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Title: CHRISTIAN PRINCIPLES IN A SOCIAL TRANSITION: THE SOUTH AFRICAN SEARCH FOR RECONCILIATIO
Authors: HUSSEIN, Jeylan W.
OKPOKO, A. IKECHUKWU
Keywords: African oral art
Arsi-Oromo
Sheikh Hussein
Waaq
Muudaa
Annajina.
Issue Date: Mar-2005
Publisher: The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
Journal title: African Study Monographs
Volume: 26
Issue: 1
Start page: 15
End page: 58
Abstract: Every African society south of the Sahara has a long history of transmitting knowledge and human experience through the medium of oral tradition. This paper is on the function of oral traditions among the Arsi-Oromo of Ethiopia. Before the coming of Islam and Christianity, the Arsi were followers of Waaqeffannaa (belief in Sky God), the Oromo version of the African traditional religion. In the Arsiland, the Oromo traditional religion existed side by side with Islam, as the latter was mostly tolerant in the past. The indigenous Oromo religious traditions offered Islam an African feature. The cult of Sheikh Hussein of Bale is one quasi-Islamic tradition that has survived. The Arsi oral traditions are good sources about the nature of Waaqeffannaa and the cult of Sheikh Hussein. Based on the oral traditions of the Arsi and other African societies, the writer concluded that in Africa the function of oral traditions is in constant flux. In addition to replicating the past experiences of the society, African oral traditions serve also as mediums to provide self-conscious commentary on the patterns of life in their societies. Another conclusion is that the homology or dialectical unity between oral art and its social function is contextually determined.
DOI: 10.14989/68236
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2433/68236
Appears in Collections:Vol.26 No.1

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