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New Books on Oromia and the Oromo Nation – November 2011

Posted: Sadaasa/November 11, 2011 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (9)

Editor’s Note: Authored by Prof. Mekuria Bulcha, Obbo Terfa Dibaba and Prof. Asafa Jalata (details of the books listed below alphabetically by author), the following three books are the newest additions to the growing library of Oromo studies. Information on how to buy the book is provided by each book’s description.


Contours of the Emergent & Ancient Oromo Nation: Dilemmas in the Ethiopian Politics of State and Nation-Building


Author: Prof. Mekuria Bulcha
Publication Date: 2011
Paperback: 720 pages
Price: $50.00 (or 350 South African Rand) plus shipping

Two Options for Ordering Your Copy:

Option 1: From the Publisher
The Centre for Advance Studies of African Society (CASAS)
P.O. Box 359
Rondebosch, 7701
Cape Town, South Africa
E-mail: casas@casas.co.za

Option 2: From the Author
Mekuria Bulcha
Ringstedsgatan 36
164 48 Kista Sweden

Glossary and Abbreviations


Chapter 1: General Introduction
Chapter 2: Basic Concepts and Theoretical Considerations


Chapter 3: Frontiers of Abyssinian Expansion and Oromo Resistance: A Critique of “Oromo-Migration and Invasion” Theses
Chapter 4: The Shawan Plateau: The Cradle of Oromo Civilization and Springboard for Amhara Expansion
Chapter 5: The Constitution of Waaqeffannaa: Historical-Sociological Interpretations


Chapter 6: The Nineteenth-Century Abyssinian Conquest of Oromoland: From Booty Collection to Scramble for African Colonies
Chapter 7: Oromo Struggles against Abyssinian Colonial Conquests: Unacknowledged Resistance and Unreported Battles
Chapter 8: Prevalent Misconceptions about Oromo Identity: A Critique of the “Greater Ethiopia” Discourse
Chapter 9: Structural Features of the Ancient Oromo Nation: Empirical and Theoretical Appraisals


Chapter 10: Language Policies in the Making of Ethiopians
Chapter 11: Social Movements for Distributive Justice and Recognition: The Bale Peasant Uprising and Macca-Tuulama Association
Chapter 12: The Quest to ‘Break an Imperial Yoke’ and Build an Independent Oromo State
Chapter 13: Political Contradictions and Dilemmas in Post-Dergue Ethiopia: Ethnic Hegemony versus Democratic Federalism
Chapter 14: Conclusion


Maps: Five
Figures: Seven
Tables: Seven
Pictures: Six


… Based on empirical evidence and relevant theories of nationalism Mekuria Bulcha convincingly argues in this book that the pre-colonial Oromo were a pre-modern nation. He revisits the representation of Oromo identity in Ethiopian history and proposes the innovative and stimulating thesis that the 16th century Oromo ‘invasion’ of the Ethiopian highlands was the result of a conscious effort to regain control of a territory that was lost and contended since the 14th century Abyssinian expansion into the region. Mekuria Bulcha’s presentation of new evidence of the Oromo resistance to the 19th century conquest, his description of the international appeals by the Oromo elite in the colonial phase, his analysis of the activities of Oromo social movements for cultural and linguistic rights in the 1960s, and his account of the history of rebellion and armed struggle from the 60s, up to the current ethnic federalism are likely to make this book a classic reference for studies on ethno-nationalism. …
Marco Bassi, Ph.D. Research Associate, African Studies Centre, University of Oxford, UK

… This book is an important contribution to the study of identity politics, a subject hotly contested by many Africanists. Bulcha’s discussion of the state-centered bias in much of the academic work on Ethiopia and its denial of the history and pre-colonial autonomy of indigenous non-Abyssinian peoples ought to lead to some serious debate. …
Kajsa Ekholm Friedman, Professor Emeritus, Lund University, Sweden

… This work by Mekuria Bulcha is the most comprehensive and innovative work on the Oromo of Ethiopia ever to be written. Identity politics, he argues, can be a positive challenge to the development of the state. As it has been the case of Southern Sudan – states can also evolve, disappear and change. This work outlines the history, traditions and politics of the Oromo people summarizing and critically assessing all scholarly work done previously. It will remain a seminal work for scholars of Africa and the Oromo for many years to come. It is a master piece and sets new challenges for all of us researching on the Oromo nation and people. I will be the first one to consult this work many times. …
Mario I. Aguilar, Professor, Chair of Religion and Politics & Director of the Centre for the Study of Religion and Politics (CSRP), University of St. Andrews, Scotland, UK

About the Author: Mekuria Bulcha received his PhD degree in Sociology from Uppsala University in 1988 where he continued his academic career as a researcher and Associate Professor from 1989 to 2005. He joined Mälardalen University in 2000 as a lecturer and has been Professor of Sociology at its School of Sustainable Development of Society and Technology since 2008. He is author of widely read books and articles on the interrelated issues of ethnic conflict, international migration, and the politics of identity, culture and language.


It is a Long Way


Author: Obbo Terfa Dibaba
Publication Date: May 2011
Paperback: 246 pages
Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Book Description: During the last century the Oromo were forced to go a long way in search of bilisumma (freedom). In solidarity with them and their plight the Oromo Relief Association contributed through its work and support to the survival of thousands of Oromo refugees at the Horn of Africa. Terfa Dibaba describes from an insight the development of the organisation in the context of the ongoing conflicts in the region.

Comment from a Reviewer: A Must Read Book!
Obbo Terfa Dibaba, a veteran of the Oromo national struggle and the head of ORA [Oromo Relief Association], has authored a very important book. The title of the book is: It Is A Long Way. The book is a work of a master with in-depth knowledge of the problems that Oromo have been facing since their occupation. It is a comprehensive, authoritative, and well-documented book about the Oromo struggle, and the humanitarian crisis. And, it is also an indictment of governments of the Western and Eastern countries, their institutions and NGO’s for their political and humanitarian indifferences towards the Oromo political persecutions and plight.

The book also exposes the promotion of torture, violence, and other barbaric practices used in Oromiya as instruments of rule over the Oromo by the successive rulers of the Ethiopian Empire state, particularly by Mengistu Haile-Mariam and Meles Zenawi. The book further exposes the collusion of governments of Djibouti, Somalia, Kenya and Sudan with the Ethiopian Empire rulers against Oromo refugees and their plight. It also reveals these governments’ attempts to deny Oromo refugees’ their true identity by calling them “Somali” or “Ethiopian” refugees.

Above all, Obbo Terfa pulls together documents and issues of utmost importance to help understand the problems that Oromo refugees have been facing in the neighboring countries, and the persecution of ORA in its own country by Meles Zenawi’s regime, and he also details the root-causes for Oromo refugee crisis.

Without question, this book stands alone as the best book in exposing the Abyssinian barbaric rule over the Oromo. You should read this book. I heartily recommend this book to all.

You can purchase it directly from Amazon.com.

Alternatively, you can order it at:
1. Powell Bookstore
2. Barnes and Noble Bookstore
3. Or any other international bookstore located in your area.

To order the book from your local bookstore, use the following information about the book:
Terfa Dibaba; It Is A Long Way: August 2011;
Books on Demand / ISBN 978-3-8423-5916-1


Fighting Against the Injustice of the State and Globalization: Comparing the African American and Oromo Movements


Author: Prof. Asafa Jalata
Publication Date: January 2012
Paperback: 224 pages
Where to Buy: Amazon.com

Book Description: The book examines, compares, and contrasts the African American and Oromo movements by locating them in a global context, and by showing how opportunities changed for the two peoples and their descendants as the modern world system became more complex and developed. Since the same global system that created racialized and exploitative structures in African American and Oromo societies also facilitated the struggles of these two peoples, this book demonstrates the dynamic interplay between social structures and human agency in the system. African Americans in the US and Oromos in the Ethiopian Empire developed their respective liberation movements in opposition to racial/ethnonational oppression, cultural and colonial domination, exploitation, and underdevelopment. By going beyond its focal point, the book also explores the structural limit of nationalism, and the potential of revolutionary nationalism in promoting a genuine multicultural democracy.

About the Author: Asafa Jalata is a professor of Sociology, Global Studies, and Africana Studies at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Professor Jalata’s latest book is Contending Nationalisms of Oromia and Ethiopia: Struggling for Statehood, Sovereignty and Multinational Democracy (2010). He has authored and edited eight books and published several book chapters and numerous refereed articles in regional and international journals.

Where to Buy: Amazon.com


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  1. Biftu Saba

    Nov 11, 11 at 11:59 pm

    I cant wait till i read this book.

  2. hawwinee barii

    Nov 12, 11 at 2:39 am

    Hayyoota Oromoo saden: Obbo Tarfaa Dibaabaa, Obbo Makuriyaa Bulchaa, fi obbo Asaffaa Jaal’ataa guddoo guddoo galatoomaa!Waaqi Oromoo umurii keessan dheeressee bilisummaa Oromiyaa isin haa agarsiisu! Ija, gurra, sammuu fi harka Oromoo waan taataniif waaqi ija hamtuu irraa isin haa qabu jechaa itti fuftanii akka nu barsiiftan abdadha. Itti fufuudhaan baqattooti Oromoo bakka adda addaa jiran fi bitachuu hin dandeenne akkaataa isaan kitaabota kana itti argachuu danda’an irratti mala akka dhooftan kabaja waliin isin gaafadha.

  3. Kennaa

    Nov 12, 11 at 3:42 am


  4. Seenaa

    Nov 12, 11 at 6:59 am

    I am eager to read the version of Oromo history claimed by these Oromo scholars! Once, it was written on Gadaa.com: “…let’s treat our history in three dimensions: 1) as a common proud history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as the Adwa Battle; 2) as separate different histories of Oromia and Abyssinia with both common and conflicting sides; 3) as a conflicting parallel history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as the Minilik invasion and the so-called Oromo expansion…”. Now we do see that the consequences of the above three approaches are the three possible destinies regarding future Oromian sovereignty. If we want to achieve our bilisummaa efficiently, despite this different views, we have to firstly try to fight together for our common freedom from the Abyssinianist elites’ system of domination and then settle to choose one of the following styles/types of sovereignty based on the version of Oromo history we respectively do have in mind. Read more: http://www.ethiopianreview.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=32520

  5. Dejene

    Nov 12, 11 at 1:57 pm

    Many thanks our fame authors, Prof. Jalata, Prof. Bulcha and Obbo Dibaba. I appreciate your works and eager to get the books.
    Waaqayyo umrii isin haa dheeressu!

  6. Jamal Musa

    Nov 12, 11 at 6:13 pm

    Duraan dursee hayyoota seenaa keenyaa sadanuu, professor Mekuriyaa, professor Asaffaa fi obbo Tarfaa galateeffachaa, dhalli oromoo biyya alaafi biyya keessaa jiraanu marti kitaabota kanneen bitanee dubbisuufi of beeku akka qabnu yaadachisuun barbaada.
    Yoo kana goone tokkoffaa maalummaa keenyaa hubana, lamaffaa hamilee hayyoota keenyaa caalaati kakaafna. Warri of wal’alee diinaafi ulee ta’ees akka of baru godha.
    Hayyoota keenya waqayyoo hamtuu fi hamaattu hundarraa nuuf haa eegu!

  7. Takele Feyissa

    Nov 14, 11 at 12:12 am

    Bayyee isinitti boonnaa Rabbii tokkichi lubbuu kessan nuf ha dheeresuu!!

  8. gadaa michiile

    Nov 14, 11 at 7:01 am

    ummati gotta fii hayuu haqqa hin qaben denta siyasaa,dinagdee fi hawwassa qabachuu hin dada’an
    ummati kan hin qaben akka ummatati hin wammamu.warri abyssinia yero oromia qabatan dura gottota fi hayyot oromo
    kan lakkophsan hedu ta’an fixxan turan .galatta rabbi.goffata,waqqayoo gadda haga’u rakko yero dherra bodda dhaloti oromo harran baka bufane jira .issan qabenya fii faayya sabn oromo gudda qabu kessa nammoti kun tokko .rbbi issin hagargarru warri kanis jabadhaa issini jadhaa.

  9. baqqalaa

    Nov 24, 11 at 3:28 pm

    I was proud of you because we have a great authors among Oromo people. As we know, we are a huge and a kind people in the world. To day,we see a lot of Oromo history by our famous authors.
    Thank you and God bless all of you!