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Dissertation / thesis Dissertation / thesis Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Ethnicity and local identity in the folklore of the South-western Oromo of Ethiopia: a comparative study
Author:Alemu Fanta, AbrehamISNI
City of publisher:Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Geographic term:Ethiopia
group identity
oral traditions
dissertations (form)
External link:https://research.vu.nl/en/publications/ethnicity-and-local-identity-in-de-folklore-of-the-south-western-
Abstract:This study presents a comprehensive overview of Oromo identity discourse in Ethiopia. In its comparative approach to the local cultural tradition of narrative self-representation, four of the most important Oromo sub-groups in Southwest Ethiopia - the Jimma, the Leqa-Neqemte, the Sibu-Sire and the Gera - are shown to be both complementary and competing in their positioning vis--vis each other in the wider nominal whole of 'Oromo identity' discourse within Ethiopia, and towards state narratives. The remarkable variety in stories, epic poems and narratives reflects a dynamic history and free articulation of local rivalries of groups in a large geographical and ethno-cultural domain. The rich folklore traditions of the Oromo, the most numerous people in Ethiopia, are shown to be deeply concerned with 'historical' claim-making, prestige ranking, (sub-)ethnic identity assertion, and rehearsing cultural core values around courage, personal valour, integrity, and survival. The study presents many examples of expressive narratives, which are annotated and analysed so as to draw a larger picture of the internal differentiation and the interactive complexities within the Oromo. [Book abstract]