Title: Naming a Borana
Author: Gudrun Dahl (Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Social Anthropology)
Published: KVHAA Konferenser, No. 42 (1998), pp. 331-336 – Stockholm: Published contributions to the symposium on Personhood and Social Identity in Stora Brännbo, Sigtuna
Keywords: Borana, Social Anthropology
The present article is an attempt to tentatively discuss certain aspects relating Boran ideas about names to their conceptions of human ontology, especially of how time influences human life. Their basic idea seems to be that, since human personality reflects such influences, the name given to a person should reflect the conditions of his or her birth. As I will try to illustrate, this idea is elaborated to different degrees depending on whether we are talking about everyday naming practice or the name of children destined to become ritually central personalities. Furthermore, I will indicate the ideological importance of naming, name-giving and linguistic acts as male acts of social creativity within Boran society.