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Oromia: The Oromo Heritages: Gadaa, Siiqqee and Irreecha. #Africa. June 13, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ancient Egyptian, Ancient Rock paintings in Oromia, Ateetee, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Boran Oromo, Gadaa System, Irreecha, Irreecha Oromo, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Wisdom, Oromo women, Oromummaa, Sirna Gadaa, The Goddess of Fecundity, Waaqeffanna (Oromo ancient African Faith System).
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Oromo nation and Gadaa system

Oromo nation and Gadaa system

The Borana Calendar REINTERPRETED

by Laurance R. Doyle

Physics and Astronomy Department, University of California, Santa Cruz,at NASA Ames Research Center, Space Sciences Division, M.S. 245-7,
Moffett Field, Calif. 94035, U.S. 20 XII 85

The announcement of a possible first archaeoastronomical site (called Namoratunga II) in sub-Saharan Africa by Lynch and Robbins (1978) and its subsequent reappraisal by Soper (1982) have renewed interest in an East African calendrical system, the Borana calendar, first outlined in detail by Legesse (1973:180-88). I shall here reinterpret the calendar as Legesse describes it in the light of astronomical constraints.
The Borana calendar is a lunar-stellar calendrical system, relying on astronomical observations of the moon in conjunction with seven particular stars (or star groups). At no time (except indirectly by way of lunar phase) does it rely upon solar observations. The Borana year is twelve lunar synodic months (each 29.5 days long), 354 days. While it will not correspond to the seasons, this may not be of primary importance for people this close to the equator. There are twenty-seven day names (no weeks), and since each month is either 29 or 30 days long, the first two (or three) day names are used twice in the same month starts on a new day name. The day names are listed in Table 1, the month names in Table 2.
The first six months can be identified at the beginning of the month with a particular astronomical observation, whereas the last six months can be so identified only around the middle of the month. The first six months begin with the observation of the new-phase moon in conjunction with six positions in the sky marked by seven particular stars or star groups. Thus the phase of the moon is held constant while its position varies. The last six months are identified by a particular-phase moon seen in conjunction with the first star position. Thus, here, the lunar phase changes and the position is held constant. The seven stars or star groups in order are Triangulum (which I take to mean Beta Trianguli), Pleiades, Aldebarran, Belletrix, central Orion (around the sword), Saiph, and Sirius. They are given in Table 2 next to the months they define.
The New Year starts with the observation of the new moon in conjunction with Beta Trianguli. (The term “new moon” here will be taken to be within two days of zero phase, although the Borana allow up to three “leap” days’ leeway, the astronomical observation determining the correct day to start on. This is indicated in the day nomenclature by the assignment of like prefixes to two or three day names before the approximate time an important astronomical observation is to take place.) Since the new moon can be seen only just before sunrise or just after sunset, twilight makes the observation of Beta Trianguli (a third-magnitude star) in conjunction with a new moon impossible with the naked eye.

Assuming that such an observation, however, was possible, would the next new moon be in conjunction with the next star group. Pleiades? (Conjunction here is taken to mean “rising with” or “setting with,” having the same right ascension. Legesse says (p. 182), “Let us assume that a new moon was sighted last night and that is appeared side by side with the star Sirius, which the Borana call Basa.”) Since the sidereal period of the moon is 27.3 days long, it will arrive back at the Triangulum position more than two days before completing its synodic month. At the sidereal rate of 13.2° per day, the moon will be within 3° of Pleiades when it rises in the new phase again. However, by the time of the third month it rises, not with Aldebarran, the next star, but a little past Belletrix, the fourth star, which is supposed to start the fourth month. By the fourth month the new moon is rising past Sirius, the sixth start, and the calendar is clearly not working as described. It should be added that the right-ascension positions of the stars in the area from Beta Trianguli to Sirius change with time, at the rate of roughly 15° every thousand years. However, the stars stay in approximately the same configuration, and arguments based on their present right-ascension relationships will hold over the past several thousand years as well.
What happens if we take the term “conjunction,” or “side by side,” as Legesse has it, to mean not “rising with” but “rising single-file,” that is, at the same horizon position (in other words, having the same declination)? Examining the idea that it is not the proximity of the moon to the star that is important but its horizon rising (or setting) position with respect to that star’s horizon rising (or setting) position, we immediately find that the first necessary observation, the new moon rising at the horizon position of Beta Trianguli, is not currently possible. Beta Trianguli rises (at the equator) about 35° north of the east point (0° declination), while the moon (on the northernmost average) rises at 23.5° north of east, never rising farther north than 28.5° from the East Point. The earth’s rotation axis is known to precess over the centuries, and while this does not change the lunar orbital positions significantly, it does change the apparent position of the stars. We can calculate the positions of the seven Borana stars at a time when Beta Trianguli was well within the moon’s declination limits to see if the calendar would have worked then. In 300 BC, Beta Trianguli was rising at a declination of +23° north of east. The right-ascension positions at the time still do not allow a “rising with” interpretation of the calendrical system. We can begin by defining the start of the Borana year as the new moon rising at the rising position of 300 BC Beta Trianguli. (The date of 300 BC was strongly suggested by the preliminary dating of Namoratunga II, but it was chosen because +23°, Beta Trianguli’s declination at the time, is the northern average of the moon’s monthly motion. I will take the moon’s motion, for the example here, from theNautical Almanacs for 1983 and 1984.) The next new moon rises at 14° north of east, which corresponds precisely to the 300 BC horizon rising position of Pleiades, the next Borana star. The next four new moons (starting the next four Borana months) rise at +9 degrees, +1 degree, –11 degrees, and –17 degrees declination. These positions correspond to the 300 BC horizon rising positions of the Borana stars Aldebarran. Belletrix, central Orion—Saiph (taken together), and Sirius, respectively (Table 3).
The seventh month should be identifiable 14 or 15 days from its automatic start (about 29 days after the start of the sixth month) by a full moon rising at the Beta Trianguli position, and this is indeed the case. Each subsequent moon rises at this horizon position 27.3 days later (sidereal month) in a phase (synodic month) about two days less waxes (since it is on its way to the full phase again) each time. (Legesse has a waning moon, but this must mean waning with respect to each subsequent monthly observation, not with respect to the Phase State for that month.) On the thirteenth or first month, the moon is seen rising in the new phase again (“new” meaning within a couple of days of zero phase), and another year begins. Tracing the moon’s motion as it arrives at these positions in the sky (which are, however, no longer directly marked by the seven stars), we can derive the calendar (see Table 4).
This outline is still general with respect to what is sometimes called the lunar excursion (regression of the line of nodes of the lunar orbit). The three “leap” days the Borana calendar allows for the starting of some of the months just before an important astronomical observation could account for this declination excursion of the moon (± ca. 5° from 23.5° declination on an 18.6-year basis), but this would certainly require confirmation in the field.
The Borana calendrical system as described by Legesse is, therefore, a valid timekeeping system, subject to the astronomical constraints outlined here, and the pillars found in northwestern Kenya by Lynch and Robbins and preliminary dates at 300 BC could, as they suggest, represent a site used to derive that calendar. The calendar does not work in right-ascension sense, but it does work if taken as based on declination. It might have been invented around 300 BC, when the declinations of the seven stars corresponded to lunar motion as the calendar indicates, and the star names would therefore apply to the horizon positions as well. Because the horizon rising positions constitute the important observations (over half of which must be made at twilight), some sort of horizon-marking device would seem to be necessary. Since the calendar is still in use, and the horizon-making pillars can no longer be set up by aligning them with the horizon rising positions of these stars, it would seem that the Borana may be using ancient (or replicas of ancient) horizon markers and this possibility should be investigated. I look forward with great interest to a test of these hypotheses.

Table 1

Borana Day names (Legesse 1973)

Bita Kara Gardaduma
Bita Lama Sonsa
Sorsa Rurruma
Algajima Lumasa
Arb Gidada
Walla Ruda
Basa Dura Areri Dura
Basa Ballo Areri Ballo
Carra Adula Dura
Maganatti Jarra Adula Ballo
Maganatti Britti Garba Dura
Salban Dura Garba Balla
Salban Balla Garda Dullacha
Salban Dullacha

Table 2

Borana Months and Stars/Lunar Phases That Define Them
(Legesse 1973)

Month

Star/Lunar Phase

Bittottessa Triangulum
Camsa Pleiades
Bufa Aldebarran
Wacabajjii Belletrix
Obora Gudda Central Orion-Saiph
Obora Dikka Sirius
Birra full moon
Cikawa gibbous moon
Sadasaa quarter moon
Abrasa large crescent
Ammaji medium crescent
Gurrandala small crescent

Table 3

Declinations (Degrees) of Borana Stars, 300 BC and Present

Star

Declination

300 BC

Present

Beta Trianguli

+23

+35

Pleiades

+14

+23

Aldebarran

+9

+16

Belletrix

+1

+6

Central Orion

–10

–6

Saiph

–13

–10

Sirius

–17

–17

Table 4

Astronomical Borana-Cushitic Calendar (1983-84)

Borana-Cushitic Day/Month

Gregorian Date

Description

Bita Kara/
Bittottessa
August 7, 1983 New moon rises at Triangulum horizon position
Algajima/
Camsa
September 6, 1983 New moon rises at Pleiades horizon position
Walla/
Bufa
October 5, 1983 New moon rises at Aldebarran horizon position
Basa Dura/
Wacabajjii
November 2, 1983 New moon rises at Belletrix horizon position
Maganatti Jarra/
Obora Gudda
December 2, 1983 New moon rises at central Orion-Saiph horizon position
Salban Dura/
Obora Dikka
December 30, 1983 New moon rises at Sirius horizon position
Gardaduma/
Birra
January 29, 1984 Full moon sets at Triangulum on February 15
Rurruma/Cikawa February 28, 1984 Gibbous moon sets at Triangulum on March 14
Gidada/
Sadasaa
March 28, 1984 Quarter moon sets at Triangulum on April 10
Areri Dura/
Abrasa
April 26, 1984 Large crescent sets at Triangulum on May 7
Adula Dura/
Ammaji
May 25, 1984 Medium crescent sets at Triangulum on June 3
Garba Dura/
Gurrandala
June 23, 1984 Small crescent sets at Triangulum on June 30
Bita Kara/
Bittottessa
July 28, 1984 “New” moon rises at Triangulum position again, new year starts

References Cited

Legesse, A. 1973. Gada: Three approaches to the study of African Society. New York: Free Press.

Lynch, B. M., and L. H. Robbins. 1978. Namoratunga: The first archaeoastronomical evidence in sub-Saharan Africa. Science 200:766-68.

Soper, R. 1982. Archaeo-astronomical Cushites: Some comments. Azania 17:145-62

Source:

http://web.archive.org/web/20081029073246/http://www.tusker.com/Archaeo/art.currentanthro.htm

ASTRONOMY IN EAST AFRICA:Borana-Cushitic Calender

ASTRONOMY IN EAST AFRICA
The Borana-Cushitic Calendar and Namoratunga
Laurance Reeve Doyle
Space Sciences Division, N.A.S.A.
Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, California

“While Western thought has always prided itself on scientific objectivity, it has often been found unprepared for such surprises as an intellectually advanced yet seemingly illiterate society. In the face of apparent primitiveness, the possibility of significant intellectual development may not be fully investigated.
This was certainly the case when, in the early 1970’s, Dr. A. Legesse first found that the Borana people of southern Ethiopia were indeed using a sophisticated calendrical system based on the conjunction of seven stars with certain lunar phases. Previous calendrical investigations into the area up to this time had superficially stated that the Borana “attach magical significance to the stars and constellations,” incorrectly concluding that their calendar was based, as ours is, on solar motion.
What Dr. Legesse found was an amazing cyclical calendar similar to those of the Mayans, Chinese, and Hindu, but unique in that it seemed to ignore the sun completely (except indirectly by way of the phases of the moon). The workings were described to him by the Borana ayyantu (timekeepers) as follows.
There are twelve months to a year, each month being identifiable with a unique (once a year) astronomical observation. The length of each month is either 29 or 30 days – that is, the time it takes the moon to go through all its phases. (This time is actually 291/2 days and is called a synodic month, but the Borana only keep track of whole days). Instead of weeks, there are 27 day names. Since each month is 29 or 30 days long we will run out of day names about two or three days early in the same month. The day names can therefore be recycled and for day 28 we use the first day name again, the second day name for day 29, and start the next month using the third day name. Thus each month will start on a different day name. Whether the particular month is to be 29 or 30 days long would depend on the astronomical observations, which are quite ingeniously defined.
The seven stars (or star groups) used to derive the calendar are, from northernmost to southernmost, 1) Beta Triangulum – a fairly faint navigation star in the constellation of the Triangle, 2) Pleiades – a beautiful, blue star cluster in the constellation of Taurus the Bull, and sometimes referred to as the seven sisters, 3) Aldebarran – a bright, red star that represents the eye of Taurus, 4) Belletrix – a fairly bright star that represents the right shoulder of the constellation Orion the Hunter, 5)Central Orion – the region around Orion’s sword where the Great Orion Nebula may be found, 6) Saiph – the star representing the right knee of Orion, and finally 7) Sirius – the brightest star in the night sky and the head of the constellation Canis Majoris, the Great Dog.
The New Year begins with the most important astronomical observation of the year – a new moon in conjunction with Beta Triangulum. (this day is called Bitotesa, and the next month is called Bitokara). The next month starts when the new moon is found in conjunction with the Pleiades. The third month starts with the new moon being observed in conjunction with the star Aldebarran, the next with Belletrix, then the area in between Central Orion and Saiph, and finally with the star Sirius. So the first six months of the calendar are started by the astronomical observations of the new phase moon found in conjunction with six specific locations in the sky marked by seven stars of star groups.
The method is now switched and the final six months are identified by six different phases of the moon (from full to crescent) being found in conjunction with only one position in the sky – the one marked by Beta Triangulum. Thus the whole Borana year is identified astronomically and when the new phase moon is again finally seen in conjunction with Beta Triangulum the New Year will start again. Since there are 12 such synodic months of 29 ½ days each, the Borana year is only 354 days long.
Now, in the latter part of the 1970’s another interesting development was to take place regarding the astronomy of this region. In 1977 Drs. B.M. Lynch and L.H. Robbins, who were working in the Lake Turkana area of northwestern Kenya, came upon what they believed was the first archaeoastronomical site ever found in sub-Saharan Africa. At Namoratunga, it consisted of 19 stone pillars, apparently man-made, that seemed to align toward the rising positions of the seven Borana calendar stars as they had appeared quite some time ago. (their suggested date from the various archaeological considerations, which still requires corroboration, was about 300 BC). Due to precession (the slow, wobbling of the pointing direction of the rotation axis of the Earth), the stars will seem to move from their positions over the centuries, although the moon’s position would not vary on this time scale. (Such an example is the alignment of certain features of the Egyptian pyramids with the star Thuban in the constellation Draco the Dragon, which was the north polar star about 5000 year ago; today it is Polaris and in several thousand years it will be Vega). If the date that Drs. Lynch and Robbins suggested was correct, the site would then correspond to the time of the extensive kingdom of Cush, referred to as Ethiopia in the Bible but actually centered about present day Sudan. One would then conclude that the Borana calendrical system was old indeed, having been developed by the Cushitic peoples in this area about 1800 years before the development of our present day Western Gregorian calendrical system.
In 1982, a number of significant questions arose concerning the site, the calendar, and archaeoastronomy of East Africa in general. The pillars were remeasured by an anthropologist in Kenya (Mr. Robert Soper) and found to be magnetic in nature. The original measurements had to be modified but, again, alignments with the seven Borana stars were found. However, this brought up the question of whether pillar alignments are significant at all, since the Borana ayyantu certainly can recognize the phases of the moon and when it is in conjunction with the appropriate seven stars. It was time to approach the question astronomically, and ask the moon and the stars how the calendar worked.
First, we could take the New Year’s observations, a new moon in conjunction with the faint star Beta Triangulum. What is meant by the term “conjunction” which is astronomically defined as the closest approach between two celestial objects? A new moon means that the moon is very close to the sun, being at best only a very small crescent, and therefore can only be seen just before sunrise or just after sunset. Interestingly enough, it turns out that during this twilight time the sky is too bright to be able to see the star Beta Triangulum so that seeing the new moon next to Beta Triangulum, the most important observation of the Borana calendar, was impossible!
In addition, assuming that the new moon and Beta Triangulum could be somehow seen rising together, the next month’s new moon rises significantly behind Pleiades, the newt conjunction star group. The third new moon rises with Belletrix, having skipped the third star, Aldebarran, completely. This is certainly not how the Borana described their calendar. If we were to continue to try to work the calendar in this way, by the start of the sixth month the new moon would be rising almost four hours after Sirius.
How could the calendar work then? Suppose (as we did), that one takes the term “conjunction” to mean “rising at the same horizon position” instead of “rising horizontally next to at the same time.” Thus one could mark the horizon rising position of Beta Triangulum, with pillars for instance, and once a year a new moon will rise at that position on the horizon. Let us suppose that this astronomical event marks the start of the New Year. We must add that we are taking the horizon rising position of these seven stars as they were in or around 300 BC, since present day Beta Triangulum has precessed too far to the north over the centuries and the moon will never rise there. However, the position of 300 BC Beta Triangulum, as well as the other Borana stars, was quite within the realm of the moon’s orbit.
Now where will the next new moon rise? It turns out to rise at precisely the rising position of Pleiades! The next new moon, marking the start of the third month, rises at the Aldebarran horizon position, the next at Belletrix, the next in between Central Orion and Saiph, and finally the sixth new moon rises at the horizon position that Sirius rose at during the night. During the next six months one can tell what month it is only in the middle of the month, since one has to wait to see what phase the moon is in when it appears at the Beta Triangulum horizon position. During the seventh month, as described, a full moon will be observed at the Beta Triangulum position. The next month a gibbous waxing moon, then a quarter moon, and successively smaller crescents will be seen there until, at the time when the 13th or first month should start the new year again (exactly 354 days later), a new moon is again seen rising at the Beta Triangulum position on the horizon.
It is interesting that one can draw some significant anthropological results from the astronomical derivation of this calendrical system. It would appear that the calendar would have had to have been invented (to use the stars correctly) sometime within a few hundred years of 300 BC, a time when the Cushitic peoples were dominant in this part of the world. Hence we would call it the Borana-Cushitic calendar. In addition, although the seven Borana-Cushitic stars no longer rise in the correct horizon positions to be correctly marked by pillars for observing the monthly rising position of the new moon, the present day Borana people nevertheless use this system of timekeeping. The implication is that the Borana require ancient horizon markers in their present derivation of the calendar.
Concerning the site at Namoratunga, and considering that the use of pillars is apparently necessary to the derivation of the calendar, such horizon markers as are found there may, indeed, have been an ancient observatory. Petroglyphs on the pillars at Namoratunga may also hold the possibility of being ancient and, if Cushitic, may represent the alignment stars or moon. Cushitic script has never been deciphered and any hints as to the meaning of tits symbols could be significant clues with very exciting prospects indeed!

Thus, archaeoastronomy in East Africa is still quite new and many discoveries await. From coming to understand, even in a small way, the calendrical reckoning and observational abilities of the ancient and modern astronomer-timekeepers of this region, Western thought should certainly not again underestimate the ingenuity and intellect present there. As for this Western thinker, this study continues to be a welcome lesson in perspective and humility, taught to him by his astronomical colleagues of long ago.”

This is a summary of a talk delivered at Caltech for Ned Munger’s African Studies class.

http://www.africaspeaks.com/reasoning/index.php?topic=2194.0;wap2

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Oromian Voices: Current Affairs, News, Views, Analysis and Entertainment from Oromia Media Network, Madda Walaabuu and Other Various sources January 10, 2015

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient African Direct Democracy, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development.
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O     Oromia knwoledge and social media sources

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Do you know this facts about Oromo and Oromia? http://www.oromoliberationfront.info/press/Oromo-flyer-ver.4.0.pdf

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SBO Sadaasa 30 Bara 2014 Oduu – Gabaasa Oduu – Filannoo Wayyaanee irratti qophii qophaa’ee fi Qophiilee biroo

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Does British aid to Africa help the powerful more than the poor?

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UK gives £1bn to brutal Ethiopian regime

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Thousands of Ethiopians tortured by brutal government security forces… while Britain hands over almost £1 BILLION in aid money

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2812850/Thousands-Ethiopians-tortured-brutal-government-security-forces-Britain-hands-1-BILLION-aid-money.html

 

http://https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/10/omn-oduu-onkololeessa-9-2014/

SBO Onkoloolessa 08 Bara 2014 Oduu – Qophii Ayyaana Irreechaa fi SBO Sagantaa Afaan Amaaraa

Ummatni Oromoo fi dargaggootni Oromoo addatti ammo barattootnii University, Kolejotaa fi Manneen barnootaa sadarkaa tokkoffaa fi Lammaffaa torbanoota lamaan darbe gaaffii sirna fi seeraa Mootummaan Oromiyaa akka deebisuu fi mirga abbaa biyyummaa Oromoo gaafataa turre. Haa tahu malee gaaffii keenyaaf deebiin mootummaa human Polisa Federalaa biyyattiin qabdu hidhannoo guutuu waliinii fi waraana Agazii dargaggota, barattootaa fi ummata harka qullaa irratti bobbaasuun Oromiyaa guutuu dirree waraanaa godhee lubbuun namaa hedduu fi qabeenyi barbadaawee jira. Gaaffiin keenya gaaffii mirgaa fi seera qabeessaa waan taheef: Ummatni fi barattootni kumaan lakkaawaman kan mana hidhaa haaraa bakka bakkatti Polisi Federalaa bane keessatti dararamaa jiran hatattamaan akka gadi lakkifaman. Galmeen hidhamtootaa kumaan lakkaawamu kunis Ummta Oromoo fi addunyaaf ifa akka tahu. Kanneen Barattotaa fi Ummata Oromoo nagaa meeshaa baraneen bakka bakkatti ajjeefaman kudhanootaan lakkaawaman ajjeesan fi akkataa itti ajjeefaman Qaama Walaba Tahe Mootummoota Gamtoomaniin utubameen akka qoratamanii fi seeratti akka dhihaatan. Hidhamtootni Siyaasaa biyyatti guutuu keessa waggaa 23 darban hidhaa keessatti murtii kijibaan fi murtii malee dararamaa jiran hundi haal duree tokko malee akka gadi lakkifaman. Polisni Federalaa fi waraanni mootummaa Federalaa naatoo tokko malee irra deddeebi’ee ummata Oromoo fi ummatoota biro mirga isaanii nagaan gaafatan rashanaa jiru Oromiyaa keessaa hatattamaan akka gadi lakkisee bahu. Poolisnii fi Dabballootni Wayyanneen/EPRDF University, Kolejotaa fi Manneen barnootaa keessaa akka gadi lakkifamanii fi mooraan barnootaa hundi siyaasaa partii EPRDF fi tikaa fi Poolisa irraa bilisa akka tahu. Oromiyaa Guutuu Keessatti Ummata Oromoo lafa irraa buqqisuun akka hatattamaan dhaabbatu fi kanneen buqqifamaniif beenyaan akka baafamu Mirgi Hiree Murteeffannaan Ummata Oromoo akka kabajamu Qabsoon Bilisumma Oromoo fi sochiin gaaffii mirgaa Qeerroon gaggeeffamu nagaan kan gaggeeffamuu fi nagaan mirga falamtuu tahuu mirkaneessina. Qabsoo karaa nagaa gaggeessinu kanaaf deebii karaa nagaa akka nuuf kennamu gadi jabeessinee gaafatna. Qabsoon keenya fi sochiiin nagaan godhamu kun ummata nagaa saba kamuu, lammii kamuu fi nam tokkeenis tahe gurmuun kan nagaan hojjatatee bahee galu ykn qabeenya isaa kan target godhate miti. Gaffiin keenya sirna cunqursaa fi gaaffiilee mirga ummata Oromoo fi hegeree jireeneya keenya kan ilaalan akka deebii argatan qofaa dha. Kanneen maqaa keenaan ummata biraa irratti duulaa fi doorsisa godhan ni mormina. Gaaffiilee keenyas barnoota keenya barataa ummata keenya waliin nagaan akka deebii argatan sochii keenya itti fufaa hanga gaaffiin keenya deebii gahaa argatan kan hin dhaabbatne tahuu mirkaneessina Sochiin keenya fi gaaffiin keenya kan haqaa waan tahaniif humni Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo caasaa isaa guutummaa Oromiyaa keessatti diriirfatee sochii kana adda durummaan erga gaggeessuu eegalee waggoota lama gahee jira. Ummanni Oromoo Oromiyaa keessa fi biyya alaa jiru ofitti simatee deggersa nuu taasisaa jiruuf guddoo galateeffatna. Gama biraan ammo humnoonnii fi namoonni dhuunfaan sochii warraaqsaa Oromiyaa keessatti finiinee ol bahe kana gaaffii haqaati jechaa gama tokkoon ammo sochiin biyya keessaa hogganummaa hin qabu jechuun qindoominaa fi bilchina dhalooti ammaa irra gahee sochii FDG Oromoo kana gadi xiqqeesuun sochii hogganaa fi qindoomina kan hin qabne fakkeessuun warri dhiheessuu barbaaddan doggoggora kana irraa of ittiftanii dargaggoonni humnaa fi dandeettii sochii kana qindeessuu qabaachuu keenya bartanii akka nu cinaa dhaabbattan waamicha isinii goona. Kana malees nagaa jallattootni fi kannen mirga ilma namaa kabajan hundi akka nu cinaa dhaabbatan waamicha keenya gadi jabeessinee dabarfatna Ilmaan Oromoo waraana mootummaa , Poolisa Federala, hidhattootaa gandaa fi poolisni Oromiya obbolaa keessan irratti dhukaasuu keessaa akka dhaabbattan fi yoo waamicha kana diddan seenaa fi seerri akka isin gaafatu hubachiifna. Waraana, Poolisa Federalaa fi tika mootummaa Fedralaa keessa kan jirtan hundi ummata nagaa fi barattoota da’aimman irratti dhukaasuu akka irraa dhaabbattan gadi jabeessinee gaaftna. Seenaa fi seeraan akka itti gafatamuufdeemtan hubachiifna Ka’i Qeerroo!! Qabsoon Hanga galii isaa gahu Itti Fufa! Qeerroo Bilisummaa Caamsaa 9, 2014 Finfinnee Ibsa Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo, Caamsaa 9, 2014 Finfinnee Gadaa.com

OROMO VOICE RADIO

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http://http://qeerroo.org/2014/10/03/sagalee-qeerroo-bilisummaa-oromoo-onkoloolessa-03bara-2014/

http://http://qeerroo.org/2014/10/02/sagalee-qeerroo-bilisummaa-oromoo-qophii-afaan-amaariffaa-kan-onkoloolessa-01-2014/

                      Ibsa Ejjannoo Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ/UOSG

Ibsa Ejjannoo Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ/UOSG

Fulbaana/September 17, 2014 · Finfinne Tribune http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/09/ibsa-ejjannoo-hirmaattota-kora-38ffaa-tbojuosg/ Date: 14-09-2014 TBOJ (UOSG) Tel: 01745994312 E-Mail: tboj.uosg@gmail.com Kora 38ffaa Tokkummaa Barattoota Oromoo Jarmanii (TBOJ) Fulbaana 14 bara 2014 Sa’a booda saatii 12:15 irraa egalee waaree booda amma saatii 18:30 magaalaa Frankfurt, galma Universitii Joon Volfigaang kessatti geggefame. Kaayyoon waliga’ii:- 1ffaa haala qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoo (QBO) yeroo ammaa irratti mariiyatuun hubannoo siyasaa argatuu fi 2ffaa raawii hojii TBOJ/UOSG Caayaa ABO Onkoololeessa 6 bara 2012 amma Fulbaana 14, 2014 gamaagamun booda Koree Hojii Geggesitu (KHG) gadaa ittii aanuu filachuudha. Walga’iin ergaa Eeebbaa Manguddoo Oromoottin tahe boode, faaruu Alaabaa Oromiyaan akkasumas Jaallan QBO irrati otto falmanuu kufaniif yaadannoo godhun banamee. Hogganaa olaanaa ABO mata duree bara 1990 asi “QBO” ABOn gageefamu maal akka fakkaatu fi maal keessa akka darbe fi amma hoo ABO maal akka gochaa jiru akkasumas WBOn maal gochaa akka jiru irratti Ibsaa balaa Miseensoota TBOJ/UOSG kennaniruu. Mata duree kana irratti gaaffii fi deebiin akkasumas Yaada Ijaaroo tahan balinaan kennaniruu. Itti-aansuun gabaasaan raawii hojii Onkoololeessa bara 2012 haga Fulbaana 14, 2014 KHG TBOJ fi KHG damilee TBOJ irraa hirmaatota waliga’iif dhiyaate. Gabaasaa gamaagamuu fi raggaasisun booda KHG gadaa ittii aanuu filachuu fi ibsa Ijjannoo baafatun sagantaan koraa 38ffaa TBOJ milkiin xumurameera. Ibsa Ejjannoo Nuti miseensotiin TBOJ walga’ii kana hirmaannee turre haala siyaasaa QBO irratti ergi mariyanneen booda, ummata Oromoo fi Oromiyaa sirna gabiromfannaa (kolonii) bara ammaa motummaa Habashaa, gartuu wayaaneen (TPLFn) hogganamaa jiru, jalatti gidirfamaa jiru bilisomsuuf qabsoo hadhooftuu hogganummaa jaarmaa ABOn geggefamaa jiru gutummaan tumsaa, gumaata nu irraa barbaadamu gama maraan kennuuf qophii ta’uu kenya ni mirkaneessina! 1. QBO hirmannaa ummata Oromoo fi hogganummaa ABOn geggefamaa jiruu ni deggerra! 2. Qabsoo hidhannoo, siyasaa, fi dipilomasii ABO geggessaa jiru diinagideen ni utubna! 3. Qabsoo fincila diddaa gabirummaa karaa qeerroo Oromiyaa, barattotaa, fi ummata Oromoo geggefamaa jiru waan nu irraa barbaachisu maraan ni tumsina! 4. Sagalee QBO haala hundaa kessatti firotaa fi dinoota ni dhageessifina! 5. Saamichaa Lafa fi Qabeenya Oromoof Oromiyaa akkasumas shororkaa ummata Oromoo irratti dinoti fi farreen QBO raawataa jiraatan injifachuuf hubannoo fi kutannoon sagantaa QBO milkomsuuf heera jaarmaa ni tiksina! 6. Araaraa ABO QC fi ABO giduuti tahe labsamee ni deggerra! 7. Yakkoota dhittaa mirga-namomaa ummata Oromoo irratti karaa motummaa gabironfataa TPLF (Wayaanee) raawatamaa jiru ni balaaleffanna! 8. Hogganummaa motummaa wayaaneen yakkoota dhiittaa mirga namaa ummata Oromoo irratti raawatamaa jiru hambisuuf akka hawaasoti Addunyaa dhibbaa godhan ni gaafanna! 9. Lammii Oromiyaa kanneen meeshaa motummaa TPLF ta’uun yakkoota hiriyaa hin qabne ummata Oromoo irratti raawachisuun sirna motummaa Habashootaa tiksuuf boojiyamtan akka gara moraa QBO makamuun mirga abbaa biyyummaa ummata Oromoo kabachisuuf qabsooftan waamicha ilaalcha Oromummaa hundeefate isiniif erginerra! 10. Master Plan –> Master killer dha! Kana cimsinee morminaa! Injifatnnoon ummata Oromoof! Hirmaattota Kora 38ffaa TBOJ (Jarmanii, Frankfurt – Fulbaana 14, 2014) KHG TBOJ/UOSG Tokkummaa Bartoota Oromoo Biyya Awurooppaa, Damee Jarmanii Union of Oromo Students in Europe, German Branch Postfach 510610 • 13366 Berlin Tel: + 49 (0)151 63727696 e-Mail: tboj.uosg@gmail.com   embed]http://https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YUQxnvRrm5Q[/embed]      

The Oromo Gadaa System Lecture Tour: By Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo of Caffee Tulama at the OSA Workshop on “Gadaa Research and Renaissance”

Reported  Fulbaana/September 4, 2014  By  Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com

The following is a statement from the President of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), Ob. Jawar Mohammed. ———————————————————————– SUBJECT: Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo’s Visit to North America You might recall that Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa Sanbatoo, due to issues related to his visa, was unable to arrive on time to speak and participate as a distinguished guest at OSA’s 28th Annual Conference that took place at Howard University in Washington, DC on August 2-3, 2014, with the theme, “Gadaa and Oromo Democracy: Celebrating Forty Years of Research and Renaissance.” We are pleased to inform you that he was finally able come to the United States. OSA has extended its theme focusing on the Gadaa democracy through the end of the year, and Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa will speak at a series of OSA-organized workshops in various cities in the United States from September 6-27, 2014 – focusing on the ongoing work of reviving the Gadaa system.

AbbaaGadaaBayyanaaSanbatooDC2014_2He will also participate as a Guest of Honor at several Irreecha celebrations organized by the Oromo in the Diaspora.We invite all who are interested in the Gadaa democratic system, and Oromo culture in general, to attend these workshops and participate in the spectacular Irreecha celebrations to be held throughout September and October 2014.We would like to extend our appreciation to local individuals and institutions – who participated in preparing these events. We are also grateful to the United States Consular Service for the assistance they provided in issuing Abbaa Gadaa Bayyanaa’s travel documents.The attached flyer contains general information about dates and cities where Abbaa GadaaBayyanaa will be speaking.Jawar Mohammed President, Oromo Studies AssociationAbbaaGadaaBayyanaaSanbatooDC2014_3

http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/09/complete-list-of-the-u-s-a-lecture-tour-abbaa-gadaa-bayana-sanbatu-of-caffee-tulama-at-the-osa-workshop-on-gadaa-research-and-renaissance/                   Photo   OromoSportsLeeds2014-480x675     Annual Oromo Sports  Event   in UK, 23rd August 2014 held in Leeds, England.                          

Little Oromia (aka Minnesota) Agust 2014:The Year’s Biggest Diaspora Festival of Oromummaa

OSFNA_OromoWeek_2014_NewDVD2http://www.osfna.org/                 The Oromo Gadaa Democracy meets the American Congress Democracy. Abbaa Gadaa (Rt.) Aagaa Xanxanoo and Abbaa Gadaa (Rt.) Moonaa Godaanaa meet Senator Al Franken (from the State of Minnesota).                 10559738_10203587157733535_8872767818813299952_n1904122_10203587156893514_9090899789730180287_n10551074_10203587148253298_1943382031520133457_n (July 20, 2014 (Gadaa) — Minnesota’s Twin Cities, also known as “Little Oromia” for being the home of the largest Oromo population outside of the Horn of Africa, will be the venue for the 2014 OSFNA Sports Tournaments. Less than two weeks are left before this year’s 19th Annual OSFNA Soccer Tournament kickoff on August 2, 2014. First started in 1996, the OSFNA (Oromo Sports Federation of North America) organizes an annual soccer tournament among teams drawn from majorNorth American cities with sizable Oromo expat populations, and the venue for each year’s tournament has been rotating among the participating cities over the last 19 years. Unlike previous years, the 2014 OSFNA Sports Tournaments will include basketball, women’s volleyball and the Abebe Bikila Legacy Two-Mile Race in addition to the soccer tournament, according to information posted on OSFNA.org. What’s more, this year’s Soccer Tournament will also include gameparticipants from Australia. OMN (Oromia Media Network) has also partnered with OSFNA to broadcast the 2014 OSFNA Soccer Tournaments live.

Lasting for a week (August 2, 2014 to August 9, 2014) known as the OROMO WEEK, sports is only one of the activities in Little Oromia. The OROMO WEEK is also a time of heritage (Oromummaa) celebration for the Oromo expats in Little Oromia and those visiting Little Oromia from all over the world. A number of music concerts with Oromo recording artists, the Bakakkaa Oromo

Music Awards (debuting this year), the Mr. and Miss Oromo North America Pageant Show, and community and civic conferences are among the non-sports activities during this year’s OROMO WEEK. In addition, heritage products (such as music CD’s, drama/music DVD’s, drama/music VCD’s, cultural clothes, food, etc.) will be available for purchase at stalls located at/near the event arenas. The following is a mini-schedule of the activities during the 2014 OROMO WEEK in Little Oromiathis section will be updated regularly as new information becomes available. August 2, 2014 – August 9, 2014: OSFNA Sports Tournaments For full content, visit Gadaa http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/little-oromia-aka-minnesota-gears-up-for-the-years-biggest-diaspora-festival-of-oromummaa/    

OSA2014: Remarks by Former Abbaa Gadaa Aagaa Xanxano, and Gadaa Scholar Prof. Asmarom Legesse

The  Oromo Studies Association’s 2014  Annual Conference theme:  “Gadaa and Oromo Democracy: Celebrating 40 Years of Research and Oromo Renaissance.”   Oromo Gadaa leaders  as they taking part in  the 28th OSA Conference at Howard University in Washington DC, 2nd August 2014.  Jemjem Udessa, Lagassa Dhaba, Dirribi Demissie speaking about Gadaa System. Standing ovation for Prof. Asmerom Leggese as he receives a collection of books from the Guji Oromo Gadaa delegation (see pictures below):           Embedded image permalinkEmbedded image permalink   Prof. Asmerom Leggese, Lecturing Gadaa System                                               The Oromo Abbaa Gadaa -Abbaa Gadaa of Tuulama Oromo, two Yubas (EX-AbbaGadaas-Aagaa Xinxanoo and Moonaa Godaanaa) with other Gadaa leaders arrived in DC on 30 July 2014 to attend the OSA  Conference    https://www.dropbox.com/s/0aqyhiv4w276thu/OSA%202014%20Conference%20Program%20Final.docx See Pictures below:                                               Below is Bakkalcha TV’s 2-part interview with Oromo recording artist Lencho Abdishakur. Also, check out Lencho Abdishakur’s new album, titled “Yoomi Laata Guyyaan? 2014, Vol. 3″ – now available on Amazon.com. What’s more, Lencho Abdishakur’s critically acclaimed sophomore album, “Makiyayee, Vol. 2,” is also available on Amazon.com. Source: http://gadaa.net/FinfinneTribune/2014/07/bakkalcha-tv-interview-with-oromo-recording-artist-lencho-abdishakur/ http://www.oromotv.com/young-oromo-diaspora-leadership-is-promising-meet-the-president-of-osfna/              

OMN: ODUU ADOOLESSA 23, 2014

Oromia Media Network

Sagalee Qeerroo Bilisummaa kan Adoolessa 22 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAfvf9kLqdc#t=180

Oromo Voice Radio (OVR) Broadcast, July 23, 2014

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HCCWLKlgxXs       https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/07/omn-oduu-adoolessa-23-2014/   https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/07/omn-oduu-adoolessa-22-2014/     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDSoVBx_bTQ&list=PLMNB_JthHxcCU3N6iOxQldUGudVOL55_e https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vzaSCKU0V4M https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=11ZHm75or34 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uk1laLxpFGg https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-gLah0JCWdE http://oromovoice.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/alpha6-140721-1600.mp3   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8sgaa5HYKyI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DjxcpgKW0A https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Sj3sXKweGOM http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rIRbjvL1blQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jgLg0RVlSeY https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=FMqpFQ1Du9k   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hYtTuI3Xd_o   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mciWlvurIBo

‘Maqaa Shororkeessummaan Doorsisamuun Qabsoo Karaa Nagaa irraa Nu Hin Deebisu’

Namoo Daandii

 —Mootummaan Ihaadegrakkoodimookiraasiibiyyattiikeessaakaraanagaafuruunkaraaitti danda’amu mariibiyyoolessaafbalbalabanuuirramormitootattimaqaashororkeessummaamoggaaseehidhuu,doorsisuufigidirsuunqabsookaraanagaaboodattideebisuu hin danda’u,jechuudhaangamtaanpaartiileemormitootaaMedrekibsabaasee jira.Barreessaan ol’aanaan paartichaa,ObboGabruuGabre-mariyaamakkajedhanitti,hoogganoonni,miseensonniifideggertoonni gamtaaisaanii,keessumaaOromiyaa fiTigiraaykeessattihedduunhidhamaniijiran.OromiyaakeessattikarooramagaalaaFinfinneedantaaOromiyaadhabsiisa,jedhanmormuudhaanbarattootahiriiranagaabahanirrattitarkaanfiiajjeechaafihidhaafudhatameealagaazzexeessotamootummaadhugaajirugabaasuuyaalanirrattitarkaanfiinfudhatamuuisaailleedubbatu,ObboGabruun.Gaaffii fideebiiguutuudhaggeeffadhaa.Marsariitiinkeenya kanirraanudhaggeeffachuudandeessan.

Gabaasaa Guutuu Armaa Gaditti Caqasaa

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1959382.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=mciWlvurIBo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yMAlavqCbk4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=dnrfGdXn8J8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hDYgba3P2UI   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jGmYAGEJGUQ

ONLF – Ethiopian Regime Trained Assassins Kill Kenyan Civilians In Garissa

July 14, 2014 (ONLF Press Release) The Ethiopian security has assassinated three Kenyan civilians and gravely wounded another one in Garissa, Kenya during the last week of June and the first week of July. The latest victim, Mr. Asad Yusuf was shot and killed in the evening of July 9, 2014. He was a Kenyan Somali civilian and was killed because he was assisting refugee from the Ogaden. He was a businessman and had a large family. A week ago another young man was also killed for the same reason and two weeks ago one man was killed and another wounded. Assassin Abdirahman Hajir who was a member of the Liyu Police, the killing squads in the Ogaden, funded and trained by the Ethiopian regime, was apprehended and has confessed that he carried out the last two killings. He also confessed that the Ethiopian security has trained and sent him and a team of 19 assassins and support staff to create chaos in Kenya. They were assembled in Addis Ababa and came through Moyale town. Furthermore, he stated “others were also dispatched to Somali and the Neighbouring countries to assassinate opponents to the regime, including Somali officers in Somalia and Ethiopian opposition figures”. The Ethiopian regime has taken a policy of coercion, extermination and mass execution against the Ogaden People in Ethiopia, so they fled to the neighbouring countries. Many of these refugee sought asylum in Kenya which has been a safe haven for the refugees in the Horn and central Africa, because of their hospitality and for their respect of International and African laws of Refugees. Therefore, since 2009, the Ethiopian government decided to routinely abduct and commit extrajudicial executions, including politically motivated killings in Kenya and so far the action taken by the Kenyan government to protect the refugees it gave asylum was not enough to stop such criminal acts. After failing to deter Somalis from Ogaden to keep seeking refugee in Kenya, despite all these inhumane acts, the Ethiopian regime has now decided to punish the local Somali Kenyans for supporting the refugees and in order to create Chaos and destabilize the North-East Provence of Kenya. Furthermore, the Ethiopian regime is getting bolder in flaunting International law and human rights laws by extending its criminal acts against its victims across international borders and is violating the Human Rights of those who seek asylum from its heinous acts in Ethiopia. The policy of the Ethiopian regime is to create chaos and endanger the stability of the Horn of Africa. If this continues unchecked it will lead to dangerous consequences for all concerned. ONLF condemns the Ethiopian regime and call upon the UNHCR and the Kenyan government to take seriously their responsibility to protect its civilians and the refugees that are under its care. (ONLF)

http://www.siitube.com/articles/onlf-ethiopian-regime-trained-assassins-kill-kenyan-civilians-in-garissa_375.html#.U8SQsqdYYyE.twitter

Why Ethiopia’s Oromo Are Angry At KTN

http://yassinjumanotes.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/why-ethiopias-oromo-are-angry-at-ktn.html?m=1 http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/why-ethiopias-oromo-are-angry-at-ktn/

Kan Daandiin Harkaa Bade Hooggana Itiyoopiyaa” jedha Barruun Hayyuu Faransaay Tokk0

VOA

 —Waa’ee siyaasa Itiyoophiyaa kan hordofaniif hayyuu biyya Faransaayii kan ta’an Rene Lefort dhiiyeenya kana barreeffama mata dureen isaa “Ethiopia a Leadership in disarry“ ykn kan daandiin harkaa bade hoggana Itiyoopiyaa jedhu maxxansanii jiru. Lefort waa’eeItiyoophiyaa fikeessumaa waa’ee biyyootiiAfrikaauffeesahaaraagadiibaroota1970mootaakaaseemaxxansaaleebiyyaFaransaayiikanAkaka Le Monde, Liberation,fiLENouveljedhamaniifbarreessaa turan.Bara 2012 barreeffamamatadureenisaa  “Ethiopia after meles” yknItiyoophiyaamallasboodaajedhubarreessaniiodeeffaannooguddaankanirraargameefihedduukanduddubachiise ture.Barreefama isaammaa EthiopialeadersinDisarryjedhukanairraa ka’uudhaan ittigaafatamaansagantaaleegaanfaAfrikaa PeterHeinleinReneLefortwaliingaaffiifideebiigaggeesseejira.

Gabaasaa guutuu kutaa 1ffaa armaa gadiitti dhaggefadhaa

http://www.voaafaanoromoo.com/content/article/1958091.html?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=facebook https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e2y1esSjRd0

The following is a press release from the Australian Oromo Community in Victoria, Australia. Ebla/April 22, 2014Australian Oromo Community Association in Victoria Inc. A.B.N. 52 554 165204Press ReleaseSUBJECT: Safeguarding the Rights of Oromo Refugees and Asylum SeekersThe Australian Oromo Community in Victoria Australia (AOCAV), a non- profitable organisation established in 1984 to facilitate community development, preservation of Oromo culture, and promoting cross cultural awareness and harmony between the Australian-Oromo and mainstream Australians, and to serve as voice of the Oromo people, is concerned about the ongoing swoops targeting refugees and asylum seekers in various urban centres in Kenya.Reports from different media indicate that over 6000 refugees and asylum seekers have been arrested in these crackdowns. According to AOCAV’s informant, more than two thousand asylum seekers and refugees have been detained in the Kasarani Stadium in the Capital, as a temporary police station, while some are being held at the Pangani, Kasarani and other police stations. More than 400 Oromos and other Ethiopian immigrants have been arrested in these crackdowns.AOCAV applauds the Government of Kenya for hosting nearly 400,000 refugees from nine African countries, which is an enormous task. We also appreciate the continuing efforts to strengthen security for all persons living in Kenya. While we appreciate these efforts, our concern is that innocent Oromo refugees and asylum seekers have been arrested during the security operation. AOCAV does not support refugees and asylum seekers who engage in criminal activities, but maintains that any such persons should be subjected to proper judicial procedures by the government with due respect to their vulnerability and human rights.We understand that the government’s duty to maintain national security cannot be disputed, however, it is imperative for the State to guarantee the safety and protection of all registered refugees and asylum seekers residing in Kenya. According to the Refugees Act of 2006, the government of Kenya has an obligation to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers – which includes the right to seek asylum. Kenya is party to various international and regional conventions governing protection of refugees and asylum seekers, and therefore, it has a duty to protect such persons.AOCAV urges the government to uphold and safeguard the rights of Oromo refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya even as it continues its security operations. It is our stand that recent government’s actions should not negate the gains made by the state towards the protection of refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya. We call upon the leaders of the government of Kenya to guard against making remarks and actions which may jeopardize the protection of Oromo refugees and asylum seekers. AOCAV also requests the governments of the Western countries as well as international organizations to continue interfering in this matter so that the safety and security of the arrested Oromo refugees and asylum seekers in Kenya could be ensured.Sincerely,Yadata SabaPresident, Australian Oromo Community in Victoria Australia120 Race course Rd Flemington, VIC 3031P.O.BOX 2123 Footscray VIC 3011Tel + 61 412 795 909 Tel +61 422 869 709Email: ocaustralia@gmail.com Website: www.oromocommunity.org.au
Gadaa.com: Oromo & Oromia » Safeguarding the Rights of Oromo Refugees and Asylum Seekers in Kenya
gadaa.com

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Panel discussion: on the Integrated Regional Development Plan

Panellists Temam Batee Head of Foreign Affairs for the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Kumsa Burayou (the former Editor-In-Chief of Madda Walabu magazine) and Tsegaye Regassa (the former Senior Lecturer at Addis Ababa University and PhD Candidate at University of Melbourne Law School), talk about the university students protest against the “Integrated Regional Development Plan” (AKA Addis Ababa Master Plan) in Ethiopia. http://www.pressgazette.co.uk/ethiopian-journalist-branded-terrorist-and-locked-18-years-wins-2014-golden-pen-freedom           http://www.themusichutch.com/listen-song/sbo-waxabajjii-04-bara-2014/128252/           https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GaoA1XeEUX4 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmhotqD1vQM https://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/05/omn-qophiilee-caamsaa-24-2014/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLMNB_JthHxcCU3N6iOxQldUGudVOL55_e&v=3mH510uAL-w&feature=player_embedded http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6w2R8rvfdA https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=bzenDDZ_j2Y https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CqgY-Afn6T4   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bDNJUOJ9gas https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jYwbZciZYlc   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PW6vhAkBMko   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ytucWS5-dAg https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rPG4YJAWpcw https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q5Q761JoIaM https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OyJNfZ95KZU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=3hKQBqOaavY https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSBMvJn2Biw   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cj9mOxZt7AA https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=OyJNfZ95KZU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=6tlAHIhmZig https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YpKR3WNgI4s https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbiwjG7D_rQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pTCj5we8-5Q https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0XRgJ86tC_0 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=0yA2iI815rw https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=pF7eSGNVPpU https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=9wgY9Q5h8Vs https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Ta2QKPz04XI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbiwjG7D_rQ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6JewLUjlzI https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=rgkdy_IMcEE https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=-hK54sVF1l0   https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZhrdtoVJk4U     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8k9AnlqNzmg   http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lalEpADudik

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WBEZ’s Worldview: Oromo students fight for land rights – Oromo Activists Kadiro Elemo and Seenaa Jimjimo Speak to the Chicago Public Radio

https://soundcloud.com/wbez-worldview/ethiopias-oromo-students-fight-for-land-rights   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tooxiccoRu8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=KSMs45auZQk https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=aZR4h9Xl_mo https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Dz1CYnjwjsE https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lv8-ZF9yvyI https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=lv8-ZF9yvyI http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CG_7VvnqEzU

Musical Arrangement: Oromo Students Movement – #OromoProtests

Discussion on ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ with former and current IOYA presidents … tune in here for all locations: http://tunein.com/radio/KTNF-950-s31969/ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GjW32C_4VS0

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

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

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

Raya Oromo girls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Raya Wollo man

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

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

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

Tatooed Wollo Woman, Mezan Teferi , Ethiopia © Eric Lafforgue

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

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

The Weyane in Tigray

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: kwekudee trip down memory lane




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

Decolonizing Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of Nationalism and National Self-determination (The Case of Oromia) January 4, 2015

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 Decolonising Development:The Political and Cultural Locations of   Nationalism and National Self-determination (the Case of Oromia)

Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural autonomy, right to a culture. In the Oromo context, national self-determination is about the representation of collective identity and dignity. It is the demand of the Oromo people to govern themselves. Practically, this can be interpreted as let us be governed by people who are like us, people of our nationality or people who accept and respect our value system. For the last hundred years and so, the Oromo nation has suffered from Abyssinian expansionism, social, ecological and economic destruction and continuous and intensive cultural and physical genocide. The Abyssinians and Oromians connections have been the coloniser (refers to the former) and the colonised (refers to the latter) relationships. Contrary to the Ethiopianist discourse, they have not developed a common unifying identity, social and political system. While the Abyssinians feel a sense of glory of their kings, warlords and dictators, the Oromians feel victimisation to these rulers, so they have not emerged a common ancestry, culture and collective memory, which can result in common ‘Ethiopian’ identity. From the perspective of Oromo social construction, the present Ethiopian domination over Oromia is a continuation of what pervious generations of Oromo nation had experienced. Thus, the Oromo people, sees the present political arrangement as illegitimate because it is a rule by the people who have engaged in destroying them. So, they claim not only cultural but also political independence. Oromo nationalism is also very democratic. It follows the UN principles of self-determination for the citizens of Oromia, claiming independence from the tyranny of Ethiopian Empire. The latter has been constructed based on Amhara-Tigre nationalism. The Oromo nationalism also offers democratic solutions to the ethnic minorities in the Ethiopian Empire. Scholars of Oromo studies claim that there is fundamental behavioural, linguistic, ethnic and cultural differences between the Abyssinians (northern) and their subjects (Southern). The Oromo, Sidama, Afar and the Ogaden (Ogaden Somalians) nations, beyond their common Cushitic progeny, they have common experiences of victimisation and illegitimately absorbed by Abyssinian southward expansion. Their collective memory of past experiences and present victimisation are making common identity. This identity is a key to understand politics there and to work together for self-determination, to recover their lost humanity.

For the early version of this article, see Temesgen M. Erena, The Political and Cultural Locations National Self – Determination,  Oromia Quarterly, Vol. II, No.2, March 1999; Temesgen, M. Erena, Oromia: The Nation and the Politics of National Self – Determination, Oromia Quarterly, Vol. I, No.2, December 1997, ISSN 1460-1346.

Man knows himself only insofar as he knows the world, and becomes aware of the world only in himself, and of himself only in it. Every new object, well observed, opens a new organ in ourselves.

-Goethe, Maximen und Reflexionen, VI Build therefore your own world. -Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature

Introduction

The passions of national freedom and national interest are probably the strongest in the whole political spectrum that characterises the present world. Kellas (1998) holds that it is stronger than the passions aroused by religion, class, individual or group interest. This passion is not all futile, either. In Gellener’s (1983) understanding, nationalism has been considered as essential to the establishment of a modern industrial society. According to Smith (1991), it is ‘the sole vision and rationale of political solidarity.’ For Kellas (1998), it provides legitimacy to the state, and inspires its citizens to feel an emotional attachment towards it. It can be a source of creativity in the arts, and enterprise in the economy. Its power to mobilise political engagement is unrivalled, particularly in the vital activity of nation building. It is intimately linked with the operation of popular democracy. Indeed, the global pattern is a mosaic of political drives, economic interests, linguistic pride, cultural imperatives, psychological needs and nations seeking identity. These factors are manifesting as a powerful staying power in a modern Africa, either. As European colonialism and socialism melted away, the perpetual existence of the backlash against ‘neo-colonial’ colony colonialism and the reviving of national selfdom become more and more significant in social and political dynamics of contemporary multi-ethno-nation African societies. The African experience is motivated by the same aspirations as that of elsewhere. At its root is a need for freedom, dignity, for the right of people of distinct social communities to function freely and independently. In this regard, Oromia represents the case of rejuvenating claim for national freedom and the struggle against more than a century old Abyssinian Empire colonialism in Africa. Oromia is a homeland for an Oromo nation, a group of people with a common culture and value system (seera fi aadaa), language ( Afaan Oromo), political institutions (Gadaa), and historical memories and experiences. Oromia is the single largest, homogeneous and endogenous nation in Africa with a population of 40 to 45 million. Both in terms of territorial and population size, more than two-third’s today’s sovereign states that are making members of UN (United Nations) are smaller than Oromia. The Cushite (see Demie, 1998) Oromo people have inhibited their homeland, Oromia, since pre-history and in antiquity were the agents of humanity’s documented Cushitic civilisation in terms of science, technology, art, political and moral philosophy. The links between the Oromo and the ancient civilisations of Babylon, Cush and Egypt has been discussed in Asfaw Beyene (1992) and John Sorenson (1998) scholarly works. Utilising prodigious evidence from history, philosophy, archaeology and linguistics, Diop (1974 and 1991) confirms that the Cushite Egyptian civilisation was emerged from the Cushite civilisations of North East Africa, particularly, the present day Western Sudan and upper Nile Oromia (also known as Cush or Punt). Indeed, except the name of places, saints and prophets, many of the Old Testament and the Holy Koran moral texts are copies of the Oromo moral codes. The formers are written documents while the latter are orally transmitted. Since the late 1880s the Oromo people have disowned their sovereignty. They disowned their autonomous institutions of governance, culture, education, creativity, business, commerce, etc. Thus, they have been claiming for national self-determination, national-self government and the right to their own state and resist the Abyssinian Empire saver (supremacist’s) nationalism. The Oromians are not only against the quality of Ethiopian Empire governance but also against the philosophy on which it is based: domination, dehumanisation, inequality, double standard, hypocrisy, deceit, exclusion, chauvinism, war institution, rent-seeking, extractive state, conservatism, feudalism, Aste fundamentalism (Aste Tewodros, Aste Yohannis, Aste Menelik, Aste Haile Sellasie), etc. The political goal of national self-determination (national self-government) is asserted in the outlook and attitudes of the Oromo political and social organisations. Of course, the Oromo nationalism, which supports the interests and identity of the Oromo people, is a more subtle, complex and widespread phenomenon than common understanding and observation. It is within this context that we are going to discuss the Oromos’ politics of national self-determination and the search for the national homeland, the demand for reinventing a state of their own in the following sections.

Defining Nation, Nationalism and Self- determination

To define nation and nationalism is as Benjamin Akzin (1964, pp. 7-10) discussed five decades ago, to enter into a terminological jungle in which one easily gets lost. Different scholarly disciplines have their own more or less established and more or less peculiar ways of dealing with nation and nationalism. Ideally, our definition of nation and nationalism should be induced of elements of nationalist ideology. Getting at such a definition has confirmed phenomenally strenuous. Hugh Seton-Watson, an authority in this domain, has deduced that ‘no scientific definition’ of a nation can be concocted. All that we can find to say is that a nation exists when significant number of people in a community consider themselves to form a nation, or behave as if they formed one (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.5).Van den Berghe (1981) defines a nation as a politically conscious ethnic group. Several attempts have been made at making a cardinalist definition of the term, pointing out one or more key cultural variables as defining variables. Among those tried are language, religion, common history/descent, ethnicity/race, statehood and common territory (homeland). For a group of people to be termed a nation, its members typically have to share several of these characteristics, although historically, one criterion may have been predominant (for example, language in Germany, or culture and history in France). In the case of Oromo, common language (Afaan Oromo), common territory (Biyya Oromo, dangaa Oromiyaa or Oromia), common historical experiences (victimisation to Ethiopian Empire rules or Abyssinocracy) are particularly very significant. Stalin made his undertaking in 1913. His definition includes four criteria: the members of a nation live under the same economic conditions, on the same territory, speak the same language, and have similar culture and national character (Seton-Watson, 1982, p.14). Neither Ernest Gellner nor Eric Hobsbawn, two influencials, gave definite definitions of the nation in their major achievements. Indeed, they are very hostile towards what they define as nationalism. ‘…For ever single nationalism which has so far raised its ugly head…’ (Gellner, 1983, p.45), this is a Gellner’s conception and sees the world as naturally divided into nations, each with its own individuality. This implies an acceptance of the nationalist self-perception. There are also other conceptualisations. A social anthropologist, Thomas Hylland Eriksen (1992, p. 220) says ‘a nation is an ethnic group whose leaders have either achieved, or aspire to achieve, a state where its cultural group is hegemonic’, Anthony H. Birch (1989, p.6) considers that a nation is best defined as ‘a society which either governs itself today, or has done so in the past, or has a credible claim to do so in the not-too- distant future. Kellas (1998) defines the nation as a group of people who feel themselves to be a community bound together by ties of history, culture and common ancestry. Nations have ‘objective’ characteristics, which may include a territory, a language, a religion, or common descent, and ‘subjective’ characteristics, essentially a people’s awareness of its nationality and affection for it. In the last resort it is ‘the supreme loyalty’ for people who are prepared to die for their nation. The definition of ‘nation’ which we will make use of in the following is one suggested by Anthony D. Smith (1983,pp. 27-109, 1991, p. 14; 1995); a definition mastering well the ‘sounding board’ dimension. Smith here defines a nation as ‘a named human population sharing a historic territory, common myths and historical memories, a mass, public culture, a common economy and common legal rights and duties for all members. A recent definition of Smith holds nationalism, one manifestation of national-self-determination, as ‘an ideological movement for attaining and maintaining autonomy, unity and identity on behalf of a population deemed by some of its members to constitute an actual or potential ‘nation’ (Smith, 1991, p. 73; 1995). For Smith nationalism has a deep ethnic roots and rejuvenates itself in response to global and domestic impulses. While the phenomenon of globalisation and technocratic culture are there, nationalism is an eternal nature and nourishes and propels itself on technocratic innovations. In this context, national self-determination may be defined as many part aspirations of a nation: To be free to freely determine one’s own national identity, culture, including language, education, religion, and form of government, to be free of rule by another ‘nation’, that is to overcome social and political systems of domination and exclusion in which nations other than one’s own wield predominant power. To be free to select its own form of government; and those governed within it have the right of unflagging consent.

Culture and the Politics of Self-determination

Nation, nationalism and national self-determination are commanding attentions. One of the perennial issues within nationalism is whether national self-determination can stand alone, or whether it requires a ‘qualifier’ from within cultural or political ideas or both to clarify its precise cultural and political location. Several scholars have argued that national self-determination is a claim for cultural independence and that nationalism in general is based on the right to cultural independence and that nationalism is based on the right to a culture. Nielson, for example, peers a nation as groups of people whom ‘perceive themselves as having a distinct culture and traditions’, and Tamir presents that a nation is a community in which individuals develop their culture, and they therefore regard their place within a nation as membership in a cultural group. Indeed, she argues that ‘the right to national-self determination stakes a cultural rather than a political claim, namely, it is the right to preserve the existence of a nation as a distinct cultural entity.’ Will the people who demand national self-determination be satisfied with such an arrangement? Tamir gives credence to that the idea of basing the right to self-determination on the right to a culture is the one that has best conformity with a liberal internationalist viewpoint. That is thinkable, but international liberalism is incompetent on this particular matter. A nationalism, which is based on culture and cultural distinctions, was not very long a go. It is a concept that characteristic the thesis of right wing, or romantic theorists such as Herder. Indeed, Herder’s nationalism was not political, and it distrusted a state as something external, mechanical, not emerging spontaneously from the life of the people. Nevertheless, in the Oromo context the claim for national self-determination is a political rather than a cultural one. If we look at the distinction between the two, it would seem that the claim for national self-determination involves more than a demand to be tolerated while the cultural question is. For example, the Catalan’s and Quebecois’ culture and identity have been tolerated and respected to some extent, and yet many of them thought that this did not reflect a situation of self-determination. Indeed, meeting their claim would involve legislation and redefinition of institutions within the state, and perhaps even a new state. In the Oromo case the demand is actually the claim to have control over their lives. This does not mean over every individual’s private life, but over the public aspect of one’s existence, i.e. the system of mutual relationships, which reflect and sustain one’s membership of a certain collective. Here the self is conceptualised within the context of community, but one that has to be real, actual, and functioning and performing. Otherwise these communal ties are too abstract, which makes it impossible for the self to be defined by them. The statement of Cohen has to be recalled: ‘A person does not only need to develop and enjoy his powers. He needs to know who he is, and how his identity connects him with particular others. He must… find something outside himself which he did not create… He must be able to identify himself with some part of objective social reality’ (Cohen, 1988). Moreover, self-realisation, however, cannot be merely a mental situation; thus this community cannot be only cultural. It must be a political situation at least so that, in order for the Oromo people to realise themselves, they must not be dependent on the goodwill of a second party. They then must be certain that their self-realisation in all spheres of life will not be prevented by the Abyssinian government, the TPLF, the Orthodox Church, and so forth. They should therefore be politically active and watch such institutions carefully. In addition, they must participate in politics in order to decide collectively upon public matters, which influence their self-realisation. So the Oromos claim for national-self determination is about the realisation of their potential status, ability and collective character, which may be achieved only through participation in autonomous political institutions. But for more than a century Oromos have been denied access to these institutions, either officially or in practice. In other words, if  Oromos as a nation achieve self-determination they will better able to participate, better represented, better able to deliberate, gain much more control over their life than formerly and more autonomous. The Oromos demand for national self-determination thus, aims at establishing those institutions, which are needed for the realisation of the self-determination. When an Oromo demands national self-determination, he/she is not asserting that he/she would like to control his/her private life, e.g. his/her job, his/her shopping activities, his/her love affairs. Many Oromos do not control these aspects of their lives and yet nevertheless demand national self-determination. But the same principle also applies to cultural life. The Oromos may be allowed more-or-less to use their language, have their own newspapers and theatre, and the freedom of worship, etc. which are making cultural freedom. Actually, these rights are hardly exist at present. But when they claim national self-determination they are not only referring to these aspects of life, as political community: they want to be able to form and choose among and vote for the Oromo political parties, to observe the Oromo constitutional laws, to pay taxes to an Oromo authority, and to have a history (and indeed, myth) of independent Oromo state, from which their identity and self-determination can derive. Thus, the Oromo’s Declaration for Independence will emphasise parliamentary participation and the need to form a constitution, rather than cultural activities. In general the Oromos demand for national self-determination entails that the individuals in this nation should be citizens, engaged in politics as members of a community committed to the realisation of certain (their own) common goods, rather than participating as individuals who seek their self-interests, as it is implied by the right- to- culture school of thought and Liberal Internationalists. Perhaps for this reason Margalit and Halbertal revise the right-to- culture argument, arguing that the right is to a certain culture rather than to culture. A certain culture, then, becomes a common good. And yet, this is not enough, because they still regard the common good in cultural rather than political terms: ‘shared values and symbols… are meant to serve as the focus for citizens’ identification with the state, as well as the sources of their willingness to defend it even at the risk of their lives (Margalit and Halbertal, 1994). Why, then, do theories adhere to the culture discourse? Of course, for most of the Western theorists, the term national self-determination is affiliated to the strive to become part of humanity, to regain the human condition of autonomy; it is adjoined to the struggle to be part of the free world, of the more progressive forces; it is seen as decolonisation, as civilisation, as an attempt made to become part of the world of liberty, rights, and justice. But, it is seen as part of centrifugal forces, from the centre to the global, universalism or what Lane (1974) calls as ‘total situation’ or citizenship based on individual freedom and social justice. These theorists, therefore, universalise the notion of national self-determination: they make it part of liberalism. The liberals’ universal approach tends to be uniformist. This makes a society rootless and a citizen far removed from those who control his/her destiny. On the other hand, the notion as it is put forward and used by the Oromos that the demand for national self-determination is also centripetal, from the global and the greater units to the smaller ones. These groups demand the disengagement from the ‘other’, the global, the colonist, even from other humanity, by asserting that ‘we are not merely the essential equal and part of humanity, but rather we are also different and distinct: we have our own political identity, which we want to preserve, sustain, and establish institutionally, like the Scottish vision in multi-nation state Europe. This is the language of liberation from colonisation. It is also the language of particularisation within the universal or the global, and it seems that the uniformist approach is not sensitive enough to the real Oromos problems. Thus, the Oromos quest for self-determination involves the ultimate goal of particularism (its own unique space), reinventing the Oromia State, owning the national homeland. Of course, in a heterogeneous society of the Ethiopian Empire, though uniformity may simplify system of control, social justice will not be attained in one vast monolithic block of oppressed by colonial legislation, bureaucrats and its armies. An important work of Professor Asafa Jalata, an authority in the study of Oromo nationalism kindly quoted as’ The Oromo question involves both colonialism and ethno nationalism. Ethiopian colonialism has been imposed by global capitalism on the Oromo nation. Ethiopians, both Amharas and Tigrayans, through establishing settler colonialism in Oromia, have systematically killed millions of Oromo and expropriated their lands and other resources from the last decades of the nineteenth century until today. Ethiopian colonialists already destroyed the people called Agaw by taking their lands, systematically killing them, and assimilating the survivors. They attempt to do the same thing to the Oromo by destroying the Oromo national movement, confiscating Oromo lands, and forcing the remaining Oromo into ‘settlement villages’ or (reservations). Many times, some Oromo organisations attempted to democratize Ethiopia so that the Oromo would achieve equal citizenship rights and maintain their ethno cultural identity. Determined to maintain their colonial domination and to destroy the Oromo cultural personality through ethnocide or assimilation, Ethiopian colonialists destroyed or suppressed those Oromo political forces that attempted to transform Ethiopia into a multinational democratic society. Therefore, most Oromos are convinced that their rights and freedom cannot be obtained and respected without creating their own state, or state that they can create as equal partners with other ethno national groups interested in forming a multinational democratic society to promote ethno cultural diversity and human freedom. Hence, Oromo nationalism is an ideology of the subjugated Oromo who seek human rights, freedom, justice, and democracy’ (Jalata, 1997). In fact social justice can be attained when and only when the oppressed majority able to rule its homeland. The Oromos work for national self-determination is the great humanist and historical task in terms of Freire (1993) argument ‘To liberate themselves and their oppressors as well. The oppressors, who oppress, exploit, and rape by virtue of their power, cannot find in this power the strength to liberate either the oppressed or themselves. Only power that springs from the weakness of the oppressed will be sufficiently strong to free both. Any ‘attempt to soften the power of the oppressor in difference to the weakness of the oppressed almost always manifest itself in the form of false generosity; indeed, the attempt never goes beyond this.’ In this context, for Oromos in order to have the continued opportunity to express their ‘generosity,’ the Habasha colonist must perpetuate injustice, too. Tyranny is the permanent fount of this ‘generosity,’ that sustains at the price of death, dehumanisation, despair and poverty. ‘True generosity consists precisely in fighting to destroy the causes which nourish false charity.’ (Freire, 1993). For further discussions on Oromo nationalism, universalism, globalism, Ethiopianist discourses and Oromo Nationalism, see Sorenson (1998) and Sisai Ibssa (1998).

Concluding Thoughts

Man as a social animal always seeks his own territory and belongings to a social group in which his identity and sense of community is observed and respected. In the defence of the cause for social justice and social ecology, these are basic tenets to backlash against the danger of the rhetoric of universalism, polyarchy and false perspectives of social uniformity, which appear to appreciate the social problems from a single privileged point. Georg Hegel, The Phenomenology of Mind ( New York, 1967 edition), in his famous philosophical discussion of the relationship between ‘lordship and bondage’ maintained that a single consciousness could know itself only through another, even in a condition of totally unequal power relationship. According to this philosophical model, the lord (the oppressor) is lord only through the relationship with a bondservant (the oppressed, the one whose humanity is stolen). In the relationship, however, the other is annulled. The self of the mastery, the lord, derives from the conquest and negation of the servant, the bond. Only recognition of the selfhood of the other permits for its annulations. Thus, lordship covertly recognises the separate identity of the dominated. They are normally equal selves locked into unequal hierarchy. Metaphorically, Hegel’s dialectics of lordship and bondage is very important to understand the Ethiopian domination over Oromia. However, in the Ethiopianist discourse, the essential equality of the selves has been escaped totally. Rather, the persisting hierarchy has taken for granted. According to Sorenson (1998), Ethiopianist scholars like Clapham, Sven Rubenson and Levine because of their attachment to one version of the Ethiopian past and present make them either or unwilling to engage with the full complexity of the problem. From this point of view, to accept the unchanging polarity of Ethiopia and Oromia in the lordship-bondage relationship is to succumb to a structure of Ethiopian aggression and colonialism. The Oromians demand for national self-determination is, however, the civilised step out of the polarity upon which the coercive hierarchy relies, it is the collective political demand, as its main purpose is to achieve the good of the social whole, humanisation, the essential liberation of the Oromo national identity, dignity and the reinvention of Oromia as a sovereign state. The Abyssinian occupation of Oromia, the existence of the Abyssinian Rule, war-lordism and their armies in Oromia and the making of Finfinnee their garrison station, the centre of their crowds is not only an act of conquest, aggression and colonialism but also, from Oromo perspective, such elements are symbols of bondage and slavery that negate the Oromo selfhood as equal essential. For the last over hundred years, the Oromo nation has disowned selfhood, its own state or administration, and lived as a bondage of Abyssinia. The Abyssinian administration which has undermined the Oromo national traditions, exploited it economically, and maintained order through mechanical and repressive means- such a nation actually must seek national self-determination to foster within its politics, to bring dignity, justice, freedom and democracy and to survival as essential equal, as a nation and as part of humanity and its civilisation. It is necessary for Oromians to build the world of their own, a world which make them capable to sustain as a group of human people. They must able to liberate themselves and the violent, the oppressor too. In this context, the Oromo issue is a test case to the deceptive ‘democracy world-wide’ which is being advocated in the USA foreign policy and manipulated by the neo-nafxanyas (see Ibssa, 1998). It is a challenge to contemporary theories of democracy and polyarchy (Robinson, 1997) and actors of post cold war Ethiopian politics who simply take for granted that the boundaries and powers of political community in the ‘Horn’ have already been settled. Thanks to the dedicated works of human rights activists, particularly the OSG (the Oromia Support Group) and its UK based publication, Sagalee Haaraa, we have been well informed on plights of human population and their environment in the entire region. We are interested to recommend this publication to all actors of the region. In this context, we are confident to say that Ethiopian democracy rhetoric or federalism sham politics is nothing more than a fig leaf, covering up the continuation of an extraction of the ‘politics of the belly’, in terms of Bayart (1993) from ‘prudish eye of the West.’ Its democratic rhetoric is a new type of rent seeking (extracting economic rent). By making believe, it enables the collection of international aid that includes diplomatic, military and humanitarian. It enables the seizure of the resources of the modern economy for the benefit of the Tigrayan elites. The situation is not in democracy’s favour, rather it is a situation that the Tyranny is retaining control over the security forces, economic rents and the support of the West. Such manipulation is not new for Africa. Menilik, Haile sellassie, Mengistu, Mobutu, Biya, Senghor and Diouf did the same thing either in Ethiopia or elsewhere in the continent at one time or another. The Quote from Bayart’s (1993) African analyis comes to our mind ‘…The support of western powers and multilateral institutions of Bretton Woods and the Vatcan, who despite having waved the flag of democratic conditionality and respect for human rights, have not dared to pursue such sentiments to their logical conclusion and have continued to think in terms of ‘Mobutu or Chaos’ where Gorbachev given up saying ‘Ceaucescu or chaos’…’. Indeed, very recently, we have read the deceptive descriptions to neo-Mobutu, neo-Mengistu, etc.: democratic, new generation, confident and pragmatic, etc. Sadly, everything changes so that everything stays the same. Nevertheless, the oppressed Oromos are not passive objects, either. They have not allowed themselves to be ‘captured’, as in the past they have demonstrated their historical ability to resist dehumanisation, despair and poverty, and predictably will continue to resist until the justice will come to them. An everyday Oromo coins the following: ‘Victory to the Oromo people! Oromia shall be free!’ We feel moral and social responsibility to support the just cause of fellow humanity.

Listen to Oromo Voice Radio (OVR) Broadcast Afaan Oromo interviews with Dr. Almayayyoo Birru on topic of Self-determination:

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/oromo-freedom-from-what-and-for-what-part-1/

http://gadaa.com/oduu/4613/2010/06/27/on-the-question-of-nationalities-in-ethiopia/

 

‘External self-determination, in particular, seems to carry dual meaning. On the one hand it is taken to mean full independent statehood, while on the other hand it is taken to mean external recognition by other states within the
international community.’

http://bemis.org.uk/docs/redefining-self-determination.pdf

 

‘Every individual/group possesses a moral right to secede. The burden of proof rests with the opponents of secession.’ 

This article is mainly credited to Oromia Quarterly 1997 & 1999.

Copyright © Oromianeconomist 2015 and Oromia Quarterly 1997-2015. All rights reserved. Disclaimer.

Oromia: Untwist the Twisted History December 28, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Development, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Language and Development, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, Theory of Development, Wisdom.
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41 comments

Sof Omer Bale

Sof  Umar Wall, Bale Oromia (Ancient and magnificent past and present)

 

Oromo women necklaces1

Oromo women necklaces2

Parts of ancient kemetic (Kushitic), Egyptian, material culture (fashion accessories), courtesy of British Museum sources

Traditionally, Oromo women wear necklaces with telsum amulets, triangular and crescent shaped pendants protect from the evil eye and attract the power of the moon or to improve fertility.

PhotoPhoto

Farming in past and present Oromo (Oromia, modern kemet)Farming in ancient kemetic (Ancient Egypt)

Oromia: The continuity of farming in Oromo society from ancient Kemetic (Kushitic) to present Oromia

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DqrTiW8XUy0

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Lr2D8KlZKo

Ancient Oromo culture, Irreechaa from the time before the  Pyramid

 

As some indeed suspect, that the science which we see at the dawn of recorded history, was not science at its dawn, but represents the remnants of the science of some great and as yet untraced civilisation. Where, however, is the seat of that civilisation to be located? (J. W. S. Sewell, 1942)

Conquest and dominations are social phenomenon as are dying elsewhere will die in Oromia (Author’s Remark).

 

JEL: O5, D2

Oromia: Untwist the Twisted History

The topic is about Oromia’s location   in space and allocation in humanity and society.  It is concerned with Oromia’s physical position in terms of geography and relational to issues of economic conditions, social justices, cultural values, political history and destiny. Civilisation, Colonisation and Underdevelopment are presented in historical and geo-political perspectives.  They capture both the space and time perceptions. They are also representing the economic and social conditions and positions. The portrayal we procure the present of the Oromo nation, the core of the Cush (Cushite/ Kemet)/Ham (Hamite), the children of Noah, in North & East Africa in past age from the phantom of the Solomonic dynasty, the history thought in Abyssinian high schools, their text books and elsewhere in the invaders’ literature, abusive literary and oral discourses is that they   were savages and that, though Abyssinians and Europeans overrun their lands and have made mere subjects of them, they have been in a way, bestowing  a great  favour on them, since they have  brought  to them the benisons of Christian Enlightenment. With objective analysis, however, this paper obliterates and unmakes that inaccurate illustration, wanton falsifications, immorality, intellectual swindle, sham, mischievous tales, the bent and the parable of human reductionism. Hence, it is the step to delineate an authentic portrait of a human heritage, which is infinitely rich, beautiful, colourful, and varied in the retrograde of orthodox misconceptions.  The paper is not only a disinclination itself but also a call for and a provocation of the new generation of historians to critically scrutinise and reinvestigate the orthodox approaches to the Oromo history and then to expose a large number of abusive scholarship authorities on the Oromo and Cushitic studies and it detects that they do not really know the intensity and profoundness of the history of these black African people and nations and the performance these Africans registered in the process of creating, making and shaping  the prime civilisations of  human societies. The study acknowledges and advances a strict contest to an orthodox scholarship’s rendition of Egypt as a white civilisation, which arose during the nineteenth century to fortify and intensify European imperialism and racism. Depending on massive evidences from concerned intellectual works from linguistic to archaeology, from history to philosophy, the study authenticates that   Egypt was a Cushitic civilisation and that Cushite civilisation was the authentic offspring of the splendid Upper Nile/ Oromian legacy. The Greek civilisation, which has been long unveiled as the birthplace of Western philosophy and thought, owes its roots to the Cushites thoughts and achievements.  The original works of Asfaw Beyene (1992) and F. Demie (in Oromia Quarterly, 1998 & 2000) are giving motivations and also greatly acknowledged. The study also expresses that radical thinkers and multi-genius African historians such as Diop (1991) have not given due attention to the epic centre of Cushitic civilisation, Oromia, the land after and Eastern and South Eastern to Nubia, pre-Aksum central Cush, Aksumite Cush and Cushites civilisation southern to Aksum, etc. The method of enquiry is qualitative and the eclectics of formal and the informal sources, rigorous, casual and careful scholarship argument. Oral history and written documents on history, economy, sociology, archaeology, geography, cosmology and anthropology are based on as references. The paper studies the Oromo history and civilisation in horizontal approach and challenges the reductionist and Ethiopianist (colonialist, racist) vertical approach (topsy-turvy, cookkoo). It goes beyond the Oromo Oral sources (burqaa mit-katabbii) and Africanist recorded studies and western civilisational studies. The approach is to magnify, illuminate and clarify the originality of humanity and civilisation to this magnificent Cushitic (African) beauty. The Origin of Humanity When and where did human life first surface on our cosmos? Who contrived the original and prime human culture and civilisation? Ancient Egyptians contended that it was in their homeland, the oldest in the world, the God modelled the first of all human beings out of a handful of ooze soddened by the vivacity of the life giving sanctified and blessed water, the Nile  (see, Jackson, 1995). “The ancient Egyptians called the river Ar or Aur (Coptic: Iaro), “Black,” in allusion to the colour of the sediments carried by the river when it is in flood. Nile mud is black enough to have given the land itself its oldest name, Kem or Kemi, which also means “black” and signifies darkness. In The Odyssey, the epic poem written by the Greek poet Homer (7th century bce), Aigyptos is the name of the Nile (masculine) as well as the country of Egypt (feminine) through which it flows. The Nile in Egypt and Sudan is now called Al-Nīl, Al-Baḥr, and Baḥr Al-Nīl or Nahr Al-Nīl.”http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/415347/Nile-River Ar or Aur (Coptic: Iaro)  is Booruu in modern Afaan Oromo which means turbid in English translations. Lagdi Nayili jedhamee amma waamamu maqaan kun kan akkanatti moggaasameefi, bowwaa jechuudha. Warri kushii, warri biyyaa, waarri durii laga isaanii Aur (Ooruu) jedhanii waamu. Afaan Oromoo amma uni dubbannuutti booruu jechuudha. Booruu (turbid) jechuuni gurri’aacha (Kami) jechuu miti. Booruu (Ooruu, Aur) jechuun kan taliila hin taane kan hin calaliini jechuudha. Dameen laga kanaa kan Moromor (dhidheessa) irraa maddu galaana biroo itti burqan dabalatee biyyoo loolan haramaniin waan booraweef. kaartumitti yoo damee isa (isa taliila) garba Viktooriyaati karaa Ugaanda dhufutti makamu kanasi booressee misiriitti godaana. Dameen Garba Viktooriyaati dhufu iyyuu adii (white) jedhamee mogga’uuni irra hin turre. Bishaani adiini hin jiru. Bishaani hin boora’iini bishaan taliila. Bishaani taliilatu bishaan guri’aacha. Inni ‘Blue’ jedhanisi ‘Blue’ mitti. Bishaan taliilatu, gurri’aacha ‘Blue’ dha. ‘Blue Nile’ jechuu irra ‘Brown’ Nile (Mormor Booruu, Ar, Aur) yoo jedhani ille itti dhiyaata.

The word (Africa) Afrika itself  derived from kemetic (Oromo) language. In Oromo, one of the ancient black people (kemet), Afur means four. Ka (Qa, Waqa) means god. Afrika Means the four children of god. It describes the four sub groups of kemet people. Such type of naming system is very common in Oromo even today  such as Afran Qallo, Shanan Gibee, Salgan Boorana, Macca Shan, Jimma Afur, Sadan Soddoo, etc. For other theories in this topic please refer to   http://atlantablackstar.com/2014/09/23/9-theories-africa-got-name/

One of the oldest Cushites histories to account for the origin and early development of man and his culture survives in a Greek version of the thesis advanced by the ancient Cushites, Oromians and the rest. This marvellous people paraded in golden times in the region called Kush (Punt) in the Hebrew Scriptures and stamped on the present-day upper Nile Oromia (see, Jackson, 1995). Diodorus Siculus, wrote that the Cushites were of the opinion that their country was not only the birthplace of human race and the cradle land of the world’s earliest civilisation, but, indeed, the primal Eden where living things first appeared on Earth, as reported by the Scriptures. Thus, Diodorus was the first European to focus attention on the Cushites asseveration that Upper Nile (Oromia) is the cradle land of world’s earliest civilisation, the original Eden of the human race. Whether by almighty (God) or nature/ evolution (Darwin’s natural selection and survival of the fittest), Oromia was not only the birth place of man himself (e.g., Lucy) but also for many hundred years thereafter is in the vanguard of all world progress (see Diop, 1991 in his African Civilisation; Martin Bernal, 1987). These are also authenticated by the present archaeological inferences in Oromo tropical fields and rivers valleys. The original natives of Egypt, both in old and in the latter ages of development, were Cushite and there is every raison d’être for the discourse that the earliest settlers came from upper Nile Oromia. The original homeland of the Oromians and other Cushites including Chadic, Berber, Egyptian, Beja, Central Cushitic, East Cushitic, South Cushitic, Omotic and Nilotic was the present day upper Nile Oromia. It was from the original Oromo (Madda Walaabu) that the rest of humanity descended diffused to other parts of the world.  This can be understood in the analogue of the diffusion of two Oromo families (Borana and Barentuma). While those who expanded to other regions latter taken new family names like Macha, Tulama, Karayyu, etc and those who stayed in original place kept the original name such as Borana. In terms of linguistic, like most scholars, we believe that it is impossible to judge between the theories of monogenesis and polygenesis for human, though the inclination is towards the former.  On the other hand, recent work by a small but increasing number of scholars has convinced us that there is a genetic relationship between European, Asian, and African and Cushite languages. A language family originates from a single dialect, proto Cushitic/ Oromo. From such language and culture that must have broken up into Africa, Asiatic, and European and within them a very long time a go. Professor Bernal (1987, in Black Athena, p. 11) confirmed that the unchallenged originality of Oromians and other Cushites nativity to the region and put forward that the latest possibility for initial language break up would be the Mousterian period, 50- 30,000 years Before the Present (BP), however, it may well have much earlier. He further observed that the expansion and proliferation of Cushitic and other Afroasiatic as the promulgation of a culture long pioneered in the East African Rift valley (South Eastern Oromian) at the end of the last Ice Age in the 10th and 9th millennia BC. According to Bernal (1987, p.11) the polar ice caps caged the water within itself, which was during the Ice ages, thus water was significantly less than it is nowadays. He reports that the Sahara and Arabian deserts were even bigger and more inhospitable then than they are presently. In the centuries that ensued, with the rise of heat and increase in the rainfall, greatly the regions became savannah, into which adjoining peoples voyaged. The most successful of these were, the speakers of Proto-Afroasiatic from upper Nile Oromia.  Bernal further confirmed that these people not only possessed flourishing and effective   skills and techniques of hippopotamus hunting with harpoons but also had domesticated cattle and food crops. The following is quoted from Black Athena: ‘Going through the savannah, the Chadic speakers renched lake Chad, the Berbers, the Maghreb, and the Proto-Egyptians, upper Egypt…. With long-term desiccation of the Sahara during the 7th and 6th millennia BC, there were movements into the Egyptian Nile Valley from the west and east as well as from the Sudan. … A similar migration took place from the Arabian savannah into lower Mesopotamia ‘(Bernal, pp.11-12).

The Origin of Civilisation

There are many things in the manners and   customs and religions of the historic Egyptians that suggest that the original home of their human ancestors was in the Upper Nile region and the biblical land of Punt/ Kush (Cush) Or Oromia which include the present day of Cushitic North and East of Africa. Hence, historical records showed that the antiquity of   upper Nile Cushitic Oromian civilisation had a direct link with the civilisation of ancient Egypt, Babylonian and Greece. Hence, the Egyptian and Babylonian civilisations are part and parcel of the entire Cushite civilisation. As it is described above, there is wide understanding that Cushites = Egyptians + Babylon + Oromo+ Agau + Somalis + Afars + Sidama + Neolithic Cush + other Cush. There is also an understanding that all the Cushites are branched out (descended) from their original father Oromo which can be described as Oromo = Noah=Ham= Cush= Egyptian + Bablyon+ Agau + Somali + Afar + Sidama + Neolithic Cush + other Cush. Boran and Barentuma, the two senior children and brothers were not the only children of the Oromo. Sidama, Somali, Agau, Afar and the others were children of the big family. Wolayita and the Nilotics were among the extended family and generations of the Cushite. As a hydro-tower of Africa, the present Oromia is naturally gifted and the source of Great African rivers and hosts the bank and valleys of the greatest and oldest civilisations such as Nile (Abbaya), Baro (Sobat), Gibe, Wabe, Dhidhesa, Ganale, Wabi-shebele, Omo, and Awash among others. Oromian tropical land, equatorial forest and Savannah have been the most hospitable ecology on the earth and conducive environment to life and all forms of human economic and social practices. According to Clarke (1995), many of the leading antiquarians of the time, based largely on the strength of what the classical authors, particularly Diodorus Siculus and Stephanus of Nabatea (Byzantium after Roman colonisation and Christianisation), had to say on the matter, were exponents of the vista that the Cushite, the ancient race in Africa, the Near East and the Middle East, or at any rate, the black people of remote antiquity were the earliest of all civilised peoples and that the first civilised inhabitants of ancient Egypt were members of what is referred to as  the black,  Cushite race who had  entered the land as they expanded in  their geographical space from the their birthplace in upper Nile Oromia, the surrounding Cushite river valleys and tropical fields. It was among these ancient people of Africa and Asia that classical technology advanced, old world science and cosmology originated, international trade and commerce was first developed, which was the by-product of   international contacts, exchange of ideas and cultural practices that laid the foundations of the prime civilisations of the ancient world. Cushite  Africa and also of the Middle East and West Asia was the key and most responsible to ancient civilisations and African history. It must also be known that there were no such geographical names, demarcations and continental classification at that time.  As a whole, Cushite occupied this region; there was the kernel and the centre of the globe, the planet earth, and the universe. African history is out of stratum until ancient Cushites looked up on as a distinct African/ Asian nations.  The Nile river, it tributes, Awash, Baro and Shebele or Juba, etc., played a major role in the relationship of Cushite to the nations in North, South and East Africa. The outer land Savannah, Nile, other Oromian rivers with it Adenian ecology were great cultural highways on which elements of civilisation came into and out of inner North East Africa. After expansions, there was also an offshoot, a graft, differentiation, branching out, internal separation, semi-independence and again interactions, interdependence and co-existence of the common folks.  Cushites from the original home made their relationships with the people of their descendants in the South, the North, East and the West, which was as both good, and bad, depending on the period and the regime in power they formed and put in place in the autonomous regions. Cushite Egypt first became an organised autonomous nation in about 6000 B.C. In the Third Dynasty (5345-5307 B.C.) when Egypt had an earnest pharaoh named Zoser and Zoser, in turn, had for his chief counsellor and minister, an effulgent grand named Imhotep (whose name means ‘he who cometh in peace”). Imhotep constructed the famous step pyramid of Sakkarah near Memphis. The building techniques used in the facilitation of this pyramid revolutionised the architecture of the ancient world (Clarke, 1995). Of course, Independent Egypt was not the original home of these ancient technology. However, it was an extension, expansion, advancement and the technological cycle of the Upper Nile Oromia, Nubia, Beja, Agau and other Cushites.  Ideas, systems, technologies and products were invented, tested and proved in upper Nile then expanded and adopted elsewhere in the entire Cush regions and beyond. . Bernal (1987, pp. 14-15) has identified strict cultural and linguistic similarities among all the people around   the Mediterranean. He further attests that it was south of the Mediterranean and west to the Red Sea’s classical civilisation that give way to the respective north and east. Cushite African agriculture of the upper Nile expanded in the 9th and 8th century millennia BC and pioneering the 8th and 7th of the Indo-Hittite. Egyptian civilisation is Cushite and is clearly based on the rich pre-dynastic cultures of Upper Egypt, Nubia and upper Nile, whose Cushite African and Oromian origin is uncontested and obvious. Of course, Cushite Egypt gave the world some of the greatest personalities in the history of mankind. In this regard, Imhotep was extraordinary discernible. In ancient history of Egypt, no individual left a downright and deeper indentation than Imhotep. He was possibly the world’s first mult-genuis.  He was the real originator of new medicine at the time.  He revolutionised an architect of the stone building, after which the Pyramids were modelled. He became a deity and later a universal God of Medicine, whose images charmed the Temple of Imhotep, humanity’s earliest hospital. To it came sufferers from the entire world for prayer, peace, and restorative. Imhotep lived and established his eminence as a curative at the court of King Zoser of the Third Dynasty about 5345-5307 B.C. (Duncan, 1932). When the Cushite civilisation through Egypt afar crossed the Mediterranean to become the foundation of what we think of as Greek culture, the teachings of Imhotep were absorbed along with the axioms of other great Cushite African teachers.  When Greek civilisation became consequential in the Mediterranean area, the Greeks coveted the world to ponder they were the originators of everything in its totality. They terminated to acknowledge   their liability to Imhotep and other great Cushites. Imhotep was forgotten for thousands of years, and Hippocrates, a mythical posture of two thousand years latter, became known as the father of medicine. Regarding to Imhotep’s influence in Rome, Gerald Massey, noted poet, archaeologist, and philologist, says that the early Christians cherished him as one with Christ (Massey, 1907). It should be understood that, while the achievements of Cushite Egypt were one of the best, these are not the only achievements that Cushite Africans can claim. The Nubians, upper Nile, central and eastern Cushites (the Oromo, Agau, Somalia, Afar, etc) were continue to develop many aspects of civilisation independent of Cushite Egyptian interactions.  These nations and states gave as much to Egypt as Egypt give to them in terms of trade, ideas and technology as well. There was also a considerable Cushite dominion on what later became Europe in the period preceding Christian era. Cushites played a major role in formative development of both Christianity and Islam. Both the Holly Bible and the Holly Quran moral texts are originated from the Oromo and other Cushite oral and moral principles, beliefs, creeds and teachings. There is a common believe and understanding that Abraham, a seminal prophet, believer and recipient of a single and eternal God was from Central Cush of present Upper Nile Oromia.  The Oromos believed in a single and eternal God, Black God (Waaqa Guri’acha) also Blue God according to some scholars who translated the oral history.  Waaqa also Ka. While the Oromian faith, social structure and policies were the prime and the origins of all, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam were all the derivatives and originated from the Black God. Waaqayyoo in Oromo is the original, the single, the omnipotent, the prime and the greatest of all the great religions. All aspects of the present day Christian churches were developed in Cushites. One of the more notable of Cushite contributions to the early church was monasticism. Monasticism, in essence, is organised life in common, especially for religious purposes. The home of a monastic society is called a monastery or a convent.  Christian monasticism probably began with the hermits of Cushite Egypt and Palestine about the time when Christianity was established as a licit religion (Clarke, 1995). Oral tradition and Arabian records confirm that Bilal, a tall, gaunt, black, bushy-haired, Oromo, was the first High Priest and treasurer of the Mohammedan empire.  After Mohamet himself, the great religion, which today numbers upwards of half a billion souls, may be said to have began with Bilal.  He was honoured to be the Prophet’s first neophyte. Bilal was one of the many Cushites who concurred in the founding of Islam and later made proud names for themselves in the Islamic nations and expansions. Europe was sluggishing in her Dark Ages at a time when Cushite Africa and Asia were relishing a Golden Age.  In this non-European world of Africa and Asian, Cushites built and enjoyed an age of advancement in technology before a period of internal withdrawal and isolation that favoured the Europeans to move a head of them. For more than a thousand years the Cushites were in the ‘Age of Grandeur’ but the second rise of Europe, internal strife, slave trade and colonialism brought the age of catastrophic tragedy, abase and declivity. The early Cushites made spears to hunt with, stone knives to cut with, the bola, with which to catch birds and animals, the blow-gun, the hammer, the stone axe, canoes and paddles, bags and buckets, poles for carrying things, bows and arrows. The bola, stone knives, paddles, spears, harpoons, bows and arrows, bow-guns, the hammer and the axe- all of them invented first by Cushites – were the start of man’s use of power. The present’s cannon, long-range missiles, ship propellers, automatic hammers, gas engines, and even meat cleavers and upholstery tack hammers have the roots of their development in the early Cushite use of (Clarke, 1995). Cushite offered humans the earliest machine. It was the fire stick. With it, man could have fire any time.  With it, a campfire could be set up almost any place.  With it, the early Africans could roast food. Every time we light a match, every time we take a bath in water heated by gas, every time we cook a meal in a gas-heated oven, our use of fire simply continues a process started by early Cushites: the control of fire. Of course, those early Cushite was the first to invent how to make a thatched hut. They had to be the first because for hundreds of thousand of years they were the only people on earth. They discovered coarse basket making and weaving and how to make a watertight pot of clay hardened in a fire. In the cold weather, they found that the skins of   beasts they had killed would keep them warm. They even skin covers for their feet. It was from their first effort much later clothing and shoes developed.  Humanity owes the early Cushites much and even much more (Clarke, 1995). The Cushites dociled animals.  They used digging sticks to obtain plant roots that could be consumed. They discovered grain as a food, how to store it and prepare it.  They learnt about the fermentation of certain foods and liquids left in containers. Thus, all mankind owes to Cushites including the dog that gives companionship and protection, the cereals we eat at break-fast-time, the fermented liquids that many people drink, the woven articles of clothing we wear and the blankets that keep us warm at night, the pottery in which we bake or boil food, and even the very process  (now so simple) of boiling water- a process we use every time we boil an egg, or make spaghetti, or cook corned beef. Canoes made it possible for man to travel further and farther from his early home. Over many centuries, canoes went down Baro, the Nile and the Congo and up many smaller rivers and streams. It was in this pattern that the early   Cushite civilisation was advanced. From the blowgun of antiquated Cushite, there come next, in later ages, many gadget based on its standard. Some of these are: the bellows, bamboo air pumps, the rifle, the pistol, the revolver, the automatic, the machine gun- and even those industrial guns that puff grains.  Modern Scientists certain that by about 3000 B.C., the Cushite farmers in the Nile Valley were growing wheat and barely, cultivating millet, sorghum, and yams.  Around 1500 B.C.  new crops farming were developed: – banana, sugar cane, and coconut trees and later coffee.   The cultivation of bananas and coffees in particular spread rapidly which are suited to tropical forest conditions. Cushites had also domesticated pigs, donkeys, horses, chickens, ducks, and geese, etc.  (Greenblatt, 1992). The agricultural revolution brought about a gradual increase in population. Then another development helped expand population still more. The technique of smelting iron innovated by Cushites. Iron working start and then advanced in the Nile valley and then started to spread to other parts of Africa and from who, by way of Egypt and Asian Minor, this art made its way into Europe and the rest of Old World. Iron greatly improved the efficiency of tools and weapons. Iron tools and weapons are much stronger and last longer than those made of stone or wood. Iron axes made it easier to chop tropical trees and clear land for farming. Iron sickles made harvest easier. Iron hoes and other farm tools helped farmers cultivate land more easily. Iron-tipped spears meant more meat. The new technologies boosted the Cushite economy; they increased food production that enabled more people to survive. In addition, iron objects became valuable items in Cushite trade and commercial activities. With his simple bellows and a charcoal fire the Cushite blacksmith reduced the ore that is found in many parts of the region and forged implements of great usefulness and beauty. In general, the Iron technology was instrumental in auguring the rise and expansion of Cushite civilisation (Greenblatt, 1992). Cushite hunters many times cut up game.  There still exists for evidences, drawings of animal bones, hearts and other organs. Those early drawings as a part of man’s early beginnings in the field of Anatomy. The family, the clan, the tribe, the nation, the kingdom, the state, humanity and charity all developed first in this region of the cradle of mankind. The family relationships, which we have today, were fully developed and understood then.  The clan and the tribe gave group unity and strength. The nation, the common whole was first developed here. It was by this people that early religious life, beliefs, and the belief in one God, the almighty started and expanded. The first formal education of arts, science, astronomy, times and numbers (mathematics) were visual, oral and spoken tradition given in the family, during social and religious ceremonies. Parents, Medicine men, religious leaders, etc were the education heads.  Ceremonial Cushite ritual dances laid the basis for many later forms of the dance. Music existed in early Cushite Among instruments used were: reed pipes, single-stringed instruments, drum, goured rattles, blocks of wood and hollow logs. Many very good Cushite artists brought paintings and sculpture into the common culture.  The early Cushites made a careful study of animal life and plant life.  From knowledge of animals, mankind was able to take a long step forward to cattle rising. From the knowledge of plants and how they propagate, it was possible to take a still longer step forward to agriculture. Today, science has ways of dating events of long a go. The new methods indicate that mankind has lived in Cushite Africa over two million years. In that long, long time, Cushites and people of their descent settled in other parts of Africa and the rest. Direct descents of early Cushites went Asia Minor, Arabia, India, China, Japan and East Indies. Cushites and people of Cushite descents went to Turkey, Palestine, Greece and other countries in Europe. From Gibraltar, they went into Spain, Portugal, France, England, Wales and Ireland (Clarke, 1995). Considering this information, the pre-Colombian presence of Cushite African mariners and merchants in the New World is highly conceivable and somewhat sounds. In this context, the first Africans to be brought to the New World were not in servitude and slavery, which contrary to popular creed. Tormenting references in the Spanish chronicles and other growing body of historical studies advocate that Cushites were the founders, the pioneers and first permanent settlers of   America. Commanding authentication as in Bennett (1993, p. 85) cited by Leo Veiner in his work Africa and the discovery of America suggests that African traders founded Mexico long before Columbus. Hence, the Africans influences were extended from Canada in the North to the Maya, Aztec, and Inca civilisation in the South America. The Cushite civilisation is therefore the basis of Indian civilisation. Unlike the western Sudan and in Egypt, the people and nations of upper Nile had lost written records of their ancient times and medieval history. These were destroyed and burned during war of conquests. The early travellers to these areas are also mostly not yet known. Notable kingdoms, republics and states did rise in this part of Africa and did achieve a high degree of civilisation of their time.  Scholarly undertakings show that Cushite Africans such as Oromos were the first in human history to invent and implement democratic institutions (e.g. Gada system  or Gadaa system), democratic forms of government, elections and unwritten constitution. Democracy was first invented in upper Nile Oromia then to Athens, Greek and to the rest. It was not the other way round. Gada, an accomplishment of Oromian social genius in socio-political organisation is one of the most complex, the world wonder   and by far superior to so far other humanity’s social and political imagination and civilisation. Gada in its vector of values constitutes, political institution, the power structure, governing constitution, the ideology, the religion, the moral authority, the economic and the whole way of life of the public, the collective, the social and the private individual.  Gada is the social civilization of the Oromo in the Nile civilization. Gada is an atonishing and complex social evolution in human social transformation and an Oromo social perfection. In old Egyptian (Cushite, oromo) dialect it means Ka Adaa. Ka means God. Adaa (law). It means the law of  God, the law of  waaqa (God). It also symbolizes the dawn of not only civilization  but also human freedom as civilazation. ‘Gadaa bilisummaa saaqaa.’ Orthodox historians and some archaeologists believe that the civilisation of Egypt is the oldest in the world, while others give that priority to western Asia or India.  It has also been suggested that, since all these cultures possess certain points of similarity, all of them may evolve from an older common civilisation. Men of eminent scholarship have acknowledged this possibility. In this regard, Sir E.A. Wallis Budge  (1934) indicated: “It would be wrong to say that the Egyptians borrowed from the Sumerians or Sumerians from Egyptians, but it may be submitted that the literati of both peoples borrowed their theological systems from common but exceedingly ancient source… This similarity between the two companies of gods is too close to being accidental.” A pioneer American Egyptologist, Breasted (1936) advanced the following views: “In both Babylonian and Egypt the convenient and basic number  (360), of fundamental importance in the division of the circle, and therefore in geography, astronomy and time-measurement, had its origin in the number of days in the year in the earliest known form of the calendar. While its use seems to be older in Egypt than in Babylonian, there is no way to determine with certainty that we owe it exclusively to either of these two countries.  A common origin older than either of is possible.” Sewell (1942) said that the science, which we see at the dawn of recorded history, was not science at its dawn, but represents the remnants of the science of some great and as yet untraced civilisation. Where, however, is the seat of that civilisation to be located?” A number of scholars, both ancient and modern, have come to the conclusion that the world’s first civilisation was created by the people known as Cushite (Oromian) and also known by Greeks as Punt (Burnt Faces). The Greeks argued that these people developed their dark colouration since they were adjacent to the sun than were the fairer natives of Europe. In terms of the sources of well-informed modern authority, Herodotus describes the Cushites as in Lugard (1964) as: “ The tallest, most beautiful and long-lived of the human races,’ and before Herodotus, Homer, in even more flattering language, described them as  ‘ the most just of men; the favourites of gods.’ The annals of all the great early nations of Asia Minor are full of them. The Mosaic records allude to them frequently; but while they are described as the most powerful, the most just, and the most beautiful of the human race, they are constantly spoken of as black, and there seems to be no other conclusion to be drawn, than that remote period of history the leading race of the western world was the black race.” Alexander Bulatovich (2000, p.53) of Russia in his 1896-1898 travels in Oromia described the Oromo, which is akin to Herodotus’s description as fallows: “The [Oromo] physical type is very beautiful. The men are very tall, with statuesque, lean, with oblong face and a somewhat flattened skull. The features of the face are regular and beautiful…. The mouth is moderate. The lips are not thick. They have excellent even teeth; large and in some cases oblong eyes and curly hair. Their arm bones are of moderate length, shorter than the bones of Europeans, but longer than among the Amhara tribes. The feet are moderate and not turned in. The women are shorter than the men and very beautifully built. In general, they are stouter than the men, and not as lean as they. Among them one sometimes encounters very beautiful women. And their beauty does not fade as among the Abyssinians. The skin color of both men and women ranges from dark to light brown. I did not see any completely black [Oromo].” According to Homer and Herodotus, the Cushites were inhabited in the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine, present Ethiopia, Western Asia and India. In his essay of historical analysis of ancient East Africa and ancient Middle East, roughly in the years between 500BC and 500AD. Jesse Benjamin (2001), brought to our attention that  the importance of research focus on global formations, multi- and bi-directional and cultural relations, geopolitical  associations, archaeology, linguistics, sociology, cosmology, production, commerce and consumption patterns of these regions.  Benjamin (2001) indicates that historiographers have acknowledged and documented that the adored spices, cinnamon (qarafaa in modern Afaan  Oromo)  and cassia of the Mediterranean sphere produced and come from ‘Cinnamon land.’ The latter is also known in different names as  ‘ The other Barbaria,’ ‘Trogodytica,’ Cush, Kush,  Upper Nile. or ‘Punt’ but persistently representing the whole environs identified nowadays as the ‘Horn of African’ or that part of Oromia. These show the presence of production, consumption and commercial interactions in the regions. In line with Miller (1969),  Wilding (1988), Benjamin (2001) included the Oromian pastoralism, pottery, cosmology and culture in the antiquity and old world civilisation. The identification of the Cushite Oromian civilisation with the present Abyssinia Amhara-Tigre under the name of Ethiopia made by the post civilisation Abyssinian priests translators of the Abyssinian version of the Bible in the 5th and 6th century or some other time, has been a cheating and misrepresentation of true human history.  Those Abyssinians who were stealing the history were relatively recent migrant (conquerors) of the region. They occupied the present day Northern Ethiopia (central Cushitic of Agau and Oromo) long after the first human civilisation already originated and advanced in the area and spread to the rest of the world including to Arabia and Mediterranean Europe. The native residents of the region are the Cushite African people (Oromo, Agau, Somali, Sidama, Afar, Beja, Saho, etc). Ethiopian Jews (Falashas) are also Cushite Oromo and Agau who accepted Jews religion. Abyssinian tribes have fabricated their own myth and false history to claim legitimacy to the region and then established a regime truth through continuos fable story, phantom, indoctrination and falsification of the real Cushite history.  Semitic immigrants did not found Aksum but the Abyssinians resettled among the Cushites cities and commercial centres in which Aksum was one and latter dominated the ruling power in this very centre of the civilisation of the central Cush. Ge’ez was invented as a language of the centre and latter used as the official language of the church and the colonising Abyssinian ruling class. Ge’ez was initially developed from the mixture of Cushitic and Greek elements that was facilitated by the Cushite trade links to the Greek world. There was also Greek resettlement in Aksum and the surrounding central Cush commercial towns with primary contacts with endogenous Cushite. The earlier rulers of Aksum and Christian converts including Ezana were Cushites.  Though Ezana was the first convert from the above (the ruling class) to Christianity, he did not give up his belief in one God (Waqa) (Cushite/ black God). He was also not the first Cushite to be a Christian. In their linkages with a wider world, it is also highly likely and very logical and possible that there were Christians among the civilian Cushite trading communities who had already disseminated their new faith, as so many Oromo merchants were to do latter in the expansion of Islam. The splendid Stella, towers of solid masonry, with non-functional doors and windows at Aksum was not the earliest materialisation but it was the continuity in the manifestation of major indigenous Cushite tradition of monumental architecture in stone, which also later found expression in the rock-hewn churches of the Cushite Agau kings (see also Isichei, 1997 for some of the opinions). Abyssinians were the rulers. They were not the engineers and the builders of the stone monuments. It was the original product and brainchild of Cushite technologist. Of course, their advancement was thwarted with the unfortunate coming of the Abyssinians. Almost all of the original studies of the origin of Cushite civilisation could not penetrate far deep into regions south east to Nubia (Mereo) and could not dig out the other side of the twin, the close link and vast primary sources in present day Oromia. Though the British Museum has collected vast sources on Nubian, it has not kept on or linked any to the sister and more or less identical to the civilisation of the Oromo. For me, as native Oromo with knowledge of oral history and culture, as I observed the Nubian collection in British Museum, what they say Nubian collection is almost identical to Oromia, but in a less variety and quantity.  I can say that Nubian and other Cushite civilisations were extensions (grafts) of the vast products of Oromo. I may also be enthused to the inference that the people whose manners and customs have been so thoroughly capitulated by Herodotus, Diodorus, Strabo Pliny and other were not Abyssinians and other Black people at all, but the natives of Upper Nile, Oromos, Agau, Somalis, Afar and the rest of Cushitic people of the present Horn of Africa. Sir Henry Rawlinson in his essay on the early History of Babylonian describes Oromos as the purest modern specimens of the Kushite. Thus, Oromo is Kush and Kush is Oromo. Seignobos (1910), in his scholarly works on the history of Ancient Civilisation reasoned that the first civilised natives of the Nile and Tigiris-Euphrates Valleys were a dark skinned people with short hair and prominent lips, they were called Cushites by some scholars and Hamites by others.  So Cushite (Hamite) is generally recognised as the original home of human civilisation and culture both beyond and across the Red Sea. They are the original source of both the African and Asiatic (Cushitic Arabian) civilisation. Higgins in 1965 scholarly undertaking discusses: “I shall, in the course of this work, produce a number of   extraordinary facts, which will be quite sufficient to prove, that a black race, in a very   early times, had more influence   of the affairs of the world than has been lately suspected; and I think I shall show, by some very striking circumstances yet existing, that the effects of this influence have not entirely passed away.” Baldwin in his 1869 study of Arab history expressed in his own words the following: “At the present time Arabia is inhabited by two distinct races, namely descendants of the old Adite, Kushite, …known under various appellations, and dwelling chiefly at the south, the east, and in the central parts of the country, but formerly supreme throughout the whole peninsula, and the Semitic Arabians- Mahomete’s race- found chiefly in the Hejaz and at the north. In some districts of the country these races are more or less mixed, and since the rise of Mahometanism the language of Semites, known as to us Arabic, has almost wholly suppressed the old  … Kushite tongue; but the two races are very unlike in many respects, and the distinction has always been recognised by writers on Arabian ethnology. To the Kushite race belongs the purest Arabian blood, and also that great and very ancient civilisation whose ruins abound in almost every district of the country.” Poole (in Haddon, 1934) says, “Assyrians themselves are shown to have been of a very pure type of Semites, but in the Babylonians there is a sign of Kushite blood.  … There is one portrait of an Elmite king on a vase found at Susa; he is painted black and thus belongs to the Kushite race.” The myths, legends, and traditions of the Sumerians point to the African Cushite as the original home of these people (see. Perry, 1923, pp. 60-61).  They were also the makers of the first great civilisation in the Indus valley. Hincks, Oppert, unearthed the first Sumerian remains and Rawlinson called these people Kushites. Rawlinson in his essay on the early history of Babylonian presents that without pretending to trace up these early Babylonians to their original ethnic sources, there are certainly strong reasons for supposing them to have passed from Cushite Africa to the valley of the Euphrates shortly before the opening of the historic period:  He is based on the following strong points: The system of writing, which they brought up with them, has the closest semblance with that of Egypt; in many cases in deed the two alphabets are absolutely identical. In the Biblical genealogies, while Kush and Mizrain  (Egypt) are brothers, from Kush Nimrod (Babylonian) sprang. With respect to the language of ancient Babylonians, the vocabulary is absolutely Kushite, belonging to that stock of tongues, which in postscript were everywhere more or less, mixed up with Semitic languages, but of which we have with doubtless the purest existing specimens in the Mahra of Southern Arabia and the Oromo.

kemetic alphabet (Qubee)

qubee durii fi ammaa

The Greek alphabet, the script of English today, is based on the Kemetic alphabet of Ancient Egypt/Kemet and the Upper Nile Valley of Ancient Africa. Ancient Egyptians called their words MDW NTR, or ‘Metu Neter,” which means divine speech. The Greeks called it, ‘hieroglyphics”- a Greek word. The etymology of hieroglyphics is sacred (hieros) carvings (glyph). The Oromos (the Kemet of modern age) called it Qubee.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XQUU85mDlFo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=XQUU85mDlFo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ei0In0HGYVU

http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&feature=endscreen&v=2jd1Y5z4CUk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=nArdTXwU3IQ

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vcW9yOjF_Ts

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=WKGRSkVvzqk#!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zMUazEr3BSU&NR=1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wHuypnitFYk

Without OROMO, NO Amhara Culture & NO Amharic! – My Beta Israel & Zagwe Roots pt1 Ras Iadonis

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9gLJnxgXs0Q&feature=share

http://gadaa.com/oduu/11117/2011/09/28/gubaa-%e2%80%93-the-oromo-thanksgiving-bonfire/#.ToQw3A0t84E.facebook

http://gadaa.com/oduu/797/2009/09/30/ethiopia-the-story-of-oromos-irreechaa-happy-thanksgiving/

http://www.creative8studios.com/oromia/

http://bilisummaa.com/index.php?mod=article&cat=Waaqeeyfataa&article=446

http://www.africa.kyoto-u.ac.jp/kiroku/asm_normal/abstracts/pdf/25-3/25-3-1.pdf

http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/166451

http://www.gadaa.com/culture.html

http://www.gadaa.com/Irreechaa.html http://waaqeffannaa.org/?page_id=167

http://gadaa.com/oduu/10920/2011/09/10/irreechaa-a-thanksgiving-day-in-oromia-cushitic-ethiopia-and-africa/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Central_Oromo_language http://www.gadaa.com/language.html

http://www.voicefinfinne.org/English/Column/Galma_EOC.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamitic#Rwanda_and_Burundii

http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/1TM1ye/listverse.com/2008/08/29/15-fascinating-facts-about-ancient-egypt/

https://encrypted.google.com/search?q=old+egyptian+language&hl=en&sa=X&rls=com.microsoft:en-gb:IE-Address&rlz=1I7TSEA_en-GBGB333&tbm=isch&tbs=simg:CAESEgliBpRYQ9V-mSHFuQO6grmBWQ&iact=hc&vpx=662&vpy=231&dur=16406&hovh=128&hovw=216&tx=43&ty=214&ei=tnRJTsLpLIqXhQeyi7HCBg&page=9&tbnh=128&tbnw=186&ved=1t:722,r:10,s:166&biw=1280&bih=599

http://oromocentre.org/oromian-story/special-report-on-the-long-history-of-north-east-africa/

African Philosophy in Ethiopia. Ethiopian Philosophical Studies II with A Memorial of Claude Sumner http://www.crvp.org/book/Series02/master-ethiopia.pdf

http://thetemplesofluxorandkarnak.wordpress.com/category/africa/

https://www.facebook.com/notes/abdi-muleta/the-story-of-irreechaa/257191284319586

CHALTU AS HELEN: AN EVERYDAY STORY OF OROMOS TRAUMATIC IDENTITY CHANGE

http://oromoland.wordpress.com/2013/10/20/chaltu-as-helen-an-everyday-story-of-oromos-traumatic-identity-change/

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3718-chaltu-as-helen-an-everyday-story-of-oromos-traumatic-identity-change

“Chaltu as Helen”, which is based on a novelized story of Chaltu Midhaksa, a young Oromo girl from Ada’aa Barga district, also in central Oromia.

Born to a farming family in Koftu, a small village south of Addis Ababa near Akaki, Chaltu led an exuberant childhood. Raised by her grandmother’s sister Gode, a traditional storyteller who lived over 100 years, the impressionable Chaltu mastered the history and tradition of Tulama Oromos at a very young age.

Chaltu’s captivating and fairytale like story, as retold by Tesfaye, begins when she was awarded a horse named Gurraacha as a prize for winning a Tulama history contest. Though she maybe the first and only female contestant, Chaltu won the competition by resoundingly answering eleven of the twelve questions she was asked.

Guraacha, her pride and constant companion, became Chaltu’s best friend and she took a good care of him. Gurraacha was a strong horse; his jumps were high, and Chaltu understood his pace and style.

A masterful rider and an envy to even her male contemporaries, Chaltu soon distinguished herself as bold, confident, outspoken, assertive, and courageous. For this, she quickly became a household name among the Oromo from Wajitu to Walmara, Sera to Dawara, Bacho to Cuqala, and Dire to Gimbichu, according to Tesfaye.

Chaltu traces her lineage to the Galan, one of the six clans of Tulama Oromo tribe. At the height of her fame, admirers – young and old – addressed her out of respect as “Caaltuu Warra Galaan!” – Chaltu of the Galan, and “Caaltuu Haadha Gurraacha!” – Chaltu the mother of Gurraacha.

Chaltu’s disarming beauty, elegance, charisma, and intelligence coupled with her witty personality added to her popularity. Chaltu’s tattoos from her chin to her chest, easily noticeable from her light skin, made her look like of a “Red Indian descent” (Tesfaye’s words).

As per Tesfaye’s account, there wasn’t a parent among the well-to-do Oromos of the area who did not wish Chaltu betrothed to their son. At 14, Chaltu escaped a bride-kidnapping attempt by outracing her abductors.

Chaltu’s grandfather Banti Daamo, a well-known warrior and respected elder, had a big family. Growing up in Koftu, Chaltu enjoyed being surrounded by a large network of extended family, although she was the only child for her parents.

Recognizing Chaltu’s potential, her relatives suggested that she goes to school, which was not available in the area at the time. However, fearing that she would be abducted, Chaltu’s father arranged her marriage to a man of Ada’aa family from Dire when she turned 15.

Locals likened Chaltu’s mannerism to her grandfather Banti Daamo, earning her yet another nickname as “Caaltuu warra Bantii Daamo” – Chaltu of Banti Daamo. She embraced the namesake because many saw her as an heir to Banti Daamo’s legacy, a role usually preserved for the oldest male in the family. Well-wishers blessed her: prosper like your grandparents. She embraced and proudly boasted about continuing her grandfather’s heritage calling herself Chaltu Banti Daamo.

Others began to call her Akkoo [sic] Xinnoo, drawing a comparison between Chaltu and a legendary Karrayu Oromo woman leader after whom Ankobar was named.

Chaltu’s eccentric life took on a different trajectory soon after her marriage. She could not be a good wife as the local tradition and custom demanded; she could not get along with an alcoholic husband who came home drunk and abused her.

When Chaltu threatened to dissolve the marriage, as per Oromo culture, elders intervened and advised her to tolerate and reconcile with her husband. Rebellious and nonconformist by nature, Chaltu, who’s known for challenging old biases and practices, protested “an alcoholic cannot be a husband for Banti Daamo’s daughter!”

Soon she left her husband and moved to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, to attend formal education and start a new chapter in life.

Trouble ensues.

In Addis Ababa, her aunt Mulumebet’s family welcomed Chaltu. Like Chaltu, Mulumebet grew up in Koftu but later moved to Addis Ababa, and changed her given name from Gadise in order to ‘fit’ into the city life.

Subsequently, Mulumebet sat down with Chaltu to provide guidance and advice on urban [Amhara] ways.

“Learning the Amharic language is mandatory for your future life,” Mulumebet told Chaltu. “If you want to go to school, first you have to speak the language; in order to learn Amharic, you must stop speaking Afaan Oromo immediately; besides, your name Chaltu Midhaksa doesn’t match your beauty and elegance.”

“I wish they did not mess you up with these tattoos,” Mulumebet continued, “but there is nothing I could do about that…however, we have to give you a new name.”

Just like that, on her second day in Addis, Caaltuu warra Galaan became Helen Getachew.

Chaltu understood little of the dramatic twists in her life. She wished the conversation with her aunt were a dream. First, her name Chaltu means the better one, her tattoos beauty marks.

She quietly wondered, “what is wrong with my name and my tattoos? How can I be better off with a new name that I don’t even know what it means?”

Of course she had no answers for these perennial questions. Most of all, her new last name Getachew discomforted her. But she was given no option.

The indomitable Chaltu had a lot to learn.

A new name, new language, new family, and a whole new way of life, the way of civilized Amhara people. Chaltu mastered Amharic in a matter of weeks. Learning math was no problem either, because Chaltu grew up solving math problems through oral Oromo folktale and children’s games like Takkeen Takkitumaa.

Chaltu’s quick mastery amazed Dr. Getachew, Mulumebet’s husband. This also made her aunt proud and she decided to enroll Chaltu in an evening school. The school matched Chaltu, who’s never set foot in school, for fourth grade. In a year, she skipped a grade and was placed in sixth grade. That year Chaltu passed the national exit exam, given to all sixth graders in the country, with distinction.

But her achievements in school were clouded by a life filled with disappointments, questions, and loss of identity. Much of her troubles came from Mulumebet packaged as life advice.

“Helen darling, all our neighbors love and admire you a lot,” Mulumebet told Chaltu one Sunday morning as they made their way into the local Orthodox Church. “There is not a single person on this block who is not mesmerized by your beauty…you have a bright future ahead of you as long as you work on your Amharic and get rid of your Oromo accent…once you do that, we will find you a rich and educated husband.”

Chaltu knew Mulumebet had her best interest at heart. And as a result never questioned her counsel. But her unsolicited advises centered mostly on erasing Chaltu’s fond childhood memories and making her lose touch with Oromummaa – and essentially become an Amhara.

Chaltu spent most of her free time babysitting Mulumebet’s children, aged 6 and 8. She took care of them and the kids loved her. One day, while the parents were away, lost in her own thoughts, Chaltu repeatedly sang her favorite Atetee – Oromo women’s song of fertility – in front of the kids.

That night, to Chaltu’s wild surprise, the boys performed the song for their parents at the dinner table. Stunned by the revelation, Mulumebet went ballistic and shouted, “Are you teaching my children witchcraft?”

Mulumebet continued, “Don’t you ever dare do such a thing in this house again. I told you to forget everything you do not need. Helen, let me tell you for the last time, everything you knew from Koftu is now erased…forget it all! No Irreechaa, no Waaree, no Okolee, no Ibsaa, No Atetee, and no Wadaajaa.”

Amused by his wife’s dramatic reaction, Getachew inquired, “what does the song mean, Helen?” Chaltu told him she could not explain it in Amharic. He added, “If it is indeed about witchcraft, we do not need a devil in this house…Helen, praise Jesus and his mother, Mary, from now on.”

“Wait,” Getachew continued, “did you ever go to church when you were in Koftu? What do they teach you there?”

Chaltu acknowledged that she’s been to a church but never understood the sermons, conducted in Amharic, a language foreign to her until now. “Getachew couldn’t believe his ears,” writes Tesfaye. But Getachew maintained his cool and assured Chaltu that her mistake would be forgiven.

Chaltu knew Atetee was not a witchcraft but a women’s spiritual song of fertility and safety. All Oromo women had their own Atetee.

Now in her third year since moving to Addis, Chaltu spoke fluent Amharic. But at school, in the market, and around the neighborhood, children bullied her daily. It was as if they were all given the same course on how to disgrace, intimidate, and humiliate her.

“You would have been beautiful if your name was not Chaltu,” strangers and classmates, even those who knew her only as Helen, would tell her. Others would say to Chaltu, as if in compliment, “if you were not Geja (an Amharic for uncivilized), you would actually win a beauty pageant…they messed you up with these tattoos, damn Gallas!”

Her adopted name and mastery of Amharic did not save Chaltu from discrimination, blatant racism, hate speech, and ethnic slurs. As if the loss of self was not enough, seventh grade was painfully challenging for Chaltu. One day when the students returned from recess to their assigned classes, to her classmate’s collective amusement, there was a drawing of a girl with long tattooed neck on the blackboard with a caption: Helen Nikise Gala – Helen, the tattooed Gala. Gala is a disparaging term akin to a Nigger used in reference to Oromos. As Chaltu sobbed quietly, their English teacher Tsige walked in and the students’ laughter came to a sudden halt. Tsige asked the classroom monitor to identity the insulting graffiti’s artist. No one answered. He turned to Chaltu and asked, “Helen, tell me who drew this picture?”

She replied, “I don’t know teacher, but Samson always called me Nikise Gala.”

Tsige was furious. Samson initially denied but eventually admitted fearing corporal punishment. Tsige gave Samson a lesson of a lifetime: “Helen speaks two language: her native Afaan Oromo and your language Amharic, and of course she is learning the third one. She is one of the top three students in the class. You speak one language and you ranked 41 out of 53 students. I have to speak to your parents tomorrow.”

Athletic and well-mannered, Chaltu was one of the best students in the entire school. But she could not fathom why people gossiped about her and hurled insults at her.

Banned from speaking Afaan Oromo, Chaltu could not fully express feelings like sorrow, regrets, fear and happiness in Amharic. To the extent that Mulumebet wished Chaltu would stop thinking in Oromo, in one instance, she asked Chaltu to go into her bedroom to lament the death of a relative by singing honorific praise as per Oromo custom. Chaltu’s break came one afternoon when the sport teacher began speaking to her in Afaan Oromo, for the first time in three years. She sobbed from a deep sense of loss as she uttered the words: “I am from Koftu, the daughter of Banti Daamo.” Saying those words alone, which were once a source of her pride, filled Chaltu with joy, even if for that moment.

Chaltu anxiously looked forward to her summer vacation and a much-needed visit to Koftu. But before she left, Mulumebet warned Chaltu not to speak Afaan Oromo during her stay in Koftu. Mulumebet told Chaltu, “Tell them that you forgot how to speak Afaan Oromo. If they talk to you in Oromo, respond only in Amharic. Also, tell them that you are no longer Chaltu. Your name is Helen.”

Getachew disagreed with his wife. But Chaltu knew she has to oblige. On her way to Koftu, Chaltu thought about her once golden life; the time she won Gurracha in what was only a boys’ competition, and how the entire village of Koftu sang her praises.

Her short stay in Koftu was dismal. Gurraacha was sold for 700 birr and she did not get to see him again. Chaltu’s parents were dismayed that her name was changed and that she no longer spoke their language.

A disgruntled and traumatized Chaltu returns to Addis Ababa and enrolls in 9th grade. She then marries a government official and move away from her aunt’s protective shield. The marriage ends shortly thereafter when Chaltu’s husband got caught up in a political crosshair following Derg’s downfall in 1991. Chaltu was in financial crisis. She refused an advice from acquintances to work as a prostitute.

At 24, the once vibrant Chaltu looked frail and exhausted. The regime change brought some welcome news. Chaltu was fascinated and surprised to watch TV programs in Afaan Oromo or hear concepts like “Oromo people’s liberation, the right to speak one’s own language, and that Amharas were feudalists.”

Chaltu did not fully grasp the systematic violence for which was very much a victim. She detested how she lost her values and ways. She despised Helen and what it was meant to represent. But it was also too late to get back to being Chaltu. She felt empty. She was neither Helen nor Chaltu.

She eventually left Addis for Koftu and asked her parents for forgiveness. She lived a few months hiding in her parent’s home. She avoided going to the market and public squares.

In a rare sign of recovery from her trauma, Chaltu briefly dated a college student who was in Koftu for a winter vacation. When he left, Chaltu lapsed back into her self-imposed loneliness and state of depression. She barely ate and refused interacting with or talking to anyone except her mother.

One afternoon, the once celebrated Chaltu warra Galaan took a nap after a coffee break and never woke up. She was 25.

The bottom line: Fictionalized or not, Chaltu’s is a truly Oromo story. Chaltu is a single character in Tesfaye’s book but lest we forget, in imperial Ethiopia, generations of Chaltu’s had to change their names and identity in order to fit in and be “genuine Ethiopians.” Until recently, one has to wear an Amhara mask in order to be beautiful, or gain access to educational and employment opportunities.

Likewise, in the Ethiopia of today’s “freedom of expression advocates” – who allegedly sought to censor Tesfaye – it appears that a story, even a work of fiction, is fit to print only when it conforms to the much-romanticized Ethiopianist storyline.

So much has changed since Chaltu’s tragic death a little over a decade ago, yet, clearly, much remains the same in Ethiopia. Honor and glory to Oromo martyrs, whose selfless sacrifices had allowed for me to transcribe this story, the Oromo today – a whole generation of Caaltuus – are ready to own, reclaim, and tell their stories.

Try, as they might, the ever-vibrant Qubee generation will never be silenced, again.

Origins of the Afrocomb: Exhibition: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, UK; 2nd July - 3rd November

Origins of the Afro Comb: 6,000 years of culture, politics and identity

http://www.gatewayforafrica.org/event/origins-afro-comb-6000-years-culture-politics-and-identity?__utma=1.1154313457.1380212922.1382522461.1382771276.8&__utmb=1.217.9.1382772351901&__utmc=1&__utmx=-&__utmz=1.1382771276.8.5.utmcsr=royalafricansociety.us2.list-manage.com|utmccn=(referral)|utmcmd=referral|utmcct=/subscribe/confirm&__utmv=-&__utmk=134257777&utm_content=buffer9ca97&utm_source=buffer&utm_medium=facebook&utm_campaign=Buffer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=jglq42cXqho

Even today, a significant number of mainstream Egyptologists, anthropologists, historians and Hollywood moviemakers continue to deny African people’s role in humankind’s first and greatest civilization in ancient Egypt. This whitewashing of history negatively impacts Black people and our image in the world. There remains a vital need to correct the misinformation of our achievements in antiquity.

Senegalese scholar Dr. Cheikh Anta Diop (1923-1986) dedicated his life to scientifically challenging Eurocentric and Arab-centric views of precolonial African culture, specifically those that suggested the ancient civilization of Egypt did not have its origins in Black Africa.

Since some people continue to ignore the overwhelming evidence that indicates ancient Egypt was built, ruled, and populated by dark-skinned African people, Atlanta Blackstar will highlight 10 of the ways Diop proved the ancient Egyptians were Black.

Physical Anthropology Evidence
Based on his review of scientific literature, Diop concluded that most of the skeletons and skulls of the ancient Egyptians clearly indicate they were Negroid people with features very similar to those of modern Black Nubians and other people of the Upper Nile and East Africa. He called attention to studies that included examinations of  skulls from the predynastic period (6000 B.C.) that showed a greater percentage of Black characteristics than any other type.

From this information, Diop reasoned that a Black race existed in Egypt at that time and did not migrate at a later stage as some previous theories had suggested.

http://atlantablackstar.com/2013/10/25/10-arguments-that-proves-ancient-egyptians-were-black/

”’ኦሮሞና ኦሮሚያ”’

የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ መሠረተ አመጣጥ ከኩሽ ቤተሰብ የሚመደብ ነዉ። በቆዳ ቀለሙና በአካላዊ አቋሙ ከሃሜቲክ እስከ ናይሎቲክ ያጣቀሰ ዝርያ ያለዉ ሕዝብ መሆኑ ታሪክ አረጋግጦታል። በሰሜን ምሥራቅ አፍሪካ ከሚኖሩ ህዝቦች ጋር በብዙ መልኩ ተመሳሳይነት ያለዉ ነዉ። በዚህ ክልል የሚኖሩ ሕዝቦች ታሪክ መመዝገብ ከጀመረበት ጊዜ አንስቶ የኩሽ ቋንቋ ተናጋሪ መሆናቸዉ ተረጋግጧል።

ኦሮሞ የኩሽ ቋንቋ ተናጋሪ ብቻ አይደለም። ይልቁንም ይህ ሕዝብ በአህጉረ- አፍሪካ ቀደሚ ዜጋ ሆነዉ ከኖሩት ሕዝቦች መካከል የመጀመሪያ መሆኑ ይታወቃል። በዚህ የረጅም ዘመናት ታሪኩ ውስጥ ለሥልጣኔዉ የሚሆኑ ባህሎችን እስከማዳበር ደርሷል። ሊንች እና ሮቢንስ የሚባሉ ሁለት የዉጭ ምሁራን ሰሜናዊ ኬኒያ በተገኘዉ ጥንታዊ አምድ ላይ ከትጻፈዉ መረጃ በመነሳት ኦሮሞዎች በ3000 ዓመተ-ዓለም አካባቢ የራሳቸዉ የሆነ የቀን መቁጠሪያ እንደነበራቸዉ አረጋግጠዋል። ይህም ሕዝቡ በዚሁ ክልል ለመኖሩ አንዱ ተጨባጭ ማስረጃ ነው።

ከሊንች እና ሮቢንሰም ሌላ ፕራዉቲ እና ሮሴንፊልድ የተባሉ የታሪክ ሊቃዉንት “Historical Dictionary of Ethiopia” ኢንዲሁም ባትስ : “The Abyssinian Difficulty” በተባሉ ሥራዎቻቸው ; <<ኦሮሞ ጥንታዊ ዝርያና አንጋፋ; ምናልባትም ለበርካታዎቹ የምስራቅ አፍርካ ሕዝቦች የዘር ግንድ ነው>> በማለት ይገልጻሉ።

የኦሮሞ ሕዝብ የምስራቅ አፍርካ (የአፍርካ ቀንድ) ቀዳሚ ቤተኛ ስለመሆኑ አያሌ ማስረጃዎች ኣሉ። ስለዚሁ ጉዳይ ታሪካዊ ሰናዶች በብዛት ይገኛሉ። አባ ባህሬይ የተባሉ የአማራ ብሄር ተወላጅ የጋላ ታሪክ ብለው በሲዳሞና ከፋ ዉስጥ በመዘዋዋር ስላ ኦሮሞ በፃፉት መጽሃፍ በጥላቻ የተሞሉና ትክክል ያል ሆኑ ታሪኮችን ለማሳተም በቅተዋል። ክራፍ በ 1842 ፥ ፍት በ1913 በክልሉ በመዘዋወር ኦሮሞ በምስራቅ አፍርካ ከሁሉም የላቀ ስፍት ያለዉ ሀገር ባለቤት መሆኑን አረጋግጠዋል ።

ከ1850 በፊት ዲ. አባደ ቤክ፥ እስንባርገር ኢንዲሁም ክራፍ የተባሉ አዉሮፓዊያን ዘጎች የኦሮሞን ሕዝብ ፖለቲካዊ ፥ ባህላዊና ማህበራዊ አኗኗር ሥራዓት በማጥናት ለዉጭዉ ዓለም አስተዋዉቀወል። ከዚያም ወዲህ በተለይ ከ 18ኛው መቶ ክፍለ ዘመንና በኋላም ኦሮሚያ በአፄ ምንልክ ተወርራ የኢኮኖሚና የፖለቲካ ሥራዓቷን ከመነጠቋ በፊት ሲቺ የተባለ ኢጣሊያዊ እንዲሁም በሬሊ ; እና ሶሌይሌት የተባሉ የፈረንሳይ ዜጎች በኦሮሚያ ህዝብ ፖለቲኮ-ባህላዊ; ኢኮኖሚያዊና ማህበራዊ ታሪኮች ላይ ያተኮሩ ሥራዎችን አዘጋጅተዉ ለአንባቢያን አቅርበዋል።

ታሪካዊ ጥናቶች አንደሚያረጋግጡት ኦሮሞና ኢትዮጵያ ከ16ኛዉ እስከ 19ኛው መቶ ክፍለ ዘመን አንዱም ሌላዉን አሸንፎ በ ቁጥጥሩ ሥር ሳያደርግ ጎን ለጎን ሆነው ሲዋጉ መቆየታቸው ሆሎኮምብ እና ሲሳይ ኢብሳ በ 1900፥ ፕሮ. መሐመድ ሐሰን በ 1990፥ ፕሮ. አሰፋ ጃላታ በ 1990፥ መሐመድ አሊ በ 1989፥ ሌቪን በ 1965 ፥ ገዳ መልባ በ 1978… ሥራዎቻቸዉ ዉስጥ በስፋት አቅርበዋል። እንዲሁም ጄስማን የተባሉ ጸሐፊ ከ50 ዓመታት በፊት ባሳተሙት መጽሓፍ ከአፄ ምንልክ የደቡብ ወረራ በፊት የነበረችዉ ኢትዮጵያ በሰሜን ከፍታዎች አካባቢ መሆኑን ከመግለጻቸዉም በላይ ማአከሏም በሰሜን ትግራይ ፥ በጌምድር ፥ ላስታና ወሎ ፥ በመሃል ጉራጌ ፥ በ ደቡብ ሸዋ ነው ያሉት ከላይ የተጠቀሱ ምሁራን ያ ቀረቡኣቸዉን ቁም ነገሮች በተጨባጭ መልክኣ ምድራዊ ገጽታ የሚያረጋግጥ ሆኗል።

ጥንታዊቷ አበሲኒያ ቀደም ብሎ በተጠቀሱት ክልሎች ላይ ብቻ የተወሰንች ለመሆኗ አፄ ቴዎድሮስ ኢየሩሳሌም ሳሙኤል ጎባ ለተባሉ የእንግሊዝ ጳጳስ በጻፉት ድብዳቤ ውስጥ ከጠቀሱትም ቁም ነገር መገንዘብ ይቻላል። እችሳቸውም:-

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https://www.facebook.com/notes/abdi-muleta/the-story-of-irreechaa/257191284319586

Ateetee:The divinity for motherhood and fecundity in Oromo mythology December 18, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient African Direct Democracy, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Culture, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Meroetic Oromo, Nubia, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Sirna Gadaa, State of Oromia, The Goddess of Fecundity, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library.
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O

 

 

 

Yaa Maaraam furootu gahee

Waliin nu Gahee

Emmoo yaa obbolee emmoo

 

 

 

Maaram is believed to be the divinity of women. Maaram was created by Waaqa and
addressed as haadha boor (the mother of ocean). I think this is to indicate that Maaram
came to the Oromo from outside. The Oromo believe that Mooram is the mother of a
child. The Oromo women perform traditional ceremonies in respect of Maaram. It is
believed that Maaram will help barren women to beget a child, and help pregnant
women to give birth to a child. When a woman gives birth to a child Oromo women will
gather and ululate (say ilili ilili). They also prepare porridge, and splash butter. It is
normal for the Oromo to sacrifice an animal during this ceremony. Moreover, Maaram
is worshipped for the health of the environment, animals, human beings and crops.
The Oromo Qoolluu leaders pray to Maaram every two weeks for the continuation of
offspring of humans. Maaram has her own ritual house. Ritual goods include Jaaloo
(earthen caldron), and Qoloo (traditional shirt). It has also madabii (raised platform of
Earth). The dancing ceremony is performed on Tuesdays, Thursdays,. and Saturdays.

Some writers have explained the nature of Ateetee and Maaram. Knutsson states that the  names Ateetee and Maaram are used interchangeably for the same kind of being (Kmitsson 1967,55). Daniel states that  the various songs of Ateetee imply that “[a]teete is a ceremony prepared for Ayyolee, Maaram and Waaqa as thanksgiving by those who have children and a lamentation by the barren women” (Daniel 1984, 111). Bartels, however, questioned this assertion. To the Oromo of Western Matcha, Ateetee is the name of the ritual in which Maaram is invoked (Bartels 1983). Baxter (1979) had similar observation concerning the belief of the Arsi Oromo. For Cerulli, Ateetee is conceived as the goddess of fecundity (Cerulli 1922,127; Harris 1968,50).

– http://www.ossrea.net/publications/images/stories/ossrea/ssrr-19-p-3.pdf

In the traditional Oromo society, women played distinct roles through an institution called the Siiqqee (a symbolic decorated stick given to all women by their mothers upon marriage). This is an exclusively women’s solidarity institution sanctioned by tradition and respected by society. It is a sort of sorority that provides women with channels to participate in village councils, and a cultural vehicle to mobilize en masse against violence and abuse. Infringement of certain rights that women enjoy is regarded as an attack on human rights. In the event of violation of their rights, women take out the Siiqqee and mobilize to fight for the respect of rights, and for any perpetrator of abuse to be tried by society. The use of Siiqqee draws an enormous religious, ritual and moral authority and in the pursuit of peace and social tranquility. According to tradition peace is not merely the absence of war, but a constant state of unity and cooperation among the people as well as harmony with God and nature, with the power to bless or curse. Historically, women as a sector of society were designated as strangers and excluded from the Gadaa structures and rituals, but, they stuck together through the Siiqqee counting on one another within this common sorority. –http://oromowomensinternationalconferenceonline.com/general-information.html

http://http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/interesting-messages-obtained-from-facebook/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/interesting-messages-obtained-from-facebook/

http://portal.svt.ntnu.no/sites/ices16/Proceedings/Volume%203/Marit%20Tolo%20%C3%98steb%C3%B8%20-%20Wayyuu%20%E2%80%93%20Women%E2%80%99s%20Respect%20and%20Rights.pdf

http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=gCxLwdmLNMIC&pg=PA177&lpg=PA177&dq=siiqqee+Oromo+institution&source=bl&ots=TFj2Y7vo_G&sig=IrqVfrNe8PKIgo2ZCTkL0DtVtJE&hl=en&sa=X&ei=TxSwU8DwBYiK1AWaoYH4BQ&ved=0CCYQ6AEwATgK#v=onepage&q=siiqqee%20Oromo%20institution&f=false

http://www.academia.edu/4604793/Qaallu_Institution_A_theme_in_the_ancient_rock-paintings_of_Hararqee-implications_for_social_semiosis_and_history_of_Ethiopia

http://www.slideshare.net/chalihundu/oromo-peoplehood-historical-and-cultural-overview

http://trace.tennessee.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1080&context=utk_socopubs

http://zelalemkibret.files.wordpress.com/2013/07/jos-volume-4-numbers-12-1997.pdf

Weedduu Maaram / Weedduu Ateetee

(Translation: Zelelaem Aberra Tesfa)

http://www.zelealemaberra.com/?page_id=388

 

In Oromo mythology, the divinity for motherhood and fecundity is Ateetee or Maaram. Maaram or Ateetee is invoked and praised on birth-rituals. In addition, women prepare a feast and invoke Her, praise Her kindness so that they could be fertile, healthy, prosperous, and happy (Bartles, 1990,124; Cerulli 1917, 127, Tilahun Gamta, 2004,101)

Atoomaa hardhoo Maarami!
Maa mukoofna yee!

Yaa Maaram yaa Maaramii,
Wallaalaaf araarami.
Yaa Maaram, yaa kuullee koo,
Kottu taa’i fuullee koo.

Ciniinsuu afaa butuu
Miixuu dagalee butuu
Da’anii mucaa butuu
Iddoo ciniinsuu kee tii
Guddeen kun kan kee ti.

Yaa deessuu waalluu kobe,
Maaramtu boroo gonfe,
Dhirsatu balbalaa kolfe.
Yaa dhabduu waalluu moojoo
Dhirsatu aaree guungume,
Maaramtu boroo sokkee.

Utuun Balasiin ta’e,
Balas Boongaa ta’e,
Dhabaadhaaf mirgan kenna;
ittiin haa doorsifatu.
Utuun Maaramiin ta’e,
Maaram giiftii ta’e,
Dhabduudhaaf ilman kenna,
Dhirsa haadoorsifattu.

Yaa Maaram, yaa Maaramee
Dhabduudhaaf araarami mee.
Yaa Maaram godeettii koo
Yaa dhiiga toleettii koo
Yaa Maaram marmaartuu koo
Yaa hiika gargaartuu koo.
Aayyoleen walii lama
Tokkoo ishee carii gamaa
Tokko ishee asii kana.

Akka abbaa fardaa beeka
Irraangadee kaachisa
Akka abbaa warraa beeka
Niiti deessuu caalchisa
Gaangoo jedhee na cabsee
Gindoo saa nabaachisa
Yaa maaram hundaaf giiftii
Rakkoo kiyya naaf hiiki
Yookaan ilmaa naa kennii,
Beekaattan moggaafadha
Yookaan durba naa kennii
Beektuuttin moggaafadha
Yookaan dua naa kennii
Waayeekoon obbaafadhaa.

Get-together, for today is Maaram
Let us rejoice, throw away the boredom!

O Maaram, O dear Maaram,
Reconcile, with us who lack wisdom.
Maaram with beautiful eyes, O Maaram,
Have a sit, in front of me, please come!

When in pain, the mattress one clutches
When in labour, the wall one clutches
After delivery, a baby one snatches!
In return for your labour pain
Here, the little one is your gain.

O prolific woman, your clothes smell bad,
But Maaram has adorned your backyard,
The husband laughs from the front yard.
O sterile woman, with beautiful dress
Your husband furiously grumbles,
For your backyard, Maaram avoids.

If I were Balas,
That Balas of Boongaa,
To a bad-shooter his trophies I give;
So he could boast about it with relief.
If I were Maaram,
Our great lady Maaram,
A son I would give to the sterile woman,
So she could intimidate her man.

O Maaram, my dear Maaram
Be merciful to the childless.
O Maaram, with beauty and grace
You have revered blood in your face
O Maaram, you are my commuter [between me and God]
My parturifacient mother.
Two kinds of mothers are there
One is far across the river [The biological one]
The other one is the one here. [Maaram]

I know a rider’s thought and will
He gallops down the hill
I know a husband’s thought
He loves the prolific wife the most;
He equates me to a mule, dry and bare
and makes me carry his ploughshare.
O Maaram every women’s’ queen
Resolve this problem for me
Either grant me a baby boy
I call him “he the wise”
Either grant me a baby girl
I call her “she the wise”
Or either give me death
So I could get done with my worries.

 

The following stanza is taken from a birth song:

Odoshaa gofaa ka’u
Sareen agartee laata?
Agartee nyaattee laata?
Dhabduu ishee mucaaf boossu,
Yeelalaa fayyaaf boowu,
Adeemsa mirgaa boowuu
Maareen agartee laata?
Agartee laattee laata?

Ililleen Waaqa akka
Ililcheen Waaqiin kadha;
Gabaa shaqaxxuu faaqi
Anoo sagadduu Waaqi!

Loome qoraan karaa
Yomiree wal agarraa?
Bor guyyaa afaan waaree
Loonee wal agarra.

Garbuu kaballaa tokko
Manteessuun akaawwatte
Kan maseente ittiin horte
Kan deesse lakkaawwatte.

Deessuun akka naan jette
Mucaa koo hinargin jette
Diinqa koo hindarbin jette.
Maali yoon diinqa shee darbee?
Maali yoon mucaa shees argee?
Mucaa sheef argaan laadha
Garaa koof marqaan nyaadha
Jabbisheetu gola miti
Mucasaheen dhora miti.

Yaa dhabduu anaa nyaatu
Ulfooftee gumaa hin nyaannee
Deesse gumaata hindhugne.
Dhagaa kakatta guutuu
Rarra’etu wal baachise
Dhabduun dawuu hinjibbine
Maaramtu wal caalchise

Yaa deessuu waalluu qobe
Ayyaanni boroo gonfe.
Yaa dhabduu waalluu moojoo
Ayyaanni boroo sokke.

Yaa dhabduu masoo dhirsa
Dhirsatu dhaanu hawwee.
Yaa saree eegee dabbasaa
Kan quufee Waaqiin darbata
Kan Maaram namaa gootu
Haati ofii namaa hingootu.
Sibiila mutaa gootee
Kan djiiga mucaa gootee.

Baddaan qullubbii hinqabu
Muree laga dhaabbata
Kan kee dhukkubbii hinqabu
Turtee nama yaadattaa.
Araarfanne yaa maaram
Sirraa deenyee.
Gadi jedheen xaafii haamaa
Ol jedheen Waaqiin waama

An old horse’s rise from the stable,
I wonder if dogs have seen it and been able?
To have eaten it, and then did settle?
Cry of a baby-longing childles
Lament of a health-longing patient
A trophy-longing hunter’s plight
I wonder if Maaree have seen?
If She has seen and granted!

Ululation for Waaqa is a must
I ululate and beseech Waaqa;
Market of the taxing tanner
I am Waaqa’s earnest prayer!

The Loomee firewood of the street
When do you think we could meet?
Tomorrow, around mid-day
We will meet slipping away.

A handful of barley
That a widow parched and eat
the sterile prospered with it
the prolific counted it. [To equally divide.]

You know what the prolific said?
“Do not see my baby.” she said
“Do not enter my inner-room” she said.
What if I enter her inner-room?
What if I see her baby?
To her baby, I give a gift
To my stomach, porridge I eat.
No calf is kept in her inner-room,
She thinks I pine her child, I presume.

What a pity for the sterile lady
She could not get pregnant and eat a hunk of meat
She could not deliver and have showers of gift.
Abundance of rock and escarpment
Is hanging and piling up
The sterile did not hate giving birth
It is Maaram that un equalizes.

The prolific with smelly skirt
Her backyard is full of spirit.
But, the childless in a pretty skirt
Her backyard is devoid of spirit.

The sterile, the husband’s name-sake
The husband wishes to punish her.
O dog with a hairy tail
The over-fed hurls at Waaqa
The favour Maaram does for one
One’s own mother would not do.
She turned iron to needles
She turned blood to a baby that toddles.

The high land does not have onion
They cut and plant in the valley;
Your delay is not offensive
for you compensate gradually.
Reconciliation with you, O Maaram
You gave us deliverance.
I bow down and harvest xaafi [food plant]
I rise up and invoke Waaqi

Iyya Siiqqee

Hoga iyya Siiqqee

Ilmaan hidda Horoo,

Guchuma baattee siida Ateetee
Siiqqeen iyyite seenaaf godaante

Safuuf nagaa waaqa tokkichaan dursa
Na ofkolchaa iyya Siiqqeefan tumsaa
Godaana siiqqeefan imimman robsa!

Safuu! Hoga iyya Siiqqeef
kan mandiisu akka bakakkaa
Safuu! Godaana faana Siiqqeef
Seenaa hin duune, kan hin qabne fakkii fi akka!

Uggum! Hoga iyya Siiqqeef
Iyya eenyummaa – diroon fufe gumaaf birmatu
Uggum! Godaana faana Siiqqeef
Adeemsa seenaa – qaraan-qara hin dhaabbatu

Hoo dhommoqxes Siiqqeen hin cabdu
Harooressa hin haanxoftu – gogdee hin baddu

Ni latti akka coqorsaa – jilbeeffattee dhukaan riqxee
Ni lalisti akka saardoo – margee leensa diroon cobxee
Ni daraarti akka keelloo – kuusaa aadaan booka naqxee

Sarara ulumaa Siiqqeen hareeroo
Hormata eenyummaa seenaa iyya Horoo
Duudhaa ganamaa irkoo fi utubaa boroo
Jandoo baaxii galma suuqa sororoo
Siiqqeen hin baddu dagaleen Gadaa
Kanaaf iyyatti – qabattee guchuuma aadaa!

Kan Waaqni mildhate Ayyaantuun eebbaa
Eenyummaaf birmadhu jamaan kaabaa fi kibbaa
Hoga dabarsaa, bahaa fi lixaa seenaa utubaa
Seenaa iyya Siiqqeef goonni dhiiga roobaa!

Kuusaa Oromummaa fi Hooda Ayyaantuu
Bir’uu eenyummaaf Siiqqeef birmatu!
Gadaan quufaa fi gabbina
Gabbisi ya Waaq, keenniif humna!

Humna Siiqqee kan hin cabne
Humna Gadaa kan hin dabne
Humna Oromummaa kan hin banne
Dilbii- Kuusaa kan hin dhumne
Seenaa boonsaa eenyummaa abdanne!

Gadaan gabbina Siiqqeen hareeroo
Gabbisi yaa waaq nurraa cabsi roorroo!

http://waaqeffannaa.org/iyya-siiqqee/

 

Oromo and Greek based Democracies

By Ibsaa Guutama

This article is for those who did not have the opportunity to know how democracy evolved in human society. Democracy is only one type of government supposedly based on the will of the masses. There had been other types of government like monarchy or aristocracy, dictatorship or autocracy and totalitarian. One can find overlapping characters in all these. So what ever form we may talk about we have to expect element of one in the other. For much, democracy is an ideal type of government but not all proclaimed democracies are fully pro-people. Here the writer is trying to introduce the essence of both Western and Oromo democracy in an easy way.  For those who are well versed in theory and practice of democracy this is an opportunity to enrich this work for the benefit of the youth. In particular the young generation that is showing pride in its historic past from oral tradition if armed with the facts may show more interest and start to inquire about it. To prepare the following information in addition to oral tradition and experience this writer was exposed to, the books: Gadaa and Oromo Demokrasii by Asmirom Laggasaa, The Oromo by De Salviac as translated by  Qannoon, Folk Litrature by Ceruuli, Aadaa Booranaa by Ton Leus, Ethiopia through Russian Eyes by Bulatovich and Wikiipedia from internet  were refered to.

Short note on Western Democracy 
Democracy is a term frequently heard from lips of everyone to express equality, justice and liberty in one word. There are no governments that do not claim to follow democratic principles in their governance. Even totalitarian states call themselves “democratic republics” (probably with exception of fascism) in spite of flagrant violation of their subjects’ rights. Just like true democrats they talk about the inviolability of people’s and human rights and respect for the rule of law and fair and free election.  They claim that it is to protect these rights on behalf of the masses when they take what are inhuman actions for others. Their founding documents are full of borrowed phrases from ideal democracies. Democratic governmental structures are adopted minus their functions from different countries.

Democratic models many emulate are American governmental structure with its system of separation of powers. The functions of legislature, executive and judiciary are separated into three branches in such a way that one can check on excesses of the other to maintain the balance of power. The executive or President and the legislative or members of Congress are elected directly by the people. Members of the Supreme Court are nominated by the president and endorsed by the legislature for life. The other models are Parliamentary Democracy where the executive is elected by the legislature. Those can be its members or non elected persons that are answerable to it. Britain and European governments fall under this. They have mainly different styles of organization. Still others are traditional rulers blended with modern jargons.

All these claim their objective to be safeguarding peoples’ democratic interests. The term democracy is a legacy of ancient Greek city state, Athens. It is derived from Greek demokratia which means government of the people (“demos”, people, and “kratos”, power).  In this aspect “people” for Athens includes only male citizens above 20 years of age. That does not include women, children under 20, those not born in the city state and slaves.

In the city state all those qualified had the right to be present at meetings and participate in deliberations directly. That is why it is now referred to as direct democracy. After many modifications it has reached the present level of modern Western democracy. Here people elect representatives that participate in deliberations on its behalf. The two methods of electing representatives are plurality and proportional voting systems. In the first one with the highest vote is elected even if one represents minority of voters. The second shares votes in proportion of the votes parties got in overall election. Those are the features of modern indirect democracy. In both not all electorates are represented.

Now in most cases men and women above certain age have the right to vote depending on the law of each democratic country. The right to vote for women was achieved, for example, for Switzerland in 1971 on federal level and 1990 at Canton levels. It took a long time and a relentless struggle to attain universal suffrage. Though all accept these basics of democracy the structure and function of elected offices are not yet standardized and methods of elections fall short of including every voter’s voices. For example if hundred people vote for three persons and two of them got thirty votes each and the third one gets forty he/she wins the whole thing. That leaves 60 persons unrepresented. Proportional representation may improve this but cannot totally correct it. Here seats are divided in proportion to votes parties got overall.

For African countries democracy was imposed on them by departing colonial masters that keep on insisting to this day not to abandon it even if it was a fake one. Africans did not participate to construct a government relevant to their culture and tradition. Even those who later wanted to introduce amendments tried to mix the various world systems instead of looking into their own history and tradition and make it reflect national personality or psyche.  As copy and eclectic as it is, it is understood only by elites who themselves are copies of colonial culture.

They rule the way they wanted, constitutions are only window dressings. On the other hand the West had modified the concept of democracy in such a way that it fits their particular national needs not as it was practiced by Athenians or any other pioneer democracies. Therefore there is no one common blueprint for it.

Had it not excluded a segment of the population Athenian democracy could have been an ideal one where the concern of every member is taken care of. Much has been tried to approximate that but the world did not yet achieve flawless democracy. Abraham Lincoln’s famous Gettysburg Address “Government of the people, by the people for the people shall not perish from the earth.” reflects that aspiration. The question to be answered is who are the people that influence decisions, are they really the people or oligarchs?  Though the ideal is not yet achieved there are those that had come nearer and worth emulating. Had Oromo democracy been able to answer that question?

Be as it may there are certain basics that underlie every governance of those that claim to be democratic. Principles like equality, freedom, fair and free election; rule of law and respect for people’s and individual rights run through all of them. Even dictators and totalitarian government claim to apply these principles in their own way.   Thus these are universally accepted principles of governance though malpractice is rampant in so many countries. Ethiopian rulers had tried to adopt constitutionalism under pressure against their established tradition.  The emperor had instituted a semblance of Westminster parliament without political parties. His successor (Darg) had one party state. The next (Wayyaanee) is a pseudo multiparty system but only its party is destined to win.

Be him the last emperor or the two dictators after him used democratic phraseology to cover up their core authoritarian values. Their inherited autocratic practices could not go away. The Habashaa in most part of their own history were ruled by forces that come through coup d’états violently or outlaws overthrowing the preceding government. That was so before they formed the empire and remained so even after it.  All the three came to power overthrowing their predecessors. The first two staged coup d’états the third was an outlaw.

It was not consensus but brut force that kept that highland kingdom together under one crown. Democracy assumes one man one vote in a fair and free election that should be carried out periodically. Democracy is the rule of majority. Who ever gets most of the votes comes to power. In numbers they are the minority in the empire and are scared of others outnumbering them at the ballot box. They have no confidence of winning an election by strength of their platform and performance. Therefore they believe that many opportunities would be at stake if they really change from the old ways bowing down for democratic principles. The situation makes the rulers greedy, self centered, chauvinistic and paranoid that they believe only in their own ways and wisdom and are not permeable to new possibilities.  They do not believe that even their own people would elect them in a democratic election.  That is why human right abuse became their trade mark.

Brief note on Gadaa Democracy 
When one discusses Gadaa it would be preposterous to claim understanding its depth and breadth. It was a highly complicated and sophisticated societal system to be attributed only to few generations. That it has a background of ancient civilizations can be deduced from organization of society, its legal system and patterns of knowledge it emanates. For this reason what this article presents is only a simplistic superficial aspect of it, which yet could give a clue to its democratic legacy. Leaving aside procedures, rituals and the regalia what interests us here is the legal and democratic principles enshrined in it. To discover the truth of it much effort is needed from nationals that so far considered it to be just one among the age grade initiation systems found in so many societies. They have to erase all they learned about the Oromo in colonial schools and start unraveling the truth about this so far neglected great African nation.

Gadaa was an all encompassing national system where by every male of all ages had roles to play in groups based on peerage.  Accordinglly all institutions in society were managed by elected bodies that decide in counsel. Though all activities in general fall under the Gadaa system, it was more visible in its political aspect.  Major divisions to be considered are the temporal and the spiritual institutions and within the temporal one the social and the political functions.  Gadaa is temporal while Qaalluu is spiritual. It is said that the Qaalluu office used to assist in Gadaa operations like elections. But sovereignty is vested in Gadaa Assembly. Therefore Qaalluu as an institution does not interfere in running political affairs of the country.  That means Gadaa was secular. Here we are more interested in Gadaa secular democracy. The social and political aspect of the spiritual institution may worth following for its historical and academic significance.  There are several Oromoo that follow traditional religion to this day.

Gadaa was practiced by the Oromo people from time immemorial. In social aspect male members of society are grouped into age grade “hiriyaa” (peer) system. To simplify, these were Dabbalee from 1-8 years, Foollee or Gaammee 9-24 and Qondaala or Kuusaa 25-33, Raaba didiqqaa 30-38, Raaba Doorii, 38-46 Luba 46-54 and Yuba 55-78 and gadamoojjii or jaarsa above 78 (taken from different regions practice for convenience). Each member of a society had rites to pass through. At each grade there were roles to be played and training to go through.

Activity of a hiriyaa group starts from cradle to calf herding, to different hurdles of fitness that include military training to ruling and counseling the country. It is from these hiriyaa groups that members of national leadership evolve and gradually become Luba, members of the Gadaa ruling group. These leaders in most cases had been leaders of hiriyaa group from the beginning. Women, non naturalized aliens (kan luba hin bahin) and artisans were not included in Gadaa power sharing process.

One Gadaa period is eight years. At the end of that period there used to be great feast. That ceremonial feast was called “Buttaa”. Buttaa also served as measurement of time. To know someone’s age one asks “how many Buttaa did you eat?”  All those who were born during the eight years tell the same age, one, two, three etc.  Buttaa. From that a wise man could tell to which hiriyaa group or Gadaa party one belonged. Five buttaa are slain in one Gadaa cycle of forty years. Those born into each Gadaa are hiriyaa (peers) irrespective of up to eight years possible differences. A boy born at the beginning of the eight years and one born on Buttaa day after eight years are considered to have eaten one Buttaa.

On the political side society is divided into Gadaa of five parties. Members in each Gadaa party were recruited from their own generational age grades. Each Gadaa has a role to play in the political life of the nation depending on the time and level in the Gadaa tier. The oldest group is the Yuba. It is composed of person whose members were in power in previous times. Next is Luba, the ruling party. Below that is the Itmakoo or Raba Doorii (these may have other names with different tribes) juniors that lead in defense and nation building. The next group follows the foot steps of their seniors and engages in different aspects of society appropriate for their ages. Each hiriyaa group maintains close relationship and prepare themselves for the next stage of partisan responsibility. They all elect their leaders. Those at the bottom of the ladder are the dabbalee to whose raising society gives much attention. It is there that the basis of Oromummaa is laid down and hunting for generational leaders start.

At any one period there are three Gadaa levels that engage is serious party work and has conventions or yaa’a. The bottom one is Raabaa Doorii a group that is preparing to take power after eight years (from), the middle one is the Gadaa in power Luba and the last one is the one that leaves office, Yuba. Each Gadaa comes to power after a cycle of forty years. Since there is a party in waiting to replace the other no party can stay in power for more than eight years. No crisis can be obstacle to transfer Baallii for there is a ready made leadership. To transfer Baallii means to transfer authority. As symbol of authority the old Abbaa Gada hands over to the incoming ostrich feather that was in his custody. Each Gadaa proclaims its own constitution and laws. Therefore there is no stagnation in waiting for cumbersome methods of amendments. Even if there is no article to be changed the past law is formally made null and void and proclaimed again as new. The five Gadaa had set names or are called after their leaders.

The highest Assembly of the nation is Caffee or Gumii. The Caffee sits under shade of an Odaa tree. The General Assembly includes all members of the ruling party and any such persons that want to attend it. In this way it is a representative indirect democracy with some elements of direct democracy. Living Abbaa Gadaas and the Yuba can also participate in the assembly. Abbaa Gadaa or Abbaa Bokkuu is the head of the Caffee and the chief executive as well. There is a case where their were two heads of Caffee, one ritual head called Abbaa Bokkuu and another elected head, Abbaa Gadaa. The Luba usually consults “raagaa” wise man or philosopher on the future or consequences of certain decisions. But the raagaa has no power to avert a decision.

In addition to mentioned institutions there are several others that should not escape our attention. For example the institution of clan elders which are hereditary have no place in the Gadaa structure but has important role in organizing and guiding the tribe. Members of Gadaa were recruited (nominated) from tribes they lead. They have ritual symbols and roles to play in cursing and blessing. When Gadaa is the national leadership these ones are tribal ones. It was from among these ones that the colonizers embraced and recruited as agents for all their grassroots activities. In tribal protocol the eldest of the clans is called or seated first. Since tribal structures have already been rendered obsolete it has no nationwide political relevance in modern setting. There is also the Siiqqee institution that gives women social and political authority to some degree. In principle this can be integrated into any modern adaptations.

For the Oromo rights like equality, freedom, fair and free election; rule of law and respect for people’s and individual rights, respect and protection for environment and wild life are inbuilt qualities of Gadaa democracy. All human beings are equal; no one is above the law; discrimination because of origin, color or economic status etc is unjust. Respect for human rights, freedom of expression that are not safuu or morally repulsive, freedom of movement and association are protected by law. Elected officials are loved and respected as long as they serve the people whole heartedly and with the highest morale standard.  An incompetent and corrupt official can be removed from office by the assembly before the expiry of his term of office. In meetings it was preferred if decisions were reached by consensus. Each member of a meeting or assembly has the right of veto to halt a discussion. Once decisions were reached all are required to acclaim and the law becomes sacred.
Gadaa Assembly combines executive, legislative and judiciary powers. Gadaa here is to mean the ruling class as well as the eight years of their rule. Leaders of current Gadaa are called Luba. The outgoing Gadaa which participates as advisors and judges are called Yuba. The Yuba group includes two previous Yuba. Though all powers and responsibility lie with the Luba, Yuba and all living Abbaa Gadaas had also roles to play in matters of law and checking on excesses of Luba and had great influence on all political matters. Full retirement comes three Gadaa after they leave office. From thence they are called gadamoojjii or jarsaa. Another hiriyaa group that is active during a Gadaa period is the Itmakoo or Raaba Doorii with defense as their major activity with their eye on the bokkuu when the time comes.

In Oromo society there was a tendency of the weak to form alliance against the strong. For example grandparents and grandchildren ally against parents. In the same way it is logical for Raabaa Doorii to ally against the strongest institution of the land, Luba. In that way power of Luba can be checked before it gets corrupted and become abusive.

The chief Luba is the Abbaa Bokkuu or Abbaa Gadaa (Hayyuu Fiixee). In places he has two deputies one having greater power than the other. The executive power is held by Salgee, the top nine Luba or six in some places. Those were elites elected by the people for eight years with Abbaa Gadaa as their leader. Committees were usually formed at different levels for different functions. Prerogatives of decision making at each level is known. There will always be consultation before decisions are taken. They were it is believed, those frequent meetings to make seera (law, legislation) that gave rise to Amaara legal term “seeraa” to mean conspiracy.

Abbaa Bokkuu implements what is decided by Salgee. Abbaa Bokkuu’s role as a chief is defined by law. Thus he has internal constraint imposed on him by peers and external ones by Yuba and Raaba Doorii and Caffee periodic assembly that is chaired by Abbaa Seera who is a well respected past Abbaa Gadaa.  The limitation of office term of only eight years for a party is by it self a reason not to get corrupted lest face humiliation with no chance of reelection. Thus Gadaa democratic system was a well balanced system with inbuilt checks and balance mechanism. The Abbaa Gadaa and Luba had assistances called makala (Makkala). Makala kan be compulsory service to Gadaa offices.

Military functions are assigned to Raaba Doorii by law and tradition. But Abbaa Gadaa was commander in chief and only Caffee can declare war. Commanders are appointed by Abbaa Gadaa for each engagement. After a campaign is over the person went back to his normal duties.

But lack of efficient communication and contingent law enforcement mechanism had given rise for Abbaa Duulaas to defy tradition starting in the course of the 16th century.

Some cardinal points of Gadaa system

  1. Gadaa is equal: There should be no one to be denied passing through Gadaa process, elect and be elected when ones turn comes. There should not be partiality or discrimination in services and protections Gadaa provides. Every member has the right to directly or through elected representative be heard in all affairs that affect people’s life; to be equally treated in matters of administration of justice. No one is above the law. No one may be prohibited to attend Gadaa deliberations.
  2. Odaa is equal: Odaa is a national symbol for people’s government, demokratia. It represents freedom of speech and expression, freedom of assembly, equality of all participants that meet there, freedom of worship, peace and araaraa (reconciliation) and liberty to rest for persons and animals under its shade without worry of being disturbed.
  3. Malkaa is equal: Ford or river crossing (confluence) is open to all for crossing; perform rituals; using water for drinking, washing etc for humans and animals. No one for any one reason can bar any one from using it. Malkaa is a symbol of transiting from status quo to something new.
  4. Market is equal: every one has equal rights to take ones produce to the market and exchange with goods and services that it provides. Every one is free to participate in such exchanges and any trade of ones liking that the market provides
  5. Road is equal: every one is entitled to the right of way; no one can be denied an access from his home to outer world or restricted from using of existing roads like all others; there will not be restriction to the right of travel; no one has the right to close an existing road for own use.

Is there any point that modern society discard from these? So far we have tried simplistic approach to uncover old Gadaa practice. Gadaa was more inclusive in its membership than Greek City state democracy. It involves every member of society to equally participate in all activity of the nation according to generations. All male nationals are grouped into generational hiriyaa and play roles society assigned for them. For this reason the Gadaa system involves all in the process of managing a society. Each division stays in the age grade for eight years before it is initiated into the next level. Probably except kids under nine all elect their leaders through electoral process. Gadaa was a representative democracy with some elements of direct democracy. Anyone that can travel to Caffee Assembly can participate in its deliberations and express ones opinion. That gives it semblance of direct democracy. Gadaa was practiced when Qaalluu institution had significant role in Oromo society and the nation was at a different level of economic and technological development than the present. Taking these variations into account let us see if there are principles that we could salvage for new democratic Oromiyaa.

  1. Societal development takes place on two lines. One is the social age grade system and the other is the party system. One follows the gradual mental and physical development of a child, while the other handles its political development. At stage of adult hood both overlap. In the political aspect society is grouped into five hiriyaa category and a party name is attached to them. Each party takes turn in governing every eight years. A party has to wait for forty years to reign again. All five parties exist at the same time with different roles to play.
  2. In Gadaa executive and legislative functions are combined. Bokkuu and Caffee (Gumii) are the highest authority of the land. Sovereignty lies with the people but expressed through Caffee and Bokkuu.
  3. Decisions are reached by consensus how ever long it may take. That means minority opinion is never neglected.
  4. Abbaa Bokkuu is the commander in chief of the fighting force. Caffee is the only power that can declare war. People love and respect the leaders because of their valor and uprightness not out of fear and threat.
  5. Yuba is the highest advisory body and also heads the supreme court of the land. Its head is the most respected among the living retired Abbaa Gadaas and usually taken as the Supreme Judge (Chief Justice).
  6. Itmakoo/Raaba Doorii is a power in waiting to replace the incumbent Luba. It is responsible for recruiting, training military personnel and conducting war.
  7. Qaalluu is the spiritual leader with some functions concerning elections but never interferes in secular affairs of the Gadaa. Gadaa was a temporal institution.
  8. Women were recognized as subjects of rights through Siiqqee institution. There were also rituals that cannot be performed without them. But full equality was not guaranteed.
  9. The top Gadaa counselors were nine ( Salgee) or Six
  10. The Luba are assisted by unelected official called makala (Aide de camp)
  11. Each Gadaa general assembly convenes at the beginning of its term to declare laws. Then it will assemble in its mid term to make progress report. Then members can be criticized, condemned or uprooted for wrong doings if any. That means electors had the right to recall their representatives for corruptions and abuses. Caffee meetings are open for citizens that can attend.
  12. Raagaa is a wise usually old man or philosopher that can advise on the future
  13. Hayyuu were notables (elites) that can give decisions and counseling on several issues. They were knowledgeable members of the society without any flaw in character.

To summarize, the people are sovereign; representative system mixed with direct democracy were practiced; rulers were elected for a limited term of only eight years; citizens had the right to elect and be elected according to their ages; no one was above the law; people can recall their representative; humans, animals and nature are protected by law; the welfare of children was concern of all members of society; their was majority rule but by making decision by consensus minority views were protected; all human being were equal, ill treatment was abhorred; right to assemble and freedom of expression were protected; right to engage in any trade was protected; right to travel were granted; right to worship was recognized and discrimination based on race, age, gender and economic status are forbidden. There was inbuilt check and balance system in the political process but not so spelled out.

Now, that we have seen a brief introduction to western and ancient Oromo Gadaa democracy, let us try if we can come out with a fitting system for reorganizing modern Oromiya. The system of dividing and managing society into generations is not different from modern world school systems. Children learn what is assigned them according to peerage, “preschool, kindergarten, primary, secondary, college”. This is not far from what they call “dabbalee, Foollee, Gaammee, Raaba etc.” Existing political parties recruit members from this school system. But the Oromo as different as they are, had something to add and their own outlook. Oromo see the system in interrelation with all other societal activities. To pass from one stage to the other are rights of all citizens not of particular classes.

Probably it would be essential to revise certain things and see how they may serve modern society better.  Instead of collectively saying Oromo youth association if one says association of Foollee, Gaammee, Raaba etc it will help to mobilize in unison generation that under stand each other better. It may also give better opportunity to develop future leadership for society. In the past stages in the Gadaa were seen from fathers’ point. For this reason the age at which one has to produce a child was determined. If one is born before that it was bad omen. Now all children should be treated equally and age has to be considered from childrens point. So, age should not be calculated by butta and father’s Gadaa grade, but the exact date of a child’s birth. All those excluded to participate in gadaa activities and elections must now be included to make true that all humanbeing are eqal. This is only the skeleton otherwise social functions require deeper research. During the period of Abbaa Gadaa there was only one Qaalluu, now they are numerous (in addition to those of other religions). In the past we go for pilgrimage only to Abbaa Muudaa now we crossed the sea and added Mecca and Jerusalem etc. After all, what do you think?  This is a big challenge for Oromoo intellectuals. It may require liberating ones mind from the shackles of foreign influences to appreciate what we had. Gadaa is never obsolete but may need refurbishing. Go and make research before responding.

Let us get prepared to be ourselves and show the world that Gadaa still dwells in our minds and body.  This will not be difficult for one who has pride in Oromummaa.

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!
Ibsaa Guutama
July  2011

http://gubirmans.com/Oromo%20and%20Greek%20based%20Democracies.html

…The presence of the aged, both men and women who attired in traditional costumes, and carrying ritual sticks—bokkuu and siiqqee—the symbols of power and justice of the gadaa system decorated the march which reflected the authentic Oromo tradition. This authenticity is articulated not only in the words spoken by the elders and sung by the artists but also expressed in the peacefulness of the gathering of millions of people. Oromo nationalism is reviving and thriving in the fertile soil of rich symbolic cultural resources that have come to the open since the 1990s. The array of national symbols such as the odaa tree which decorate the costumes worn by men, women and children, the siiqqee, the bokkuu and other pre-colonial pan-Oromo symbols carried by men and women at the festival represent and reinforce the pride of the nation and unite the multitude gathered for the festival through a common imagery of shared memories, myths and values—in other words the shared structures of feeling.

http://maddawalaabuupress.blogspot.co.uk/2012/11/oromo-freedom-from-what-and-for-what.html

 

Related Article:

Safuu, the Oromo moral value and doctrine

by Rundaasaa Asheetee Hundee 

is the principle of deep moral honor and accountability that was fostered by Waaqayyo fearing people of Oromia. “Yoon maqe, Waaqni na arga” is the principle rooted in each Oromo proven to be worthy of wholesomeness, to have virtue, and love other. These type of people have a desire to understand and live by traditional values.

Young Oromo children often spoke about the fundamental principle that telling the truth, respecting nature, being trustworthy, and standing for the right thing is natural to human beings. As an Oromo, we were taught these values and it made us women and men of such noble character.

Not only our characters were shaped by Safuu Oromo, even the process of Seera tumu (law making) was inspired by this principle and the Gadaa system was framed on the basis of Safuu. Basically then, Safuu is the principle of restoration of human dignity in a significant way. Because of Safuu, Birmadummaa and honesty is expected from each Oromo so that we all can live virtuous life of divine purposes.

When the Oromo people lived according to the Gadaa system, they dominated the horn of Africa and established their republic, and the Oromoo Foollee turned into statesmen and defended the norm of Gadaa governance. Because they believed in being honest, true, benevolent and virtuous in doing good to humanity, they demanded no money for their work and time. They worked on their farms but served their country as abbaa Seeraa, abbaa Alangaa, abbaa Caffee, abbaa Bokku and as Hadha sinqee etc..

Because of Safuu, the Oromos are inspired to respect nature and committed to deal justly with humankind! That’s why we are indebted to freedom-loving individuals everywhere who had the integrity necessary to build the foundations of human societies upon safuu’s fundamental moral values. Only in an atmosphere of freedom and trust could values like honesty and integrity truly flourish.

Safuu Oromo therefore is an expectation that people must rise above self-interest and act in the public interest with wisdom and courage both on the national and the local political scene.

One reason for the decline of Safuu in Oromia to day is that people invented new standards that constantly changes and undependable moral conduct. As a result, individuals define good and evil as being adjustable according to each situation but doing so is in direct contrast to the Safuu standard.

The vast majority of so called educated Oromos speak or think based on this mindset where right and wrong are calculated to either remain neutral or to be liked by others at the expenses of own value, the Safuu. In the process, our people lost their ancestral knowledge of what is right and what is wrong and went astray by longings for luxury and leisure that they think will be found in the western world style of living and thinking.

The devastation that comes from such fraudulent life style and self misrepresentation is immeasurable. It leads to a false belief that they can worship anything they want following the rules they set for themselves.

However, the continued survival of a free and open society is dependent upon a high degree of divinely inspired values and moral conduct (safuu), as stated by the Oromo Ayaantus. People must have trust in their institutions and in their leaders. Hence, a great need today is for leadership that exemplifies truth, honesty, and decency in both public and private life.

Honesty is not only the best policy, it is the only policy according to Safuu Oromo.
There are several things we can do to develop SAFUU.

Desire It (Fedhii Safuu horadhu)

Live honest life (hin Maqin)

Be Humble (Fayaalessa ta’i)

Study (Qu’adhu)

Search and ponder on ideas (Yaada xiinxali)
Love nature ( Umaa jaaladhu)

 

Read @ http://advocacy4oromia.org/home/safuu-the-oromo-moral-value-and-doctrine/

http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/safuu-the-oromo-moral-value-and-doctrine/

 

 

Professor Gudrun Dahl’s African Studies Association 2014 Talk in the Oromo Philosophy November 22, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Studies Association, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Literature, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Professor Gudrun Dahl, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Seera Yaayyaa Shananii, The Oromo Theory of Knowledge.
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Related articles:

 

http://www.diva-portal.org/smash/get/diva2:669200/FULLTEXT01.pdf

 

http://www.crvp.org/book/series02/master-ethiopia.pdf

Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis: Ancient Oromo History October 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Gadaa System, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Social System, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, State of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library.
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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2jGKvV1S5mo

 

The Meroitic Ethiopian Origins of the Modern Oromo Nation

By Prof. Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

First published in: http://www.americanchronicle.com/articl … leID=21760

Subsequently published in: Oromo Studies Association, 2005 Conference Proceedings, Washington D.C., 2005, 10p
Online mention: http://oromostudies.org/Proceedings/OSA.Proceeding.2005.pdf

The present text has been slightly edited.

This paper deals, among others, with the development of Meroitic studies, the Meroitic civilization, the destruction of the city of Meroe, the dispersal of the Meroitic people after the collapse of their state, the Christianization of the post Meroitic states in Ethiopia (i.e. Northern Sudan / it is to be reminded that the modern state of Abyssinia is fallaciously, illegally and criminally rebaptized ‘Ethioipia’), the migration of the remnants of the Meroitic people in the direction of the Blue Nile, and their possible relation of ancestry with the modern Cushitic language speaking Oromo nation. It must be stated clearly at the outset that the issue of Meroitic ancestry of the Oromo nation has not yet been considered, much less published in an academic journal or scholarly books. The paper was first presented in an academic conference organized by the Oromo Studies Association. Footnotes have been added in view of the aforementioned publication (see Pdf).

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

Interest in what was Ethiopia for the Ancient Greeks and Romans, i.e. the Northern territory of present day Sudan from Khartoum to the Egyptian border *1, led to the gradual development of the modern discipline of the Humanities that long stood in the shadow of Egyptology: the Meroitic Studies.

Considerable advances had been made in academic research and knowledge as the result of the exploratory trips of the Prussian pioneering Egyptologist Richard Lepsius *2 (1842 – 1844) that bestowed upon modern scholarship the voluminous ‘Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und Aethiopien’ (Monuments from Egypt and Ethiopia), and as the direct consequence of the series of excavations undertaken by E. A. Wallis Budge *3 and John Garstang *4 at Meroe (modern Bagrawiyah) in the first years of the twentieth century, by Francis Llewellyn Griffith *5 at Kawa (ancient Gematon, near modern Dongola, 1929 – 1931), by Fritz Hintze *6 at Musawwarat es Sufra, by Jean Leclant *7 at Sulb (Soleb), Sadinga (Sedeinga), and Djebel Barkal (ancient Napata, modern Karima) in the 1950s and the 1960s, by D. Wildung *8 at Naqah, and by Charles Bonnet at Kerma. The pertinent explorations and contributions of scholars like A. J. Arkell *9, P. L. Shinnie *10, and Laszlo Torok *11 that cover a span of 80 years reconstituted a large part of the greatness and splendor of this four millennia long African civilization.

Yet, due to the lack of direct access to original sources and genuine understanding of the ancient history of Sudan, the legendary and historical Ethiopia of the Greeks and Romans, which corresponds to what was ‘Kush’ for the Hebrews (mentioned many times in the Bible) and ultimately ‘Kas’ for the ancient Egyptians *12 (mentioned in thousands of hieroglyphic, hieratic and demotic texts), we face a serious problem of terminology when it comes to Ancient Sudan’s earlier historical periods.

We are confined to such terms as Period (or Group) A (3100 – 2700 BCE), *13 Period B *14 (2700 – 2300 BCE that starts with Pharaoh Snefru’s expedition, *15 which marks indeed the beginning of the time-honored and multi-faceted relationship between Kemet-Egypt and Kush), and Period C *16 (2300 – 2100 BCE), for one millennium of Ancient Sudanese (Ethiopian or Kushitic) History. For the said period, thanks to Ancient Egyptian texts, we have a plethora of ethnic names and state names referring to populations living in North Sudan’s territory (notably Wawat, Irtet, Setjiu,Yam, Zetjau, and Medjay *17); but we fail to correctly establish to whom these names exactly refer as ethno-linguistic groups (Kushitic? Nilo-Saharan? Western Hamitic?).

Subsequent periods of Ancient Sudanese History are also denoted in conventional manner, as this is highlighted by the term Period of Kerma *18 (2100 – 1500 BCE); this period is named after the modern city and archeological site, 500 km in the south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border.

Slide7

What we know for sure is that, when the first Pharaohs of the New Empire invaded and colonized the entire area down to Kurgus *19 (more than 1000 km alongside the Nile, south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border), they established two top Egyptian administrative positions, namely “Viceroy of Wawat” and “Viceroy of Kush/Kas”. Wawat is the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel or properly speaking, the area between the first and the second cataracts, whereas Kas is all the land that lies beyond. With the collapse of the Kerma culture, comes to end a first high-level culture and powerful state in the area of Kush.

Slide8

Slide9

We employ the term ‘Kushitic Period’ *20 to refer to the subsequent periods:

a) the Egyptian annexation (1500 – 950 BCE), which involved a permanent effort to egyptianize Kush that triggered in turn ceaseless Kushitic revolutions against the Pharaohs,

Slide12

b) the Kushitic independence (950 – 800 BCE), when a separate state was formed around Napata *21, present day Karima, 750 km south of the Sudanese – Egyptian border,

Slide11

c) the Kushitic expansion and involvement in Egypt (800 – 670 BCE, which corresponds mostly to the XXVth – ‘Ethiopian’ (meaning literally Sudanese) according to Manetho *22 – dynasty of Egypt, when the Theban clergy of Amun made an alliance with the Kushitic ‘Qore’, i.e. the Kings of Napata, who ruled Kush and Upper Egypt based on their two capitals, Napata and Thebes *23, (the alliance was directed against the pact that the Heliopolitan clergy of Ra had made with the Libyan princes who thus strengthened the separate state of Lower Egypt),

Slide14

d) the Kushitic expulsion from Egypt, following the three successive invasions of Egypt by Emperors Assarhaddon *24 (in 671 BCE) and Assurbanipal *25 (in 669 BCE and 666 BCE) of Assyria, who made an alliance with the Heliopolitan *26 priesthood and the Libyan princes against the Theban clergy and the Kushitic kings, and

Slide15

e) the subsequent Kushitic state’s decline – period during which took place the successive invasions led by Psamtik/Psammetichus II of Egypt *27 (in 591 BCE) and by the Achaemenid *28 Persian Shah Kambudjiyah / Cambyses *29 (in 525 BCE).

Slide16

Slide17

The entire Kushitic period is considered as terminated with the completion of the transfer of the capital city at a much safer (and more distant from Egypt) location far in the south, namely at Meroe, in the area of present day Bagrawiyah beyond the point whereby Atbarah river unites with the Greater Nile. This event occurred at the end of the reign of Qore (King) Nastasen *30 between 335 and 315 BCE.

Slide2

We call ‘Meroitic’ the entire period that covers almost 700 years beginning around 260 BCE with the reign of the successors of Nastasen, notably Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes *31 (the most illustrious among the earliest ones and the first to be buried at Meroe / Bagrawiyah), and ending with the end of Meroe and the destruction of the Meroitic royal cities by the Axumite Abyssinian Negus Ezana *32 (ca. 370 CE). It is easily understood that the ‘Kushitic’ period antedates ‘Meroitic’ period, but both appellations are quite conventional.

The ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) entered into a period of cultural, intellectual, and scriptorial radiation and authenticity relatively late, around the third century BCE, which means that the development took place when Meroe replaced Napata as capital of the Kushites / Meroites. Before that moment, the ancient people of Kush (or Ethiopia) used Egyptian hieroglyphic writing for all their scriptorial purposes, be they administrative, economic, religious and/or monumental – royal. The introduction of the Meroitic alphabetic hieroglyphic writing spearheaded the development of a Meroitic cursive alphabetic scripture that was used for less magnificent purposes than palatial and sacred relief inscriptions. The first person to publish copies of Meroitic inscriptions (then unidentified) was the French architect Gau *33, who visited Northern Sudan as early as 1819. Quite unfortunately, almost two centuries after the discovery of the first Meroitic inscriptions, we are left in mysteries with regard to the greatest part of the contents of the epigraphic evidence collected in both scriptural systems.

The earliest dated Meroitic hieroglyphic inscriptions belong to the reign of the ruling queen Shanakdakheto *34 (about 177-155 BCE), but archaeologists believe that this scripture represents the later phase of a language spoken by Kushites / Meroites at least as far back as 750 BCE and possibly many centuries or even millennia before that (hinting therefore at a Kushitic / Ethiopian continuity from the earliest Kerma days at the end of the 3rd millennium BCE). The earliest examples of Meroitic cursive inscriptions, recently found by Charles Bonnet in Dukki Gel (REM 1377-78) *35, can also be dated in the early 2nd century BCE. The latest text is still probably the famous inscription from Kalabsha (Ancient Egyptian Talmis) mentioning King Kharamadoye (REM 0094) *36, which dates back to the beginning of the fifth century CE, although some funeral texts from Ballana *37 could be contemporary or even posterior.

Slide19

Despite the fact that F. L. Griffith identified the twenty three (23) Meroitic alphabetic writing signs already in 1909, not much progress has been made towards the ultimate decipherment of the Meroitic *38. Scarcity of epigraphic evidence plays a certain role in this regard, since as late as the year 2000 we were not able to accumulate more than 1278 texts in all types of Meroitic writing. If we now add to this fact the lack of lengthy texts, the lack of any bilingual text (not necessarily Egyptian /Meroitic, it could also be Ancient Greek / Meroitic, if we take into consideration that Arkamaniqo / Ergamenes *39 was personally well versed in Greek), and a certain lack of academic vision, we understand why the state of our knowledge about the history of the Ancient Meroites is still so limited.

Slide21

Linguistics and parallels from other languages have been repeatedly set in motion in order to help the academic research. Griffith and Haycock *40 tried to read Meroitic, through use of (modern) Nubian – quite unsuccessfully. K.H. Priese *41 tried to read the Meroitic texts, using Eastern Sudanese (Beja *42 or Hadendawa *43) languages – also unsuccessfully. On the other hand, F. Hintze *44, attempted to compare Meroitic with the Ural-Altaic group (Turko-Mongolian languages) to no avail. More recently, Siegbert Hummel *45, compared the “known” Meroitic words to words attested in languages of the Altaic family which he believed was a substrate language of Meroitic; as this hypothesis is totally wrong, no result came out of this effort. At times, scholars (like Clyde Winters *46) were driven to farfetched interpretations, attempting to equate Meroitic with Tokharian, after assuming a possible relationship between the names Kush and Kushan *47, the latter being the appellation of a sizeable Eastern Iranian state of the late Arsacid *48 (250 BCE – 224 CE) and early Sassanid *49 (224 – 651 CE) times. However, one has to conclude that the bulk of the researchers working on the Meroitic language never believed that the language of the Ancient Sudanese (Ethiopians) could ever be a member of the so-called Afro-Asiatic group of languages (the term itself being very wrong and quite fraudulent).

Slide22

So far, the only Meroitic words for which a solid translation had been given by Griffith and his successors are the following: man, woman, meat, bread, water, give, big, abundant, good, sister, brother, wife, mother, child, begotten, born, feet. The eventual equivalence between Egyptian and Meroitic texts was a strong motivation for any interpretational approach, recent or not. More recent, but still dubious, suggestions are the following: arohe- ‘protect’, hr- ‘eat’, pwrite ‘life’, yer ‘milk’, ar ‘boy’, are- or dm- ‘take, receive’, dime ‘cow’, hlbi ‘bull’, ns(e) ‘sacrifice’, sdk ‘journey’, tke- ‘love, revere’, we ‘dog’. It is clear that vocalization remains a real problem *50.

Slide23

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

Slide26

2. The End of Meroe

Amidst numerous unclear points of the Kushitic / Meroitic (Ancient Sudanese / Ethiopian) History, the end of Meroe and the consequences under which it happened still remain a most controversial point among scholars. Quite indicatively, we may mention here the main efforts of historical reconstitution.

Slide27

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

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

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

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

E. Bechhaus-Gerst specified that Meroe was invaded prior to Ezana’s raid, and that the Axumite invasion did not reach further lands north of Meroe *51.

naqa-sudan

With two fragmentary inscriptions from Meroe, one from Axum, two graffitos from Kawa and Meroe, and one coin being all the evidence we have so far, we have little to properly reconstruct the details that led to the collapse of Meroe. One relevant source, the Inscription of Ezana (DAE 11, the ‘monotheistic’ inscription in vocalized Ge’ez), *52 remains a somewhat controversial historical source to be useful in this regard. The legendary Monumentum Adulitanum *53, lost but copied in a confused way by Cosmas Indicopleustes *54, may not shed light at all on this event. One point is sure, however: there was never a generalized massacre of the Meroitic inhabitants of the lands conquered by Ezana. The aforementioned DAE 11 inscription mentions just 758 Meroites killed by the Axumite forces.

map_of_sudan__new_

What is even more difficult to comprehend is the reason behind the scarcity of population attested on Meroitic lands in the aftermath of Ezana’s raid. The post-Meroitic and pre-Christian, transitional, phase of Sudan’s history is called X-Group *55 or Period, and also Ballana Period; this atypical appellation underscores the lack to historical insight that happens once more in the History of Ancient Sudan (Ethiopia).

Slide29

During the Ballana Period (X-Group) and contrarily to what happened for many centuries of Meroitic History, when the Meroitic South (the area between today’s Shendi *56 and Atbarah *57 in modern Sudan with the entire hinterland of Butana that was called Insula Meroe / Nesos Meroe, i.e. Island Meroe in the Antiquity) was overpopulated comparatively with the Meroitic North {the area between Napata / Karima and Abu Simbel *58 or further in the North, Aswan *59 (the area between Aswan and Abu Simbel was then called Triakontaschoinos *60 and politically, it was divided between Meroe and the Roman Empire)}, the previously under-populated area (i.e. the Meroitic North) gives us the impression of a more densely peopled region, if compared to the previous center of Meroitic power and population density (the Meroitic South). The new situation contradicts therefore the earlier descriptions and narrations by Dio Cassius *61 and Strabo *62.

Slide32

Furthermore, the name ‘Ballana period’ is quite indicative in this regard, because Ballana is located on Egyptian soil, whereas not far, south of the present Sudanese – Egyptian border, lies Karanog with its famous tumuli that bear evidence of Nubian (not Kushitic / Meroitic) upper hand in terms of social anthropology. The southernmost counterpart of Karanog culture can be found in Tangassi (nearby Karima, which represented the ‘North’ for what was the center of the earlier Meroitic power). This means that for the period immediately after the destruction of Meroe (ca. 370 CE), the Meroitic North offers the archaeological evidence that serves to name the entire period (Ballana Period), whereas the Meroitic South seems to have been totally uninhabited.

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

Much confusion characterized modern scholars when referring to Kush or Meroe by using the modern term ‘Nubia’. By now, it is clear that the Nubians lived since times immemorial in both Egypt and the Sudan, being part of the history of these two lands. However, the Nubians are a Nilo-Saharan ethno-linguistic group different from the Hamitic Kushites / Meroites. At the times of X-Group and during the long centuries of Christian Sudan, we have the opportunity to attest the differences and the divergence between the Nubians and the Meroitic remnants.

Following the collapse of the Meroitic state, the epicenter of the Nubian land, i.e. the area between the first (Aswan) and the third (Kerma) cataracts, rose to independence and prominence first, with capital at Faras, nearby the present day Sudanese – Egyptian border, around 450 CE. Nobatia institutionalized Coptic as religious (Christian) and administrative language, and Nubian language remained an oral only means of communication. The Nobatian control in the areas south of the third cataract was vague, nominal and precarious. Nobatia was linked with the Coptic (‘Monophysitic’) Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Slide38

This means something very important for the Christian History of Sudan (Ethiopia); Christianization did not come from Abyssinia, and there was no cultural or religious impact exercised by Axum on (Ethiopia) Sudan. As in pre-Christian times, Ethiopia remained the absolute opposite of Abyssinia. In the true, historical Ethiopia (Sudan), Christianization came from the North (Egypt). Abyssinia (which cannot be called ‘Ethiopia’ and which has absolutely no right to the name of Ethiopia) was a marginal and isolated, tiny and mountainous state that basically controlled the land between Axum and Adulis (on the Red Sea shore). And King Ezana’s invasion and destruction of Meroe was an occasional and inconsequential event that did not bring forth any immediate major result.

The Meroitic remnants underscored their difference from the Nubians / Nobatians, and the depopulated central part of the defunct state of Meroe rose to independence only later, in the first decades of the sixth century. Its name, Makuria, is in this regard a linguistic reminiscence of the name ‘Meroe’, but we cannot know its real origin and meaning. The remnant of the Meroitic populations inhabited the northern circumference of Makuria more densely, and the gravitation center revolved around Old Dongola (580 km south of Wadi Halfa), capital of this Christian Orthodox state that extended from Kerma to Shendi (the area of the sixth cataract), so for more than 1000 km alongside the Nile. But beyond the area of Karima (750 km in the south of Wadi Halfa) and the nearby famous Makurian monastery at Al Ghazali we have very scarce evidence of Christian antiquities. The old African metropolis of Meroe remained at the periphery of both, the Kushitic Ethiopian states of Makuria and Alodia and the Semitic Abyssinian state of Axum.

Makurians highlighted their ideological – religious divergence from the Nubians, by adopting Greek, not Coptic, as religious language. They even introduced a new scripture for their Makurian language that seems to have been a later phase of Meroitic. Makurian was written in alphabetic Greek signs. Risen at a time of Christological disputes and theological conflicts that brought about a forceful polarization between the Greek Orthodox and the Coptic ‘Monophysitic’ Patriarchates of Alexandria, the state and the Christian church of Makuria sided with the Greek Patriarchate of Alexandria, in striking opposition to the Nobatian state and church that allied themselves with the Coptic Patriarchate of Alexandria.

Further in the South, Alodia has long been called by modern scholars as the ‘third Christian state’ of Sudan, but recent discoveries in Soba, its capital (15 km at the east of Khartoum), suggest that Alodia rose first to independence (around 500 CE) and later adhered to Christianity (around 580 – 600 CE), following evangelization efforts deployed by missionary Nobatian priests (possibly in a sort of anti-Makurian religious diplomacy). In general, we know little about Alodia (or Aluwah or Alwa), and we actually don’t know whether they used a particular Alodian writing system.

The later phases of the History of Christian Ethiopia (Sudan) encompass the Nobatian – Makkurian merge (around 1000 CE), which was necessary for the two Christian states to defend themselves against the Islamic pressure coming manly from the North (Egypt), the islamization of Makkuria in 1317, and finally, the late collapse of Christian Alodia in 1505.

The question remains unanswered until today:

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

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

Certainly, the motives of Ezana’s raid have not yet been properly studied and assessed by modern scholarship. The reasons for the raid may vary from a simple nationalistic usurpation of the name of ‘Ethiopia’ (Kush), which would give a certain Christian eschatological legitimacy to the Axumite Abyssinian kingdom, to the needs of international politics (at the end of 4th c. CE) and the eventuality of an Iranian – Yemenite (Himyaritic) – Meroitic alliance at the times of Shapur II (310 – 379), aimed at outweighing the Eastern Roman – Abyssinian bond.

Yet, this Iranian – Sudanese political alliance may have been only the later phase of a time-honored Iranian infiltration that could have taken the form of an (easily assessable by both civilizations and nations, the Meroites and the Iranians) heliocentric theology and imperial ideology. No less than 300-350 years before Ezana’s raid and destruction of Meroe, the famous Jebel Qeili reliefs of Shorakaror mark an impressive penetration of Mithraic artistic and religious concepts and forms.

Slide45

Whatever the reasons of Ezana’s raid may have been, we can be quite sure, when it comes to the destruction of Meroe, about two determinant points that impose a fresh approach and interpretation of the historical development:

a) the absence of any large-scale massacre is evident, and

b) the impressive scarcity of population in the old, central Meroitic provinces is a fact for the period that follows Ezana’s raid and the destruction of Meroe.

The only plausible explanation is that the scarcity of population in the Meroitic mainland after Meroe’s destruction must be due to a large scale migration to safer areas far from the reach of the king of Axum.

The only explanation to match the historical facts and the archeological evidence is that, following Ezana’s raid, the Meroites in their outright majority (at least for the inhabitants of Meroe’s southern provinces) fled and migrated to areas where they would stay independent from the Semitic Abyssinian kingdom of Christian Axum. This explanation hinges on the best utilization and interpretation of the already existing historical – archaeological data.

From archeological evidence, it becomes clear that during X-Group phase and throughout the Makurian period (so for many long centuries) the former heartland of Meroe remained mostly uninhabited. The end of Meroe is definitely very abrupt, and this makes obvious that Meroe’s driving force had gone elsewhere. The correct question would then be ‘where to’?

There is no evidence of Meroites sailing the Nile downwards to the area of the 4th (Karima) and the 3rd (Kerma) cataracts, which was earlier the northern circumference of Meroe and remained totally untouched by Ezana. There is no textual evidence in Greek, Latin and/or Coptic to testify to such a migratory movement toward the North. Christian Roman Egypt would certainly be an incredible direction, but if this had been the case, the migration would have been recorded in some texts and monuments due to its importance. To the above, we have to add the impossibility of marching to the heartland of Abyssinia, because this must have been for the migrating Meroites the only direction to avoid, and again if it had occurred, it would have been mentioned in some historical sources, Ge’ez, Coptic, Syriac, Greek or Latin.

Having therefore excluded all the migration alternatives as per above, we can examine the remaining possibilities. The migrating Meroites could therefore have a) gone either to the vast areas of the Eastern and the Western deserts , b) entered the African jungle or c) ultimately searched for a possibly free land that, being arable and good for pasture, would keep them far from the sphere of the Christian Axumites.

It would be very erroneous and highly unlikely to expect settled people to move to the desert. Such an eventuality would be a unique oxymoron in the History of the Mankind. Nomadic peoples move from the steppes, the savannas and the deserts to other parts of the steppes, the savannas and the deserts or preferably to fertile lands and settle there, at times crossing really long distances. However, settled people, if under pressure, move to other fertile lands that offer them the possibility of cultivation and pasture. When dispersed by the invading Sea Peoples, the Hittites moved from Anatolia to Northwestern Mesopotamia, crossing long distances; they did not cross shorter distance to settle in the small part of Central Anatolia that happened to be desert. The few scholars, who may think that Meroitic continuity can be found among the present day Beja and Hadendawa, are oblivious to the aforementioned reality that was never contravened throughout World History. In addition, the Blemmyes had never been friendly to the Meroites. Every now and then, they had attacked parts of the Nile valley and the Meroites had had to repulse them thence. It would rather be inconceivable for the Meroitic population, after seeing Meroe sacked by Ezana, to move to a land where life would be far more difficult and, in addition, enemies would wait them!

At this point, we should briefly examine Meroe’s surrounding environment, how it is today, and how it was before 1650 years, at the times of king Ezana’s raid. Modern technologies help historians and archeologists better reconstruct the ancient world; paleo-botanists, geologists, geo-chemists, paleo-entomologists, and other specialized natural scientists are of great help in this regard. It is essential to stress here that the entire environmental milieu of Sudan was very different during the times of the Late Antiquity that we examine in our approach. Butana may look like a wasteland nowadays, and the Pyramids of Bagrawiyah may be sunk in the sand, whereas Mussawarat es Sufra and Naqah truly demand a real effort in crossing the desert. However, in the first centuries of Christian era, the entire landscape was dramatically different.

During the Meroitic and Christian times, the entire Butana region, delineated by the rivers Atbarah in the northeast, United Nile in the north-northwest, and Blue Nile in southwest, was not a desert, but a very fertile and extensively cultivated land. We have actually found remains of reservoirs, aqueducts, various hydraulic installations, irrigation systems, and canals in Meroe and elsewhere. Not far from Mussawarat es Sufra there must have been an enclosure where captive elephants were trained before being transported to Ptolemais Theron (present day Suakin, 50 km south of Port Sudan) and then further on to Alexandria. Desert was in the vicinity, certainly, but not that close.

We should not imagine that Ezana crossed desert areas, moving from the vicinities of Agordat, Tesseney (both cities being located in Eritrea), and Kessala (in Sudan) to Atbarah and Bagrawiyah, as we would do today. These lands were either forested or cultivated and used as pasturelands. For what the Meroitic Ethiopian state was in the middle – second half of the 4th c. CE, its capital was located quite close to the Abyssinian borders in the mountains beyond the modern Sudanese city of Kessala; the distance between the two capitals, Meroe and Axum, was much smaller than the distance between Meroe and its northern borders with the Christian Eastern Roman Empire.

In fact, the end of the Meroitic state is a historical irony; it was established with the transfer of capital from Napata to Meroe, ca. 750 years earlier, an act which was due to defense reasons and imposed only after the 6th c. BCE attacks that originated from the North (Egypt). By transferring their capital far to the southeast, the Ancient Kushites / Meroites of Ethiopia (Sudan) made it impregnable from the North; but by so doing, they exposed their capital to an attack from the southeast. However, one has to admit that, at the times of the Ethiopian – Kushitic capital transfer to the southeast (5th – 4th c. BCE), the presence of the Yemenite tribe of Habashat in the African coast land of Eritrea was insignificant and Axum did not exist.

Further expanding on the natural environment of the Ancient Meroites, we have to add that it would be highly unlikely for anyone to attempt to cross at that time the lands south of present day Khartoum, alongside the White Nile. In ancient times, impenetrable jungle started immediately in the south of Khartoum, and cities like El Obeid, Kosti, Sinnar, and Jabalayn are today located on deforested soil.

Contrarily to the aforementioned improbabilities (desert, jungle), the southernmost confines of the Meroitic state offered a certain possibility for migration, since pasturelands and arable land could be found alongside the Blue Nile Valley. Reaching that area, they would achieve safety from Axumite Abyssinia due to the greater distance.

Jungle signified death in the Antiquity, and even armies feared to cross forests and be forced to stay overnight there. We therefore have good reason to believe that, following Ezana’s raid, the Meroites, rejecting the perspective of forced christening, moved first southwestwards up to Khartoum. From there, they proceeded southeastwards alongside the Blue Nile in a direction that would keep them always safe and far from the Axumite Abyssinians whose state did not expand at those days as far in the south as Gondar and Tana Lake. Proceeding in this way and crossing successively areas of modern cities like Wad Madani, Sennar, Damazin, and Asosa, and from there on, they expanded in later times over the various parts of Biyya Oromo.

We do not imply that the migration was completed in the span of one lifetime; quite contrarily, we have reasons to believe that the establishment of Alodia (or Alwa) is rather due to the progressive waves of Meroitic migrants who settled first in the area of Khartoum that was out of the southwestern confines of the Meroitic state. Only when Christianization became a matter of concern for the evangelizing Nobatians, and the two Christian Sudanese states of Nobatia and Makuria were already strong, the chances of preserving the pre-Christian Meroitic cultural heritage in the area around Soba (capital of Alodia) became truly poor. Then, perhaps more than 100 years after the first migration, another wave of migration took place with the early Alodian Meroites proceeding as far in the southeast as Damazin and Asosa, areas that remained always beyond the southern border of Alodia (presumably between Khartoum and Wad Madani). Like this, the second migratory Meroitic Alodian) wave may have entered around 600 CE in the area where the Oromos, descendents of the migrated Meroites, still live today.

A great number of changes at the cultural – intellectual – behavioral levels are to be expected, when a settled people migrates to faraway lands. The Phoenicians had kings in Tyre, Byblos and their other cities – states in today’s Lebanese and Syrian coast lands, but they introduced a democratic system when they sailed faraway and colonized various parts of the Mediterranean. In their colonies, there were no more kings.

Ezana’s raid ended up with the extermination of some garrison and the Meroitic royal family. The collapse of the Meroitic royalty was an unprecedented event and a greater shock for the Nile valley. The Christian kingdoms of Nobatia, Makuria and Alodia were all ruled by kings whose power was to great extent conditioned and counterbalanced by that of the Christian clergy.

With the Meroitic royal family decimated by Ezana, it is quite possible that high priests of Apedemak and Amani (Amun) took much of the administrative responsibility in their hands, inciting people to migrate and establishing a form of collective and representative authority among the Meroitic – Alodian Elders who thus retained the sacerdotal heritage without a royal – palatial contextualization. They may even have preserved the royal title of Qore within completely different socio-anthropological context and thus made it known to the ancestors of today’s Somalis when the next waves of migration brought the two Kushitic nations close to one another; and the Somalis preserved the term a Boqor within their language until our times.

4. Call for Comparative Meroitic-Oromo Studies

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

Quite strangely, I would not give priority to the linguistic approach. The continuity of a language can prove many things, and at the same time, it can prove nothing. Today’s Bulgarians are of Uralo-Altaic Turco-Mongolian origin, but, after they settled in Eastern Balkans, they were linguistically slavicized. Most of the Greeks are Albanians, Slavs, and Vlachians, who were greecized linguistically. Most of the Turks in Turkey are Greeks and Anatolians, who were turkicized linguistically.

People can preserve their own language in various degrees and forms. For the case of languages preserved throughout millennia, we notice tremendous changes and differences. Within the context of Ancient Greece, Plato who lived in the 5th – 4th c. BCE could never understand the Achaean Greek dialect which was spoken 800 years earlier at Myceanae and written by means of what we call today ‘Linear B’ (a syllabic, not alphabetic, writing system).

Egyptian hieroglyphics as a Holy Language (the Ancient Egyptian name of this writing system was ‘medu netsher’ which meant ‘the words of the God’) and as a sacerdotal scripture favored a certain archaism and a constant linguistic purification. However, we can be sure that for later Pharaohs, like Taharqa the Kushite (the most illustrious ruler of the Kushitic – Sudanese / Ethiopian dynasty), Psamtik and Nechao (the rulers of the ‘Libyan’ dynasty), and Ptolemy II and Cleopatra VII (of the Macedonian Ptolemaic dynasty), a Pyramid text (that antedated them by 1700 to 2300 years) would almost be incomprehensible.

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

B. Archeological research can help tremendously too. At this point, one has to state that the critical area for the reconstruction of the suggested Meroitic migration did not attract the interest of Egyptologists, and of archaeologists specializing in Meroitic and Sudanese Antiquities. The area was indeed marginal to both civilizations, and to some extent it is normal that it did not attract scholars who could easily unearth other monumental sites elsewhere and have more spectacular results. The Blue Nile valley in Sudan and Abyssinia was never the subject of an archeological survey, and the same concerns the Oromo highlands. Certainly modern archeologists prefer something concrete that would lead them fast to a great discovery, being therefore very different from the pioneering 19th c. archeologists. An archeological surface survey would therefore be necessary in the Blue Nile valley and in the Oromo highlands in the years to come.

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

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

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

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

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

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

c) the Liberation of Oromia and the Representation of the Ancient Kushitic Nation in the United Nations.

Slide63

Notes

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

13. Basic bibliography in: http://www.arkamani.org/bibliography%20 … y_a_b.htm;http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/NUB/NUBX … chure.html. More particularly on Qustul, and the local Group A Cemetery that was discovered in the 60s by Dr. Keith Seele:http://www.homestead.com/wysinger/qustul.html (by Bruce Beyer Williams). Quite interesting approach by Clyde Winters as regards an eventual use of Egyptian Hieroglyphics in Group A Nubia, 200 years before the system was introduced in Egypt:http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/anwrite.htm.

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

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

16. Readings: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nubian_C-Group; (the title being however very wrong because this culture was not Nubian) http://www.numibia.net/nubia/c-group.htm;http://www.gustavianum.uu.se/sje/sjeexh.htm andhttp://www.hp.uab.edu/image_archive/ta/tae.html (with designs and pictures);http://www.ancientsudan.org/03_burials_02_early.htm (with focus on Group C burials and burial architecture); see also: http://www.ualberta.ca/~nlovell/nubia.htm;http://www.dignubia.org/maps/timeline/bce-2300a.htm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

32. For Abyssinia’s conversion to Christianity: http://www.spiritualite2000.com/page.php?idpage=555, and http://www.rjliban.com/Saint-Frumentius.doc. The Wikipedia entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ezana_of_Axum) is written by ignorant and chauvinist people, and is full of mistakes, ascribing provocatively and irrelevantly to Ezana’s state the following territories (using modern names): ‘present-day Eritrea, northern Ethiopia, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Somalia, Djibouti, northern Sudan, and southern Egypt’. This is just rubbish. All this shows how misleading this irrelevant ‘encyclopedia’ can at times be. Neither southern Egypt, nor northern Sudan, nor northern Somalia, nor Djibouti, nor Yemen, nor southern Saudi Arabia ever belonged to Ezana’s small kingdom that extended from Adulis to Axum. It is only after that king’s victory over Meroe that his kingdom included also a tiny portion of modern Sudan’s territories, namely the region between Kessala, Atbara and Bagrawiyah where the site of Ancient Meroe is located. But this was quite precarious and soon the Abyssinian control over that part of Ethiopia (: Sudan) ended.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

40. B. G. Haycock, ‘The Problem of the Meroitic Language’, Occasional Papers in Linguistics and Language Learning, no.5 (1978), p. 50-81; see also: http://www.arkamani.org/arkamani-librar … nology.htm. Another significant contribution: B. G. Haycock, ‘Towards a Data for King Ergamenes’, Kush 13 (1965)

41. See: K. H. Priese, ‘Die Statue des napatanischen Koenigs Aramatelqo (Amtelqa) Berlin, Aegyptisches Museum Inv.-Nr. 2249 in: Festschrift zum 150 jaehrigen Bestehen des Berliner Aegyptischen Museums, Berlin; of the same author, ‘Matrilineare Erbfolge im Reich von Napata’, Zeitschrift fuer Aegyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, 108 (1981).

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

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

44. F. Hintze, ‘Some problems of Meroitic philology’, in: Studies in Ancient Languages of the Sudan, pp. 73-78; see discussions: http://www.geocities.com/Tokyo/Bay/7051/mero.htm andhttp://www.soas.ac.uk/lingfiles/working … rowan2.pdf

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Slide70

http://megalommatis.wordpress.com/2014/10/24/the-meroitic-ethiopian-origins-of-the-modern-oromo-nation/

 

Related References:

https://oromianeconomist.wordpress.com/?s=untwist&searchbutton=go%21

http://www.voicefinfinne.org/English/Interviews/Interview_Mega1.htm

http://www.oromoparliamentarians.org/English/News_Archive/Oromo%20Action%20Plan%20for%20the%20Liberation%20of%20Oromia.htm

 

http://www.voicefinfinne.org/English/Column/Galma_EOC.htm

http://ninevite.blogspot.co.uk/

http://addisvoice.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/analysis-of-intent1.pdf

The Oromo Theory of Knowledge by Dr. Gammachuu Magarsaa October 16, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Gamachuu Magarsaa, Ideas, Meroetic Oromo, Oromo Literature, Oromo Proverbs (Mammaaksa Oromoo), Oromo Social System, Philosophy and Knowledge, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Seera Yaayyaa Shananii, Sirna Gadaa, The Oromo Theory of Knowledge, Wisdom.
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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.

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

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.

Oromia: The Oldest Oromo Civic Association, Macha-Tulama Marks 50th year Anniversary Celebration August 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ethiopia's Colonizing Structure and the Development Problems of People of Oromia, Afar, Ogaden, Sidama, Southern Ethiopia and the Omo Valley, Humanity and Social Civilization, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Macha & Tulama Association, Oromian Voices, Oromians Protests, Oromo and the call for justice and freedom, Oromo Culture, Oromo Diaspora, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo students movement, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, Self determination, State of Oromia, Waldaa Maccaa fi Tulamaa.
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Some of the Founders of the Macha-Tulama Association; Photo: Public Domain
 

FOR OROMO, ‘SURVIVAL ITSELF IS A REVOLUTIONARY ACT

 AyantuTibeso

August 5, 2014  Published in Opride Contributors

ayantuT

 

It is a great honor to be part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the Macha Tulama Association. For a people facing complete erasure, survival itself is a revolutionary act.

The fact that we are gathered here today to honor the founding of Macha Tulama 50 years ago speaks to the fact that despite all odds, we, as a people are survivors. Ethiopian history is full of attempts to annihilate the Oromo—culturally, politically, socially, economically, in all and every ways possible.

Oromos — cast as foreign, aliens to their own lands, have been the targets of the entire infrastructure of the Ethiopian state since their violent incorporation. Our identity, primarily language, religion and belief systems and cultural heritage have been the main targets of wanton destruction.

Oromo and its personhood were already demonized, characterized as embodiments of all that is inferior, shameful and subhuman from the beginning. Oromo people were economically and politically exploited, dominated and alienated.

Oromo cultural, political and religious institutions have been under massive attacks and dismantlement by consecutive Ethiopian governments. Oromos were rendered slaves on their own lands by a colonial land tenure system.

Given the huge systematic and structural forces that have been mobilized against Oromo people and its peoplehood, it is truly astonishing that we have survived. But we have survived not by some miracle, but because our ancestors have continuously resisted violent assimilation, dehumanization, economic exploitation, and complete eradication.

We have survived because our people have courageously and wisely Organized, sang, fought and sacrificed. We have survived because of brilliantly organized Oromo institutions such as Macha Tulama, which have held our communities together.

For five decades, this organization has been the vanguard of the Oromo people’s struggle for freedom, liberty and autonomy. Macha Tulama was conceived at a time when Oromo people desperately needed institutions that would provide direction, leadership, and mobilize the financial, human, intellectual and creative resources to empower Oromo communities.

The 50th Golden Jubilee Anniversary Celebration of Macha-Tulama Association at Washington DC, 1st August 2014
 
The upcoming 50th Anniversary Celebration of Macha-Tulama Association (MTA).
This historic event will be held on August 1, 2014 in Washington DC.
Please allow us to explain once again why this celebration will be held in Washington DC, thousands of miles away from Ethiopia.
The story of the establishment of the Macha-Tulama Association was an event of great drama and wonder that has captured the imagination of the Oromo public since 1963, while its banning in 1967 is story of epic proportion which demonstrates Oromo powerlessness in Ethiopia. History of modern Ethiopia includes few cases of injustice and open discrimination equal to the banning of the first Oromo peaceful civic organization, which has come to symbolize the condition of the Oromo nation under successive Ethiopian regimes to the extent that in 2014, the Oromo who constitute the single largest national group in Ethiopia, are not allowed even to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of their oldest civic organization in their own country.
The leaders of the Macha-Tulama Association came together from different parts of Oromia. They have become the symbol of courage and sacrifices that have propelled millions of Oromo into organized motion. Firm as their grasp of reality, they looked upon peaceful resistance with a boldness of imagination unsurpassed in modern Ethiopian history. What spirit was it that moved them, made them accept sufferings, torture, imprison­ment, loss of property, breakup of families and loss of life itself? Without a doubt, it was the spirit of Oromo political awakening that propelled these men and women onto a new historical stage. They became the organizational expression of Oromo national consciousness. Through their struggle and sacrifices, they won a lasting place in the hearts of the Oromo nation. Within four short years the leaders of Association not only united and provided the Oromo with central leadership, but also made them conscious of their unity and their dehumanization as second-class subjects and inspired them to be agents for their freedom and human dignity. The 50th anniversary celebration is organized for honoring the sacrifices made by the leaders and members of Macha-Tulama Association and for keeping alive the spirit of freedom and human dignity for which they struggled.
Without any doubt it was the Macha-Tulama Association that planted the tree of Oromo political consciousness. The limited gains the Oromo achieved since the 1970s was the fruit from that tree of political consciousness. The Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, which has dominated Ethiopian government since 1991, is determined to deprive the Oromo of any independent organization by banning the Macha-Tulama Association, detaining its leaders from time to time and confiscating its property, thereby demonstrating the utter absence of the rule of law in Ethiopia.
We believe that you feel the pain and the daily humiliation of our people who are even denied the simplest right of celebrating the 50th anniversary of their oldest country-wide civic organization in their own country. Those of us who live in freedom beyond the tyranny of the TPLF regime have moral responsibility for supporting the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Macha-Tulama Association. It will give us a wonderful opportunity for informing the Western world that the Oromo and other peoples in Ethiopia are denied their basic human and democratic rights in their own country. What is greater shame for the TPLF regime that beats the empty drum of democracy than denying the Oromo the right to celebrate the 50th anniversary of their civic organization? Together, let us expose the brutality of the Ethiopian regime and lift up the spirit of our people. Now is the time for those of who are interested in freedom, democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia to rise to the challenge of publicizing the 50th anniversary celebration so that more people will know about the tyrannical TPLF regime.
The plan of the day is:
· Demonstration at 9AM, gathering in front of the White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW.
· Marching to US State Department, 2200 C St, NW, at 11AM – ending at 1PM.
· Official Celebration at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine, 4250 Harewood Rd, NE, Washington, DC 20017, starting at 4:30PM.
· Continuing with Oromo Cultural Evening at the Ukrainian Catholic National Shrine until midnight.
Please join us so that we joyously celebrate together the 50th anniversary of the Macha-Tulama Association and demonstrate to the TPLF leaders that they will never be able to kill the spirit of freedom and human dignity that the Macha-Tulama Association planted in the heart, mind and soul of the Oromo nation.
We thank you for your cooperation in this noble undertaking.
Respectfully,
MTA 50th Anniversary Organizing Team

 

http://freeoromia.blogspot.co.uk/2014/07/banned-by-tplf-ethiopian-regime-oldest.html

 

 

Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo):The traditional faith system of the Oromo people August 10, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Ancient Egyptian, Ateetee (Siiqqee Institution), Black History, Chiekh Anta Diop, Culture, Development & Change, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Language and Development, Macha & Tulama Association, Meroe, Meroetic Oromo, Nubia, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Prof. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis, Safuu: the Oromo moral value and doctrine, State of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Library, Wisdom.
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Waaqeffannaa (Amantii Oromoo), the traditional faith system of the Oromo people, is one version of the monotheistic African Traditional Religion (ATR), where the followers of this faith system do believe in only one Supreme Being. African traditional religion is a term referring to a variety of religious practices of the only ONE African religion, which Oromo believers call Waaqeffannaa (believe in Waaqa, the supreme Being), an indigenous faith system to the continent of Africa. Even though there are different ways of practicing this religion with varieties of rituals, in truth, the different versions of the African religion have got the following commonalities:

 

– Believe in and celebrate a Supreme Being, or a Creator, which is referred to by a myriad of names in various languages as Waaqeffataa Oromo do often say: Waaqa maqaa dhibbaa = God with hundreds of names and Waaqa Afaan dhibbaa = God with hundreds of languages; thus in Afaan Oromoo (in Oromo language) the name of God is Waaqa/Rabbii or Waaqa tokkicha (one god) or Waaqa guraachaa (black God, where black is the symbol for holiness and for the unknown) = the holy God = the black universe (the unknown), whom we should celebrate and love with all our concentration and energy

 

– No written scripture (ATR’s holy texts are mostly oral), but now some people are trying to compose the written scripture based on the Africans’ oral literature.

 

– Living according to the will of the Supreme Being and love also those who do have their own way of surviving by following other belief systems, which are different from that of the Waaqeffannaa. It includes keeping both safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices); i.e. to love safuu as well as to hate and abhor cubbuu (sin).

 

– Correspondence with the Supreme Being in times of a great need (i.e. in times of natural calamities, unexplained deaths) and try to walk always on the karaa nagaa (on the way of peace = on the way of righteousness, on the road of truth).

 

– Having a devout connection with ancestors; in case of Oromo, the ancestors are all ways blessed and celebrated for the good inheritance we got from them, but not worshiped as some people want to mis understand.

 

The word “culture” is most commonly defined as the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution, organization or group; different cultures are the distinct ways that classified people living in different parts of the world, that represented their experiences and acted creatively. African peoples have got our own culture, which distinguish us from other parts of the world, of course also having our own sub-cultures among ourselves. Aadaa Oromoo (Oromo culture) being one part of the Cush culture is one of the sub-cultures within the common African culture, which consists also the faith system of Waaqeffannaa as part and parcel of the Oromo/African culture.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s interaction with other religions

According to the expert opinions written up to now, the concept of monotheism is the whole mark of African Traditional Religion including the faith system of the Cush nations. It seems that this concept of monotheism have moved from Cushitic black Africans (including the Oromo) first to ancient Egypt, secondly, further to Israel of the Bible and lastly to the Arab world of Koran. The experts tell us that Moses was not the first monotheist, but Akhenaten was the first revolutionary monotheist; they even claim that Moses might have been black. It is also argued that Moses was an Egyptian Pharaoh known as Akhenaten before the exodus. Additionally, they do argue that Akhenaten’s monotheism revolution in Egypt was not inspired from inside, but induced from outside by the Cushites, i.e. Akhenaten might have derived his monotheism concept from Africa’s/Oromo’s concept of Waaqa tokkicha in a form of “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu (God has no physical form, but power).” This concept may have been misinterpreted so that the other religions later started to talk about God with a physical form.

 

It is also interesting to observe many similarities between some old Egyptian words and Afaan Oromo words; for instance, the similarities of the ancient Egyptian words “Anii and Matii” with the Oromo words of “Ana (Ani) and Maatii.” Anii of Egyptians, which means I (I am who I am), that is equivalent to God is similar to the Oromo word Ani, which also means I and refers to the first person singular (the actor = the main character of GOD). Matii being the designation of God’s congregation and the Oromo word Maatii for the family which is the “congregation” of ani (first person = God) are surprisingly the same. This is only one of many similarities between Oromo and Egypt registered by experts till now. It is not my intention to talk about this historical relationship here, but just to show the relation between Oromo’s traditional religion and the three Abraham religions, even though Judaism is not part of the current religions practiced by the Oromo. It means the new acceptance of both Christianity and Islam by Africans is the coming back of the same belief in Waaqa tokkicha to Africa in different forms.

 

This historical relation between Amantii Oromoo and the two big religions of the world suggests that Waaqeffannaa is the older version of monotheism and humanism. Waaqeffannaa as a faith system and Irreechaa as a major national celebration were part and parcel of Oromo public life. Now, some Oromo nationals prefer the name Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa to Waaqeffannaa. It is important if we all can agree to call the Oromo traditional religion as Amantii Oromo/Amantii Africa, just like we agreed on calling our language Afaan Oromo and our country Biyya Oromo. So in short, we can say: Our land is Biyya Oromo, our language is Afaan Oromo and our religion is Amantii Oromo. It is known that some people may argue by saying “how can we call it Amantii Oromo, when we do see that more than half of the Oromo nowadays have Christianity and Islam as their religion?” Are Oromo with other first language rather than Afaan Oromo not Oromo, despite their lost Afaan Oromo? Should we say just because of these Oromo, who nowadays speak only English, German, Amharic, etc., that Oromo language is not Afaan Oromo? The same way, it is not logical not to call Oromo religion as Amantii Oromo because of the Oromo who overtook other religions. Actually, the designation Waaqqeffannaa (believing in and living with Waaqa) can also be applied to Christian Oromo and Islam Oromo even though most of the Islam Oromo prefer the name Rabbii to the name Waaqa. They all are believers in Waaqa = God = Allah = Rabbii. Amantii Oromo differs only because of its specificity for it is the older Oromo faith embedded in only Oromo/African culture without any influence from alien culture.

 

The fact to be accepted here is that God is universal even though we call HIM Waaqa, Rabbii or Allah. But, Amantii Oromo is the way how our forefathers believed in this universal Waaqa of humankind. We don’t have God or Waaqa, who is specific only to Oromo/Africa and doesn’t care for other nations. Waaqa is the God of nations. But, we Oromo do have a specific way and culture regarding how we do practice our belief in Waaqa. This way of practicing our faith is what we call Amantii Oromo. Amantii Oromo is simply the Oromo way of practicing the faith in the universal Waaqa. It is part of the Oromo way of dealing with the problems of life (it is part of Aadaa Oromo). Accordingly, aadaa (culture) can also be defined as the way, in which a certain collective or group of people deals with its own life problem.

 

The difference between this Amantii Oromo and the other two big religions practiced by Oromo is that the other two got not only the faith in one God, but also the elements of cultures from the people in which they first emerged. We can see here the Arabs accepted the concept of Waaqa tokkicha while still keeping pre-Mohammad Arab culture in Islam, which is far different from Oromo/from African culture, but Islam practiced by Oromo in Oromia is colored by Arab culture for it is adopted from there. Interestingly, this is the difference between Islam Arab and Islam Oromo; Islam Arabs adopted only the concept of Waaqa tokkicha from Cush of Africa/Egypt/Israel, but don’t seem to exercise alien culture from these areas, whereas Islam Oromo tend to adopt both the faith and the culture from Arabs. Egyptians and Israelis, who accepted the concept of the same Waaqa tokkicha, also do practice their faith being colored by their own previous culture; they don’t seem to practice Cush culture; but again Christianity practiced in Oromia is mostly colored by the culture of the Israelis, the Habeshas as well as by that of the Western world for Christian Oromo tend to adopt not only the faith, but also the alien culture.

 

That is why it is not actually bad that some Oromo nationals accept and believe in the two monotheist religions (Christianity and Islam) per se, but not good is giving more value to the culture of the nations from which the religions come to us, at the cost of the very valuable Aadaa Oromo. Of course, good elements of foreign cultures can be accommodated without damaging the good elements of our own. For instance, the similarity between dibbee Qaallu (Qaallu’s drum) and the beat of Tigrinya music shows how Tegarus have inherited and kept some elements of Oromo’s culture. This can verify that the suggestion of Donald Levine, who in his book called Greater Ethiopia wrote that “Tegarus are part of the Cushites of the Old Testament who denied their identity”, may be true. After all, why do they call their mother Aadde? Where does the name Barentu in Eritrea come from? Are they only inheritance of names or were they part of the lost Oromo/Cush? Anyways, it is good to follow the advice given once by Luba Shamsadin. He said (paraphrased here), when we try to accept religions from other nations, we have to identify and separate “the bone of the fish from the meat”; i.e. we need to identify and leave the unnecessary cultural elements of other nations, which are usually mixed with their religions we Oromo do tend to accept and adopt.

 

So as it is put here in short,

Waaqeffannaa (believe in one Waaqa of the universe) is practiced not only among the Cush nations, but also among almost all African nations. This faith system of Africans including Waaqeffannaa has been devalued as something “paganism, barbarism, religionlessness, uncivilization, Godlessness, animism, primitivism, etc”. The black color, which is the symbol of holiness in Waaqeffannaa was/is demonized as a symbol for Satan. All the blessing ceremonies of Waaqeffannaa and the utensil used for the blessings are condemned as a service, an instrument and worshiping of demons/Satan. Despite this denigration, the current revival of Waaqeffannaa and the celebration of Irreechaa in Oromia can be a good example-setting for the other African nations to revive their hitherto devalued and almost lost culture and religion.

 

To serve this purpose of revival, the right way of Waaqeffannaa (believing in, celebrating of and living with Waaqa) must be cleaned from alien non-constructive elements as well as from non-productive practices and rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (infiltrating idolatry), which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa in our personal or national life. That means, we have to differentiate Waaqeffachuu (realizing God’s purpose in our life) from waaqessuu (serving alien gods). Waaqeffachuu is applying Waaqa’s goodwill in our practical life, whereas waaqessuu is making someone or something be our Waaqa, i.e. practicing idolatry. The Oromo people in general have never had an idol to worship, but always had only one Waaqa to believe in and to celebrate. Of course, there are very few Oromo individuals nowadays tending to practice waaqessuu. Such purification of the African faith system from unimportant and useless elements must be done in all versions of the practices and rituals among all African nations.

 

Concept of God in Waaqeffannaa

To make Waaqeffannaa a little bit clear, here is a short narration about this faith system in practice. Oromo nationals practicing this faith do talk about Waaqa tokkicha, which is one of the evidences for the faith to be monotheism, just as the Christianity and Islam are. The concept of God among these believers is summarized by their usual saying: “Waaq humna malee bifa hin qabu.” These believers do not misinterpret Waaqa tokkicha as an expression of physical form for even the whole nature as a physical form is also an expression of his power. The believers and the Qaalluu or Qaallitti (local spiritual leader) are usually very lovely; specially the leaders are simply like a love in person. All their followers are selfless people full of good deeds and love; they do talk about Waaqa, calling him as abbaa koo (my father), and they usually do pray for children saying: “akka ijoollee keenyaa eebbisuuf abba keenya gaafanna (let’s ask our father to bless our children),” they usually don’t say “abba keenya kadhanna (let’s beg our father).”

 

Whenever they are challenged by life problems, they do assert by saying: “Waaq abbaan keenya eessa dhaqeetu (our God is not far away)”, denoting that Waaqa is always ready to help his children. They some times also talk as prophets in a way: “Abbaan keenya akkas jedha, ani sin wajjin jira, ani nan sin gargaara (our father says, I am with you and I will help you)”. According to them, the spiritual father is Waaqa garaa gurraachaa, i.e. Waaqa with holy heart, symbolized with black color, most of whose holiness is unknown to humans. Knowledgeable believers do tell that the concept “Waaqa gurracha garaa garba (black God with heart like ocean)” actually refers to the unknown future. What Waaqa may bring in the future is unknown, and that is signified by black color. Here, garaa garba is also about the unknown. One couldn’t know what is inside the body of water from afar. This point of view seems to be the reason for the color black in the Oromo tricolor to signify the unknown future.

 

In some regions of Oromia, there are a lot of congregations visited by Oromo at some big houses called gimbi (galma) which have got different names: gimbii diloo, maram, abbaa jama, hiike, etc; the spiritual practices done there include the following: dalaguu (dancing), irreenssa kennu (green leaf as a gift), wareeguu (offerings), hammachiisaa (blessing babies), gashaa (delicious food brought to gimbi), etc. Actually, people go to such gimbi regularly carrying green leaves of Irreensaa. In this culture, green grass or green leaf is a powerful symbol for life and prosperity, and it is an element present in all public rituals of Waaqeffataa Oromo, including funerals and prayers of remembrance, during which grass is spread on the ground or grave. The above listed different names of gimbi are Oromo spiritual holy places and palaces, which are equivalent to temple, church and mosque. In all the places mentioned, everyone prays to Waaqa. The practices mentioned above are just variations of spiritual practice to Waaqa.

 

It is also to be observed among the practicing Waaqeffattaa how balanced is their way of discussion and relationship. During sorts of discussions, they often discuss very wisely. For example, when they give comments, here is a sample of how they do: “Ilaa, kanaa fi sana waan gaarii jette. Haa ta’u malee, kunimmoo otoo akkana ta’e wayya (here and there you said good, but it is better if this one be so and so)”. They do not denigrate the opinion of the other side, but tell the better alternative to the opinion they do disagree with. They do tolerate the mistake of others and just tell the consequence of the mistake. As far as they are concerned, there is always cubbuu (sin) in their consciousness, but no concept for hell or condemnation after death. This simply implies that we all do experience the consequence of our trespasses regarding the safuu (virtues) and laguu (vices) expected from us during our life time.

 

Not to suffer such consequences of cubbuu, Waaqeffattaa Oromo have got a lot of very well said prayers in their practical life activities. The following are very few of the impressive prayers in the day to day life of the Oromo, which need to be presented here as examples. They are usually heard from the believers of Amantii Oromo, and they are almost similar to what the believers in Christianity and Islam do pray, let alone the similarity of the greatly formulated prayers we do hear during Irreechaa celebration with what the Christian Qesis and the Islam Sheiks usually do pray:

 

– Yaa Waaq kan dubbatee nu dubbachiisu fi kan hamaa nutti yaadu nurraa qabbi (God keep us from those who speak evil and make us speak the same).

 

– Yaa Waaq mirga nu oolch (help us to walk on the right way); hamaa nurraa qabi (protect us from evil).

 

– Yaa Rabbii, ilmi ga’e haa fuudhu (Oh God, let the young man be married), dubarri geesse haa heerumtu (let the young woman be married), this prayer shows howimportant family building for human blessing is.

 

– Yaa Waaq, ani galee, kan galee hin rafne narraa qabi; ani rafee kan rafee hin bulle narra qabi (I am now at home to sleep, save me from the evil ones who didn’t yet be at their home and didn’t sleep).

 

– Yaa Waaq galgala koo hin balleessiin (let my old age not be cursed), this is related with the conse -quence of cubbuu. The believers are asking Waaqa to help them stay away from cubbuu so that their “galgala (late age)” will not be bad/painful. Here we see something similar with the native American’s culture. They say: “when you came to this world, you cried and everybody else laughed; live your life so that when you leave this world, you laugh and everyone else cries”; i.e. to say live your life free from cubbuu and its conse -quence (suffering), the life style which leads you to the blessing in your old age.

 

This prayers indicate the fact on the ground how Oromo look at Waaqa and at the human-being. Waaqa is conceived as a holy father with whom we can correspond during our day to day life problems or when ever we face calamities or difficulties for his will is always good, whereas human-beings can be with either bad or good intention in relation to each other. Both Gadaa and Qaalluu institutions look at all individuals as human with equal rights in front of Waaqa; that is why there is no a “respect form” of addressing human-being or God in Afaan Oromo, just as there is non in English language. After losing our sovereignty, the Oromo people had to learn how to “respect” authority figures. For there is no such option in Afaan Oromo, we had to use plural verbs to address the authority figures. Even Abbaa Gadaa (chief of the government) and Abbaa Mudaa (the spiritual leader) were addressed as “ati = you in a singular form,” not as “isin = you in a plural form.” Today, we have to address our fellow human being with certain authority as “isin” to show “respect.” It is not bad if such addressing would have been mutual/symmetrical as for instance it is in German language. But such “respect,” which we are now applying is asymmetrical (only the authority figure is addressed with the “respect” form, whereas the authority figure can address the other person without using the “respect” form. Where it is the reality that we don’t use the “respect” form during addressing our Waaqa, as seen in the above prayers, why should we bother to use it in addressing our fellow human being? It would be better if we leave this culture, which we adopted from others with authoritarian culture in contrast to our own egalitarian one. Our concept of Waaqa doesn’t allow us to behave so submissively to any human being, who is equal to us.

 

Virtues and Vices of Waaqeffannaa

Here in short, safuu (virtue) can be defined as the “to do list” in order to serve Waaqa and to achieve his kaayyoo/goal in our personal and national earthly life; whereas laguu (vice) is the “not to do list” or the taboo, so that we can refrain from doing such activities diverting us from the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life. Cubbuu (sin) then in short includes both not doing the safuu and doing the laguu. Just as an example, if we take bilisummaa (national freedom) as Waaqa’s kaayyoo for the Oromo nation, what are the safuu and the laguu to be respected? If the kaayyoo of Waaqeffannaa is individual healing from any sort of illness, what are the safuu and the laguu, which both the healer and the sick person should respect?

 

In order to look at the virtues and vices of the traditional Oromo/African belief system for our earthly life, let us now try to describe Waaqeffannaa as we experienced it and knew it. Note that all the descriptions and notions we try to put here on paper are based on our own argaa-dhageetti (based on our own perception), which may differ from that of the other Oromo nationals. For instance, we could observe that Oromo is a nation filled with celebrations of eebba (blessing), who do have different celebrations for almost everything and everybody related to our life. For instance, taaboree as a blessing ceremony for young boys; ingiccaa for blessing young girls; ayyaana abbaa for blessing the ancestors for the good inheritance we got from them; ateetee for blessing our women; borantichaa for blessing adult men; jaarii looni for blessing our useful animals; jaarii qe’e or jaarii kosii for blessing our residence area; jaarii midhaani to bless our farms; garanfasa mucucoo as a celebration of the rainy season and, of course, gubaa and irreechaa for celebration of the coming birraa (the coming spring season) etc. We hope that Oromo students of anthropology, sociology and theology will make a scientific research on these blessing ceremonies and tell us the constructive and non-constructive elements of the activities in them.

 

But, let us mention few of the virtues (positive aspects) of Waaqeffannaa in our earthly life time. Here the reference point to judge certain elements as negative or positive is the position of the purpose, which Waaqa do have for our personal and national life, i.e. based on the kaayyoo (goal) our Waaqayyoo do have for us. To elaborate this relationship between kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo, we can ask: is Waaq-aayyoo our ka-ayyoo / is our ka-ayyoo the Waaq-ayyoo? It is about knowing what purpose we do serve in our daily life both cognitively and behaviorally, as individuals or as a nation. Be it that we do think and walk at political, religious or private level, we do try to serve certain purpose in life. In order to identify that purpose, we only need to be conscious about it, reflect on it and ask our selves: whom do we privately or collectively serve in our endeavors? Do we serve Waaqa’s purpose for us or that of the others’? Simply put, which purpose should we serve? Fortunately the hitherto cumulative knowledge and wisdom of different societies in general and that of the Oromo society in particular tell us what we ought to serve: i.e. to serve Waaqa’s purpose which is good for us as an individual and as a collective. This good purpose is given a sacred name and it seems to be what people call the will of Waaqa.

 

As a support for this assertion, we can look at an example written in the Bible of Christians, that states : “God is my objective”. Is this to be understood also as: “my objective is God”? Can we say that our good personal or political purpose is the will of Waaqa, whom we ought to serve? To comprehend this, it is no where clearly written other than in Afaan Oromo. Surprisingly the words kaayyoo and Waaqayyoo in our language do indicate to have the same source. As we know, the short word KA is the name given by our Cushitic ancestors to God and the word aayyoo is, of course, the name given to a mother, who does wish all good things for her children and does plan and try to fulfill it. So KA can be defined as the Supreme Being, which has good purpose for ayyoo’s children. This purpose is the “Goodness” for her children. So KA-ayyoo is God’s will (his good objective to her beloved children). The term Waaqayyo is the short form of waan-KA-ayyoo (what is planned from KA for aayyoo and for her children). So we can see that the good end, we have to serve, can be called kaayyoo from Waaqa. So the will of Waaqa is simply to be defined as the good end we should choose to serve as part of the balanced universe created by HIM.

 

To fulfill this service to the good end, fortunately the best thing we do observe among Waaqeffataa Oromo is the work-ethics they do have to achieve the purpose of Waaqa in their earthly life, specially in the life areas of career and family. They do love to be the best in both life areas; they love their family and most of them are very enthusiastic to be successful in their profession. They usually say “Waaq taa’i taa’i namaan hin jedhin (let HE not make us idle);” simply put, diligence is part of safuu and to be idle and lazy is part of laguu. We know that there are certain contamination from other cultures to be practiced as rituals contradicting this virtue and which are not serving the purpose of Waaqa for us. That is why we do recommend not only the revival of this marvelous belief system, which was the creation of our forefathers, but also we do suggest a necessary reformation to make the faith system to be fit, so that it can help us to cope with the 21st century challenge and situation. Waaqa’s creation and his keeping the balance of the universe is still going on, so that HE demands also a dynamic creative work from his creature, from the human being. Another impressive virtue of Waaqeffannaa necessary to be mentioned is its relation with nature and its persuasion to help us keep the environment healthy; it is the faith system which is simply through and through green.

 

Waaqeffannaa’s position on the life after death

According to this belief system, we all will live further after death as ekeraa (in a form of soul/spirit) with our father, with Waaqa, without any possibility of punishment in hell. We recently read Martial De Salviac’s translated book, in which he wrote “Oromo invariably believe that they will go to heaven.” So, the consequence of our cubbuu is not losing eternal life, but suffering in our earthly life. To Waaqeffataa Oromo, Waaqa is the one who wants us not to do a collective cubbuu, but expects us to protect the balanced nature, in which HIS power is manifested. The wisdom that guides Waaqeffataa Oromo in fulfilling this mission seems to be our arga-dhagetti (believe and act on a principle of reality, i.e. based on what we see and hear).

 

According to argaa-dhageetti, the concepts like “cubbuun ni qabdi (sin has got consequence), cubbuun ni sirriqxi (the consequence of sin can be inherited), cubbu abbaatu eeggata or cubbuu irra abbaatu uf eega (everyone should keep him-/herself from committing sin and everybody is responsible for the consequences of the sin he/she commit)” are nice and practical. What we liked most from the principles of Waaqeffannaa is this concept of cubbuu. The consequences of cubbuu are only to be seen here on this earth, not in the coming life after death. There is no hell that Waaqayyoo has prepared to punish the people with cuubbu. This is hilarious and very healing for those who always have to live with the fear of hell or punishment after death.

 

Another interesting aspect of Waaqeffannaa is that we never heard from the practicing believers that they are believing in the presence of an evil spiritual power in the form of Satan, which acts and lives against the almighty power of Waaqa. Accordingly, there is only one sovereign power doing and undoing all things in a universe, that is Waaqa. Unfortunately, the concept Satan is now already spread among the whole Oromo population as a contamination taken from other religions. Waaqeffataa Oromo do believe that the evil things we do experience in life are due to the imbalance of nature as a result of the unwise or wicked deeds of humans as collective, i.e. it is a human cubbuu with its consequences on the earth. That is why they usually ask their Waaqa for wisdom to keep the balance of nature and that HE lead them to only those with good intention and protect them from those with bad intention, for example, in a prayer like: “yaa Waaq tolaa nutti qabi, hamaa irraa nu eegi (God lead who is good to us and keep away who is evil from us). Here it seems that good is someone, who works to keep the balance of nature; and evil is the contrary.

 

According to the faith system of Waaqeffannaa, there is nothing we have to do now to earn eternal life after death; life after death is simply a free gift we got from our father, Waaqayyoo, whom we just need to celebrate and thank as we do daily and during the yearly celebrations like Irreechaa. We also don’t need a savior, who has to suffer and die for us, so that we can get life after death. The only area where we have to work on is trying to live the quality life (the character of the eternal life) according to the will of Waaqa here on earth. To live this quality life, we need to activate our potentials given to us from Waaqa and then walk on the karaa nagaa towards the kaayyoo Waaqa for our life, being free from cubbuu by keeping both safuu and laguu.

 

Further recommendation

The very important aspect of Waaqeffannaa as part of Oromo/African culture is its principle of argaa-dhaggeetti (it is relatively an evidence based faith system, possibly trying to be free from superstition). This principle is about reading the real situations at hand and finding the appropriate solutions for the situations. Waaqeffannaa teaches that only Waaqa is not prone to change for HE is perfect, but all his creature and all the situations are changing with time; that is why his creative action is still going on and that we also need to be in a position to find new solutions for the changed situations. In short, we need to be situation oriented, time oriented and live accordingly. That means, it is good to know the past version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo/Africa; but better is to live and practice the present version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo; of course the best is to create the most beneficial version of aadaa and Amantii Oromo as well as to inherit it to our coming generation. So let’s learn from the past version, live the present version and love to create the future verion of aadaa Oromo in general, and Amantii Oromo in particular.

 

This article is of course coloured by subjective perceptions, so that Oromo nationals are welcome to complement or contradict it. All the sub-titles given in this article need a further meticulous research and study. Through scientific studies, it can be possible to cleanse Waaqeffa -nnaa from certain meaningless rituals adopted from the other sub-cultures, e.g rituals like that of “qaalichaa” (idolatry), xinqolaa (sorcery), etc, where the practitioners are actually making business in the name of the religion. Waaqeffannaa needs not only revival, but also reformation as part and parcel of the ongoing liberation from such sensless practices. Elements, which are against the will of Waaqa for all human-being in general and for African nations in particular must be removed, so that we can say Waaqa bless Oromia/Africa and then live accordingly. Adopting good elements, which serve the will of Waaqa for us, from other cultures and faiths is not bad as it is usually said: “waan gaariin bade hundi kan Oromo ti” (every good thing lost belongs to Oromo). Again, good and bad is defined from the position of the will of Waaqa for our life, i.e. from the position of his kaayyoo in our life, which is always a good purpose.

 

So, only celebrating the holidays and reviving the religion are not enough, if we want to be fit for the present 21st century situation and for the situation in which our future generation will live. Our forefathers created a faith system as part of the solution to their situation; we also need to do the same. So let’s not try to use the same key used by our forefathers in the past to open doors with totally different keyholes at the present and the future or we don’t need to ride a donkey at this age of driving a limousine; in short we need a right solution for the present and the future situations. Our next generation need to inherit from us the latest and modern model/edition/version of our faith system, Waaqeffannaa, which they also can reform, edit and secure for their children and grand children, so that we human-being continue to be as creative as our father, Waaqa.

 

Let’s give a simple suggestion as an example in the required reforming: why can’t we use bundle of flowers for Irreechaa, instead of only grass used by our forefathers? Why don’t we use water or oil, instead of butter to anoint others during the blessing ceremonies just for the sake of hygiene? Why don’t we use candle light or the modern beautifully colored electric light decorations instead of bonfire during wa-maraa (demera)? etc. Now it is a time to have Waaqeffannaa free from non-productive and untimely elements, so that it will be a faith system, which will be accepted and believed by the enlightened and informed Oromo in particular as well as by Africans in general (so that it will be a faith system serving the will of Waaqa for Oromia in particular, and for Africa in general).

 

Last but not least, Waaqeffataa Oromo need to be creative in realizing the will of Waaqa in our life, which is the only way to “evangelize” and convert others to the “karaa nagaa (to the right way) HE wants us to walk. We need to learn from the past (the known part of life, which is symbolized by white color), live the present (the challenging part of life symblized by red color) and love to know the future (the unknown part of life symbolized by black color). The karaa nagaa at this particular era/time includes the virtue of a passinate struggle in life both individually and collectively, not an attitude of the pacifistic stoicism. Waaqeffannaa doesn’t persuade us to do things to secure life after death, but it tells us that our effort and enthusiasm are part of the safuu we have to keep and implement in order to make our life here on earth the excellent success story.

Read the full article from original source @http://gihonpostsite.wordpress.com/2014/08/07/waaqeffannaa-the-african-traditional-faith-system/

 

 

The Quest for Oromo’s Indigenous Knowledge and Institutions April 3, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Abbush Zallaqaa, Afaan Publication, Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Finfinnee, Free development vs authoritarian model, Gadaa System, Haile Fida, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Oral Historian, Oromia, Oromia Satelite Radio and TV Channels, Oromian Voices, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromummaa, Self determination, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Toltu Tufa, Uncategorized, Wisdom.
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By Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D.*

 

The classical definition of knowledge was given by Plato as “justified true belief.” There are many philosophical theories to explain knowledge. The online Oxford dictionaries define knowledge as a theoretical or practical understanding of a subject [online]. The same source explain knowledge that can be implicit (as with practical skill or expertise) or explicit (as with the theoretical understanding of a subject); it can be more or less formal or systematic. According to Stanley Cavell, “Knowing and Acknowledging” the “knowledge acquisition involves complex cognitive processes: perception, communication, association and reasoning; while knowledge is also said to be related to the capacity of acknowledgment in human beings.” I am not here to write the theory of knowledge, but trying to bring the human society acknowledgement and recognition for the Oromoo nation’s indigenous knowledge.

The Oromoo Gadaa System (OGS) is an indigenous knowledge reserve institution of the Oromoo nation. It is an organic system, which is self-refining every eight years (in two four-year terms) to meet the needs of the society. The OGS is a well-structured and organized indigenous knowledge reserve that encompasses social, political, economic and military institutions that operate mainly based on self-reliance principles while Oromummaa is an act of embracing these institutions and applying the indigenous knowledge to manifest an authentic Oromoo’s cultural and national identity.

The essence of scientific education is to understand Mother Nature, daachee haadha marggoo, and human experience in relation to Mother Nature. Through scientific education we can ask questions and try to investigate or do research to find out the facts and report the new knowledge about the subject. For example, who is responsible for the creation of human being, other living and non-living things as a part of the whole nature? What if I told you that the answer to the question is Mother Nature? I guess, you would not be satisfied with the answer because it leads to another subsequent philosophical questions such as who is responsible for the creation of the Mother Nature. Again, what if I told you the answer is a God? This time, probably you would be settled and agree with me. But how do you know for sure that it is a God who is responsible for the creation of nature?

I have thought deeply about these questions and tried to find the best possible answers. I would like to share the final answer with you later on if you continue the journey with me through reading and thinking about the perplexities of human life experience.

The purpose of this paper is to share my points of view with you and highlight that the Oromoo Gadaa System is the prima source of Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve that every Oromoo person should safeguard it and reclaim it as a shared-value that can be manifested through applied Oromoo knowledge and life experience, which is often called Oromummaa. Hence, the Oromoo Qubee generation are highly encouraged to embark their scientific studies and discoveries on our forefathers’ indigenous knowledge and bring it to light to show the world that our forefathers had made significant contribution to human society and civilization by creating and developing a comprehensive and complex democratic system: the Oromoo Gadaa System and its Institutions. For the qubee Oromoo generation, I would say they have a gold mining opportunity on their own backyards and they have to go for it.

Oromoo’s Indigenous Knowledge

Indigenous knowledge is local by nature. It is primarily based on social skills and production techniques. Both social skills and production techniques employ indigenous knowledge that in turn involves the process of life-long learning and teaching. The Oromoo Gadaa System provides such indigenous knowledge reserve so as to enable the new generation to learn from and teach the generations to come. For example, Oromummaa is a social skill. The Oromoo children learn social skills: respect, love, sympathy, empathy, ethics (Safuu), sharing, helping others, communications, etc from their parents and through well-organized Gadaa institutions such as the Age group (Hiriyyaa) and Qalluu.

Like every society, the Oromoo Gadaa Society had engaged in production of goods and services for long time or millenniums. They have millennium years of farming and animal husbandry experience and knowledge. The Oromoo farmers were the first people who domesticated barley as cereal crop in the region and a coffee plant and used the coffee beans in the world. This means the Oromoo farmers had possessed a primary indigenous knowledge about these crops. This indigenous knowledge reserve, however, needs a substantial effort in the field of scientific research and documentation for learning and teaching purposes by present and future Oromoo generations.

The lack of self-ruling political right in Ethiopian Empire and the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System of Self-governance lead to the deterioration of the Indigenous knowledge and Institutions. In addition, the absence of curiosities from the Oromoo educated class for long time and self-inflicted prejudices against Oromoo indigenous knowledge had played a significant role on its underdevelopment. The educated class is the first social group who run away from their villages and turn their back to their culture and traditional ways of life. Consequently they find themselves in the garrison cities where almost everything is imitation of modernity that has no root in the local culture or traditions. Moreover, the educated elites had been played an agent role to introduce exogenous values including foreign religion, culture of conspicuous consumption and other copy-cut life styles from the West, and Middle-East world.

As I mentioned above, because of the lack of basic human right the Oromoo as a nation has no formal indigenous institutions yet. Instead, the institutions are maintained by the Oromoo Gadaa fathers and mothers who have been serving as Oromo indigenous knowledge reserve as institution. . This means the Qubee generation scientific research and discoveries are highly dependent on the existence of Gadaa Oromoo fathers and mothers (abbootii Gadaa Oromoo) and time because if they die the institutions and knowledge will die with them. For many of them, a biological time is about running out now. One day they will leave us for good. So it is responsibilities and sacred duties of this generation to secure and backup these precious indigenous “documents” that had been inherited form the previous generations.

As JF Kennedy said, the purpose of education is to advance human knowledge and dissemination of truth. However, contrary he said, the education system in Ethiopia has been harboring ignorance, distortion and denial of the truth that effectively disabled the process of learning, thinking and bringing positive changes to our society. So I suggest to the new generation regardless of their ethnic and cultural background to use the best three doses of pills/prescription for ignorance, distortion and denial of history. They are: genuine education, genuine education, and genuine education (3-GE). Through genuine education one can learn the true essence of love (jaalala), which is unselfishness, the creator, and creatures, uumaa fi uumammaa.

Generally, indigenous knowledge (IK) are the outcome of true and genuine collective human experience. It could be knowledge about culture, tradition, history, philosophy, belief system, art, farming, biodiversity, medicine, family, economic distribution, etc. The Oromoo Gadaa System is one of such collective human experience that need to be learned as universal value to human society and pass down to the next generations.

The Predicaments of Indigenous Knowledge in Ethiopia Politically speaking, Ethiopia as a nation had never been colonized and maintained its independence while all African countries had been colonized by European states. To some extent, this is true. Practically, however, the Ethiopian Empire State had been constructed and maintained by European states and continued to operate under indirect-colonialism of Anglo-American and European States. Like all African Republics or States, the Ethiopia’s government structure, military structure, religious institutions, political and social, educational, and legal systems are highly influenced mainly by Anglo-American and European institutions including British, France, Italian, Germany, American, Japan, China, etc. Consequently, indigenous knowledge had been systematically marginalized and ignored, unfairly criticized as primitive, static and simple idea by semi-literate domestic elites or agents of exogenous institutions.

These exogenous institutions such as the Orthodox Coptic Church officials (clergy/priests) and collusion of feudal neftenyaa and self-serving local balabats in Ethiopia, for instance, had played a key role in dismantling indigenous institutions, discrediting and condemning indigenous knowledge and even blessing Menelik’s genocidal and unjust war against our people and indigenous people of the south. Here one must note that the local Oromoo balabats had played a primary role in sponsoring, defending and assigning a commanding site Oromoland to the Orthodox Churches in Oromiyaa today. In addition to the neftenyaa system, these social class is accountable historically for the decline of the Oromoo Gadaa System and underdevelopment of its Institutions. Beside this, at present the decedent of these social class still maintained their loyalty to the Orthodox Church and Ethiopia’s empire state. Some individuals even have been involving in the Oromoo liberation struggle by dressing a sheep skin to saboteur the genuine aspiration of Oromians for freedom and independence. This author suspect that this very social class had contributed to the weakness of Oromia liberation camp.

The Impacts of Church Education on Indigenous knowledge

The Orthodox Coptic church jealously dominated the education system in Ethiopia. The Orthodox Coptic Church in Ethiopia had provided training in reading and writing in Ge’ez and Amarigna (Amharic) at primary school level to limited areas and people of the country. To summarize the church education in Ethiopia: elementary pupils had to learn to read, write, and recite the Dawit Medgem (Psalms of David). There are 15 sections, called negus (kings), which normally took two years to master. Next they learned to sing kum zema (church hymns), which took four years, and msaewait zema (advanced singing), which took an additional year to learn. Liturgical dancing and systrum holding required three years. Qine (poetry) and law required five years to learn. The interpretation of the Old and New Testaments, as well as the Apostles’ Creed, took four years on average, while the interpretation of the works of learned monks and priests took three years. When a student knew the psalms by heart, he had mastered the “house of reading” and was now considered an elementary school graduate. As one can see there is no a single grain of indigenous knowledge or belief system had been taught by the Orthodox Church.

The Orthodox Coptic Tewahido Church is considered by government as indigenous institution, when it is imported and imposed on native culture. Both religions Christian and Islam were imported and imposed on native population, such as the early Christianized ethnic Tigray and Amhara and then ethnic Oromoo, Sidama, and other people of the south, by few clergies and foreign religious crusaders. These institutions had replaced the indigenous belief system, institutions and knowledge over time. As a result, the majority, if not the entire population, ethnic Tigray and Amhara believe that Bible is the source of their history and culture. As one can easily understand, the people of Tigray and Amhara have lived far more years than the bible does, which is two thousand years. As people who residing in East Africa, the Tigray and Amhara people must have had indigenous culture and knowledge. What are they?

Despite the claim of three thousand years history of civilization, Ethiopians exposed to non-church education or modern education in 1920s. The ministry of education established in 1930s. Secondary schools established in 1940s, and higher education, Addis Ababa University, established in 1960s. In similar way, the modern education system had also failed in teaching and conducting research on indigenous knowledge so as to integrate it into the modern education. As a result, creativity, inventions and innovations have seen as odd culture to our society. On the contrary, receiving aid, economic migration, conspicuous consumption of imported goods including education and dependency on Western advanced societies or institutions have become a culture.

Therefore, it is up to the Habesha (Tigre and Amhara), the Oromoo and other ethnic groups of the new generation to dig deep down to find out their respective indigenous knowledge that deep rooted in their culture and traditions and pass down from one generation to other generations by their native ancestors if any and re-evaluate the existing very controversial written history, which is biased and by large based on fiction history. The cycle of self-discrimination must end by the new generation. By doing this they can find shared human values that would allow them to live in peace without disrespecting one another as good neighbors and citizens of their respective nation. So one must understand that no one would agree on imported history that was written by the followers and supporters of Christianity crusaders, war lords, kings, dictators and agents of the Western discriminatory and racist institutions of the time as shared human value and history of our respective people in our time. The time and world have changed forever.

The present suspicion, political conflicts and all forms of problems in our region will not be solved without recognizing and applying indigenous knowledge. The lasting resolutions for the problems can be achieved if every member of our society or nation adults learn and teach their younger generation good social skills, which are critical to successfully functioning society. Basic social skills enable adults and children to know what to say, how to make good choices, and how to behave in adverse situations. The extent to which young people possess good social skills can influence their adult behavior in decision making, conflict management and problem solving. Social skills are also linked to the quality of the school environment. The Church and modern education in Ethiopia, unfortunately, had been denying members of our society these good basic skills such as respect, appreciation, empathy, apology, truthfulness, positive attitude about others, etc. Instead, the system allowed social ignorance such disrespect, occupational despise, ethnic chauvinism, fear, the divine right of the kings and honor for ruling class. As a result, the Ethiopian empire has produced highly educated class like Dr. Getachew Haile without basic and good social skills; it seems that he passed through poor socialization as one can understand the meaning of his name, ‘lord of …power’, which is false-self has given to him by his parents
and trying his best to make them proud by being discourteous and rude to the Oromoo people. Dr. Getachew Haile, be nice!

The black people or African descents are subject to institutional discrimination and racism more than any other races in the world including the holy land- Israel and Saud Arabia. Do you know why? The reasons can be many, but one of the reasons is imitation of ideas. The black people are the most imitating of other societies’ idea. They did not protect and develop their own indigenous institutions (political, religious, cultural and socio-economic institutions) to shape their lifestyle and influence others. No other nations are imitating Africans’ culture, religion, lifestyles but the Africans tend to imitate others about everything that life needs. Some African or extremists trying to be more imitator and more knowledgeable about the culture, religion and ideology than the original inventor or creator of the idea. It is understandable that human being has ability to imitate and all cultures imitate ideas from original culture. The question I would like ask the readers is why the changes are in one direction only. Why African descents imitate ideas of the other culture when the other culture do not imitate the African idea or world view?

For example, black Africans including Ethiopians has been pretending as if they have better known about the Jesus of Nazareth more than the Israelis and Prophet Muhammad more than the Arabs; Marxism and Leninism or communism more than Russians; democracy more than Americans and Western societies. These blind optimists about other’s idea are cynical at the same time about their own indigenous knowledge; they are willing to abuse, jail, torture and murder their own innocent people for the authenticity of imported ideas, religious and political ideology. In the case of Ethiopia, the king Menelik II and Yohanness II – holy war and wildish conquests were a case in point. They had imitated from the history of European middle-age idea of religious crusaders and empire builders. The Abyssinian kings had been acted as proxy war lords of European colonial powers and committed incalculable atrocity against the Oromo people and other black people in East Africa. In addition, these Abyssinian kingdom were one of the worst Africa’s kingdoms who sold Africans, their own race, to British, Arabs and other European white race for the exchange of European firearms to conquer the land of other nations and subjugate the people and build the empirical institutions based on European ideas and political model. What most disgracing is when people like Dr. Getachew Haile and his like trying to keep the truth elusive and misrepresent the history of the black people and glorifying the history of the White colonial proxy war lords like Menelik II as great black king, who was cowardly cut women’s breast, mutilate men’s hand and embarrassingly sold his own black race to the European white race.

In conclusion, the quest for truth shall continue by present and future Oromo generations. The root cause for conflicts in Africa is an imported knowledge and imitation of ideas. In many cases, imitation represent a false-self or an act to hiding a true-self. Discriminatory and racist attitude against black people had been partly brought up by European’s colonial power proxy war lords in Africa such as Menelik II of Abyssinia/Ethiopia kingdom. Although most black people tend to cherish and assimilate their cultural identity into the Middle-Eastern and Western cultural identity and ways of life, the very culture of the societies they imitating have been reciprocating or holding discrimination against them based on race, stereotypes and historical disadvantages. Institutional racism still exist and there are also significant number of individuals who think that Africans have not yet acquired culture and civilization. The imitation of others’ ideas, belief system and political institutions by Africans including my fellow Oromoo has kept the racist believes alive. It is suffice to mention the 2013 incidents against African immigrants in Saud Arabia and recently in Israel. The majority of Africans believed that embracing Christianity and Islam would lead to heaven via holy land. Unfortunately, it turned out differently; they end up in hell in the holy land. So, the lasting solution would be revitalizing indigenous knowledge and institutions that demands for real efforts, courage and sacrifices. As to the Oromo’s quest for indigenous knowledge and institutions, revitalization of the Gadaa Republic of Oromia and its institutions would be the lasting solution for century old colonial extraction, subjugation and embarrassment.
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* About the author: Iddoosaa Ejjetaa, Ph.D., native to Oromiyaa, Ethiopia. Independent and Naturalist Thinker; An activist and advocator for the revitalization of Authentic Oromummaa, Oromoo Indigenous knowledge and institutions, and for the formation of Biyyaa Abbaa Gadaa,Oromiyaa-The Gadaa Republic of Oromia.

Read more @
http://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/the-quest-for-oromos-indigenous-knowledge-and-institutions/

Oromia Media Network Launch — Live! March 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Music, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Ideas, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized, Wisdom, Youth Unemployment.
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???????????Oromia Media Network

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=w0d7meZRwbY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=d2XjAnXTwCU

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PNUoDVCFbbM

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=O5SN5HpwRrM

Oromia Media Network Launch — Live! 1st March 2014

Millions of Oromos now have the chance to enjoy quality media focusing on the needs and aspirations of the Oromo people.

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https://www.oromiamedia.org/donorship/

“The Oromia Media Network (OMN) is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit news enterprise whose mission is to produce original and citizen-driven reporting on Oromia, the largest and most populous state in Ethiopia. OMN seeks to offer thought-provoking, contextual, and nuanced coverage of critical public interest issues thereby bringing much needed attention to under-reported stories in the region. Our goal is to create a strong and sustainable multilingual newsroom that will serve as a reliable source of information about the Oromo people, the Ethiopian state, and the greater Horn of Africa region. ” – http://www.oromiamedia.org/

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=fpxrYTVeUUw

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Tribute to the Legendary Oromo artist Almaz Tafarraa (1957- 2014) March 24, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in African Beat, African Music, Artist Almaz Tafarraa, Oromia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, State of Oromia, The Oromo Library, Uncategorized.
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=PNUoDVCFbbM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=_4oqPHhl8SI

 

Artist Almaz Tafarra: the founding member of Afran Qalloo Band: Miseensa Baandi Afran Qalloo jalqabaa

Arstist Almaz Tafarra, the founding member  of the Afran Qalloo died on  22nd March 2014 at Police Referral Hospital in Finfinnee. Tafara began singing in Afaan Oromo in early 1970s.  Artist Almaz Tafarra  was born in 1957 in Oromia,Western Hararghe, Doba district.

In outstanding and successful career that extended across nearly four decades,  artist Almaz Tafara recorded and released a total of ten albums. Her lyrical message usually concentrates  on her own  and collective socio-political issues in Oromia. Tafara released her first solo album in 1983. During her career, Tafara has collaborated and worked with pioneering Oromo artists including Ali Shabo, Kadir Said, Adam Harun, Musa Turki,  Worku Bikila and the  late poet and singer Abdi Mohamed Qophe.  Tafara deeply loved her culture and sang  in Afaan Oromo. She released her tenth and final album in 2005.

(Oromedia, 23 Bitootessa 2014) Dhukkuba kaansarii dhiigaan dhukkubsattee yaalamaa kan turte, Artisti Almaaz Tafarraa Bitootess 22, 2014 addunyaa kana irraa du’aan boqochuun ishee beekame.
Bara jireenya ishii aartii fi Afaan Oromoo guddisuu irratti gahee guddaa kan gumaachaa turte artisti Alamaaz Tafarraa, addunyaa kana irraa kan dabarte hospitaala Poolisii Finfinnee keessatti otuu wal’aanamaa jirtu ta’uu oduun nu gahe addeesse jira.
Akka odeeffannoo argannetti, sirni awwaalchi ishe Duilbata- Bitootessa 23, 2014 waaree booda saatii 4:00 irrati magaalaa Harar keessatti akka ta’u beekameera.
Bara 1957 Oromiyaa Bahaa, Harargee Lixaa, Aanaa Doobbaatti kan dhalatte Artisti Almaaz Tafarraa, sirba ishii duraa bara 1983 kaasettaan baafte. Yeroo sanaa eegalees haga dhukkubsattee waltajjii irraa haftetti kaassettoota sirbaa sagal baaftee ummataaf gumaachitee jirti.
Akka seenaa artistoota Oromoo keessaa hubatamutti, artisti Almaaz Tafarraa miseensa baandii Afran Qalloo turte. Sirboota sirbaa turteenis ummta Oromoo biraa jaalalaa fi kabajaa guddaa yeroo argattu, humnoota guddinaa fi dagaagina aadaa fi eenyummaa Oromoo jibbaniin immoo hedduu dararamaa fi miidhamaa akka turte seenaan ishii kan ragaa bahuudha.
Bara 2014 keessa hedduu waan dhukkubsatteef mana yaalaatti deddeebi’aa kan turte, Artisti Alamaaz, deeggarsa ummataan wal’aansa adda addaa Harar irraa gara Finfinneetti deddeebitee fudhachaa akka turte beekameera.
Sirbooti Artisti Almaaz Tafarraa kan yeroo fi barri ittii hin darbinee fi kan dhalootaa dhalootatti barayyuu yaadatamuu dha.
Akka qormaata Oromediaatti, Artisti Almaaz Tafarraa hojii boonsaa aartii Oromoo keessatti gara waggoota 40f dalagneen dhaloota dhalootatti kan yaadatamuudha.
Kan malees, hojii boonsaa yeroo hamtuu fi sodaachisaa keessa ifatti baatee dalagdeen galmee sabboontotaa fi gootota Oromoo Oromummaa jiraachisan keessatti kan ramadamtuudha.
Kanaan dura oduu karaa Oromedia darbee tureen, sabboontoti Oromoo biyya Jarmanii, biyya Ameerikaa fi Sa’udi Arabiyaa qunnamtii karaa Oromedia argataniin gargaarsa maallaqaatiin birmatanii akka wal’aansa gahaa argattu godhan iyyuu, Artisti Almaaz Tafarraa dhukkubicha irra hafuu hin dandenye.
Akka Artisti Alamaaz Tafarraa akka fayyituu fi dhintu kanneen dhuunfaanis ta’ee gamtaan gumaachitan maraaf seenaan isin yaadata jechaa, Rabbi Isin haa jajjabeeysu jenna.
Gareen Oromedia du’aan adunyaa kana irraa boqochuu artistii fi qabsooftu Almaaz Tafarraatin gadda nuuti dhagahamee ibsaa, lubbuun isaanii Waaqin akka qananiisuuf yeroo kadhannu, firootaa fi hiriyyoota ishii akkasums mararfatootta ishiif jajjabin isinif haa kennu jenna.
Seenaa Artist Almaaz Tafarraa
Bara 1957 Aanaa Doobbaatti keessatti dhalatte.
Bara 1973 Hawwisoo poolisii Harar seente.
Bra 1983 kaassetta duraa baafte.
Bitootessa 22, 2014 addunyaa kana irraa boqotte.

http://oromedia.net/…/artisti-almaaz-tafarraa-boqotte…/ http://oromedia.net/…/artisti-almaaz-tafarraa-boqotte…/

http://www.oromiamedia.org/2014/03/breaking-news-artist-almaz-tefera-passed-away/

http://gadaa.com/oduu/24997/2014/03/23/artisti-almaaz-tafarraa-boqotte-1957-2014-artist-almaz-tefera-passes-away/#.Uy5h15LZj1E.facebook

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3738-beloved-oromo-singer-almaza-tafara-dies

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=vwTpd6vL5yM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ud-rmfLAV8g

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ZF4ina9MqmA

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Cya_bbifWCk

https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=hER7wqUnXZQ

Tribute to the Late Dr. Paul Baxter (1925-2014) March 20, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, African Beat, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Oromia, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Sidama, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, Uncategorized.
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???????????PTW BaxterGadaa.comThe Guardian home

The Oromo Studies Association’s Tribute to the Late Dr. Paul Baxter (1925-2014)

It is with great sadness that the Oromo Studies Association (OSA) informs the Oromo and friends of Oromo about the passing away of Dr. Paul Baxter on March 2, 2014. He was 89. Dr. Paul Baxter was a distinguished British anthropologist who devoted his life to Oromo studies. He is one of the finest human being, who contributed immensely to the development of Oromo studies at the time when the scholarship on the Oromo people was extremely discouraged in Ethiopia. His death is a significant loss for his family, all those who knew and were touched by his humanity and kindness, and for the students of Oromo studies. Dr. Paul Baxter is survived by his wife, Pat Baxter, his son, Adam Baxter, and his three grandsons and their children.

Born on January 30, 1925 in England, Paul Trevor William Baxter, popularly known as Paul Baxter or P.T.W. Baxter, earned his BA degree from Cambridge University. Influenced by famous scholars such as Bronisław Kasper Malinowski, Charles Gabriel Seligman, and Evans Pritchard, Paul Baxter had a solid affection for social anthropology. He went to the famous Oxford University to study social anthropology.

It was at the zenith of the Amharization project of Emperor Haile Selassie that he developed a strong interest to study the social organization of the Oromo people. In fact, in 1952, he wanted to go to Ethiopia to study the Oromo Gada system. Let alone tolerating this type of research, Ethiopia was in the middle of the massive project to eradicate the memory of the Oromo from their historic and indigenous territories. The Assimilation policy was in the full swing. Little spared from an attempt was made to change everything Oromo into Amharic. Even the Oromo names of urban centers were rechristened into Amharic names. It is no wonder that Ethiopia was reluctant to welcome a researcher like Baxter who was looking for the soul of the Oromo culture in the homogenizing Ethiopian Empire. Nonetheless, the challenge did not bother the young and exuberant Baxter to pursue his studies. He was determined more than ever to study the social fabric of the Oromo nation. Failed to get permission to do research among the Oromo in Ethiopia, he went to the British Colony Kenya to study the Borana Oromo social organization in northern Kenya. He spent two years (1952 and 1953) among them, which resulted in his PhD dissertation: ‘The Social Organization of the Oromo of Northern Kenya’, in 1954. This research became a foundation for more of his researches to come and a reference for the students of Oromo studies. Besides, the research disqualified many of the myths and pseudo facts that assume the Oromos were a people without civilization, culture, and history. Dr. Paul Baxter did not stop here. He continued with his studies and spent several decades studying different aspects of the Oromo society. It was through his extended research among the Oromos that he deconstructed some of the myths that portrayed the Oromo people as a “warlike” or “barbarian” nation. The title of essays in his honor, in 1994, “A River of Blessings” speaks to his perception and reality of the Oromo as a peace-loving nation. In his article, “Ethiopia’s Unacknowledged Problem: The Oromo,” he highlighted some of the Oromophobic and barbaric manners of the Ethiopian Empire, and he suggested that peace with the Oromo nation was the only lasting panacea to the Ethiopian political sickening.

In his long academic and research career, he studied the Oromo from northern Kenya to Wallo and Arsi to Guji and so on. He edited a number of books on Oromo studies and published many other articles and book chapters in the field of social anthropology. He participated several times on OSA annual conferences. During the 1960s and 1970s, Dr. Paul Baxter was known as the finest living social anthropologist in the United Kingdom. Besides his impressive scholarship on the Oromo society, Dr. Paul Baxter’s lasting legacy is that he educated so many scholars who have studied Oromo culture both in Kenya and Ethiopia. Dr. Paul Baxter’s passion and determination will inspire the generation of students of the Oromo studies. Our prayers and thoughts are with his family, friends, and Oromos and friends of Oromo studies during this difficult time.

Ibrahim Elemo, M.D., M.P.H
President, the Oromo Studies Association

Mohammed Hassen, Ph.D.
Board Chairman, the Oromo Studies Association

———————-
A partial list of his scholarly works on the Oromo includes the followings:

1. “The Social Organization of the [Oromo] of Northern Kenya,” Ph.D. Dissertation, Oxford University, 1954.

2. “Repetition in Certain Boran Ceremonies” In African Systems of Thought, ed. M. Fortes and G. Dieterlin, (London: Oxford University Press for International African Institute, 1960), 64-78.

3. “Acceptance and Rejection of Islam among the Boran of the Northern Frontier District of Kenya” In Islam in Tropical Africa, edited by I.O. Lewis (London: Oxford University Press, 1966), 233-250.

4. “Stock Management and the Diffusion of Property Rights among the Boran” In Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, (Addis Ababa: Institute of Ethiopian Studies, Haile Selassie I University, 1966), 116-127.

5. “Some Preliminary Observations on a type of Arssi Song” In Proceedings of the Third International Congress of Ethiopian Studies, ed. E. Cerulli (Rome: 1972).

6. “Boran Age-Sets and Generation-set: Gada, a Puzzle or a maze?” In Age Generation and time: Some Features of East African Age Oroganisations, ed. P.T.W. Baxter and U. Almagor, ( London: C. Hurst, 1978), 151-182.

7. “Ethiopia’s Unacknowledged Problem: The Oromo”, African Affairs, Volume 77, Number 208 (1978): 283-296.

8. “Atete: A Congregation of Arssi Women” North East African Studies, Volume I (1979), 1-22.

9. Boran Age-Sets and Warfare”, in Warfare among East African Herders, ed. D. Turton and K. Fukui, Senri Ethnological Studies, Number 3, Osaka: National Museum of Ethnology( 1979), 69-95.

10. “Always on the outside looking in: A view of the 1969 Ethiopian elections from a rural constituency” Ethnos, Number 45(1980): 39-59.

11. “The Problem of the Oromo or the Problem for the Oromo” in Nationalism and Self-Determination in the Horn of Africa, ed. I.M. Lewis, (London: Ithaca Press, 1983), 129-150.

12. “Butter for Barley and Barley for Cash: Petty Transactions and small Transformations in an Arssi Market” In Proceedings of Seventh Congress of Ethiopian Studies (Lund: 1984), 459-472.

13. “The Present State of Oromo Studies: a Resume,” Bulletin des Etudes africaine de l’ Inalco, Vol. VI, Number 11(1986): 53-82.

14. “Giraffes and Poetry: Some Observations on Giraffe Hunting among the Boran” Paiduma: Mitteilungen fur Kulturkunde Volume 32 (1986), 103-115.

15. “Some Observations on the short Hymns sung in Praise of Shaikh Nur Hussein of Bale” In The Diversity of the Muslim Community, ed. Ahmed el –Shahi, (London: Ithaca Press, 1987), 139-152.

16. “L’impact de la revolution chez les Oromo: Commentl’ont-ils percu, comment ont-ils reagi?” In La Revolution ethiopienne comme phenomene de societe, edited by Joseph Tubiana, (Paris: l’Harmattan, Bibliotheque Peiresc, 1990), 75-92.

17. “Big men and cattle licks in Oromoland” Social change and Applied Anthropology; Essays in Honor of David David W. Brokensha, edited by Miriam Chaiken & Anne K. Fleuret,( Boulder: Westview Press, 1990), 246-261.

18. “Oromo Blessings and Greetings” In The Creative Communion, edited by Anita Jacoson-Widding & W. Van Beek (Uppsala, Uppsala Studies in Cultural Anthropology , 1990), 235-250.

19. “Introduction “In Guji Oromo Culture in Southern Ethiopia by J. Van de Loo, ( Berli: ReinMer, 1991).

20. “Ethnic Boundaries and Development: Speculations on the Oromo Case” In Inventions and Boundaries: Historical and Anthropological Approaches to the Study of Ethnicity & Nationalism, edited by Kaarsholm Preben & Jan Hultin, (Denmark: Roskilde University, 1994): 247-260.

21. “The Creation & Constitution of Oromo Nationality” In Ethnicity & Conflict in the Horn of Africa, edited by Fukui Katsuyoshi & John Markarkis, (London: James Currey, 1994): 166-86.

22. “Towards a Comparative Ethnography of the Oromo” In Being and Becoming Oromo: Historical & Anthropological Enquiries, edited by Paul Baxter et al, (Uppsala: Nordiska Afikanistitutet, 1996): 178-189.

23. “Components of moral Ethnicity: The case of the Oromo.” In Ethnicity and the state in Eastern Africa, edited by Mohammed Salih & John Markarkis, (Uppsala: OSSREA & SIAS, 1998).
http://gadaa.com/oduu/24792/2014/03/03/the-oromo-studies-associations-tribute-to-the-late-dr-paul-baxter-1925-2014/

“…The efflorescence of feelings of common nationhood and of aspirations of self-determination among the the cluster of peoples who speak Oromo has not been much commented upon. Yet the problem of the Oromo people has been a major and central one in the Ethiopian Empire ever since it was created by Menelik in the last two decades of the nineteenth century. If the Oromo people only obtain a portion of the freedoms which they seek the balance of political power will be completely altered. If the Oromo act with unity they must necessarily constitute a powerful force. … If the Ogaden and Eritrea were detached Ethiopia would merely be diminished, but if the Oromo were to detach themselves, then it is not just that the centre could not hold, the centre would be part of the detached Oromo land. The Empire, which Menelik stuck together and Haile Selassie held together, would just fall apart. The Amhara would then forced back to their barren and remote hills. … The slogan of the Oromo Liberation Front is ‘Let Oromo freedom flower today! (addi bilisumma Oromo Ha’dararuu!).This may be a very over-optimistic hope but, if not today, the time of flowering and fruiting cannot be delayed forever.”

Professor Paul Baxter, Manchester University, in his article
Ethiopia’s Unacknowledged Problem: The Oromo
African Affairs 1978 Volume LXXVII (pp. 283-296) Published for Royal African Society by Oxford University Press.

Baxter daadhiin jala haa yaatu

http://www.opride.com/oromsis/news/horn-of-africa/3737-baxter-daadhiin-jala-haa-yaatu

My friend, the social anthropologist PTW (Paul) Baxter, who has died aged 89, made a significant contribution to western understanding of the Oromo peoples of northern Kenya and Ethiopia and championed their culture, which was frequently denigrated by colonial and local elites.

His work on the plight of the Ethiopian Oromo became a standard text in Oromo studies and a rallying point for the Oromo cause. Paul was not always comfortable with the praise he received as a result, and was often self-deprecating, describing himself as the world’s most unpublished anthropologist. That was a harsh judgment, since a complete list of his output is respectably long. He also made a wider contribution by editing the journal Africa and sitting on the Royal African Society board.

Born in Leamington Spa – his father was a primary school headteacher in the town – Paul attended Warwick school. Academic ambitions were put aside when he joined the commandos in 1943, serving in the Netherlands and occupied Germany. He married Pat, whom he had met at school, in 1944, and after the war went to Downing College, Cambridge, studying English under FR Leavis before switching to anthropology.

On graduation he moved to Oxford, where anthropology under EE Evans-Pritchard was flourishing. Field research on the pastoral Borana people in northern Kenya followed for two years, accompanied by Pat and their son, Timothy. He gained his DPhil in 1954 and more fieldwork followed among the Kiga of Uganda.

With UK jobs scarce, he took a position at the University College of Ghana. This was a happy time for the family, who found Ghana delightful. Returning to the UK in 1960, he was offered a one-year lectureship at the University of Manchester by the sociology and social anthropology head, Max Gluckman, after a recommendation by Evans-Pritchard. He then spent two years at the University College of Swansea (now Swansea University) before returning permanently to the University of Manchester. Over the next 26 years Paul contributed significantly to anthropological studies and to Oromo research, spending 12 months among the Arssi Oromo of Ethiopia before retiring in 1989.

Paul was never interested in winning academic prizes; instead his focus was on helping people. Generations of students, both at home and overseas, benefited from friendship and, often, a warm welcome in his home.

Paul’s life was touched by sadness, particularly Timothy’s death from multiple sclerosis in 2005, but he took great pleasure in his family. He is survived by Pat, their son Adam, four grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/mar/18/ptw-baxter-obituary#

Oromo nationals in UK paid their last respect  to Dr. Paul Baxter at the  final  emotional farewell service held on the 18th March 2014,   Stockport, Bramhall  Baptist  church.
Owwaalchi Prof. Paul Baxter sirna ho’aan Bitootessa 18, 2014 raawwate. Sirni owwaalchaa kun kan raawwate bakka dhaloota Prof. Baxter magaalaa Stockport jedhamu keessatti yommuu ta’u maatii fi firoota isaanii dabalatee namoonni hedduun irratti argamaniiru. Sirna kana irratti  ‘London’  fi ‘Manchester’ keessa kan jiraatan Oromoonni hedduunis argamuun gadda isaanii ibsan.
Magaalaa ‘Stockport’ keessa  waldaa ‘Bramhall Baptist church’ jedhamu keessatti tajaajila yaadannoo isaaniitiif gaggeeffame irratti namoota haasaa godhan keessaa tokko Obbo Xahaa Abdii turan. Obbo Xahaan uummata Oromoo bakka bu’uun yeroo kanatti yommuu dubbatan Prof. Paul Baxter fira jabaa uummata Oromoo akka turan ibsan. Obbo Xahaan itti fufuun yommuu dubbatan kanneen biroo seenaa, aadaa fi eenyummaan Oromoo akka owwaalamuuf tattaaffi cimaa yommuu godhaa turan keessa bara 1954 Prof Baxter waan gaarii Oromoon qabu ifa baasuun barreessuu isaanii himan. Paul Baxter waa’ee Oromoo irratti akka qorannoo hin gaggeessineef yeroo sirni mootummaa biyya Itoophiyaa hayyama isaan dhorku karaa biyya ‘Kenya’ seenuun Boorana keessatti hojjechuu isaanii dubbatan. Ethiopia: the Unacknowledged problem: The Oromo:’ ka jedhu caaffata maxxansuu isaaniis Obbo Xahaan ifa godhan. Prof Baxter dhimma Oromoo ilaalchisuun waraqaa adda addaa barreessuun, akkasumas Oromoota barnoota isaanii xumuruuf qorannoo gaggeessanii fi warra hojii barbaadaniifis gorsa barbaachisuun cina dhaabbachaa akka turan dabalanii ibsan.  Obbo Xahaan dhuma irrattis haadhawarraa Prof. Baxter ka turan Aadde Pat, ijoolee isaanii  fi ijoolleen ijoollee isaanii gadda irraa akka if  jabeessan dubbachuun Prof Baxteriif ammoo boqonnaa gaarii akka ta’uuf hawwii isaanii ibsan.
Akkasumas dhalootaan Boorana ‘Kenya’ ka ta’e dargaggoon Oromoo Kevin Waldie jedhamu hojii Paul Baxter Oromoof hojjetan ilaalchisee Obbo Xahaatti aanuun dubbate. Prof Baxter hujii gaarii  Oromoof hojjetan yoom iyyuu taanaan irraanfatamuu akka hindandeenye Kevin ibse.
Oromootni waldaa warra wangeelaa Oromoo Londonirraa sirna kana irratti argamanis tajaajila faarfan-
naa guyyaa kanaaf ta’u kennuun qalbii namootaa harkisuu danda’uu isaaniitiif dinqisiifaman. Tajaajilli
faarfannaa kun dhimma kristaanotaa qofaa otoo hintaane dhimma Oromoo hundaati jechuun Oromoonni amantii adda addaa qaban illee ol ka’anii cina dhaabbachuun warra faarfaataniif tumsa gaarii godhaniiru.
 Bakka sirni bunaa fi ciree gaggeeffame irratti Oromootni hedduun dhuunfaa dhuunfaan namoota
Stockport jiraatan waliin haasawaa turan. Warra waa’ee Oromoo hinbeekiniifis hanga danda’ametti
ibsa gabaabaa kennuun Oromoo beeksisuuf yaalii godhame. Battala kanatti yoon dogoggore namootni
bakka sana turan akka na qajeelchan abdachaa haati warraa Prof Baxter ” There is the Oromoo promise. Please get in touch with me” sagalee jedhu waan dhageessisaa turan natti fakkaata. Waan kana itti
hatattamaan deebinee addaan baafachuun waan nurra eegamu ta’a.
Miseensotni hawaasa Oromoo UK kanneen sirna owwaalcha fira jabaa Oromoo kana irratti yeroo fi
horii keessan gumaachuun argamtan galata guddaa qabdu.  Maqaa dhahuuf i) Obbo Xahaa Abdii
ii) Obbo Mangashaa Riqituu iii) Obbo Moosisaa Raggaasaa iv) Obbo Mokonnon Guutaa v) Obbo
Damissee Tulluu vi) Obbo Zalaalam Bantii vii) Obbo Tashaalaa Joobaa viii) Obbo Eyyaasuu Bulaa ix)
Obbo Boonsaa Waltajjii x) Obbo Tolasaa Adabaa xi) Obbo Taarikuu Baanjoo xii) Obbo Immiruu
Ittaanaa.
Kanneen hayyama hojii dhabuu irraa deemuu hanqattan garuu  horii keessan  baasuun warra deemaniif gargaarsa geejibaa gootanis akkasuma galata guddaa qabdu. Maqaa dhahuuf i) ObboTaaddasaa
Dabalaa ii) Obbo Abdulwasii Ahmed iii) Aadde Baayyee Fufaa
Akkasumas kanneen deemuuf fedha guddaa otoo qabdanii hujii fi karuma hundaa isinii mijatuu
hanqates galata guddaa qabdu.
Walumaa gala Owwaalchi Prof Paul Baxter sirna gaariin yommuu gaggeeffamu Oromoon heddumatuun
sirna kana irratti argamuun isaa maatii fi firoota Prof Baxter  hedduu gammachiisee jira.
” Professor Paul Baxter du’aan biyya lafaa kana irraa godaanan illee hujiin isaan Oromoof hojjetan
   barabaraan jiraata.”
Koree hojii gaggeessituu hawaasa Oromoo UK

Africa’s youth and the self-seeking repressive elites March 15, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Development, Dictatorship, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Finfinnee, Food Production, Human Rights, International Economics, International Trade, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Opportunity Cost, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromummaa, Poverty, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Slavery, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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Oijoolleeoromo

Africa’s youth will protest to remove self-seeking and repressive elites

 

“Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone. ….Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk. The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites. But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’. What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’? Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure. There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.”  – Marika Griehsel, journalist, film-maker and lecturer

“Thousands of people are demonstrating on the streets to protest against low salaries, the highcost of living and an insufficient state safety net. A reaction to austerity measures in Greece? Or a follow-up to the Arab Spring? No, these are protests for greater equality in Sub-Saharan Africa, most recently in Burkina Faso. The widening gap between rich and poor is as troubling in Africa as in the rest of the world. In fact, many Africans believe that inequalities are becoming more marked: A tiny minority is getting richer while the lines of poor people grow out the door. The contrast is all the more striking in Africa since the poverty level has been at a consistently high level for decades, despite the continent’s significant average GDP growth. Some take a plane to get treated for hay fever, while others are pushing up daisies because they can’t afford basic malaria treatment.”

– Global Voices: http://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

 

 

It is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

The largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest.

Soon, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

This piece was written in Namibia, where I was leading a tour around one of Africa’s more stable nations. There are several signs confirming the World Bank’s reclassification of Namibia as a middle-income country, which in turn means that many aid donors, including Sweden, have ended their bilateral cooperation.

I see newly constructed, subsidised single-family homes accessible for low-income families. I drive on good roads and meet many tourists, although this is off-season. I hear about a growing mining sector, new discoveries of natural gas and oil deposits. I read about irregularities committed by people in power, in a reasonably free press whose editors are not thrown into jail. There is free primary level schooling and almost free health care.

Most people I talk to are optimistic. A better future for a majority of Namibians is being envisaged. This is in all probability the result of the country having a small population ‒ just above 2 million ‒ and a functioning infrastructure despite its large area.

In Namibia, economic growth can hopefully be matched by implementing policies for long-term, sustainable social and economic development that will benefit more than the élite.

But Namibia is an exception. Because it is now evident that the African ‘lion economies’ have hardly even begun the economic and democratic transformation that is absolutely necessary for the future of the continent.

Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

The International Monetary Fund, IMF, predicts continued high growth rates across Africa with an average of over 6 per cent in 2014. That is of course good news for the continent. Perhaps the best, from a macroeconomic viewpoint, since the 1960s, when many of the former colonies became independent. This growth is mainly driven by the raw material needs of China, India and Brazil.

Meanwhile, the largest movement ever in Africa of people from rural to urban areas is now taking place. Lagos, Nigeria, and Nairobi, Kenya, are among the world’s fastest growing cities. But, in contrast with China, where the migrants from the rural areas get employment in the manufacturing industry, the urban migrants in Africa end up in the growing slums of the big cities.

In a few places, notably in Ethiopia, manufacturing is beginning to take off. But the wages in the Chinese-owned factories are even lower than in China, while the corporations pay minimal taxes to the Ethiopian state.

Short-term greed is, once again, depriving the African populations of the right to share in the continent’s immense riches. No-one can predict the future, but what can be said with certainty is that the possibility of a sustainable long-term and fair development that is currently at hand in Africa is being put at risk.

The frustration that is fuelled among populations that are hungry and feel ignored by their rulers will bring about increasingly strident and potentially violent protest. In the near future, this will change the political climate, not least in urban areas. Utilising the internet and their mobile phones, Africa’s youth and forgotten people will mobilise and act together to remove self-seeking and repressive elites.

But the situation is not hopeless, on the contrary. Civil society is growing stronger in many places in Africa. The internet makes it possible for people to access and disseminate information in an unprecedented way. However, I get really disappointed when I hear all the ingenuous talk about the possibilities to invest and make quick profits in the ‘New Africa’.

What is in reality new in the ‘New Africa’?

Today, a worker in a Chinese-owned factory in Ethiopia earns one-tenth of the wage of an employee in China. Unless African governments and investors act more responsibly and ensure long-term sustainable construction for people and the environment ‒ which is currently not the case ‒ we must all ask ourselves if we should not use the consumer power we all possess to exert pressure.

There are no excuses for letting African populations and their environment once again pay for the global demand for its raw materials and cheap consumer goods.
Some examples: authoritarian regimes, as in Ethiopia and Rwanda, are consolidating their positions. In Zambia, Angola and Mozambique, the press, civil society organisations and the opposition are under threat for demanding that the proceeds from raw material exports and billion dollar multinational corporate investments should benefit everyone.

http://naiforum.org/2014/03/africas-youth-will-protest/

The World Bank paints an optimistic picture of African potential, but warns against persistently high inequalities:

Economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) remains strong with growth forecasted to be 4.9% in 2013. Almost a third of countries in the region are growing at 6% and more, and African countries are now routinely among the fastest-growing countries in the world […] [however the report] notes that poverty and inequality remain “unacceptably high and the pace of reduction unacceptably slow.” Almost one out of every two Africans lives in extreme poverty today.

Revenue inequality in African towns via French documentation - Public domainhttp://globalvoicesonline.org/2014/03/11/reducing-the-gap-between-africas-rich-and-poor/

Africa: Legacy of Pre-colonial Empires and Colonialism March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, Africa Rising, African Beat, African Poor, Agriculture, Aid to Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Comparative Advantage, Corruption, Culture, Development, Dhaqaba Ebba, Dictatorship, Domestic Workers, Economics, Economics: Development Theory and Policy applications, Environment, Ethnic Cleansing, Finfinnee, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Hadiya, Hadiya and the Omo Valley, Haile Fida, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Language and Development, Nubia, Ogaden, OMN, Omo, Omo Valley, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, South Sudan, Specialization, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Youth Unemployment.
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‘Our knowledge of the nature of identity relations in pre-colonial Africa is less than complete. However, there is little doubt that many parts of the continent were torn apart by various wars, during that era. Many of the pre-colonial wars revolved around state formation, empire building, slave raids, and control over resources and trade routs. The slave raiding and looting empires and kingdoms, including those of the 19th century, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations. It is beyond the scope of this paper to discuss in detail the nature of pre-colonial empires in Africa. The examples of the Abyssinian Empire and the Mahdiyya state in Sudan provide a glimpse of the impacts of pre-colonial empires on the prevailing problems in inter-identity relations. The Abyssinian Empire, for example, is credited for creating the modern Ethiopian state during the second half of the 19th century and defending it from European colonialism. However, it also left behind a deeply divided country where the populations in the newly incorporated southern parts of the country were ravaged by slave raids and lootings and, in many cases, reduced into landless tenants, who tilled the land for northern landlords (Pankhurst, 1968). The Empire also established a hierarchy of cultures where the non-Abyssinian cultures in the newly incorporated territories were placed in a subordinate position. There are claims, for instance, that it was not permissible to publish, preach, teach or broadcast in Oromiya [Afaan Oromo] (language of the Oromo people) in Ethiopia until the end of the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie (Baxter, 1978, 228). It requires a great deal of sensitivity to teach Ethiopian history in the country’s schools, since the empire-builders of the 19th century are heroes to some identities while they are viewed as villains who brought destruction and oppression by others. Similarly, Sudan’s Mahdiyya state, which professed Arab identity and was supported by slave raiding communities, left behind complex scars in inter-identity relations, which still plague the country (Francis Deng, 2010).’ pp 10-12

Diversity Management in Africa: Findings from the African Peer Review Mechanism
and a Framework for Analysis and Policy-Making , 2011.

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

http://www.uneca.org/sites/default/files/publications/3-diversity-management.pdf

Related articles:

No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the cruelty of the TPLF/EPRDF regime.
A country is not about its leaders but of its people. It goes without saying that the people are the symbolic mirror of their nation. That is exactly why foreigners particularly the development partners assess and evaluate a nation through its people. In other words, a happy people are citizen of not only a peaceful and happy nation but one which accepts the principles of democracy, rule of law and human and people’s right. On the contrast, heartbroken, timid and unhappy people are subjects of dictatorial, callous and brutal regimes. Such people are robbed of their humanity and identity through systematic harassment, intimidation, unlawful detention, extra judicial killing and disappearances by the leaders who transformed themselves into creators of human life or lords. The largest oromo nation in Ethiopia through the 22years of TPLF/EPRDF repressive leadership has turned into a nation sobbing in the dark. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. All it takes is a closer look at any Oromos in the face. The story is the same on all the faces: fear, uncertainty, and an unquenchable thirst for freedom. The disturbing melody of the sobs in the dark echo the rhythmic desire to break free from TPLF dictatorial shackles.
The Horn African region of the Ethiopia is home to just 90 million people, it is also home to one of the world’s most ruthless, and eccentric, tyrannical regime .TPLF/EPRDF is ruling the nation particularly the Oromos with an iron fist for the past two decades and yet moving on. Today dissents in Oromia are frequently harassed, arrested, tortured, murdered and put through sham trials, while the people are kept in a constant state of terror through tight media control, as repeatedly reported by several human rights groups. It has been long time since the Woyane government bans most foreign journalists and human rights organizations and NGOs from operating in the country for the aim of hiding its brutal governance from the world. While the people in Ethiopia are being in terrorized by TPLF gangs, the western powers are yet looking at the country as a very strategic place to fight the so called terrorism in horn African region. But In today’s Ethiopia; as an Oromo, No one can speak out against the dictatorship in that country. You can be killed. You can be arrested. You can be kept in prison for a long time. Or you can disappear in thin air. Nobody will help. Intimidations, looting Oromo resources and evicting Oromos from their farm lands have become the order of the day everywhere across Oromia.
No Oromo has constitutional or legal protection from the killing machinery of the TPLF securities. The recent murdering of Tesfahun Chemeda in kallitti prison is a case book of the current Circumstance.
The So called EPRDF constitution, as all Ethiopian constitutions had always been under the previous Ethiopian regimes, is prepared not to give legal protections to the Oromo people, but to be used against the Oromo people. Prisons in the Ethiopia have become the last home to Oromo nationalists, human right activists or political opponent of the regime. Yet the international community is either not interested or have ignored the numerous Human Right abuses in Ethiopia simply because, they think there is stability in the country. Is there no stability in North Korea? I don’t understand why the international community playing double standard with dining and wining with Ethiopian brutal dictators while trying to internationally isolate other dictators. For crying out loud, all dictators are dangerous to humanity and shaking their hands is even taboo much more doing business with them.
Without the support of the USA and EU, major pillars of the regime would have collapsed. Because one reason why TPLF is sustaining in power is through the budgetary support and development funding of the EU, the United States and offered diplomatic validation by the corrupted African Union. Foremost, the US and EU as the largest partners are responsible for funding the regime’s sustainability and its senseless brutality against ordinary citizens. They would have the capacity to disrupt the economic might of this regime without negatively impacting ordinary citizens, and their failure to do so is directly responsible for the loss of many innocent lives, the torture of many and other grievous human rights abuses. Helping dictators while they butcher our people is what I cannot understand. What I want to notify here is, on the way of struggling for freedom it is very essential to call on the western powers to stop the support they are rendering to dictators in the name of fighting the so called terrorism in Horn Africa, otherwise it will remain an obstacle for the struggle.
Holding elections alone does not make a country democratic. Where there is no an independent media, an independent judiciary (for the rule of law), an independent central bank, an independent electoral commission (for a free and fair vote); neutral and professional security forces; and an autonomous (not a rubber stamp) parliament, no one should expect that the pseudo election will remove TPLF from power. The so-called “Ethiopian constitution” is a façade that is not worth the paper which it is written on. It does not impose the rule of law; and does not effectively limit governmental power. No form of dissent is tolerated in the country.
As my understanding and as we have observed for more than two decades, it is unthinkable to remove TPLF regime without a military struggle or without popular Uprisings. They are staying, staying, and staying in power – 10, 20, 22 and may be 30 or 40 years. They have developed the mentality of staying on power as their own family and ethnic property. So that they are grooming their clans, their wives, sons, cats, dogs and even goats to succeed them. They are simply the worst mafia regime and the most politically intolerant in the Africa. It is impossible to remove them electorally because we have been witnessing that the electoral system is fundamentally flawed and indomitably skewed in favor them. Every gesture and every words coming from TPLF gangs in the last several years have confirmed that to remove them by election is nothing but like to dream in daylight.
The late dictator “Meles Zenawi” had once said that TPLF “shall rule for a thousand years”, asserting that elections SHALL NOT remove his government. He also said: “the group who want the power must go the forest and fight to achieve power”. Therefore, taking part in Pseudo election will have no impact on reducing the pain of the oppressed people. Evidently, the opposition and civil societies have been rendered severely impotent, as any form of dissent attracts the ultimate penalty in Ethiopia. Furthermore, we are watching that this regime is intensifying its repression of democracy each day, and ruling strictly through the instrument of paralyzing fear and the practice of brutality against ordinary citizens.
As we are learning from history, Dictators are not in a business of allowing election that could remove them from their thrones. The only way to remove this TPLF dictatorship is through a military force, popular uprising, or a rebel insurgency: Egypt (2011), Ivory Coast (2011), Tunisia (2011), Libya (2011), Rwanda (1994), Somalia (1991), Liberia (1999), etc. A high time to fire up resistance to the TPLF killings and resource plundering in Oromia, is now. To overthrow this brutal TPLF dictatorship and to end the 22 years of our pain, it is a must to begin the resistance with a nationwide show of defiance including distributing postures of resistance against their brutality across Oromia and the country. Once a national campaign of defiance begins, it will be easy to see how the TPLF regime will crumble like a sand castle. Besides, we the Oromo Diaspora need to work on strengthening the struggle by any means we can. It is the responsibility of the Diaspora to advance the Oromo cause, and at the same time to determine how our efforts can be aided by the international community. As well, it is a time for every freedom thirsty Oromo to take part in supporting our organization Oromo liberation Front by any means we can.
These days, TPLF regime is standing on one foot and removing it is easier than it appears. Let all oppressed nations organize for the final push to liberty. The biggest fear of Woyane regime is people being organized and armed with weapons of unity, knowledge, courage, vigilance, and justice. What is needed is a unified, dedicated struggle for justice and sincerity. Oromo’s are tired of the dying, the arrests, the detentions, the torture, the brutality and the forced disappearances. This should come to an end! DEATH FOR TPLF LEADERES ,.long live FOR OROMIYA
_____________________________________
The author, ROBA PAWELOS, can be reached by bora1273@yahoo.com
http://oromiatimes.org/2014/03/13/no-oromo-has-constitutional-or-legal-protection-from-the-cruelty-of-the-tplfeprdf-regime-roba-pawelos/
‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”. Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.
If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population. Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.
Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.’…………………………………………………

A number of African governments accused of human rights abuses have turned to public relations companies to salvage the image of their countries.

The BBC’s Focus on Africa magazine asked two experts whether “reputation management” is mostly a cover-up for bad governance.

NO: Thor Halvorssen is president of the New York-based Human Rights Foundation and founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum.

Thor Halvorssen has published extensively on the subject of lobbying
For Public Relations (PR) companies and their government clients, “reputation management” can be a euphemism of the worst sort. In many cases across Africa, it often means whitewashing the human rights violations of despotic regimes with fluff journalism and, just as easily, serving as personal PR agents for rulers and their corrupt family members.

But they also help governments drown out criticism, often branding dissidents, democratic opponents and critics as criminals, terrorists or extremists.

Today, with the preponderance of social media, anyone with an opinion, a smart phone and a Facebook account can present their views to an audience potentially as large as any major political campaign can attract.

This has raised citizen journalism to a level of influence unknown previously. Yet, this communication revolution has also resulted in despotic governments smearing not just human rights advocates, but individuals with blogs as well as Twitter, YouTube and Facebook accounts. This undermines the power and integrity of social media.

And as PR firms help regimes “astroturf” with fake social media accounts, they do more damage than just muddling legitimate criticism with false comments and tweets linking back to positive content – they also make the general public sceptical about social media.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations. But PR professionals who spin for them should be exposed as amoral.

It is no surprise that ruthless governments that deny their citizens basic freedoms would wish to whitewash their reputations”

For instance, Qorvis Communications, a PR and lobbying firm in the United States, represents Equatorial Guinea – among other allegedly repressive governments – for a reported $55,000 a month. The firm is said to have amassed more than $100 million by helping their clients with “reputation management”.

By burying opposing public opinions or spinning false, positive stories of stability and economic growth on behalf of President Teodoro Obiang Nguema’s brutal regime, the firm is seriously hampering the progress of human rights in the country.

In response, Qorvis says that customers with troublesome human rights records are a very small part of its client base, and that these governments are using Qorvis as a means to be heard in the “court of public opinion”.

Washington Media Group, another American PR firm, was hired in 2010 by the Tunisian government. The autocracy was subsequently described in various media outlets as a “stable democracy” and a “peaceful, Islamic country with a terrific story to share with the world”. Only after the regime’s snipers began picking off protesters did Washington Media Group end its $420,000 contract.

‘Limited engagement’
When a PR firm spins a dictator’s story, it does not just present a different viewpoint, as the firm might want you to believe; rather, it undermines the resources from which people can draw opinions. If a website or magazine commends the government, how is an average citizen to know for certain if the information is accurate or true?

President Teodoro Obiang Nguema
Teodoro Obiang Nguema is accused of leading a brutal regime in Equatorial Guinea
Many firms that operate, or have done, on behalf of kleptocracies in Africa are based not only in the US but also in the United Kingdom. They include Bell Pottinger (Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt), Brown Lloyd James (Muammar Gaddafi’s Libya) and Hill & Knowlton (Yoweri Museveni’s Uganda).

There are likely many more that continue to do this work under the cover of corporate secrecy. When firms get caught or criticised for their activities many say it is “limited engagement” for only a few months or that the task only involved “tourism” or “economic progress”.

If, for instance, a firm served the questionable government in the Democratic Republic of the Congo they would probably insist they are “consultants” helping to create “economic opportunity” and, no doubt, providing a “guiding hand” to the current president as he improves the lot of the Congolese poor.

Yet the spin doctors most probably ignore the fact that President Joseph Kabila’s security forces killed Floribert Chebeya, arguably the DR Congo’s leading human rights defender, and likely “disappeared” his driver (he is still missing). Only after an international uproar were the policemen directly responsible for the killing brought to justice.

Meanwhile, political opponents routinely disappear, journalists are arrested for criticising the government and any comprehensive human rights report contains appalling anecdotes and painful analysis about a country with little judicial independence and respect for the rule of law.

PR agents do not create “economic opportunities” – they alter reality so that certain deals and foreign aid can flow faster and in larger quantities – all the while being rewarded handsomely.

‘Briefcase bandits’
Africa’s spin doctors (mostly American and European) deliberately choose to represent what the Free Africa Foundation’s George Ayittey so refreshingly describes as “Swiss-bank socialists”, “crocodile liberators”, “quack revolutionaries”, and “briefcase bandits”.

Mr Ayittey – a former political prisoner from Ghana – pulls us a lot closer to the truth.

If the mainstream media adopts Mr Ayittey’s language, the free governments of the world would be forced to face the truth and take necessary steps to tie their aid and trade deals to democratic reform for the benefit of Africa’s population.

Sunlight is the best disinfectant, and we must combat the work of firms that provide “reputation management” to oppressive states by exposing their role in abetting injustice.

Those firms may want to consider atoning by volunteering for the civil society groups, human rights’ defenders and economic opportunity organisations working to make Africa free and prosperous.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-15109351

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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights March 13, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Africa, Development, Ethnic Cleansing, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, ICC, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Land and Water Grabs in Oromia, Nubia, Ogaden, Omo, Oromia, Oromia Support Group Australia, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Culture, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, Sidama, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Tweets and Africa, Tyranny, Uncategorized, Youth Unemployment.
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The Universal Declaration of Human Rights: What is it? Who uses it? Why was it created?

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 December 1948, was the result of the experience of the Second World War. With the end of that war, and the creation of the United Nations, the international community vowed never again to allow atrocities like those of that conflict happen again. World leaders decided to complement the UN Charter with a road map to guarantee the rights of every individual everywhere.(http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/history.shtml)

http://www.un.org/en/documents/udhr/index.shtml

http://oneworldrights.wordpress.com/2014/02/26/udhr-article-2/

The Oromo are the second largest indigenous population in Africa March 11, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Aannolee and Calanqo, Afaan Publication, Africa, African Beat, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Colonizing Structure, Development, Dictatorship, Ethnic Cleansing, Facebook and Africa, Fatuma Roba, Finfinnee, Gadaa System, Haacaaluu Hundeessaa, Human Rights, Human Traffickings, Humanity and Social Civilization, Irreecha, Janjaweed Style Liyu Police of Ethiopia, Kemetic Ancient African Culture, Knowledge and the Colonizing Structure., Language and Development, Nubia, OMN, Oromia, Oromia Support Group, Oromiyaa, Oromo, Oromo Artists, Oromo Culture, Oromo First, Oromo Identity, Oromo Media Network, Oromo Music, Oromo Nation, Oromo Social System, Oromo Sport, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Oromummaa, Poverty, Qubee Afaan Oromo, Saudi Arabia, Self determination, Sidama, Sirna Gadaa, Slavery, State of Oromia, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oldest Living Person Known to Mankind, The Oromo Democratic system, The Oromo Governance System, The Oromo Library, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Theory of Development, Uncategorized.
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Hard roads to freedom: The Oromo fight for recognition in their new home
refugeeweek

 

‘We have to tell people we are the second largest indigenous population in Africa
because nobody knows about us.’O

refugeeweekhttp://ayyaantuu.com/horn-of-africa-news/oromia/hard-roads-to-freedom-the-oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home/

 

http://advocacy4oromia.files.wordpress.com/2013/05/oromo-fight-for-recognition-in-their-new-home.pdf

 

Democracy Is On Average Richer, Lets People Speak Their Minds, Shape Their Own And Their Children’s Futures February 27, 2014

Posted by OromianEconomist in Africa, Ancient African Direct Democracy, Corruption, Gadaa System, Oromo Social System, Oromo the Largest Nation of Africa. Human Rights violations and Genocide against the Oromo people in Ethiopia, Self determination, The Colonizing Structure & The Development Problems of Oromia, The Oromo Governance System, The Tyranny of Ethiopia, Uncategorized.
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???????????

“Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. That so many people in so many different parts of the world are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.”
Ethiopia: in 1972 not free, in 1991 partly free and in 2013 not free.

See chart by the Economist through the link and read the analysis@ http://www.economist.com/news/essays/21596796-democracy-was-most-successful-political-idea-20th-century-why-has-it-run-trouble-and-what-can-be-do
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The protesters who have overturned the politics of Ukraine have many aspirations for their country. Their placards called for closer relations with the European Union (EU), an end to Russian intervention in Ukraine’s politics and the establishment of a clean government to replace the kleptocracy of President Viktor Yanukovych. But their fundamental demand is one that has motivated people over many decades to take a stand against corrupt, abusive and autocratic governments. They want a rules-based democracy.
It is easy to understand why. Democracies are on average richer than non-democracies, are less likely to go to war and have a better record of fighting corruption. More fundamentally, democracy lets people speak their minds and shape their own and their children’s futures. That so many people in so many different parts of the world are prepared to risk so much for this idea is testimony to its enduring appeal.
Yet these days the exhilaration generated by events like those in Kiev is mixed with anxiety, for a troubling pattern has repeated itself in capital after capital. The people mass in the main square. Regime-sanctioned thugs try to fight back but lose their nerve in the face of popular intransigence and global news coverage. The world applauds the collapse of the regime and offers to help build a democracy. But turfing out an autocrat turns out to be much easier than setting up a viable democratic government. The new regime stumbles, the economy flounders and the country finds itself in a stat