Buna Qalaa Ritual of the Boorana Oromo
pp. 26-39 | Published Online: January 2018 | DOI: 10.22521/unibulletin.2018.71.3
Ayehu Bacha, Lenin Kuto, Dereje Fufa and Kamil Mohammed
Buna Qalaa (Slaughtered Coffee) is the coffee meal which is prepared from dried coffee berries by cooking them with butter after washing appropriately and cutting the tip off each coffee bean with one’s teeth. This study deals with the buna qalaa ritual of the Boorana Oromo. It aims at investigating the worldview, philosophy and symbolisms of coffee which are rooted in the buna qalaa ritual of the Boorana Oromo. To this end, ethnographic field methods of interview, focus group discussion and observation were exploited in order to generate first hand data. The raw data was interpreted and synthesized drawing on the general framework provided by Turner (social drama) and Geertz (thick description) as a theoretical basis. The analysis revealed the procedures followed to prepare buna qalaa, the social actors of the ritual, its social values and the worldviews attached to the practices involved in the ritual, as well as the symbolic interpretations of the actions and blessings. Thus, it is possible to safely conclude that the buna qalaa ritual, which accompanies all ritual performances of the Oromo is beyond meal/consumption and reflects the philosophical outlook of the people. The philosophical viewpoint and worldview of the society ingrained in this ritual depict the strong and time tested attachment of the Oromo to coffee consumption and production.
Keywords: buna qalaa, ritual, boorana, oromo, worldviewReferences
Abasanbi, A. A. (2010). Assessment of Coffee Quality and Its Related Problems in Jimma Zone of Oromia Regional State (Master’s thesis). Jimma, Ethiopia: Jimma University. Retrieved from https://cgspace.cgiar.org/bitstream/handle/10568/2453/FinalThesis_AnuarAbasanbi.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y.
Ayalew, D. (2002). Guddifachaa: Adoption practice in Oromo society with particular reference to the Boorana Oromo (Unpublished Doctoral dissertation). Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia.
Bartels, L. (1983). Oromo Religion: Myths and Rites of the Western Oromo of Ethiopia. An Attempt to Understand. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag.
Baxter, P. T. W., Hultin, J., & Triulzi, A. (Eds.). (1996). Being and Becoming Oromo: historical and anthropological enquiries. Nordic Africa Institute. Lawrenceville, NJ: The Red Sea Press.
Beyene, A., Kassahun, Y., Addis, T., Assefa, F., Amsalu, A., Legesse, W….Triest, L. (2012). The impact of traditional coffee processing on river water quality in Ethiopia and the urgency of adopting sound environmental practices. Environmental monitoring and assessment, 184(11), 7053-7063.
Des Chene, M. (1996). Symbolic Anthropology. In D. Levinson & M. Ember (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Cultural Anthropology (pp. 1274-1278). New York: Henry Holt.
Dorson, R. M. (1982). Folklore and folklife: An introduction. University of Chicago Press.
Geertz, C. (1973a). Religion as a Cultural System. In C. Geertz (Ed.), The Interpretation of Cultures (pp. 87-125). New York: Basic Books.
Geertz, C. (1973b). Thick Description: Toward an Interpretive Theory of Culture. In C. Geertz (Ed.), The Interpretation of Cultures (pp. 3-30). New York: Basic Books.
Geremew. H. F. (2013). The Origin of Coffee: Analysis of Oral Traditions and Literatures. In Proceedings of the Fourth Annual Research Conference of Jimma University, Ethiopia.
Gobena T., Urgessa K., & Kebebew Z. (2013). Coffee Based Rehabilitation of Degraded Land: The Case of Haru District, West Oromia, Ethiopia. American-Eurasian Journal of Agricultural & Environmental Sciences, 13(7), 907-913.
Haberland, E. (1963). The Galla of Southern Ethiopia (English Summary) (P. Wingard, Trans.). Stuttgart: Kohlhmmer.
Kelbessa, W. (2001). Traditional Oromo attitudes towards the environment: An argument for environmentally sound development (No. 19). Organization for Social Science Research in Eastern and Southern Africa. Retrieved from https://www.africaportal.org/publications/traditional-oromo-attitudes-towards-the-environment-an-argument-for-environmentally-sound-development/.
Kitila, O., Alamerew, S., Kufa, T., & Garedew, W. (2011). Variability of quantitative traits in Limmu coffee (Coffea arabica L.) in Ethiopia. International Journal of Agricultural Research, 6(6), 482-493.
Ortner, S. B. (1984). Theory in anthropology since the Sixties. Comparative Studies in Society and History, 26(1), 126-166.
Qashu, L. (2009). Arsii Oromo Society Viewed Through Its Wedding Music. In S. Ege, H. Aspen, B. Teferra & S. Bekele (Eds.), Proceedings of the 16th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies. (pp. 1235-1248). Trondheim.
Shumeta, Z., Urgessa, K., & Kebebew, Z. (2012). Analysis of market chains of forest coffee in southwest Ethiopia. Academic Journal of Plant Sciences, 5(2), 28-39.
Sims, M., & Stephens, M. (2011). Living folklore: An introduction to the study of people and their traditions. University Press of Colorado.
Spencer, J. (1996). Symbolic Anthropology. In A. Barnard & J. Spencer (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Social and Cultural Anthropology (pp. 535-539). London / New York: Routledge.
Sualeh, A., Endris, S., & Mohammed, A. (2014). Processing method, variety and roasting effect on cup quality of Arabica coffee (Coffea arabica L.). Discourse Journal of Agriculture and Food Sciences, 2(3), 70-75.
Turner, V. W. (1967). The Forest of Symbols: Aspects of Ndembu Ritual. Ithaca / London: Cornell University Press.
Turner, V. W. (1968). The drums of affliction: A study of religious processes among the Ndembu of Zambia. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
Wayessa, B. S. (2011). Buna Qalaa: A Quest for Traditional Uses of Coffee among Oromo People with Special Emphasis on Wallaga, Ethiopia. African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter, 14(3), 3.
Weinberg, B. A., & Bealer, B. K. (2001). The world of caffeine: the science and culture of the world’s most popular drug. Psychology Press.
Wild, A. (2005). Coffee: A dark history. New York: WW Norton & Company.
Worku, M., & Astatkie, T. (2010). Growth responses of arabica coffee (Coffea arabica L.) varieties to soil moisture deficit at the seedling stage at Jimma, Southwest Ethiopia. Journal of Food, Agriculture & Environment, 8(1), 195-200.
Yedes, J., Clamons, R., & Osman, A. (2004). Buna: Oromo women gathering for coffee. Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, 33(6), 675-703.
Call for Papers
UNIBULLETIN is calling for submissions to the Vol. 8, Issue 1, 2019.
Authors are invited to submit papers from the broader fields of the social sciences and related disciplines in the international context.
All submissions should be presented only in English. Manuscripts should be send to the Editor-in-Chief via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Submission Deadline: December 31, 2018.