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Oromo Indigenous Religion: Waaqeffannaa

Published in 2016, Aga, Bedassa, International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation - Archived on January 18th, 2017

Title: The politics of language and representative bureaucracy in Ethiopia: the case of Federal Government
Author: Bedassa Aga (Wollega University, Oromia, Ethiopia)
Published: International Journal of Research and Scientific Innovation, Vol. III, No. IV (2016), pp. 1-8.
Language: English
Keywords: Indigenous religion, Waaqa, Waaqeffannaa, and Oromo

This paper discusses the African Traditional religion with a particular reference to the Oromo Indigenous religion, Waaqeffannaa, in Ethiopia. It aims to explore status of Waaqeffannaa religion in interreligious interaction. It also intends to introduce the reader with Waaqeffannaa’s mythology, ritual activities, and how it interrelates and shares with other African Traditional religions. Additionally, it explains some unique character of Waaqeffannaa and examines the impacts of the ethnic based colonization and its blatant action to Oromo touched values in general, and Waaqeffannaa in a particular. For further, it assesses the impacts of ethnic based discrimination under different regimes of Ethiopia, and the impact of Abrahamic religion has been discussed.

Article in PDF format   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Notes on Cinnamon Country and the “Peace of Jamjam”: Towards a Reconstruction of Ancient Oromo History

Published in 2015, Ayana, Daniel, Oromo Studies Association - Archived on September 9th, 2015

Title: Notes on Cinnamon Country and the “Peace of Jamjam”: Towards a Reconstruction of Ancient Oromo History
Author: Daniel Ayana (PhD & Professor)
Published: Oromo Studies Association (OSA) – Presentation at Annual Conference 2015
Language: English
Keywords: Bia-Punt, Harusi, Jamjam, cinnamon, Cinnamon Country, Ilmawaaq, social construction, harusi ada, mna daho

This article is a summary of my presentation at a recent OSA conference. It is posted here in response to requests from the audience. The topic attempts to answer two interrelated questions: what do ancient Greek, Latin, and Arabic sources say about the Oromo? When did a written source first report a functioning Gadaa System?

Conference Presentation in PDF format

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Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism

Published in 2009, Jalata, Asafa, Journal of Black Studies - Archived on May 20th, 2015

Title: Being in and out of Africa: The Impact of Duality of Ethiopianism
Author: Asafa Jalata (University of Tennessee, Knoxville, USA)
Published: Journal of Black Studies, Vol. 40, No. 2 (2009), pp. 189-214 | On April 29, 2015, a version of this paper was presented as a seminar at the University of Botswana.
Language: English
Keywords: Ethiopianism, racism, colonialism, Abyssinia, Ethiopia, Oromo, Habashas (Amhara-Tigray), Africanness, Blackness, state terrorism, Afrocentricity, Oromummaa (culture identity nationalism), self-determination, multinational democracy

This article critically examines how the duality inherent in the concept of Ethiopianism shifts back and forth between claims of a “Semitic” identity when appealing to the White, Christian, ethnocentric, occidental hegemonic power center and claims of an African identity when cultivating the support of sub-Saharan Africans and the African diaspora while, at the same time, ruthlessly suppressing the history and culture of non-Semitic Africans of the various colonized peoples, such as Oromos. Successive Ethiopian state elites have used their Blackness to mobilize other Africans and the African diaspora for their political projects by confusing original Africa, Ethiopia, or the Black world with contemporary Ethiopia (former Abyssinia) and at the same time have allied with Euro-American powers and practiced racism, state terrorism, genocide, and continued subjugation on the indigenous Africans who are, today, struggling for self-determination and multinational democracy. Exposing the racist discourse of Ethiopianism and liberating the mentality of all Africans and the African diaspora from this “social cancer” must be one of the tasks of a critical paradigm of Afrocentricity. Developing Oromummaa (Oromo culture, identity, and nationalism), the Oromo national movement engages in such a liberation project.

Article in PDF format on “Selected Works of Asafa Jalata”   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Onesimos Nasib’s pioneering contributions to Oromo writing

Published in 1995, Bulcha, Mekuria, Nordic Journal of African Studies - Archived on May 9th, 2015

Title: Onesimos Nasib’s pioneering contributions to Oromo writing
Author: Mekuria Bulcha (Uppsala University, Sweden)
Published: Nordic Journal of African Studies Vol. 4, No. 1, 1995, pp. 36-59
Language: English
Keywords: Onesimos Nasib, Afan Oromo

Linguists tell us that the Oromo language also referred to as afaan Oromoo or Oromiffaa with its more than 20 million speakers is the second most widely spread indigenous language in Africa. More than two-thirds of the speakers of the Cushitic languages are Oromo or speak afaan Oromoo, which is also the third largest Afro-Asiatic language in the world (Gragg 1982). In spite of its importance as a vernacular widely spoken in the Horn of Africa afaan Oromoo lacks today a developed literature. Both the cultural history of the Oromo people and the language policy of the Ethiopian government were suggested to be responsible for this state of affairs.

In this paper I maintain that, although some basic literature existed in afaan Oromoo for the last 100 years, as the Oromo were colonized, they were (and still are) not given the chance to build on the literary foundations that were laid down during the last two decades of the 19th century.

To illustrate my argument, I describe Onesimos Nasib’s contribution to Oromo literature, and the efforts he made to spread literacy and modern education in Oromoland at the beginning of this century. I discuss also, albeit briefly, the reactions that the works of Onesimos aroused among the Abyssinian nobility and clergy and the resultant language policy that suppressed development of literacy in afaan Oromoo and the other Cushitic and Omotic languages. The approach in this paper is socio-historical as well as socio-linguistic.

Article in PDF format   ……   Alternatively, On Gadaa.com

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Ethiopian Language Policy and Health Promotion in Oromia

Published in 2006, Dugassa, Begna F., Journal of Sociology & Social Welfare - Archived on May 5th, 2015

Title: Ethiopian Language Policy and Health Promotion in Oromia
Author: Begna F. Dugassa (Toronto Public Health, Toronto, Canada)
Published: Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare Vol.1, No.2, 2011, pp. 55-64
Language: English
Keywords: public health, Ethiopia, health policy, health education, Oromia, colonial language policies

In the time of HIV/AIDS, epidemics for which we have no vaccination or cure, public health is bound entirely to depend on the traditional health education strategies to stop or contain this disease. This reality demands that we travel extra miles and thoroughly employ every health promotion tool at our disposal. The Ottawa Charter for health promotion stressed the need for public policy to create supportive social conditions for health. This necessitates a commitment to enduring social conditions for health and raises topics that have been neglected by the traditional public health scholars. A close examination of the colonial language policy of Ethiopia reveals that language is not value free and is intermingled with power and has significant public health impacts. In this paper, I critically examine Ethiopian language policy within the framework of health promotion and demonstrate the ways in which such policy creates a barrier for the Oromo people in making life choices. Additionally it hinders them from ensuring the conditions in which they can be healthy. This paper addresses a gap in the research literature on the impacts of colonial language policies on health promotion.

Article in PDF format

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