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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:'The scene does not speak': the demise of the Odaa Bulluq sacred forest in Horro Guduru, northwestern Oromia, Ethiopia
Author:Mergo, LemessaISNI
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:environmental degradation
nature conservation
indigenous knowledge
religious rituals
forest management
Abstract:This paper explains the role of Oromo indigenous knowledge systems in protecting natural forests. It focuses on the Odaa Bulluq sacred forest and the associated indigenous belief system of the Horro Guduru Oromo in northwestern Oromia, Ethiopia. It shows that the Horro Guduru Oromo traditional knowledge of environmental harmony has remained intact, despite the losses that occurred in pristine environments such as the Odaa Bulluq sacred forest as a result of the activities of external forces and internal changes in the area. The paper argues that the major factors responsible for the demise of the Odaa Bulluq are colonial conquest, the State's neglect of the forest and indigenous forms of preservation, as well as religious change in Horro Guduru society. This religious change is particularly evident in the rapid spread of the Protestant faith in the area after the mid-1990s. The paper also shows that the rapid expansion of the town of Saqalaa has contributed greatly to the loss of the religious significance of the sacred forest and, ultimately, to its demise. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]