe and the destruction of the Meroitic royal cities by the Axumite Abyssinian Negus Ezana32 (370 CE). It is easily understood that ‘Kushitic’ antedates ‘Meroitic’, but the appellations are quite conventional.

The Ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) entered into a period of cultural and scriptural radiation and authenticity relatively late, around the third century BCE, which means that the development took place when Meroe replaced Napata as capital of the Kushites / Meroites. Before that moment, they used Egyptian Hieroglyphic scripture for all purposes of writing, administrative, economic, religious and/or royal. The introduction of the Meroitic alphabetic hieroglyphic writing spearheaded the development of a Meroitic cursive alphabetic scripture that was used for less magnificent purposes than palatial and sacred relief inscriptions. The first person to publish Meroitic inscriptions was the French architect Gau33, who visited Northern Sudan in 1819. Quite unfortunately, almost two centuries after the discovery, we risk being left in mysteries with regard to the contents of the epigraphic evidence collected in both scriptural systems.

The earliest dated Meroitic hieroglyphic inscriptions belong to the reign of the ruling queen Shanakdakheto34 (about 177-155 BCE), but archaeologists believe that this scripture represents the later phase of a language spoken by Kushites / Meroites at least as far back as 750 BCE and possibly many centuries before that (hinting at a Kushitic continuity from the earliest Kerma days). The earliest examples of Meroitic cursive inscriptions, recently found by Charles Bonnet in Dukki Gel (REM 1377-78)35, can be dated from the early second century BCE. The latest text is still probably the famous inscription from Kalabsha mentioning King Kharamadoye (REM 0094)36 and dated from the beginning of the fifth century AD, although some funeral texts from Ballana37 could be contemporary if not posterior.

Despite the fact that F. L. Griffith has identified the 23 Meroitic alphabetic scripture’s signs already in 1909, not much progress has been made towards an ultimate decipherment of the Meroitic38. Scarcity of epigraphic evidence plays a certain role in this regard, since as late as the year 2000 we were not able to accumulate more than 1278 texts. If we now add to that the lack of lengthy texts, the lack of any bilingual text (not necessarily Egyptian /Meroitic, it could be Ancient Greek / Meroitic, if we take into consideration that Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes39 was well versed in Greek), and a certain lack of academic vision, we understand why the state of our knowledge about the history of the Meroites is still so limited.

Linguistics and parallels from other languages have been repeatedly set in motion in order to help the academic research. Griffith and Haycock40 tried to read Meroitic using (modern) Nubian. K.H. Priese41 tried to read the Meroitic text using Eastern Sudanese (Beja42 or Hadendawa43); and F. Hintze44, attempted to compare Meroitic with the Ural-Altaic group. Recently Siegbert Hummel45, compared the “known” Meroitic words to words in the Altaic family which he believed was a substrate language of Meroitic. At times, scholars (like Clyde Winters46) were driven to farfetched interpretations, attempting to equate Meroitic with Tokharian, after assuming a possible relationship between the name Kush and the name Kushan47 of an Eastern Iranian state (of the late Arsacid48, 250 BCE – 224 CE, and early Sassanid49, 224 – 651 CE, times)! However, one must state that the bulk of the researchers working on the Meroitic language do not believe that it was a member of the Afro-Asiatic group.

So far, the only Meroitic words for which a solid translation had been given by Griffith and his successors are the following: man, woman, meat, bread, water, give, big, abundant, good, sister, brother, wife, mother, child, begotten, born, feet. The eventual equivalence between Egyptian and Meroitic texts was a strong motivation for any interpretational approach, recent or not. More recent, but still dubious, suggestions are the following: arohe- «protect», hr- «eat», pwrite «life», yer «milk», ar «boy», are- or dm- «take, receive», dime «cow», hlbi «bull», ns(e) «sacrifice, sdk «journey», tke- «love, revere», we «dog». It is clear that vocalization remains a real problem50.

Through the aforementioned we realize why collective works, like Fontes Historiae Nubiorum. Textual Sources for the History of the Middle Nile Region (vols. I – IV, edited by T. Eide, T. Hägg, R.H. Pierce, and L. Török, University of Bergen, Bergen 1994, 1996. 1998 and 2000), are still seminal for our – unfortunately indirect, as based on Ancient Egyptian, Greek, Latin and Coptic texts – knowledge of Meroe.

2. The End of Meroe

Amidst numerous unclear points of the Kushitic / Meroitic history, the end of Meroe, and the consequences of this event remain a most controversial point among scholars. Quite indicatively, we may mention here the main efforts of historical reconstitution.

A. Arkell, Sayce and others asserted that Meroe was captured and destroyed, following one military expedition led by Ezana of Axum.

B. Reisner insisted that, after Ezana’s invasion and victory, Meroe remained a state with another dynasty tributary to Axum.

C. Monneret de Villard and Hintze affirmed that Meroe was totally destroyed before Ezana’s invasion, due to an earlier Axumite Abyssinian raid.

D. Torok, Shinnie, Kirwan, Haegg and others concluded that Meroe was defeated by a predecessor of Ezana, and continued existing as a vassal state.

E. Bechhaus- Gerst specified that Meroe was invaded prior to Ezana’s raid, and that the Axumite invasion did not reach lands further in the north of Meroe51

With two fragmentary inscriptions from Meroe, one from Axum, two graffitos from Kawa and Meroe, and one coin being all the evidence we have so far, , we have little to reconstruct the details that led to the collapse of Meroe. One relevant source, the Inscription of Ezana (DAE 11, the ‘monotheistic’ inscription in vocalized Ge’eze),52 remains a somewhat controversial historical source to be useful in this regard. The legendary Monumentum Adulitanum53, lost but copied in a confused way by Cosmas Indicopleustes54, may not shed light at all on this event. One point is sure, however: there was never a generalized massacre of the Meroitic inhabitants of the lands conquered by Ezana. The aforementioned DAE 11 inscription mentions just 758 Meroites killed by the Axumite forces.

What is even more difficult to comprehend is the reason behind the scarcity of population attested on Meroitic lands in the aftermath of Ezana’s raid. The post-Meroitic and pre-Christian, transitional phase of Sudan’s history is called X-Group55 or period, or Ballana Period and this is again due to lack to historical insight. Contrary to what happened for many centuries of Meroitic history, when the Meroitic South (the area between Shendi56 and Atbara57 in modern Sudan with the entire hinterland of Butana that was called Insula Meroe / Nesos Meroe, i.e. Island Meroe in the Antiquity) was overpopulated, compared to the Meroitic North (from Napata / Karima to the area between Aswan58 and Abu Simbel59, which was called Triakontaschoinos60 and was divided between Meroe and the Roman Empire), during the X-Group times, the previously under-populated area gives us the impression of a more densely peopled region, if compared to the previous center of Meroitic power and population density. The new situation contradicts earlier descriptions and narrations by Dio Cassius 61 and Strabo.62

Furthermore, the name ‘Ballana period’ is quite indicative in this regard, Ballana being on Egyptian soil, whereas not far in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border lies Karanog with its famous tumuli that bear evidence of Nubian upper hand in terms of social anthropology. The southernmost counterpart of Karanog culture can be found in Tangassi (nearby Karima, which represented the ‘North’ for what was the center of earlier Meroitic power gravitation)

In addition, in terms of culture, X-Group heralds a total break with the Meroitic tradition, with the Nubians and the Blemmyes/Beja outnumbering the Meroitic remnants and imposing a completely different cultural and socio-anthropological milieu out of which would later emanate the first and single Nubian state in the World History: Nobatia.

Much confusion characterized modern scholars when referring to Kush or Meroe by using the modern term ‘Nubia’. By now it is clear that the Nubians lived since times immemorial in both Egypt and the Sudan, being part of the history of these two lands. But Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan ethnic / linguistic group different from the Khammitic Kushites / Meroites. At the times of X-Group and during the long centuries of Christian Sudan, we have the opportunity to attest the differences and divergence between the Nubians and the Meroitic remnants. The epicenter of Nubian center, the area between the first (Aswan) and the third (Kerma) cataracts, rose to independence and prominence first, with capital at Faras, nearby the present day Sudanese – Egyptian border, around 450 CE. Nobatia institutionalized Coptic as religious (Christian) and administrative language, and Nubian language remained an oral only vehicle of communication. The Nobatian control in the south of the third cataract was vague, nominal and precarious. Nobatia was linked with the Coptic – Monophysitic Patriarchate of Alexandria.

The Meroitic remnants underscored their difference from the Nubians / Nobatians, and the depopulated central part of the defunct state of Meroe rose to independence in the first decades of the sixth century. Its name, Makkuria, is in this regard a linguistic resemblance of the name ‘Meroe’ but we know nothing more. The Meroitic remnants inhabited the northern circumference of Makkuria more densely, and the gravitation center turned around Old Dongola (580 km in the south of Wadi Halfa), capital of this Christian Orthodox state that extended from Kerma to Shendi (the area of the sixth cataract), so for more than 1000 km alongside the Nile. But beyond the area of Karima (750 km in the south of Wadi Halfa) and the nearby famous Al Ghazali monastery we have very scarce evidence of Christian antiquities. The old African metropolis Meroe remained at the periphery of Makkuria, Alodia and Axumite Abyssinia.

Makkurians highlighted their ideological – religious divergence from the Nubians, by adopting Greek as religious language. They even introduced a new scripture for their Makkurian language that seems to be a later phase of Meroitic. Makkurian was written in alphabetic Greek signs, and the Makkurians preferred to attach themselves to Christian Orthodoxy, and more particularly to the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Alodia has long been called the ‘third Christian state’ in Sudan, but recent discoveries in Soba, its capital (15 km at the east of Khartoum), suggest that Alodia rose first to independence (around 500 CE) and later adhered to Christianity (around 580 – 600 CE) following evangelization efforts deployed by missionary Nobatian priests (possibly in a sort of anti-Makkurian religious diplomacy). We know nothing of an Alodian scripture so far.

The later phases of the Christian history of Sudan encompass the Nobatian – Makkurian merge (around 1000 CE), the islamization of Makkuria in 1317, and finally the late collapse of Christian Alodia in 1505. The question remains unanswered until today:

What happened to the bulk of the Meroitic population, i.e. the inhabitants of the Insula Meroe, the present day Butana? What occurred to the Meroites living between the fourth and the sixth cataracts after the presumably brief raid of Ezana of Axum, and the subsequent destruction of Meroe, Mussawarat es Sufra, Naqah, Wad ben Naqah and Basa?

3. Reconstruction of the Post-Meroitic History of the Kushitic Oromo Nation

Certainly, the motives of Ezana’s raid have not yet been properly studied and assessed by modern scholarship. The reasons for the raid may vary from a simple nationalistic usurpation of the name of ‘Ethiopia’ (Kush), which would give Christian eschatological legitimacy to the Axumite Abyssinian kingdom, to the needs of international politics (at the end of 4th century) and the eventuality of an Iranian – Meroitic alliance at the times of Shapur II (310 – 379), aimed at outweighing the Roman – Abyssinian bond. Yet, this alliance could have been the later phase of a time honored Meroitic diplomatic tradition (diffusion of Mithraism as attested on the Jebel Qeili reliefs of Shorakaror). What we can be sure of are the absence of a large-scale massacre, and the characteristic scarcity of population in the central Meroitic provinces during the period that follows Ezana’s raid and the destruction of Meroe.

The only plausible explanation is that the scarcity of population in Meroe mainland after Meroe’s destruction was due to the fact that the Meroites in their outright majority (at least for the inhabitants of Meroe’s southern provinces) fled and migrated to areas where they would stay independent from the Semitic Christian kingdom of Axumite Abyssinia. This explanation may sound quite fresh in approach, but it actually is not, since it constitutes the best utilization of the already existing historical data.

From archeological evidence, it becomes clear that during X-Group phase and throughout the Makkurian period the former heartland of Meroe remained mostly uninhabited. The end of Meroe is definitely abrupt, and it is obvious that Meroe’s driving force had gone elsewhere. The correct question would be “where to?”

There is no evidence of Meroites sailing the Nile downwards to the area of the 4th (Karima) and the 3rd (Kerma) cataracts, which was earlier the northern circumference of Meroe and remained untouched by Ezana. There is no textual evidence in Greek, Latin and/or Coptic to testify to such a migratory movement or to hint at an even more incredible direction, i.e. Christian Roman Egypt. If we add to this the impossibility of marching to the heartland of the invading Axumites (an act that would mean a new war), we reduce the options to relatively few.

The migrating Meroites could go either to the vast areas of the Eastern and the Western deserts or enter the African jungle or ultimately search a possibly free land that, being arable and good for pasture, would keep them far from the sphere of the Christian Axumites. It would be very erroneous to expect settled people to move to the desert. Such an eventuality would be a unique oxymoron in the history of the mankind. Nomadic peoples move from the steppes, the savannas and the deserts to fertile lands, and they settle there, or cross long distances through steppes and deserts. However, settled people, if under pressure, move to other fertile lands that offer them the possibility of cultivation and pasture. When dispersed by the invading Sea Peoples, the Hittites moved from Anatolia to Northwestern Mesopotamia; they did not cross and stay in the small part of Anatolia that is desert. The few scholars who think that Meroitic continuity could be found among the present day Beja and Hadendawa are oblivious to the aforementioned reality of the world history that was never contravened. In addition, the Blemmyes were never friendly to the Meroites. Every now and then, they had attacked parts of the Nile valley and the Meroites had had to repulse them thence. It would rather be inconceivable for the Meroitic population, after seeing Meroe sacked by Ezana, to move to a land where life would be difficult and enemies would wait them!

Modern technologies help historians and archeologists reconstruct better the ancient world; paleo-botanists, geologists, geo-chemists, paleoentomologists, and other specialized natural scientists are of great help in this regard. It is essential to stress here that the entire environmental milieu of Sudan was very different during the times of the Late Antiquity we examine in our approach. Butana may look like a wasteland nowadays, and the Pyramids of Bagrawiyah may be sunk in the sand, whereas Mussawarat es Sufra and Naqah demand a real effort in crossing the desert. But in the first centuries of Christian era, the entire landscape was dramatically different.

The Butana was not a desert but a fertile cultivated land; we have actually found remains of reservoirs, aqueducts, various hydraulic installations, irrigation systems and canals in Meroe and elsewhere. Not far from Mussawarat es Sufra there must have been an enclosure where captive elephants were trained before being transported to Ptolemais Theron (present day Suakin, 50 km in the south of Port Sudan) and then further on to Alexandria. Desert was in the vicinity, certainly, but not that close.

We should not imagine that Ezana crossed desert areas, moving from the whereabouts (vicinities?) of Agordat, Tesseney and Kessala to Atbarah and Bagrawiyah, as we would do today. And we should not imagine the lands in the south of present day Khartoum, alongside the White Nile, were easy to cross in the antiquity. In ancient times, impenetrable jungle started immediately in the south of Khartoum, and cities like Kosti and Jabalayn lie today on deforested soil. At the southernmost confines of the Meroitic state, pasturelands and arable land could be found alongside the Blue Nile Valley.

Since jungle signified death in the antiquity, and even armies feared to stay overnight in a forest or even more so in the thick African forest, we have good reason to believe that, following the Ezana’s raid, the Meroites, rejecting the perspective of forced christening, migrated southwestwards up to Khartoum. From there, they proceeded southeastwards alongside the Blue Nile in a direction that would keep them safe and far from the Axumite Abyssinians whose state did not expand as far in the south as Gondar and Tana lake. Proceeding in this way and crossing successively areas of modern cities, such as Wad Madani, Sennar, Damazin, and Asosa, and from there on, they expanded in later times over the various parts of Biyya Oromo.

We do not imply that the migration was completed in the span of one lifetime; quite contrarily, we have reasons to believe that the establishment of Alodia (or Alwa) is due to the progressive waves of Meroitic migrants who settled first in the area of Khartoum that was out of the westernmost confines of the Meroitic state. Only when Christianization became a matter of concern for the evangelizing Nobatians, and the two Christian Sudanese states were already strong, the chances of preserving the pre-Christian Meroitic cultural heritage in the area around Soba (capital of Alodia) were truly poor; then another wave of migrations took place, with early Alodian Meroites proceeding as far in the south as Damazin and Asosa, areas that remained always beyond the southern border of Alodia (presumably around Sennar). Like this, the second migratory Meroitic (Makkurian) wave may have entered around 600 CE in the area where the Oromos, descendents of the migrated Meroites, still live today.

A great number of changes at the cultural – behavioral levels are to be expected, when a settled people migrates to faraway lands. The Phoenicians had kings in Tyre, Byblos and their other cities – states, but introduced a democratic system when they sailed faraway and colonized various parts of the Mediterranean. The collapse of the Meroitic royalty was a shock for the Nile valley; the Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makkuria and Alodia were ruled by kings whose power was to great extent counterbalanced by that of the Christian clergy. With the Meroitic royal family decimated by Ezana, it is quite possible that high priests of Apedemak and Amani (Amun) took much of the administrative responsibility in their hands, inciting people to migrate and establishing a form of collective and representative authority among the Meroitic Elders. They may even have preserved the royal title of Qore within completely different socio-anthropological context.

4. Call for Comparative Meroitic-Oromo Studies

How can this approach, interpretation, and conclusion be corroborated up to the point of becoming a generally accepted historical reconstitution at the academic level? On what axes should one group of researchers work to collect detailed documentation in support of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos?

Quite strangely, I would not give priority to the linguistic approach. The continuity of a language can prove many things and can prove nothing. The Bulgarians are of Uralo-Altaic Turco-Mongolian origin, but, after they settled in Eastern Balkans, they were linguistically slavicized. Most of the Greeks are Albanians, Slavs, and Vlachians, who were hellenized linguistically. Most of the Turks in Turkey are Greeks and Anatolians, who were turkicized linguistically. A people can preserve its own language in various degrees and forms. For the case of languages preserved throughout millennia, we notice tremendous changes and differences. If you had picked up Plato and ‘transferred’ him at the times of Linear B (that was written in Mycenae 800 years before the Greek philosopher lived), you should be sure that Plato would not have understood the language of his ancestors with the exception of some words. Egyptian hieroglyphics was a scripture that favored archaism and linguistic puritanism. But we can be sure that for later Pharaohs, like Taharqa the Kushite (the most illustrious ruler of the ‘Ethiopian’ dynasty), Psamtik, Nechao, Ptolemy II and Cleopatra VII, a Pyramid text (that antedated them by 1700 to 2300 years) would almost be incomprehensible.

A. National diachronic continuity is better attested and more markedly noticed in terms of Culture, Religion and Philosophical – Behavioral system. The first circle of comparative research would encompass the world of the Kushitic – Meroitic and Oromo concepts, anything that relates to the Weltanschauung of the two cultural units/groups under study. A common view of basic themes of life and a common perception of the world would bring a significant corroboration of the Meroitic ancestry of the Oromos. So, first it is a matter of history of religions, African philosophy, social anthropology, ethnography and culture history.

B. Archeological research can help tremendously too. At this point one has to stress the reality that the critical area for the reconstruction suggested has been totally indifferent for Egyptologists, Meroitic and Axumite archeologists so far. The Blue Nile valley in Sudan and Abyssinia was never the subject of an archeological survey, and the same concerns the Oromo highlands. Certainly modern archeologists prefer something concrete that would lead them to a great discovery, being therefore very different from the pioneering nineteenth century archeologists. An archeological study would be necessary in the Blue Nile valley and the Oromo highlands in the years to come.

C. A linguistic – epigraphic approach may bring forth even more spectacular results. It could eventually end up with a complete decipherment of the Meroitic and the Makkurian. An effort must be made to read the Meroitic texts, hieroglyphic and cursive, with the help of Oromo language. Meroitic personal names and toponymics must be studied in the light of a potential Oromo interpretation. Comparative linguistics may unveil affinities that will lead to reconsideration of the work done so far in the Meroitic decipherment.

D. Last but not least, another dimension would be added to the project with the initiation of comparative anthropological studies. Data extracted from findings in the Meroitic cemeteries must be compared with data provided by the anthropological study of present day Oromos. The research must encompass pictorial documentation from the various Meroitic temples’ bas-reliefs.

To all these I would add a better reassessment of the existing historical sources, but this is not a critical dimension of this research project.

I believe my call for Comparative Meroitic – Oromo Studies reached the correct audience that can truly evaluate the significance of the ultimate corroboration of the Meroitic Ancestry of the Oromos, as well as the magnificent consequences such corroboration would have in view of

a) the forthcoming Kushitic Palingenesia – Renaissance if you want – in Africa,

b) the establishment of a Post – Colonial African Historiography, and – last but not least –

c) the Question of the Most Genuine and Authoritative Representation of Africa in the United Nations Security Council.

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NOTES

1. To those having the slightest doubt, trying purely for political reasons and speculation to include territories of the modern state of Abyssinia into what they Ancient Greeks and Romans called “Aethiopia”, the entry Aethiopia in Pauly-Wissowa, Realenzyklopadie der klassischen Altertumwissenschaft consists in the best and irrevocable answer.

2. http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/information … karl.html; http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karl_Richard_Lepsius; parts of the Denkmaeler are already available online: http://edoc3.bibliothek.uni-halle.de/bo … start.html. Also: http://encyclopedia.jrank.org/LEO_LOB/L … 1884_.html. The fact that the furthermost point of ‘Ethiopia’ he reached was Khartoum is of course quite telling.

3. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E._A._Wallis_Budge; he wrote among the rest a book on his Meroe excavations’ results, The Egyptian Sudan: its History and Monuments (London, 1907).

4. Mythical figure of the British Orientalism, Garstang excavated in England, Turkey, Syria, Palestine, Egypt and the Sudan; Albright, William Foxwell: “John Garstang in Memoriam”, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, No. 144. (Dec., 1956), pp. 7–8. Garstang’s major articles on his Meroe excavations are the following: ‘Preliminary Note on an Expedition to Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 3 (1911 – a), ‘Second Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia, I. Excavations’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 4 (1911 – b), ‘Third Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 5 (1912), ‘Forth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 6 (1913), and ‘Fifth Interim Report on the Excavations at Meroë in Ethiopia’, Annals of Archaeology and Anthropology 7 (1914). His major contribution was published in the same year under the title ‘Meroë, the City of Ethiopians’ (Oxford). A leading Meroitologist, Laszlo Torok wrote an entire volume on Garstang’s excavations at Meroe: Meroe City, an Ancient African Capital: John Garstang’s Excavations in the Sudan.

5. Griffith was the epigraphist of Grastand and had already published the epigraphic evidence unearthed at Meroe in the chapter entitled ‘the Inscriptions from Meroë’ in Garstang’s ‘Meroë, the City of Ethiopians’. After many pioneering researches and excavations in various parts of Egypt and Northern Sudan, Faras, Karanog, Napata and Philae to name a few, he concentrated on Kerma: ‘Excavations at Kawa’, Sudan Notes and Records 14.

6. Basically: www.sag-online.de/pdf/mittsag9.5.pdf; among other contributions: Die Inschriften des Löwentempels von Musawwarat es Sufra, Berlin (1962); Vorbericht über die Ausgrabungen des Instituts für Ägyptologie der Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin in Musawwarat es Sufra, 1960-1961 (1962); ‘Musawwarat es Sufra. Preliminary Report on the Excavations of the Institute of Egyptology, Humboldt University, Berlin, 1961-1962(Third Season)’, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary Note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1962’, Kush 11 (1963); ‘Preliminary note on the Epigraphic Expedition to Sudanese Nubia, 1963’, Kush 13 (1965).

7. As regards my French professor’s publications focused on his excavations at Sudan: Soleb and Sedeinga in Lexikon der Ägyptologie 5, Wiesbaden 1984 (entries contributed by J. Leclant himself); also J. Leclant, Les reconnaissances archéologiques au Soudan, in: Études nubiennes I, 57-60.

8. His recent volume Sudan: Ancient Kingdoms of the Nile, Paris/New York (1997) contains earlier bibliography.

9. Some of his most authoritative publications: ‘A History of the Sudan from the Earliest Times to 1821’, 1961 (2nd Ed.), London; ‘’The Valley of the Nile’, in: The Dawn of African History, R. Oliver (ed.), London. Arkell is mostly renowned for his monumental ‘The Royal Cemeteries of Kush’ in many volumes.

10. Presentation of his ‘Ancient Nubia’ in:

http://www.keganpaul.com/product_info.p … cts_id=33; for a non exhaustive list of Shinnie’s publications:http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; see also a presentation of a volume on Meroe, edited by Shinnie et alii:http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/mcgi/ … 1163879905{haupt_harrassowitz=http://www.harrassowitz-verlag.de/acgi/a.cgi?alayout=489&ausgabe=detail&aref=353.

11. Many of his publications are listed here:

http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ia2.htm#S; also here: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … ypt4.htm#T. In the Eighth International Conference for Meroitic Studies, Torok spoke about ‘The End of Meroe’; the speech will be included in the arkamani online project, here:

http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … -meroe.htm.

12. Useful reading: http://www.culturekiosque.com/art/exhib … souda.htm; also: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history4.html; see also the entry ‘Kush’ in Lexikon der Aegyptologie and the Encyclopedia Judaica. More specifically bout the Egyptian Hieroglyphic and the Hebrew writings of the name of Kush: http://www.specialtyinterests.net/journey_to_nubia.html. For more recent bibliography:http://blackhistorypages.net/pages/kush.php. Also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cush%2C_son_of_Ham.

13. Basic bibliography in:

http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … y_a_b.htm; http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/NUB/NUBX … chure.html.

More particularly on Qustul, and the local Group A Cemetery that was discovered in the 60s by Dr. Keith Seele:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/qustul.html (by Bruce Beyer Williams). Quite interesting approach by Clyde Winters as regards an eventual use of Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Group A Nubia, 200 years before the system was introduced in… Egypt:http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/anwrite.htm.

14. Brief info: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history3_1.html; see also: http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/IS/RITNER/Nubia_2005.html; more recently several scholars consider Group B as an extension of Group A (GRATIEN, Brigitte, La Basse Nubie à l’Ancien Empire: Égyptiens et autochtones, JEA 81 (1995), 43-56).

15.Readings:http://www.cartage.org.lb/en/themes/geoghist/histories/oldcivilization/Egyptology/Nubia/nubiad1.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sneferu;ht … %20Snefrue),%201st%20King%20of%20Egypt’s%204th%20Dynasty.htm (with bibliography);http://www.narmer.pl/dyn/04en.htm; for the Palermo stone inscription where we have the Nubia expedition narrative:http://www.britannica.com/ebi/article-9332360; http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on the Palermo Stone);http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Palermo_stone (with related bibliography).

16. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-Group; http://www.numibia.net/nubia/c-group.htm; http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/sje/sjeexh.htmand http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/ta/tae.html (with designs and pictures); http://www.ancientsudan.org/03_burials_02_early.htm(with focus on Group C burials and burial architecture). See also: http://www.ualberta.ca/~nlovell/nubia.htm;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/bce-2300a.htm;

17. References in the Lexikon der Aegyptologie. See also: http://www.nigli.net/akhenaten/wawat_1.html; one of the related sources: The Story of an Egyptian Politician, published by T. G. Allen, in: American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures, Vol. 38, No. 1 (Oct., 1921), pp. 55-62; Texts relating to Egyptian expeditions in Yam and Irtet: http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/assouan … rkouf.htm;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medjay; more in ‘Ancient Nubia: Egypt’s Rival in Africa’(Paperback) by David O’ Connor,http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/092417 … 67-0196731.

18. Brief description: http://www.anth.ucsb.edu/faculty/stsmit … erma.html; http://www.spicey.demon.co.uk/Nubianpag … htm#French (with several interesting links); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Kerma (brief but with recent bibliography containing some of Bonnet’s publications).

19. Vivian Davies, ‘La frontière méridionale de l’Empire : Les Egyptiens à Kurgus,’ Bulletin de la Société française d’égyptologie, 2003, no157, pp. 23-37 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=15281726); about the ongoing British excavations:http://www.sudarchrs.org.uk/page17.html; about the inscription of Thutmosis I: http://thutmosis_i.know-library.net; also:http://www.meritneith.de/politik_neuesreich.htm, and http://www.aegyptologie.com/forum/cgi-b … 0514112733.

20. In brief and with images: http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/um/umj.html; also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kush (with selected recent bibliography) and http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_a … kage=26155 (for art visualization). The period is also called Napatan, out of the Kushitic state capital’s name: http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/kingaspalta.html.

21. To start with: http://www.bartleby.com/67/99.html; http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-9054804/Napata;http://www.mnsu.edu/emuseum/archaeology … apata.html (including references); most authoritative presentation by Timothy Kendall ‘Gebel Barkal and Ancient Napata’ in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nubia.htm; also: ‘the Rise of the Kushitic kingdom’ by Brian Yare, in: http://www.yare.org/essays/kushite%20ki … Napata.htm. For Karima, notice the interesting itinerary:http://lts3.algonquincollege.com/africa … /sudan.htm, and http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Karima.

22. Introductory reading: http://www.ancient-egypt.org/index.html (click on Manetho); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manetho (with selected bibliography). Among the aforementioned, the entries Manethon (Realenzyklopaedie) and Manetho (Lexikon der Aegyptologie) are essential.

23. For the Ethiopian dynasty, all the related entries in the Lexikon and the Realenzyklopaedie (Piankhi, Shabaka, Shabataka, Taharqa, Tanutamon) are the basic bibliography; see also: http://www.ancientlibrary.com/smith-bio/3017.html; the last edition (1996) of Kenneth Kitchen’s ‘The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100–650 BC)’, Warminster: Aris & Phillips Ltd, remains the best reassessment of the period and the related sources. Introductory information: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabaka; http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shabataka;http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taharqa; and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tantamani. Also:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/mentuemhat.html; critical bibliography for understanding the perplex period is J. Leclant lectureship thesis (these d’ Etat) ‘Montouemhat, Quatrieme Prophete D’Amon, (1961)

24. Basics: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Assarhaddon; the edition of the Assyrian emperor’s annals by R. Borger (Die Inschriften Assarhaddons, Königs von Assyrien, AfO 9, Graz, 1956) remain our basic reference to formal sources. More recently, F. Reynolds shed light on private sources, publishing ‘The Babylonian correspondence of Esarhaddon, and letters to Assurbanipal and Sin-Sarru-Iskun from Northern and Central Babylonia’ (SAA 18, 2004).

25. For the Greater Emperor of the Oriental Antiquity: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ashurbanipal; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shamash-shum-ukin; http://web.utk.edu/~djones39/Assurbanipal.html; until today we have to rely mostly on the voluminous edition of Assurbanipal’s Annals by Maximilian Streck (Assurbanipal und die letzten assyrischen. Könige bis zum Untergang Niniveh, Leipzig,1916); see also M. W. Waters’ Te’umman in the neo-Assyrian correspondence (Journal of the American Oriental Society, 1999, vol. 119, no3, pp. 473-477)

26. Heliopolis (Iwnw in Egyptian Hieroglyphic – literally the place of the pillars –, On in Hebrew and in Septuaginta Greek) was the center of Egyptian monotheism, the holiest religious center throughout Ancient Egypt; it is from Heliopolis that emanated the Isiac ideology and the Atum Ennead. Basic readings: the entry Heliopolis in Realenzyklopaedie and in Lexikon der Aegyptologie; more recently:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heliopolis_%28ancient%29.

27. Basic readings: http://www.digitalegypt.ucl.ac.uk/chron … tiki.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Psammetichus_I;http://www.phouka.com/pharaoh/pharaoh/d … tik1.html; http://www.specialtyinterests.net/psamtek.html (with pictorial documentation). See also: http://www.nubianet.org/about/about_history6.html.

28. Hakhamaneshian is the first Persian dynasty; it got momentum whenCyrus II invaded successively Media and Babylon. Readings:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achaemenid_dynasty (with selected bibliography); the 2nd volume of the Cambridge History of Iran is dedicated to Achaemenid history (contents: http://www.cambridge.org/uk/catalogue/c … 0521200911.

29. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cambyses_II_of_Persia (with bibliographya nd sources). Cambyses invaded Kush and destroyed Napata at the times of Amani-natake-lebte, and his embattled army was decimated according to the famous narratives of Herodotus that still need to be corroborated. What seems more plausible is that, having reached in an unfriendly milieu of the Saharan desert where they had no earlier experience, the Persians soldiers, at a distance of no less than 4000 km from their capital, faced guerilla undertaken by the Kushitic army remnants and their nomadic allies.

30. Nastasen was the last to be buried in Nuri, in the whereabouts of Napata. Contemporary with Alexander the Great, Nastasen fought against an invader originating from Egypt whose name was recorded as Kambasawden. This led many to confuse the invader with Cambyses, who ruled 200 years earlier (!). The small inscription on the Letti stela does not allow great speculation; was it an attempt of Alexander the Great to proceed to the south of which we never heard anything? Impossible to conclude. For photographical documentation:http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 00017&ord=. Another interpretation: http://www.nubia2006.uw.edu.pl/nubia/ab … 94e6349d8b.

31. Arkamaniqo was the first to have his pyramid built at Meroe, not at Napata. See: http://www.dignubia.org/bookshelf/ruler … 0018&ord=;http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes, He inaugurated the architectural works at Dakka, the famous ancient Egyptian Pa Serqet, known in Greek literature as Pselkhis (http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/dakka.htm), in veneration of God Thot, an endeavour that brought the Ptolemies and the Meroites in alliance.

32. For Abyssinia’s conversion to Christianity: http://www.spiritualite2000.com/page.php?idpage=555, and http://www.rjliban.com/Saint-Frumentius.doc. The Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezana_of_Axum) is written by ignorant and chauvinist people, and is full of mistakes, ascribing provocatively and irrelevantly to Ezanas following territories (using modern names): “present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Somalia, Djibouti, northern Sudan, and southern Egypt”. All this shows how misleading this encyclopedia can be. Neither southern Egypt, northern Sudan, northern Somalia and Djibouti nor Yemen and southern Saudi Arabia ever belonged to Ezana’s small kingdom that extended from Adulis to Axum, and following the king’s victory over Meroe, it included modern Sudan’s territories between Kessala and Atbara. Nothing more!

33. Richard A. Lobban, ‘The Nubian Dynasty of Kush and Egypt: Continuing Research on Dynasty XXV’: http://209.85.129.104/search?q=cache:4F … clnk&cd=2; these inscriptions were published as early as 1821: E. F. Gau, Nubische Denkmaeler (Stuttgart). Other early publications on Meroitic antiquities: E. Riippell, Reisen in Nubien, Kordofan, &c. (Frankfort a. M., 1829); F. Caillaud, Voyage a Me’roe (Paris, 1826); J. L. Burckhardt, Travels in Nubia, e5fc. (London, 1819); G. Waddington and B. Hanbury, Journal of a Visit to some ‘parts of Ethiopia (London, 1822); L. Reinisch, Die Nuba-Sprache (Vienna, 1879); Memoirs of the Societe khediviale de Geographic, Cairo.

34. Readings: http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/candace.html; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shanakdakhete; more analytically:http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … graphy.htm. The only inscription giving her name comes from Temple F in Naga (REM 0039A-B). The name appears in Meroitic hieroglyphics in the middle of an Egyptian text. See also: Laszlo Török, in: Fontes Historiae Nubiorum, Vol. II, Bergen 1996, 660-662. The first attempts to render full Meroitic phrases into hieroglyphs (not only personal names, as it was common earlier) can be dated from the turn of the 3rd / 2nd century BCE, but they reflect the earlier stage of the development.

35. C. Rilly, ‘Les graffiti archaïques de Doukki Gel et l’apparition de l’écriture méroïtique’. Meroitic Newsletter, 2003, No 30 : 41-55, pl. IX-XIII (fig. 41-48).

36. Michael H. Zach, ‘Aksum and the end of Meroe’, in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … s/Zach.htm. See also:http://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf. Also: Clyde A. Winters, ‘Meroitic evidence for a Blemmy empire in the Dodekaschoins’ in: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … labsha.htm. Kharamadoye was a Blemmyan / Beja king who lived around the year 330 CE, and his inscription was curved on the Nubian/Blemmyan temple at Kalabsha (ancient Talmis) in the south of Aswan; more: M. S. Megalommatis, ‘Sudan’s Beja / Blemmyes, and their Right to Freedom and Statehood’, in: http://www.buzzle.com/editorials/8-16-2006-105657.asp, and in: http://www.sudaneseonline.com/en/article_929.shtml. More general: http://www.touregypt.net/kalabsha.htm.

37. For Ballana: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ballana; http://www.numibia.net/nubia/sites_salv … p_Numb=13;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/ce-0400.htm; http://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/fne … ndex.html; for the excavations carried out there: Farid Shafiq, ‘Excavations at Ballana, 1958-1959’, Cairo, 1963: http://www.archaeologia.com/details.asp?id=647.

38. His publications encompass the following:

‘Karanog: the Meroitic Inscriptions of Karanog and Shablul’, (The Eckley B. Coxe Junior Expedition to Nubia VI), Philadelphia, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions, I, Sôbâ Dangûl’, Oxford, 1911; ‘Meroitic Inscriptions part II, Napata to Philae and Miscellaneous’, Egypt Exploration Society, Archaeological Survey of Egypt, Memoirs, London, 1912; ‘Meroitic Studies II’, in: Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, vol. 3 (1916).

39. Readings: http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ergamenes; http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arqamani; list of sources concerning Ergamenes II: Laszlo Török, ’Fontes Historiae Nubiorum’, vol. II, Bergen 1996, S. 566-567; further: http://www.chs.harvard.edu/publications … tei.xml_1;http://www.ancientworlds.net/aw/Article/813603; an insightful view: Laszlo Torok, ‘Amasis and Ergamenes’, in: The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt. Studies Kákosy, 555-561. An English translation of Diodorus’ text on Ergamenes (III. 6) is here:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/diodorus.html.

40. B. G. Haycock, ‘The Problem of the Meroitic Language’, Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning, no.5 (1978), p. 50-81; see also: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nology.htm. Another significant contribution by B.G.Haycock, ‘Towards a Data for King Ergamenes’, Kush 13 (1965).41. See: K.H.Priese, ‘Die Statue des napatanischen Königs Aramatelqo (Amtelqa) Berlin, Ägyptisches Museum Inv.-Nr. 2249’ in: Festschrift zum 150 jährigen Bestehen des Berliner Ägyptischen Museums, Berlin; of the same author, ’Matrilineare Erbfolge im Reich von Napata’, Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 108 (1981).

42. Readings: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ … /beja.htm; http://bejacongress.com;

43. Basic reading: Egeimi, Omer Abdalla, ‘From Adaptation to Marginalization: The Political Ecology of Subsistence Crisis among the Hadendawa Pastoralists of Sudan’, in: Managing Scarcity: Human Adaptation in East African Drylands, edited by Abdel Ghaffar M. Ahmed and Hassan Abdel Ati, 30-49. Proceedings of a regional workshop, Addis Ababa, 24-26 August 1995. Addis Ababa: OSSREA, 1996 (http://www.africa.upenn.edu/ossrea/ossreabiblio.html).

44. F. Hintze, ‘Some problems of Meroitic philology”, in: Studies in

Ancient Languages of the Sudan, pp. 73-78; see discussions: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/mero.htm, andhttp://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf.

45. In various publications; see indicatively: ‘Die meroitische Sprache und das protoaltaische Sprachsubstrat als Medium zu ihrer Deutung (I): Mit _quivalenten von grammatikalischen Partikeln und Wortgleichungen’, Ulm/Donau (1992).

46. See: http://www.geocities.com/athens/academy … ersc2.html (with extensive list of publications).

47. Readings: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm (with further bibliography); http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kushan_Empire;http://www.kushan.org; (with pictorial documentation) http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/kush/hd_kush.htm;http://www.asianart.com/articles/jaya/index.html (with references).

48. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsacid_Dynasty; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthia; authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran.

49. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sassanid_Empire (with further bibliography); authoritative presentation in Cambridge History of Iran.

50. See: http://arkamani.org/meroitic_studies/li … oitic.htm; http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … rilly.htm;

http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … graphy.htm.

51. http://arkamani.org/arkamani-library/me … s/Zach.htm (with reference to epigraphic sources).

52. More recently: R.Voigt, The Royal Inscriptions of King Ezana, in the Second International Littmann Conference: Aksum 7-11 January 2006 (see: http://www.oidmg.org/Beirut/downloads/L … Report.pdf); also: http://users.vnet.net/alight/aksum/mhak4.html;http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=37430160. Read also: Manfred Kropp, Die traditionellen äthiopischen Königslisten und ihre Quellen, in:http://www2.rz.hu-berlin.de/nilus/net-p … listen.pdf (with bibliography).

53. Readings: http://www.telemaco.unibo.it/epigr/testi05.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monumentum_Adulitanum;http://www.shabait.com/staging/publish/ … 3290.html; http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/aksum.html;http://www.arikah.net/encyclopedia/Adulis; further: Yuzo Shitomi, ‘A New Interpretation of the Monumentum Adulitanum’, in: Memoirs of the Research Department of the Toyo Bunko, 55 (1997). French translation is available online here: http://www.clio.fr/BIBLIOTHEQUE/les_gre … hiopie.asp.

54. Readings: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/04404a.htm; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cosmas_Indicopleustes; text and translation can be found online: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/awiesner/cosmas.html (with bibliography and earlier text/translation publications;http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/#Cosm … opleustes; andhttp://www.ccel.org/ccel/pearse/more … copleustes. Also: http://www.henry-davis.com/MAPS/EMwebpages/202.html; http://davidburnet.com/EarlyFathers-Oth … eintro.htm.

55. Readings: http://library.thinkquest.org/22845/kus … oyalty.pdf

56. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shendi; N. I. Nooter, The Gates of Shendi, Los Angeles, 1999 (http://cat.inist.fr/?aModele=afficheN&cpsidt=1565561).

57. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atbarah; http://www.country-studies.com/sudan/th … ples.html;http://www.sudan.net/tourism/cities.html.

58. Syene (Aswan): see the entries of Realenzyklopaedie and Lexikon der Aegyptologie; also: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aswan;http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/14367a.htm.

59. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abu_Simbel; http://www.bibleplaces.com/abusimbel.htm; http://lexicorient.com/e.o/abu_simbel.htm.

60. http://www.numibia.net/nubia/ptolemies.htm; http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/nubiaco … zymski.doc. Dodekaschoinos was the northern part of Triakontaschoinos; the area was essential for Roman border security: http://poj.peeters-leuven.be/content.ph … al_code=AS. More recently: http://dissertations.ub.rug.nl/facultie … f.dijkstra.

61. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dio_Cassius; see details of the early Roman rule over Egypt here: Timo Stickler, ‘Cornelius Gallus and the Beginnings of the Augustan Rule in Egypt’,

62. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Strabo (particularly in his 17th book); English translation available here:http://penelope.uchicago.edu/Thayer/E/R … 17A1*.html.

Archaeological Sites of the Island of Meroe