Volume 7 Issue 1 (2018)

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, worldview


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