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Oromia: The Spirit of Oromummaa in the Blessing Season: Irreecha Malkaa 2017 in Naqamtee colorfully and peacefully celebrated at Malka Adii Yaa’a with Massive tournout. And also at Malkaa Qicuu, in Cobii town, Jalduu, West Shawwaa. October 29, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa.
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A week after Irreecha 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee in Jimmaa, Oromians in the city of Naqamtee and East Wallaggaa (Western Oromia) and in Jalduu, Cobii town (West Shawwaa, Central Oromia) on 29 October 2017 celebrated their national and cultural season  peacefully and successfully.   The colorful festival was taken place  in Naqamtee at Malkaa Adii Yaa’a while in Jaldu it was celebrated at Malkaa Qicuu.

Onkoloolessa 29 bara 2017  (6411 ALO) ayyaanni Irreecha Malkaa maqaalaa Naqamtee Haroo Adii Yaa’atti haalaa bareedaa fi nageenya qabuun bakka namni miliyoona tokkoo ol argamanitti irreeffatamee oolera. Haaluuma wal fakkatuun Aanaa Jalduu magaalaa Cobii Malkaa Qicuuttisi irreeffatameera.  #Irreecha2017

 

Some of the pictures and videos  (credited to social media) at Malkaa Adii Yaa’a

 

 

Irreecha 2017 celebrated at Malkaa Hadiyyaa in city of Naqamtee, E. Wallaggaa, Oromia, 29 October 2017 with peaceful Oromia Police and TPLF mass killer Agazi was not at the event.png

Irreecha 2017 celebrated at Malkaa Hadiyyaa in city of Naqamtee, E. Wallaggaa, Oromia, 29 October 2017 with peaceful Oromia Police and there were no TPLF mass killers, no Agazi at the event.

 

“ABOn Naqameen Galee” Jedhu Qeerroon guyyaa har’aa Irreecha Wallagga Naqamteetti ta’e irratti.


Irreecha 2017 at Malkaa Qicuu, Cobii town, Jaldu, Oromia, 29 ) October 2017

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Oromia: The Blessing Season: #Irreecha2017: Oromians continued with the celebrations of their national & the common ancient culture in Malkaa Booyyee (Jimma), Qar Sadee (Abuunaa, Gindabarat) and Basaqaa (Fantaallee). The events were colorful, peaceful and successful with massive turnouts October 23, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

Three weeks after Horaa Harsadi, two weeks after Malkaa Ateetee and a week after Malkaa Ogiyyoo,  Malkaa Raachaa, Jalduu and more, Oromians celebrated the Irreecha Birraa 2017 season (6411, According Oromoo Gadaa Calendar) in Malkaa Booyyee (Jimma Abba Jifar), Malkaa Qar Sadee (Abuunaa Gindabarat) and Malkaa Basaqaa (Fantaallee). As of  the last 3 weeks major events, the Sunday, October 22nd, 2017 events were  with massive people of all walks of life in attendance.  They were very bright and colorful events with Oromo social styles, cultural costumes, Abbaa Gadaa’s, Siiqqee, the Qeerroo, cultural songs and #OromoProtests. The people and the Oromia State Police made the events peaceful and successful.  Irreecha is part of the Oromo Gadaa System UNESCO World Heritage. 

Irreechi bara kanaa (6411)  kan Malkaa Booyyee, Malkaa Qar Sadee fi kan Malkaa Basaqaa akkuma kan iddoowan biroo darbanii, Dilbata (Sanbata) Onkoloolessa 22 Bara 2017 (6411 ALOtti) haala ho’aa fi bareedan kabajaamee oole. Irreefannaa kana irratti namoonni heddummaan kan irratti argaman yoo ta’u, sabnii fi Polisiin Oromiyaa wal ta’uun diina irraa wal irraa ittisuun nagaan, gammachuu fi sirbaan ayyaanefatame oole.

#Irreecha2017      #Irreecha2017

 

Here are some of the videos and pictures  from the events:-

Irreecha Birraa (Malkaa) 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, State of Oromia. 22nd October 2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

The eve of Irreecha Oromoo 2017 at Malkaa Deeddee, the eve (jala bultii) of Malkaa Booyyee, 21 October 2017

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, Oromia on 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO)

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, Oromia on 22nd October 2017

 

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, Oromia on 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO).

Irreecha  Birraa  2017,   Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa  Abba Jifar, Oromia on 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO).png

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, Oromia, 22 October 2017 (6411 ALO)

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa, Oromia on 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO)

 

Irreecha Birraa 2017 at Malkaa Booyyee, Jimmaa Abba Jifar, Oromia, 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO)

Malkaa Basaqaa, Fantallee, Oromia

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, on 8th October 2017 colorfully celebrated in Fantalle, Malkaa Basaqaa, in the state of Oromia

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, on 8th October 2017 colorfully celebrated in Fantalle, Malkaa Basaqaa, Oromia

Irreecha Birraa Oromo 2017, Malkaa Basaqaa, Fantallee, Oromia, 8 October 2017.png

 

Irreecha 2017 Malkaa Qar Sadee, Abunaa, Gindabarat, Oromia

Irreecha  2017, Malkaa Qar Sadee  Abuunaa,  Gindabarat,  Oromia 22 October 2017 (6411 ALO).png

Irreecha  2017  at Malkaa Qar Sadee  Abuunaa,  Gindabarat,  Oromia 22 October 2017 (6411 ALO).png

Irreecha 2017 at Malkaa Qar Sadee Abuunaa, Gindabarat, Oromia 22nd October 2017 (6411 ALO)

Restoring Oromummaa: Irreecha Malkaa 2017 celebrated in Mandii, Mana Sibuu, Wallagga, Oromia after 88 years October 16, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Kabajin ayyaana Irreecha Birraa kan bara 2017 (6411 ALO) Oromiyaa bakka adda addaatti itti fufee jira. Haaluma kanaan Mandii, Mana Sibuu, Wallaggaa dhihaatti  haala bareedan Onkoloolessa 15 bara 2017 kabajamee oolera.  Iddii bara 1929tii barana deebi’ee Malkaa Ogiyyootti irreeffatame. #Irreecha2017

 

Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, Mana Sibuu district, Oromia, on 15 October 2017

 

 

 

 

Irreecha Birraa 2017 Celebrated in Mandi, Wallaggaa, W. Oromia, 15th October 2017 after 88 years

Irreecha Birraa (Malkaa) Oromoo 2017 ( 6411 ALO) Colorfully Celebrated in Mandii, West Wallaggaa, Oromia, 15th October 2017.png

Irreecha Birraa 2017 Celebrated in Mandi, Wallaggaa, Oromia, 15th October 2017.png

 

Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, Wallaggaa Oromia, on 15 October 2017.png

Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, Mana Sibuu, Wallaggaa Oromia, on 15 October 2017

Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, Mana Sibuu district, Wallaggaa Oromia, on 15 October 2017.png

Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, in Mana Sibuu district, Oromia, on 15 October 2017.pngIrreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017 at Mandii, Mana Sibuu district, Oromia, on 15 October 2017.png

Onkoloolessa 15 Bara 2017 Malkaa Raachaa, Jalduutti  haala gaarii irreenfatamee oole.

 

Dabalataan kana caqasaa Kan Makkoo Bilii

Akkasumasi Irreechi Haraa Basqaatti kbajameerra.

Irreecha 2017 also celebrated in Nairobi, Kenya. https://www.facebook.com/Dhabassa/posts/10213042531129674

Suuran gadii kun kan  Odaa Bulluq

Oromia: Irreecha Birraa 2017: Malkaa Ateetee: Irreecha Oromo Thanksgiving Colorfully Celebrated at Gafarsaa, Buraayyuu with Massive Turn Out October 8, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo.
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As a continuation of  the celebration of Oromo national and Cultural Holiday, massive people turned out on 8th October 2017 to celebrate the colorful festive season at Malkaa Ateetee. The event was peacefully held and concluded in jubilation at Hora Gafarsaa in Buraayyu, Oromia, 10 km west to Finfinnee, the capital. This is the 2nd biggest Irreecha Birraa celebration a week after the grand festival at Hora Harsadii, Bishoftuu, on 1st October 2017.  The event was also marked by #Oromoprotests against Ethiopia’s regime.  Fundraising was made to support the Oromo people displaced by Liyu Police attacks.

Here are some of the pictures and videos at Irreecha Birraa Malkaa Ateetee:-

#Irreecha2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Irreecha 2017: The Oromo National And Cultural Holiday, Oromians in Millions Celebrating the Blessing Festival in Oromia and all over the Globe. And also remembering the October 2nd 2017 Bishoftu (Irreecha) Massacre October 1, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Uncategorized.
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7 comments

 

Odaa OromoooromianeconomistIrreechaOromoWaaq2014Irreecha Birraa 6411 Baga Ittiin Nu Gahe! Wish You a Very Happy Irreecha Oromo 2017..png

remember-irreechamassacre

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October 2017 colorfully celebrated with millions Oromo in Bishoftu, Oromia.png

Irreecha Birraa (Malkaa) Oromoo 2017 ( 6411 ALO) colorfully celebrated in Bishoftu, Hora Harsadii, Oromia, 1st October 2017..png

Irreecha Birraa (Malkaa) Oromoo 2017 ( 6411 ALO) colorfully celebrated in Bishoftu, Hora Harsadii, Oromia, 1st October 2017

Irreecha Birraa (Malkaa) Oromoo 2017 ( 6411 ALO) Colorfully Celebrated in Bishoftu, Hora Harsadii, Oromia, 1st October 2017..pngIrreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October colorfully celebrated with millions Oromo people

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October colorfully celebrated with millions Oromo people. Happy Irreecha 2017

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October colorfully celebrated with millions Oromo in Bishoftu, Oromia

Irreecha (Irreessa)  Birraa Oromoo kan Bara 2017 (akka lakkoobsa Oromootti kan Bara 6411)  akka gaariitti karooreffatamee, haala oo’aa fi bareedan kabajamaa jira.  Lammi keenya bara  darbe ajjeechi sanyii daguugga irratti rawwateefi yaadannoon godhamaatti jira.  Here are some of  live  pictures, videos and reports refer to Irreecha Oromo Thanksgiving 2017 (6411 in Oromo Calendar)  Celebrations. The blessing and colorful event that started in mid August and continue to be celebrated Birraa (September- October). Millions have attended Hora Harsadi (Bishoftuu, Oromia) with success on 1st October 2017.  Irreecha is the most important event (season) in Oromo people national calendar. #Irreecha2017

(OPride)―On this festive yet somber occasion, the Oromo are out in great numbers, as colorful and vibrant as ever. It’s Irreecha, the “thanksgiving holiday,” as was described by a host of foreign media outlets in the wake of the disaster that left hundreds dead last year. With the grievances that led to the tipping of the vase last year left unaddressed, justice long sought over the massacre still a pipe dream, with countless remaining behind bars, the Oromo people are back in Bishoftu having unanimously declared that the show must go on. Click here to read more.

In Pictures: Irreecha celebrated colorfully, and peacefully, in Oromia: Click here to see full text of  Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

Irreechi 2017: Rakkoo nageenyaa malee, mormii cimaa waliin kabajame. BBC Afaan Oromoo gutummatti ilaaluf as tuqaa.

Ayyaanni Irreechaa bara 2017 suuraan yoo ibsamu. BBC Afaan Oromoo as tuqa ilaalaa.

“Uummanni ofiin of eeguunsaa nageenya buuse” Poolisii Oromiyaa,” BBC Afaan Oromoo

የኢሬቻ በዓል ተቃውሞ ቢሰማበትም በሰላም ተጠናቀቀ click here to read full text, BBC Amharic

BBC News Afaan Oromoo – #Irreecha2017 biyyoota addunyaa gara garaa keessatti. Dabalataan as tugaa ilaalaa. #OromoUnity . Irreecha Birraa 2017 Celebration over the world, click here for more.

Ethiopia’s Oromo community has staged their thanksgiving celebrations known as Irreecha. Click here for more CGTN report.

 

Africa Times: Ethiopia’s Oromo hold peaceful memorial at Irreecha festival

 

 

 

https://twitter.com/roobsan/status/914412014247796736

 https://www.facebook.com/100009377299297/videos/1909312559391302/

 

 

 

https://youtu.be/DX7wiYz52Hs

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zNeubD28rFg

OROMIA: IRREECHAA: THE CHERISHED OROMO HERITAGE AND ITS CHALLENGING TASk

Africa News: Ethiopia’s ethnic Oromos, tourists gather for Irreecha 2017

Oromia: Haala Kabaja Ayyaana Irreecha Malkaa bara 2017 ilaalchisee ibsaafi qajeelfama

Irreecha Birraa Oromo 2017 celebrated in Melbourne, Australia, 1st October 2017.png

Irreecha Birraa bara 6411 (ALO), Irreecha Birraa Oromoo 2017, Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu Oromia. 1st October colorfully celebrated with millions Oromo people. Happy Irreecha 2017.png

 

 

Irreecha bara 2016: “Iddoon ija koo itti dhabedha” BBC Afaan Oromoo irratti guutuutti dubbisuuf as tuqaa.

OROMIA: IRREECHAA: THE CHERISHED OROMO HERITAGE AND ITS CHALLENGING TASK September 30, 2017

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa, Uncategorized.
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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomist

Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, Oromia

IRREECHAA: THE CHERISHED OROMO HERITAGE AND ITS CHALLENGING TASK

Getaachew Chemeda ( Member: Gadaa Meelbaa)


14440855_1012083622242098_3525717134028063329_nSince time immemorial Oromo men, women, youths, and elders have been rallying together to express thanks and happiness to their Waaqa, who according to the Oromo concept of colour is symbolised by the colour gurraacha, meaning black. By its very original concept the colour gurraacha (black) did not stand for mourning, grief or for the expression of sorrow. It was used to symbolise the invisible supreme power that can do and undo anything anywhere in the universe. Having this narrative tradition in mind, the Oromos have been getting together around rivers or lakes to thank their Waaqa Gurraacha at the end of the rainy season. They strongly believe that, it was Waaqa who delivered them from the restraining rainy season and brought them to the cherished flowery season. This great event, called Irreecha in Afaan Oromoo, is celebrated every year at the end of September or in the first week of October. https://youtu.be/Pk3W49aKXDY

Irreecha holds an important social event in Oromo people’s aspiration for peace, prosperity, abundance, fertility, and a hope for the renewal of a new social life. Like ancient Egyptians who used to celebrate the yearly inundation of the River Nile as a symbol of life giving, Oromos have been celebrating their new year on the side of river banks or lakes which, according to Oromo mythology, is the source of all life. Some of the hymens ancient Egyptians sang while praising the Nile were:

Oh Nile! You rise out of the earth and come to nourish Egypt! You quench the thirsty desert! You bring forth the barley! You create the wheat! You fill the granaries and the storehouses, not forgetting the poor. For You we pluck our harps, for You we sing! [1]                        

                                     Creation Narrative Stories

It was not only the ancient Egyptians or the Oromos who had creation stories in relation to water. In the Japanese telling stories, we find water holding the core of the dawn of creation. First, there was an ocean, out of which the many Japanese Islands were believed to have been created. There was a god known as Izanagi and a goddess Izanami. The gods, as a couple, had three children, of whom the grandson of the Sun Goddess had become the first Emperor of Japan, Nippon, as known to the native population.[2]

The gods used a long spear and stirred up mud at the bottom of the ocean.  It was out of the stirred up mud those more than 6000 Japanese islands were believed to have been created. On the eastern side, out of the glittering Pacific Ocean, the sun rose every morning. It was the cherished sun’s rays which had a big role in illumining, nourishing, and bringing up the Japanese archipelagos to life. This is the Japanese thought of their land, Mount Fuji being the most beautiful and sacred one.[3]

For the Japanese, Japan has not only been their country.  Japan has been their world and their religion. The creation story the people share in common and the passionate love they have for their country has continued to make up the coherent faith of their oneness. And, out of the cherished mythology, they have undoubtedly benefited enormous groundwork principles for their social and technological advancement we are witnessing today.

When we come to the antique Scandinavians of northern Europe, we find similar watery creation stories. In the beginning there was an abyss filled with water. The water froze; and lastly melted down. Out of the melted water, a giant being of human form called Ymir emerged. Thereafter, a man and woman were created out of Ymir’s armpits. In short, this was the beginning of ancient Scandinavian telling stories about the myth of human creation.[4]

The Oromo myth of creation holds the view that water being the source of androgynous being. According to Oromo narration story, by the unfathomable wisdom of Waaqa Gurraacha, the androgyny was divided in to two parts and became male and female. After the division, the two opposite sexes began to live separately on the either side of the river. Though they were able to see each other across the river, they were hampered from joining each other by the overflow of the river.  When the river subsided and sank down into its course, during the flowering season, they were able to cross the river and embraced each other.[5] Here was the point, during the flowering season, according to Oromo belief, when the first gaa’ila  (engagement for marriage) started to blossom.

Many of us may remember when newly married Oromo couples were coming to Irreecha at Hora Harsadii, enforced by nobody but only inspired by the tradition to get the blessings of the hayyuus and Abbaa Gadaas. But that was not performed on October 2, 2016 because of the heinous massacre carried out by the incumbent Ethiopian regime that disrupted the whole process of the ceremony.

Having this entire narrative story in mind, defending and combatting all challenging obstacles and heinous crimes imposed on them, the Oromos have continued to celebrate their yearly thanksgiving Irreecha festival, dressing beautiful national costumes suited for the occasion.

Norms of Irreecha Celebration

Today, at national level, millions of Oromos are celebrating Irreecha Birraa, on the side of Hora Harsadii in Bishooftuu town. At national or local levels, there are traditionally agreed upon norms that govern the whole process of the ceremony from the beginning to the end, which is deeply rooted in the strongly and humanely established Oromo views for peace, love, prosperity, and human dignity. Based on Oromo clans’ successive generation by birth, there are individuals who offer blessings first, second, and so on. This is dually (angafaa fi qixisuu) restructured in Oromo kinship organisations whose function of check and balance has become basic foundation for the indigenous Gadaa  Oromo Democracy to flourish.

The ceremony commences first by offering thanks and greeneries to Waaqa, followed by blessing all creatures of Waaqa to be at peace with each other. They also give admiration and honour to Waaqa’s wisdom who gave them a perfect bliss of land with abundant natural resources. This is one of the inherent reasons why the Oromos are cherishing their ancestral homeland, Oromiyaa (Biyya Oromoo) as part of their natural right, be it in peace or war times.

In the case of Irreecha Birraa, it is the Abbaa Malkaa who ‘opens the door’ of the malkaa (river) by charmingly welcoming those who arrived at the site in peace.[6] Those distinguished hayyuus from senior and junior clans (mana angafaa fi qixisuu) and the Abbaa Gadaa from the incumbent Gadaa party are traditionally honoured to take leading positions in giving thanks and blessings to all. Even the Ayyaantu-Qaalluus, who are believed to be the guardians of the laws of Waaqa and the  custodians of Oromo traditional religion, have no seniority right  to claim either to take the leading position or to give blessings first. They have their own defined time and place to do so. Failure to honestly follow those agreed upon traditional charter, could lead to chaos and eventually to the disintegration of the society. Nevertheless, despite so many apartheid walls erected among Oromo regions by builders of the imperial palace of political Ethiopia (in contradiction to historical Ethiopia), the Oromos are not able to be divided by the walls. They are chiselling down the walls and are patiently moving forward in unison.

         Is Irreecha a Religion?

As common to any Oromo meetings or conferences, thanking Waaqa and blessing each other precede the opening of the agenda of the meetings. There is no exception for the thanksgiving Oromo new year celebration, Irreecha. Since the Oromo name of Waaqa is the centre of Oromo Natural Religion, the solemn invocation of Waaqa at Irreecha or elsewhere cannot be avoided. This is the core issue, the authenticity of Oromo natural religion and Oromo morality that seem to have scared general managers of ‘Revelation Industries’ and their sponsors in Oromia. They are prompted to develop phobic images against essential Oromo values: vilifying, desecrating, defaming, and bedevilling Oromo material and spiritual assets as a whole. Why? The answer is so unilineal, not parallel.

Irreecha has been one of the major Oromo events that distinguishes, makes, and marks the identity of an Oromo personality as a member of the nation.

  • It is a social festival that praises Waaqa who helped them come together in peace and embrace the incoming bright-sunny season.
  • It is a social festival that sees off the out-going rainy season, wishing its recurrent appearance in peace, happiness, abundance, fertility, equality, fraternity and a hope for victory against all forms of evils.  

But, as has obviously been duplicated by foreign media outlets, particularly after the Irreecha massacre of October 2, 2016, there is a clear tendency to look on Irreecha as a ‘religious festival’. It is quite villainous and sinisterial to depict the general Oromo sense of Oromo-self only from a single perspective. Is Habasha’s Inkutatash not Qiddus Yohannes’ religious celebration or is it a new year festival?  Is Tigrian’s Ashanda the worshipping of Churches of Saints or season greetings? Is European Christmas the celebration of Christ’s birth day, or is it the continuation of pre-Christianity European culture of winter solstice celebration?

When it comes to Irreecha Oromo, it is propagated as heathenish or animist religion that makes a tree or a river the centre of worship. This can simply be attested from the recently publicised sub-human propaganda by a self-declared “Prophet” named Suraphael Demise https://youtu.be/u2hrjMaSeqM

We do not understand whether such inconsiderate propaganda is really a reflection from a fully-developed human brain or is it a proxy psychological war sponsored by the monstrous Satan.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           If one wants to talk or know about Oromo religion, it is called Waaqeffanna, not Irreecha. Where is the self-organised Waaqeffannaa religion right now? One may ask the Tigrian Ethiopian regime, sitting in Minilk’s imperial palace; muddling the peoples of that empire,  sponsoring divisive and xenophobic people like Suraphel  Demise.

Waaqeffannaa by its natural origin, contrary to revelationists’ assertions who claimed to have seen visions and heard voices, is neither a claimed vision nor claimed heard voices. Had it been a claimed vision or claimed voices, it could have been dwelling on narrating about a place of everlasting torture or about a place of eternal delight in the afterlife. In the narrative story telling of Waaqeffannaa there were no individuals who did claim any visions or heard voices for its establishment as a religious institution. It emerged naturally out of the organised Oromo people’s activities in the remote antiquity. Henceforth, Waaqeffannaa, as a natural religion, has become the common vision of Oromo people’s common mind. It is free from claiming any received information of the afterlife, be it from the chamber of the sinners or from the chamber of the pious. However, Waaqeffannaa may wonder or speculate what could be happening beyond the veil of a man’s soul (lubbuu) after his dead body was ceremonially buried. Revealed religions claimed and are still claiming that they had unveiled the veil, saw the souls, and heard their voices from chambers of the ‘hell and heaven’.

In its strictest sense, Irreecha is not a religious institution. It is a ritualised social event; certainly, adorned and accompanied by Oromo Natural Religion known as Waaqeffannaa. Waaqeffannaa and Irreecha have been with the Oromos, by the Oromos, and for the Oromos since the dawn of creation long before the conception of revealed religions.

                 The Irreecha Massacre and the “Tasa” Monument

 An attempt to ban the Irreecha festival started the time when Oromos lost their sovereign rights to Abyssinian firearms under the supreme commandship of King Minilk of Shewa. After the Tigrian-led Ethiopian regime took the imperial palace by force in 1991, the orchestration to ban the Irreecha ceremony was concluded. This time, the regime took the first apartheid action by banning the revived Matcha-Tulama Self-Help Association and the freely organised Waaqeffaanaa religious association. Instead of directly banning Irreecha, however, like Matcha-Tulama and Waaqeffanaa, the regime renewed the old Nugus-Orthodox tactics of hijacking anything good of the Oromos and good for the Oromos.

A delegate led by Abba Duulaa Gammadaa, the then president of ‘Oromia Regional State’ was despatched to Hora Harsadii to hijack Irreecha. The delegate failed to accomplish the mission it intended to seal and returned to the palace in dismay. Here was planted the seed of the evil action that took thousands of innocent lives on October 2, 2016 at Hora Harsadii, Bishooftuu.

Ahead of the massacre, the regime meticulously orchestrated provocative tactics that could incite the people against itself. It imposed rules that are too antagonistic to the established Irreecha tradition. When the people reacted to the evil provocation, its ill-behaved security forces started firing life bullets from the ground and from armoured vehicles against millions of celebrants. Military helicopter flew over them spraying teargas on them. On this day, that barbaric action changed the happy Oromo Irreecha event to a bloody grief.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_3miIwY4mQ&t=33s

The regime and its killing forces rejoiced the success of their fascistic actions on human carnages. The regime’s trumpet Prime Minister, Haile Mariam Desalegn, was so quick to deny the massacre and said, “No single bullet was heard; but because of stampede about 52 people were killed.” Finally, like Muktar Kadir who thanked the Agazi killing forces, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister thanked the regime’s mercilessly firing forces  https://youtu.be/Q6cSzgiZdc8

To remember the success of their evil plan, the Tigrian-Ethiopian regime erected a very offensive stone they call “Memorial Monument”. A deaf monument, that speaks of nothing about the root cause of the massacre. Sadly, what is inscribed on the monument seems to be articulated in the way it could depict the lost human lives as unworthy ones. It reads in Afaan Oromoo “Tasa Lubbuun Isaanii dabreef, for suddenly passed away lives”

This “Tasa Monument” was erected in a faraway place where the actual massacre did not take place

 Conclusion

The Oromos have tried to do everything positive for Ethiopia. But why are they being reciprocated with negativity for their positive generosity? When the Oromos are coming out for peace, those who are making huge business in the name of “Ethiopia” are incessantly confronting them with vibrant forms of violence, persecution and marginalisation.

 In former days, before Oromo country and their central holy site, Walaabu, had fallen to naftenya’s bayonet, Oromo generations in every Oromo clan were making pilgrimage to Walaabu. The purpose of the journey was more of religious, that they sought the anointment and blessings of Abbaa Muudaa, who was believed  to be the eldest son of Oromo [Orma], the Spiritual Father of the nation holding the centre of Oromo Natural Religion, the belief in Waaqa Tokkicha.[7]

The pilgrims, who were scattered in north-east Africa, representing their clans, used to travel a long journey and arrived at the Muuda site. On their return to their clans, they came back with qumbii (myrrh), which the Abbaa Muuda distributed to them as a symbol of his fatherly holy blessings. This had been considered as dangerous and anti-peace to Abyssinian crosses and crowns. Subsequently, with the invention and consolidation of the ‘New Ethiopia’, qinyi gizaat, (the Amharic version for colonial empire) by King Minilik of Shewa, Oromo’s journey to the Muuda holy site was prohibited. It was finally banned at the beginning of the twentieth century. Huntingford who collected good information from various sources wrote:

”—after the Abyssinian conquest of [Oromia], however, the pilgrimage was forbidden owing to its political and nationalistic influence.—as opportunities for stirring up Oromo patriotism and forming plans of rebellion for men of all the  Oromo tribes met at Walaabu.”[8]

This inhumane and erratic ideology will get nowhere. It is now far from halting down Oromo people’s aspiration for regaining their lost freedom. We, including those in ati-Oromo camps, are daily watching and witnessing the reality on the ground.  The more direct wars and propaganda campaigns are pouring on the Oromos, the more their heroisms are reinvigorated. Irreecha will continue to march forward with its noble objectives of thanksgiving social festivities: vitalising, remaking, and remarking Oromummaa (Oromo-ness).


Related:-

IRREECHA – THE COLORS, THE IDENTITY AND THE PRIDE OF OROMO NATION

Oromia (Ethiopia): Bishoftu Massacre: #IrreechaMassacre: The day that changed the game November 10, 2016

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Odaa Oromoooromianeconomistirreecha-malkaa-birraa-2016-at-horaa-harsadii-bishoftuu-oromia-oromo-people-with-oromo-flag-2nd-october-2016oromoprotests-gesture-at-irreecha-2016-the-thanksgiving-festival-of-the-oromo-people-in-horaa-harsadii-bishoftu-town-oromia-p2

 

remember-irreechamassacrebishoftu-mascare-2nd-october-2016-fascist-ethiopias-regime-tplf-conducted-masskillings-against-oromo-people-at-irreecha-celebration

#OromoProtests image, Addis Standard

Addis-standard-special-edition-on-irreechaa-massacre-oct-2-2016

P. 5 – #IrreechaMassacre: The day that changed the game (By Addis Standard staffs)

“I saw people who had fallen inside ditches and deeper pits. I saw people who had no one to pick them up. I saw people suffocated by the smoke of the tear gas”

P.8 – A survivor’s account (By Bekel Atoma Boruu)

“Those who ran to save their lives from the teargas bombs and the gun shots pulled themselves and one another to the nearby 6 meters long ditch in front of the podium. The tear gas bomb thrown at the mass increased the number of people running to the ditch not seeing what is in front of them; besides they were blinded by the heavy smoke from tear gas”

P.10 – Irreecha is sacred! We cannot let them take it away (By Ayantu Ayana)

“I keep asking myself how dare they kill on sacred grounds and on a sacred day. How dare they? All those people muddied and bloodied in their beautiful and colorful clothes. All those lives lost. Should mourning be all we do these days? “

P. 13 – Into the heart of Irreecha: Why is it so important to the Oromo? (Buli Edjeta Jobir, Guest Writer)

“An amazing part of the Irreecha ceremony is its absolute orderliness, the reigning of absolute peaceful aura, the showering of love and mutual respect, the sense of oneness and unity. In all the Irreecha ceremonies recorded over the last two decades, after its first rejuvenation, there has never been a single stampede or injury recorded.”

P. 17 – Irreecha: A defining moment in a hallowed land (By Prof. Ezekiel Gebissa, Special to Addis Standard)

“In 2016, it was clear that the largest gathering of Oromos from Oromia’s all corners would be a scene of expression of anger in the wake of the government’s brutal crackdown of Oromo protests during the preceding ten months.

IRREECHA – THE COLORS, THE IDENTITY AND THE PRIDE OF OROMO NATION September 30, 2016

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo, Irreessa.
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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, Oromia

Oromia and the continuity its Nile Valley Civilization, Irreecha Malkaa 2015 ( 6409 years since started on upper Nile (Mormore) Valley)Irreecha Malkaa 2015 @Malkaa Ateetee, Gafarsaa, Buraayyuu, Oromia. 11 October 2015 picture18Irreecha Malkaa 2015 @Malkaa Sabbataa, Gafarsaa, Buraayyuu, Oromia. 11 October 2015Oromo, Irreecha Malkaa Oromoo 2015 @Hora Harsadi, Bishoftuu, OromiaIrreecha Malkaa Oromoo kan Bara 2015 (6409 ALO) Onkoloolessa 4, Hora Harsadi. picture3Irreecha Malkaa Oromoo Onkoloolessa 4, Bara 2015 (6409 ALO), Hora Harsadii, Bishooftuu, OromiaOromo from Raayya at Irreecha Malakaa 2015, Hora Harsadi, Bishoftu October 4, 2015Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, Oromia 4Irreechaa Arfaasaa 2015 (17)


IRREECHA – THE COLORS, THE IDENTITY AND THE PRIDE OF OROMO NATION


Ibsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo: “Ayyaana Irreecha Guddicha Bu’aa Qabsoo Bilisummaa Oromoon Kan Argamee As Gahe Qabsoon Kunuunfanna” September 17, 2016

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Odaa OromooOromianEconomist

 

Ka'i Qeerro

Oromia and the continuitity its Nile Valley Civilization, Irreecha Malkaa 2015 ( 6409 years since started on upper Nile (Mormore) Valley)Irreecha Malkaa Oromoo kan Bara 2015 Hora Harsadi, Bishoftuu, Oromia, Africa. Onkoloolessa 4,  2015  (6409 ALO)Oromia and the continuity its Nile Valley Civilization, Irreecha Malkaa 2015 ( 6409 years since started on upper Nile (Mormore) Valley)


Ayyaanni  Irreechaa kabajamaa fi jaalatamaan uummata Oromoo miliiyoona kudhanootaan kan kabajamu bu’aa  qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo wareegama qaalii lafee gootota Oromoo fi dhiiga gootota Oromoon tikfamee hardha ga’ee , yeroo ammaa kanattis ayyaana Irreechaa fi aadaa Oromoo kunuunsanii tiksuun dhalootaaf dabarsuuf gootonni Oromoo wareeegama qaalii itti baasaa jiru. Baroota darban keessa ayyaana Irreechaa kabajuuf jecha ummanni Oromoo fi sabboontotiin hedduun waraana Agaazii fi Poolisoota sirna TPLFn hedduu dararamanii jiru, gariin qabsaawotaa fi dargaggoonni Oromoo bakka irreecha kabajatanii fi kabajuuf deemanitti reebamuun kanneen qaamaa hirdhatan hedduu dha. Warri hidhamanii hanga ammaa bakka buuteen isaanii wallaalalme dhibbootaa  hedduu dha. Kanas ta’ee gootonni Qeerroo Bilisummaa hiraarsa kora bittinneessaan osoo hin jilbeeffatiin ayyaana Irreechaa Oromiyaa bakkoota adda addaatti kabajamu sirna miidhagaan kabajachuun aadaa Oromoo aduunyaatti muldhisaa turan. Haalleen dararaa fi gufaatii sirni Wayyaanee TPLF ummata keenya irraan gahu hunda keessa qaxaamuruun bu’aa gootota wareegamanii kan ta’e Ayyaana Irreechaa kana daran midhagsuu fi aduunyaatti muldhisuuf har’a sadarkaa UNESCO itti galmaa’aa jiraachuun qabsoo Oromootiif injifatnoo tokko.

Haala kana keessatti  Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo Ayyaana Irreechaa Birraa kan baranaa 2016 Hora Arsadiitti kabajamuuf yeroo jiru kana keessatti, Oromiyaa fi ummanni Oromoo bulchiisa waraanaa yoomyyuu caalaa suukanneessaa kan ta’e jala galtee jirti. Ayyaanni guddaan saba Oromoo biratti jaallatamaa ta’e kun duula waraana TPLF Oromiyaa fi Oromoo irratti labse kana cabsuun ummata miliyoona hedduun kabajamuuf Oromoota biratti qophii guddaa irra jirama. Bara kana ayyaanni Irreechaa kabajamu kun dhaadannoo  ‘ Ayyaana Irreecha Guddicha  Bu’aa Qabsoo Bilisummaa Oromoon Kan Argamee As Gahe Qabsoon Kunuunfanna”jedhuun kan kabajamuu waan ta’eef Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo  uummata isaa cufa waliin ta’uun ayyaana Irreecha 2016 kabajamu bifa adda ta’een kabajachuuf kan jirru  ta’uu hubachisuun haala kabaja ayyaanaa Irreecha bara kana sadarkaa hundarratti  kabajamu  ilaalchisuun Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo  uummata Oromoo, sabootaa fi sabalammoota kabajaa fi jaalaala ayyaana irreechaa Oromoof qaban hundaaf Ibsa kanaa gadii dabarsee jira.

  1. Ayyaanni Irreechaa bakka uummatnı Oromoo Waaqa isa uume ıttı galateeffatu, kadhatuu fi wal arguun waliin İrreeffachuu Aadaa, Duudhaa, eenyummaa, Oromummaa , Sabboonummaa isaa itti jabeeffatuu fi tikfatu ta’uun gadi jabeessuun hubachiifna;
  2. Biyyaatti Impayera Ethiopia humna waraana mootummaa EPRDF/TPLF gaggeeffamaa jirtu keessatti ayyaanota gurguddoo kabajaman keessa ayyaanni Irreechaa qofti bara baraan loltoota EPRDF, TPLF fi ergamtoota isaaniin uummatni nagaan ayyaaneffachuuf bahuu daandii irratti goolamaa , reebamaa, hidhamaa, daraaraamaa fi hiraarsaa ulfaataan kan isa  mudachaa ture.  Ummatni Oromoo haala rakkisaa kana hundaa tokkummaa fi kabajaa fi jaalala eenyummaa isaa kan ibsuu ayyaana Irreechaaf qabu  obsaa fi murannoon jala dhaabbatee wareegama baasaa kabajachaa har’a ga’ee. Bara kanas TPLF /Wayyaaneen Irreechaa 2016  karaa dhaaba jalee isaa OPDO  maqaaf Aadaaf Turizimiin karoora danqaa tatta’an baafachuun ummati Oromoo ifaa fi bilisaan akka ayyaanicha hin kabajneef shira xaxaa jira.  Karoorri OPDO kun hatattamaan ummata keenya irraa ka’ee Oromoon bilisaan ayyaana qabsoon argate kana akka kabajatu warra karoora shiraa wixinee ummata rakkisu karoora kana akka kaasaan gaafatna;
  3. Mootummaan Wayyaanee OPDOn ummata Oromoo waaqa uumaa kee illee eeyyama koo malee waaqeffachuu fi ayyaaneffachuu hın dandeessuu jechuun mirga uumamaan uummatni keenya qabu  ırraa sarbuun anatu siif beekaa akkan jedhetti malee waaqeffachuu hin dandeessuu jechuun shoroorkaa uummataa keenyarratti gaggeessaa jiran hatattamaan akka dhaabbatu Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo gadi jabeessuun ni hubachiisa.  Jaarmiyaaleen mirga namummaa Idil-addunyaa hundii rakkoo ulfaataa uummatni keenyaa keessa jiru akka hubatanii fi dhiibbaa  wayyaanee irratti akka jabeessus sabboontotni biyya alaa jirtan gadi jabeessitanii akka irratti hojjettan cimsinee gaafatna;
  4. Qeerroon dargaggootni Oromoo haamilee uummata keenyaa fi qabsoo bilisummaa bara dheeraa  ummatni keenya irratti wareegamaa jiruuf kabaja fi jaalalaa qabnu  muldhisuun jeequmsa kamuu osoo hin uumne Oromiyaa, gootota Oromoo qabsoof wareegaman faarsuun ummata haamlessuu fi diddaa sirna gabroomfataaf qabnu muldhisuu irratti jabaannee akka hojjennu hubachiifna;
  5. Ayyaana kana irratti hogganootii fi miseensotiin Qeerroon Bilisummaa Oromoo bakka jirtan hundatti tokkummaa, jaalalaa fi kabajaa ummata  keenyaa fi gootota keenyaa wareegamaa qaalii kanfaluun asiin nu ga’an faarsuun eegumsa naamusaa,daa’immanii , Shamarranii fi Maanguddootaaf akkasumaas uummata keenyaa waliigalaaf akka goonu dhaamsa Oromummaa fi dirqama dhalootaa waliif dabarsina;
  6. Jalbultii Ayyaana İrreechaa barana Fulbaana 20-21, 2016 Wayyaanee TPLF fi ergamtooti isaa OPDOn muddamanii waan qabanii dhiisan dhabuun maqaa waldorgommii İspoortii jedhu gaggeessuun yaada ummataa hanga tokko warraaqsaa FXG irraa jallaisuu dandeenya jettee toftaa dulloomaa ishee butachuun olola afaan fajjii gaggeessuuf akka jirtu saaxilameera. Ummatni Oromoo dhumaa utuu jiruu, hidhaa keessatti  dararaa hiriyyaa hin qabne irra gahaa osoo jiruu biyyi keenya  Oromiyaan waraanaan shororkeeffamaa utuu jiruu shirri itti fakkeessi TPLFn wixinamee OPDOtti kenname kun salphinaa fi farrummaa qabsoo Oromoo waan ta’eef dargaggoonni Oromoos ta’e ummanni Oromoo bakka shiraa maqaa Ispoortiin qopaawee kana akka hin geenyee fi irraa akka of qusatan dhaamsa lammummaa wareegmtoota dabarsina;
  7. Ummatni Oromoo biyya isaa keessatti mootummaa hin qabu; Media Mootummaas hin qabu; poolisii isa eeguu , nageenyaa fi mirga isaa kan kabachiisu hin qabu; Oromoon wal malee homaa waan hin qabneef bakka jirtaan hundatti jaalala, tokkummaa fi kabaja Oromummaa waliif akka qabaattanii nagaan baatanii nagaan qe’ee keessanitti akka deebitaniif akka wal tiksitaniif waamichaa keenyaa dabarsina. Meidaleen walabaa Oromoo jalbultii ayyaana Irreechaa irraa eegaluun ayyaanichaa fi qophii isaa aduunyaatti muldhisuun akka miidhagsitan waamicha keenya dabarsina;
  8. Mootummaan Wayyaanee shiroota garaagaraa jalbuitii Ayyaana İrreechaa rawwachuuf jiru qindeessaa jira. Shiroota kanneen keessa ammaaf kan saaxilame Fajjii qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo alaabaa ABO har’a uummaatni Oromoo golee fi Oromiyaa cufa keessatti qabatee  ittiin warraaqsa gaggeefataa jiru fi  jaalaalaa, kabaja uummatni ABO faajjii qabsoo isaaf qabu argisiisaa kan jiru kana gaafa jala bultii ayyaana Irreechaa irraa kaasee basaasotiin Wayyaanee bal’inaan karaa irra dhaabbatanii gurguruun nama alaabaa bitu hordofuun qabuuf shira guddaa xaxaa jiru. Ummanni keenyaa fi dargaggoonni keenya kana hubachuun alaabaa Oromoo kan Wayyaaneen gurgurtaaf dhiheessaa jirtu akka irraa hin bitne gadi jabeessinee dhaamsa dabarsina;
  9. Ayyaanii Irreecha birraa 2016 sadarkaa godinaaleetti waan itti fufuuf qabxiilee ibsa kana irratti taarrifaman bakka iyyuutti yaadachaa muuxannoo Hora Arsadiitti argattan irraa kabaja Ayyaana Irreechaa godinaalee irrattis bifa ho’aa, naamusa ol aanaan  fi qindaa’aan akka kabajamu waltaanee gamtaan kan irratti hojjennu ta’uu dhaamsa keenyaa dabarsina.

 

Injifannoon Uummata Oromoof!!

         

                Gadaan Gadaa Bilisummaati!!

 

                Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo!!

         

            Fulbaana 16, 2016 Finfinnee

 

Oromia: A Pilgrimage to Oromummaa Roots | The Colorful Irreecha at Bishoftu | A More Complete Video of Irreecha 2014 (Bishoftu, Oromia) September 16, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha, Irreecha (Irreesa) 2014, Irreecha Birraa, Irreecha Oromo.
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???????????Irreecha Oromo 2014 Hora Harsadii, Oromia 5

https://www.youtube.com/watch?t=1266&v=4swTJ4xEEDg

A Pilgrimage to Oromummaa Roots | The Colorful Irreecha at Bishoftu | A More Complete Video of Irreecha 2014 (Bishoftu, Oromia), see more at:-  http://finfinnetribune.com/Gadaa/2015/09/a-pilgrimage-to-oromummaa-roots-irreecha-at-bishoftu-a-more-complete-video-of-irreecha-2014-bishoftu-oromia/

Oromia: Irreecha Oromo Spring Celebrations: Ayyaani Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo haala ho’aa fi gammachiisaan Dilabata Ebla 5, bara 2015 kabajamee oole. May 7, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Irreecha (Irreesa) 2014, Irreecha (Irreessa) 2014, Irreecha Arfaasaa, Irreecha Birraa.
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Spring equinox known as Irreecha Arfaasaa in Oromo culture colorfully celebrated in Oromia on 5th April 2015.  Dressed in cultural costumes, Oromians  revel in the return of spring by visiting the ancient sites including  mount Furii in Central Oromia.

Ayyaani Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo haala ho’aa fi gammachiisaan Dilabata Ebla 5, bara 2015 Tulluu Furii irraatti kabajamee oole. Tulluun furii Tulluuwwaan Ulfoo Oromoon qabu keessaa ishee tokkodha. Guyyaa kana Waaqeffattoonni fi jiraatonni Magaalaa Finfinnee, Sabbataa fi Naannawaa ishee Irrati argamanii Haala Addaan Kabajameera.

Irreecha Arfaasaa Celebrate at Furii (Oromia), 5th April 2015Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo, Tulluu Furii. 5th April 2015, Oromia.

Celebration of Spring equinox in Oromo Culture.

Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo, Oromia, 5th April 2015. Spring Celebration. Celebration of Spring equinox in Oromo Culture.

Celebration of Spring equinox in Oromo Culture.  At Tulluu Furii.

Spring Celebration. Irreecha Arfaasaa in jimma, Oromia. Tulluu Begii

Irreessii Arfaasaa  JImmaa fi Naannoo isheen Eebla, 26, Baraa 2015 Tulluu Irreessaa/Beegittii Taasifameeoole. Guyyiichii kan Waaqeffattoonnii dheebuu Eenyummaa Amantaa isaani qaban ittiin ibsataniif ergaawwaan amanticha dhugeeffannaa Uumaa ilaallataan itti darbanii dha. Uumaan Ganna Dukkuna as deema jiru kana jala nagaan akka isaan ulluuqsisuuf kan irreeffatamuu dha. Walumattii, Irreechaa milkii kan namoonnii kumaatamaan lakkaa’amaan irrattii hirmaatanii dha.

Spring celebration in Oromia, Jimmaa, Tulluu Deeddee. 26 April 2015. Irreecha Arfaasaa.

Ebla 26, 2015 Ayyaanni irreecha Arfaasaa Godina Jimmaa Tulluu Deeddeetti Bifa Addaa Ta’een, Yaadannoo Gootota Barattoota Oromoo Dabalatee Kabajamuu Qeerroon Gabaase

Ebla 26/2015 Ayyaanni irreecha Arfaasaa Godina Jimmaa Tulluu Deeddeetti bifa addaa taee fi yaadannoo Gootota Barattoota Oromoo dhabbilee barnoota olaanoo Oromiyaa garaagaraa fi Godinaalee Oromiyaa garaagaraa keessatti bara darbee Ebla 2014 gaaffii mirga abbaa biyyummaa fi Mormii master plan Finfinnee kaachisuun FDG irritti wareegamniif addatti yaadannoon Waggaa 1ffaas bifa hoaa taaeen kabajame.

Ayyaanni Irreecha Arfaasaa Oromoo Godina Jimmaa Tulluu Deeddeetti kan Uummatni Oromoo 6000 olitti lakkamu Dhabbilee barnoota olaanoo gootota barattoota Oromoo Yuunibarsii Jimmaa, fi kolleejjii barsiisota Jimmaa, Sabboontota hojjettootaa fi barsiisotaa Oromoo Yuunibarsiitii Jimmaa fi kolleejjii barsiisota Jimmaa, sabboontota uummata Oromoo magaalaa Jimmaa fi naannoo ishee, Sabboontota uummata Oromoo godinaalee Oromiyaa akka Iluu Abbaa Booraa,Wallagga Bahaa, fi Kibba Lixa shaggar irraa illee kan hirmaachise Ayyaanni Irreecha arfaasaa Jimmatti bifa hoaa fi adda taeen kabajame.

Ayyaanaa Irreecha Arfaasaa kana Irraatti goototni dargaggootni Qeerroon barattootni Oromoo Yuunibarsiitii Jimmaa Mooraalee Yuunibarsiitichaa arfan irraa iyyuu uuffata gaddaa uffachuun gootota dargaggoota barattoota Oromoo fi uummata Oromoo bara darbee gaaffii mirga abbaa biyyummaa karaa naagaa fi dimookiraasii gaafachuun baatii Eblaa 2014 keessa wareegama qaalii kanfalaniif yaadannoo bifa adda taeen gochuun gootota Oromoo fi dargaggoota Oromoo Wareegama qaalii uummata Oromoo bilisoomsuuf baasaa jiran faarfachuun, tokkummaa uummata Oromoo jabeessuuf walleelee warraaqsaa qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo, fi gootota oromoo faarsuun haala adda taeen ayyaanni Irreechaa Arfaasaa bara 2015 kun bifa haalan qindaaeen kabajamaa olee jira.

http://qeerroo.org/2015/04/26/ebla-262015-ayyaanni-irreecha-arfaasaa-godina-jimmaa-tulluu-deeddeetti-bifa-addaa-taeenyaadannoo-gootota-barattoota-oromoo-dabalatee-kabajamuu-qeerroon-gabaase/

May (Caamsaa) 6, 2015 – Adaamaa (Oromia)       May (Caamsaa) 5, 2015 – Naqamte (Oromia)

Irreecha Arfaasaa (Oromo Spring Celebration) colorfully celebrated with great joys.

Irreechi Tulluu Shanee Adaamaa qaama mootummaatin dhoorgamuu yaalamus haala gaariin gaggeeffameera mootummaan abbaa irree Irreechi Tulluu akka him bahamne jedhee sodaachisaa tire human isaatii ol taanaan baasastota isaa garage ayyaanichaatti bobbaasuun yaalii maqa balleessii amanttii Waaqeffannaa taasisus hin milkoofne. Waaqeffattoonni iddoo garagaraa jiranis ayyanicharratti argamuun sirnicha dabarsaniiru milkiidhan roobaan galanii kadhatanii argataniiru.  Naqamtettis haala wal fakkatuni Caamsaa 5 bara 2015 ayyaaneffatamee oole.

Adaamaa Irreecha Arfaasaa Tulluu Shanee

Akka aadaa Oromootti, Irreechaan yeroo bonni dhumatu kabajamu kun nagaan bona keessa darbanii gara gannaatti dhiyaachuuf Waaqa itti galateeffatanii dha.

Abbootiin Gadaas sirna kana irratti eebba gabbinaa namaa fi sa’aaf kan dhiyeessaniiru.

Ayyaanni Irreechaa waggaatti yeroo lama: Irreecha (Irreessa) Birraa fi Irreecha (Irreessa) Arfaasaa jedhamuun  Birraa fi Arfaasaa keessa Akabajama.

https://www.oromiamedia.org/2015/04/omn-london-oduu-ebla-26-2015/

An Amusing Historical picture Captured in 1903 showing Irreechaa celebration at Lake Hora Harsadii, Bishoftu town of Oromia March 18, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Culture, Irreecha, Irreecha (Irreesa) 2014, Irreecha (Irreessa) 2014, Irreecha Birraa, Oromo, Oromo Culture.
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An Amusing Historical picture Captured 112 years ago showing Irreechaa celebration at Lake Hora, Bishoftu town of Oromia

 Face Book page of Known Oromo Journalist Dhabasa Wakjira, Bitootessa (March), 17, 2015.
An Amusing Historical picture Captured in 1903 showing Irreechaa celebration at Lake Hora, Bishoftu town of Oromia
This historical Irreechaa celebration was captured 112 years ago- 1903 at Lake Hora, Bishoftu town. Irreechaa is one of the indigenous Oromo culture by which Oromos are getting together to thank their Creator called Waaqaa or God for the reason that He helped them to turn a year. For a reason that God or Waaqaa transferred them from the rainy and difficult season to a shiny and enjoyable season Oromos are getting together and give their thanks for the Great Lord I .e. Waaqaa or God. It was then banned and the banning era was ended with the fall down of Mengistu’s regime in 1991. The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa to thank Waaqaa (God) for the blessings and mercies they have received throughout the previous year. The thanksgiving is celebrated at the sacred grounds of Hora Harsadi (Lake Harsadi), Bishoftu, Oromia. The Irreechaa festival is celebrated every year at the beginning of Birraa (the sunny new season after the dark, rainy winter season). Irrecha is celebrated throughout Oromia and around the world where diaspora Oromos live especially North America and Europe. The Oromo people consider the winter rainy season of June to September as the time of difficulty. The heavy rain brings with it lots of things like swelling rivers and floods that may drown people, cattle, crop, and flood homes. Also, family relationship will severe during winter rain as they can’t visit each other because of swelling rivers. In addition, winter time could be a time of hunger for some because of the fact that previous harvest collected in January is running short and new harvest is not ripe yet. Because of this, some families may endure food shortages during the winter. In Birra (the season after winter in Oromoland), this shortage ends as many food crops especially maize is ripe and families can eat their fill. Other crops like potato, barley, etc. will also be ripe in Birra. Some disease types like malaria also break out during rainy winter time. Because of this, the Oromos see winter as a difficult season. However, that does not mean the Oromo people hate rain or winter season at all. Even when there is shortage of rain, they pray to Waaqaa (God) for rain. The Oromo people celebrate Irreechaa not only to thank Waaqaa (God) but also to welcome the new season of plentiful harvests after the dark and rainy winter season associated with nature and creature. On Irreechaa festivals, friends, family, and relatives gather together and celebrate with joy and happiness. Irreechaa festivals bring people closer to each other and make social bonds. Moreover, the Oromo people celebrate this auspicious event to mark the end of rainy season, known as Ganna, was established by Oromo forefathers, in the time of Gadaa Melbaa in Mormor, Oromia. The auspicious day on which this last Mormor Day of Gadaa Belbaa – the Dark Time of starvation and hunger- was established on the 1st Sunday of last week of September or the 1st Sunday of the 1st week of October according to the Gadaa lunar calendar has been designated as National Thanksgiving Day by modern-day Oromo people.
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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.

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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.