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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The 'Nagaa Boorana': contemporary discussions on ritual and political diversity
Author:Aguilar, Mario I.ISNI
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Kenya
world view
political philosophy
age grade systems
Abstract:The idea of peace ('nagaa') as an all-encompassing, unifying idea is central to the Boorana Oromo. Within this unifying system, the Western distinction between religion and politics, ritual and decisionmaking, is united by a larger overarching concern for the whole of society. Such a perspective allows A. Legesse and P.T.W. Baxter's interpretations of 'gadaa' (the Oromo politico-military and ritual system) to be seen not as contradictory propositions but as complementary interpretations of the same sociopolitical understanding. Focusing on the Boorana of the Waso area in Kenya, the present author uses discourses of Boorana political philosophy through the 'Nagaa Boorana' (the Peace of the Boorana) in order to suggest that, regardless of the diversity of specific practices, both religious and political behaviour reflect a philosophy of politics deeply rooted in a common understanding of the cycle of unity between physics and metaphysics, between religion, politics and the cosmos. In this sense, the religious and the political remain unified within African philosophical systems in general and in that of the Oromo in particular. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]