Saturday, 1 May 2010

Daraa Dubertii or Ladies First

Does anyone know lore on the origins of the Oromo? The only bit of information I've found in folklore (history books on this are the pits) is that Oromo origins go back to a mother, Roobee, and her two sons, Booran and Bartuuma, who are the founder of the Oromo nation. They did not know their father, and the stories say that indeed, their father was unknown (see the link thus here). So could it be that a long long time ago, before time remembers and before men conjugated time, the Oromo nation was born out of a matriarchy? I suppose all civilisations did. By the way, big thanks to Gumii.org , I really enjoyed reading this, thanks to those who put it together: Qaaluu Institution.

Anyways, Duraa Duberti (Oromifa for 'ladies first' I am told)

The Siqqe:

When women married in Oromo society, they were given a Siqqe, a long staff style curved cane, to keep for protection. This is one of its uses apparently, I really want one of those:

when and if her husband abused her, she would take the Siqqe, go outside the house, and wail. Women in the community would pick their Siqqes and join her. None of the women in that village would return to their houses or prepare food for their families until the elders in the community listened to her concern and disciplined her husband for abusing his wife.
This is from Belletech Deressa 'Oromtitti'. Hell! This is one of the sure perks of the Gada system!


Marriage:

I am so relieved that I have found not only one of the most honest description of marriage I ever read, but a practice that does not hide this primeval truth in any other fiction. This applies to a description of the Borana family structure as written by the one and only Asmarom Legesse in his book 'Gada':

One gets married for the purpose of raising children and for the purpose of maintaining the continuity of one's line. Sexual gratification is an entirely separate matter.

It is very common, therefore, to find married women who had lovers. The relationship between lovers is a reasonably open matter.

In French we say that the chains of marriage are too heavy for two people to carry, you need a third. So the French are originally from Borana, cool...

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Notes taken with head in the sea (I wish) and fingers in a fluffy cloud (I wish not) thanks to Marcos Valle, and Marco Valle again and OMG, absolutely love this Roots Manuva.

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