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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Conquest and change in Boorana traditional polity: a study of dynamism and resilience of indigenous political institutions
Author:Alemayehu Debelo Jorgo
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
political systems
political change
Abstract:This paper discusses the dynamism of power relations between Boorana institutions - mainly the 'gadaa' indigenous system, the 'qaalluu' (religious leaders) institution and the 'Gumii Gayyoo' (national assembly) - and the Ethiopian government at different times. It decribes the allocation of responsibilities or authority by the Boorana customary 'constitution' in the period before the Abyssinian conquest in the late 1890s, showing that the indigenous institutions constituted the core political, juridical and religious systems of the Boorana. Generally, their institutions' authority and roles were complementary, with some functional overlap, and they operated in a cohesive fashion. With the Abyssinian conquest, radical political changes occurred. The Abyssinians imposed their own system of rule on Boorana indigenous customary law, and rearranged the indigenous institutions in ways that served their own interests. The shifting of political power from the 'gadaa' to the 'qaalluu' institution marked the beginning of a dual government system in which the indigenous existed alongside the imposed in an uneasy relationship that can be characterized as both cooperative and confrontational. Bibliogr., notes. [ASC Leiden abstract]