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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Oral poetry as herding tool: a study of cattle songs as children's art and cultural exercise among the Guji-Oromo in Ethiopia
Author:Jirata, Tadesse JaletaISNI
Year:2017
Periodical:Journal of African Cultural Studies (ISSN 1469-9346)
Volume:29
Issue:3
Pages:292-310
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:songs
oral traditions
children's songs
cattle
Oromo language
Link:https://doi.org/10.1080/13696815.2016.1201653
Abstract:African societies attach great value to folksongs but the literature on African verbal arts has so far paid little attention to the role of children in performance oral arts. Similarly, the existing body of literature on Oromo folksongs places its empirical focus and analytical emphasis on the role of adults, neglecting the role of children in the performance and utilization of folksongs. In this article, based on empirical data from the Guji-Oromo of Ethiopia, the author argues that children are capable actors in performance of folksongs and construing their social world through it. He analyses the way the children of the Guji-Oromo perform a type of folksong known as 'cattle songs' (locally called as wedduu loonii) and document its connection to the everyday life and culture of their society. Through demonstrating the capacity of children to use songs as a way of understanding their environment and performing their cultural roles, he argues that cattle songs are a cultural exercise that reflects as well as shapes the bond between human beings and their environment. Data discussed in this article was gathered through 10 months of ethnographic fieldwork among the Guji-Oromo in the years 2013 and 2014. Bibliogr., notes, sum. in English and Oromo. [Journal abstract]
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