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The Ethno-history and Culture of Ţambaaro, Southwest Ethiopia Zerihun Doda, Assistant Professor
Final Report 2010 Hawassa, Ethiopia
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This report has been produced through committed support from various stakeholders during the different stages of the study process. First of all, I want to thank the staff of the Council of Nationalities, ILCHSN for their invitation for me to engage in this work and for their encouragement during the work process. I want to thank the Director of the Institute, Ato Gebrekirstos Nuriye, for his kind facilitation of the work. The contributions of the staff and officials of the Ţambaaro Woreda Administration was particularly very significant. The passionate and committed interest of the community members in the fulfillment of this study was very heartening. I, therefore, extend my utmost appreciation and thanks to these various individuals. Three staff members, namely, Ato Desalegn, Ato Girma and Ato Haile- Mariam from the Woreda Administration were particularly very helpful and cooperative during our fieldwork. Their tireless and standby services to our work have realized the fruition of this work. Thank you very much. I want to thank staff members from the Institute, Ato Assefa Abate, my research assistant, and Ato Nigusu, my assistant for photographic and videographic recordings, for their committed contributions. Finally, I thank all other individuals who in one way or another contributed to the fulfillment of this study project. Zerihun D. Doffana, Assistant Professor November 2009, Hawassa, Ethiopia
ABBREVIATIONS AAU: Addis Ababa University SNNPRG: Southern, Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Regional Government IES: Institute of Ethiopian Studies EPRDF: Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front FDRE: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia SNNPRG: Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional Government ILCHSN: Institute for Language, Culture, and History Studies of Nationalities E.C. Ethiopian Calendar A.D. Anno Domini EOC: Ethiopian Orthodox Church Ph. Photo Fig. Figure/s Q.v.: (Quod vide) which see
PREFACE This study report is prepared through the commission by the Institute for Nationalities’ Culture, Language and History Studies, SNNPRG, Ethiopia. The Project was launched, following the contractual agreement between the Institute and the Researcher in July 2009, on August 19, 2009 at Mudula in the presence of the Woreda Administration officials and representatives from the community. The report is prepared with a view to promote the scientific documentation and preservation of the Nationality’s history and culture. After about 45 days of fieldwork and a month of write-up tasks, this report is now presented for review workshop. The report purports to be a premier on the Ţambaaro Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture, in terms of its being comprehensive, systematically and scientifically researched and written. But it does not claim any perfection: the work has been built on the contributions of many foreign, national and local writers who have in one way or another attempted to preserve some information on the Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture. As a comprehensive work, it does purport to delve deep into issues. Deeper and detail treatment of different aspects of the Nationality’s life await further works. The raw materials for views and ideas contained in this report are generated by local community members and, therefore, I do not take any responsibilities for these different views. Some of the views were explicitly stated, others were covertly implied. I, however, am responsible for the scientific and technical aspects of this work and for the line of analysis and interpretation I have utilized in writing this book. If in any way some offending ideas are contained in this book, I want to apologize beforehand and am ready to take any useful corrective measures. This final report is prepared by taking into account some useful comments and idea that were generated during the review workshop held on 17th November 2009 at Mudula. The door for incorporating any other useful comments is still open, although the time frame set up during our contractual agreement is now expiring. Constructive comments can still be accommodated until the document becomes ready for publishing. For any comments and suggestions use the following address: Zerihun Doda Doffana, Assistant Professor, Hawasa University, P.O.Box 005, Hawassa, Ethiopia Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com PhD Candidate, University of Kent, School of Anthropology & Conservation, Marlowe Building, Canterbury, CT2 7NR, Kent, United Kingdom
LIST OF FIGURES Chapter 3 Figures: 1. The Gemological line of Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro 2. The current family tree of the Lamala Moolla Group of Ţambaaro 3. The Geography and duration of stay: Ţambaaro Ancestral Dispersion 4. Composition of today’s Tambaaro Nationality 5. Family Tree and ancestry of the Çatta group of Tambaaro land; the boxes in blue represent the four ancestors who emigrated to the Tambaaro land in unspecified preMenilik II era 6. Two models of the temporal succession of population groups in Tambaaro land 7. The recent pre-Ţambaaronite population groups Genealogy Chapter 4: Figures 1. Social stratification in Ţambaaro Nationality 2. List of ancestral lines of the ‘Potters’ 3. Three sons of Dayyo, the ancestor of the Debona group. Debona was believed to be the eldest and the title of the womma was conferred upon him. 4. 7 of the 16 ancestors of the Awacho supra family 5. The seven founding fathers of the 16 ‘Awacho’ Supra- family which ‘joined’ the Lamala Moolla during the epic movement 6. Hierarchical structure of political social leadership in the Aldada clan 7. The political organizational leadership and hierarchical structure of the Ţambaaro corporate body, excluding the other ‘non-Yemerera’ groups (Showing the participation of the Aldada group in the tobee magaba) Chapter 5: Figures 1. A genealogical tree of the Gadrra/ Hawella Clan as Perceived and narrated by Sidama Elders in Gorche, Bunammo 2. Point of departure for the Lamala Moolla and Sidama Groups of Hawella Clan, Gaaddo’s Family 3. The Gemological line of Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro The Numbers 1 -7 designate the popular “seven brothers/ or seven sons of Moolla Chapter 6: Figures 1. Genealogy of Womma Çofforo’s Dynasty 2. Ancestry of Wommas in Lamala Moolla Group from 1840 to 1891 3. Ţambaaro traditional political leadership positions and their responsibilities (Note that this model differs form the one given above, reflecting the existence of confusion as to the clear-cut distinction among the various political- spiritual-social leadership positions 4. Ţambaaro traditional hierarchal structure in political offices and justice system 5. Military Leadership hierarchy Chapter 7: Figures: 1. Chart on the chronological succession (and arrival of) various religious systems in Tambaaro land 2. Different ethno-social groups with their espoused religious cults Chapter 8: Figures: 1. Chronological order of succession of money systems as conceptualized by Ţambaaro informants
LIST OF PHOTOS Chapter 3: Photos 1. An artist’s impression of the design/ layout of ancient palace of King Waqqo of Kalmana, Ţambaaro 2. Photographic view of the ancient Kalmana headquarters 3. A View of the topography of Muleta Gofore locality an epicenter of ancient Kalmana king and his palace 4. Dagale Sacred Tree taken from tow opposite directions Note the branch that is bent down and touching the ground, perceived by some as the tree kneeling in prayer 5. A Buluko (big sized sheet hand-woven from cotton thread) with three basic ethnic colors. Green is missing Chapter 4: Photos 1. Two ‘Bete-Israel’ informants demonstrating an aspect of discrimination against their people in the past Chapter 5: Photos 1. Some shots depicting our fieldwork at Womme –Bunammo, Gederra Burial Sacred Site in Gorche Woreda 2. Ato Kelaye Hadaro, narrating how he worked hard for the last thirty years to realize the reunification between the Tam Ţambaaro and Sidama, which he said, is now a reality 3. A typical Sidama indigenous house, found inside the Gadrra Burial Site 4. Elders at Gorche Town, narrating the Gadawo genealogy and the Hawella roots of Tambaro 5. Informant Sheik Kayeso Sidda grappling with the Yemerera, Yemerecho, Womerera question 6. A Hotto Gultuma elder man, an Aleta clan member, defending his claim that the Yemerecho is a name for a dominant clan given solely to the descendants of Ţumano, brother of Aboo: the Faqsa and Yanase clans. Chapter 6: Photos 1. the Ţambaaro Womma sent a sack of a pungent pepper to the Wolayta king, signifying, “We are burning and pungent like these peppers!” 2-3 Left, Ato Abebe Lambebo, son of Womma Lambebo Haţiso( A patriot killed by Italians in 1938 ),standing on the his father’s burial mound: Right, Hawdara, a place where the patriots fought with the Banda (Italian conscripted local solders) 4-6. Some cross sections of Mudula Town Picture taken on foggy days of the summer season 7. Ga’echa Health Center 8- The balle 9-10 The late Womma Beyene Barena and one of his living wives Chapter 7: Photos Ph. 1. One of the oldest EOCs in Tambaaro, Durgi Mariam Church Ph 2. A Muslim mosque Ph. 3. Full Gospel Church in Mudula Ph. 4-5. Lamala Moolla Corporate worship epicenters: Left (Dagale Tree; right Tuppa, the ancestral epicenter where the first ancestors planted the masincho tree Chapter 8: Photos Ph. 1-5. Some selections of the varieties of crops grown in Ţambaaro land Ph. 6. Beasts of burden such as mules were believed to have been introduced in the post- Menilik II era Ph. 7. The proverbial, historic Lamala Moollaic sorghum, yelelo
Ph. 8-10. Selected views of Ţambaaro topography and agricultural lands (note ţeff and sorghum crops) Ph. 11. People waiting for food rations at the world vision center, Mudula P. 11-15. World vision Ethiopia “the NGO that saved thousands of lives during the famous 1984 famine in Tambaaro Ph. 16-17. Note the remnant forest converges of a selected neighborhood. Note how the mountain ridges were cleared for land cultivation Ph. 18-23 Children are active laborers in the productive activities in Ţambaaro Ph. 25-28 “some works are solely feminine or masculine; some works may be produced by either sex; some commodities are sold solely by either sex…” Ph. 29-30 Young men engaged in enfila, a traditional form of labor pooling in weeding crops, Osheto qebele Ph. 31-35 Some of farm tools (digging, cutting, wood splitting, hoeing, etc) Ph. 36-38 Some selections of ‘feminine’ tools (earthen bowls, pots and ironware (knives) PH. 39-41 False-banana (ensete) thread products Ph. 42-43 AKATE and sissa Ph. 44 mule transport PH. 45 A gombisa (barn) Ph. 46 qachut, a beehive made of bamboo tree Ph. 47-50 Iron works, wooden products, grass works Ph.. 51-53. Woman selling local beer, Woman readying local alcohol (areqe), man getting cigarette service Ph. 54-56 local cigar pot, Tobacco ‘bread’ being sold, addicted smokers getting cigarette smoking service Chapter 9: Photos Ph. 1-3 Gourds Ph. 4-5. Soruwa Ph. 6. A borkano a pillow made of carved wood. It has three opening with roughly rectangular shape. It is about 20 cm by 30 cm size. Ph. 7. Demonstrating the manner in which a girl is circumcised Ph. 8 A ditta that is played during post- circumcision weeks to help sooth the pain Ph. 9. An indigenous mode of greeting Ph. 10. Okona (Buluko), a blanket Ph. 11-13. Modern re-indigenization of ethnic cloths Kitta: Ph. 14-15 A glimpse of modern apparel culture in a market day at Mudula Ph. 16-20 Ţambaarich- minne and its widow owner (Note the different parts of the house) Ph. 21-22 Zuufa, an indigenous Ţambaaro house used for temporary purposes Ph. 23. An elfiňa house Ph. 24. A selected section of a rural settlement. Note the distribution of the elfina houses and the corrugated iron-roofed houses; not a single Tambaarich- minne is in view Ph. 25-28 The inside sections of a Ţambaarich minne Ph. 29-30 Children playing a jump over the rope and a ditta Ph. 31 The nagaritta Ph. 32 A guffo Ph. 33-35 An artist’s design of the Tambaaro traditional coffin (wongro) Chapter 10: Photos Ph. 1-2. Woyse decorticating tools on sale Ph. 3. Masha on sale Ph.. 4- 7. Unçatta on sale in the market Ph. 8-9. Different sized shaata on sale Ph. 10-12. Butter and cheese on sale in the market Ph.. 13-14. The hamela (pumpkin crop); the woyse (False banana plant behind the house)
Ph. 15-16. Local drinks on sale Ph.. 17-18. Local strong drink, areqe, on sale and customers enjoying Ph. 19-20. Coffee pots on sale Ph. 21-24. The tobacco corner in a typical Tambaaro market Ph. 24-26. Gourds Ph. 27. Lemat Ph. 28. Dawudita Ph. 29. Soruwa Ph. 30-35 Sieves of different size; children sieving in a market day Ph. 36-41 Bitira; Big pot; Coffee cups; Coffee pots; Shaata (bowls); Baking pans Ph. 42-43. Angalanjo and Injeba Ph. 44. A bag boys make from a grass used for collecting gleans and bits of meat while the Masala Ox was slaughtered Chapter 11: Photos Ph. 1-2 Malabe Waterfall; One of Lammo Waterfalls Ph. 3-4 A place where Ommo meets with Gojeb (Picture, right, an artist’s depiction) Ph. 5-6 Buhho Waterfall; Ajora Waterfall Ph. 7. Qazal’a Natural Forest in the Ommo River Valley Ph. 8. Tambaaro resin tree Ph. 9-11. Malabe Gimba beneath Malabe Waterfall Ph. 12-15. Italian war relics Ph. 16-17. Kalmana ‘Palace’; the stump of the \parasite tree which grew on the ancient Kalmana’s tree Ph. 18-20. Hoddo ‘Ayneke Den’ (Hoddo Sacred Site) Ph. 21-22 Durgi Mariam Church Ph. 23-24. Tuppa, ancestral site of Lamala Moolla LIST OF MAPS Map 1: Map of Ethiopia highlighting SNNPR Map 2 map of SNNPRG (source: Wolde-Sellasie Abute, 2004. An Internet document on Resettlement issues in the SNNPRG) Map 3: Kembata –Tambaaro Zone Map 4: Qebele divisions in Tambaaro and Neighbrogin ehtinc areas in the former Ommo Sheleqo Woreda Map 5: Tambaaro and its ethnic neighbors Adapted from Braukämper, 1973:32 Map 6 Tamabaro area ca. 1620’s, as witnessed by Antonio Ferdinaz Map 7: A writer’s attempt of the itinerary of Lamala Moolla
TABLE OF CONTENTS Subjects Page Acknowledgements ........................................................................................................ 2 Preface ........................................................................................................................ 3 Abbreviations ................................................................................................................ 4 List of Illustrative Figures .............................................................................................. 5 List of Illustrative Photos ............................................................................................... 6 List of Maps ................................................................................................................. 8 Chapter One: Introduction ...................................................................................... 10-13 Chapter Two: Introducing Kambatta-Ţambaaro Zone And Ţambaaro Nationality ............ 14-21 Chapter Three: Ţambaaro: Questions Of Ethno-Genesis, Ethnic Identity ....................... 22-51 Chapter Four: Social Stratification And Aspects Of Marginalization ............................... 52-62 Chapter Five: The Lamala Moolla- Sidama Ethonogenic Connections ............................ 63-75 Chapter Six: Systems Of Politics, Government And Law: Political History And Culture .... 76-97 Chapter Seven: Ethnohistory And Ethnography Of Religion ........................................98-112 Chapter Eight: Ethnohistory And Ethnography Of Economic Life- ............................. 113-132 Chapter Nine: Socio-Cultural Organization And Processes: History And Ethnography ... 133-152 Chapter Ten: Foods, Females And Festivities ......................................................... 153-166 Chapter Eleven: Ţambaaro Heritages - ................................................................... 167-175 Chapter Twelve: Summary, Conclusion And Recommendation .................................. 176-178 Bibliography Appendix List of Key Informants Data Collection Guides
CHAPTER ONE INTRODUCTION 1.1. Introducing the Study This study was commissioned by the SNNPRG’s Institute for the Studies of Nationalities’ Culture, History and Language. The Institute, with it noble aim of researching, documenting and popularizing scientific information on the language, culture and history of the nationalities of the Region, has been embarked on moving in this line for the past few years. This present study project on Ţambaaro Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture is part of this general framework set up by the Institute. The study findings presented in this document are carried out by ensuring all the necessary- scientific and professional ethical standards. 1.2. Purpose and Objective of the Study The study was meant to provide a systematic presentation of the ethnohistory and culture of Ţambaaro Nationality. The overall goal of the project was to make scientific and critical reviewing of existing ethnohistorical and ethnographic literature on Ţambaaro and produce a systematic and comprehensive document on the Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture by collecting, evaluating and analyzing field-based data. The purpose and objective of the study also derives from the SNNPRG Council of Nationalities’ vision of the establishment of the INCHES, which, among other things, encompasses the preservation of the culture, language and history of nationalities through the conduct of research, documenting and disseminating the results. 1.3. Scope and Contents of the Study The scope of the study was determined by its basic purpose. The study was to address two major components: ethnohistory and ethnography. The ethnohistory part would encompass the origins, historical developments and trends in the Nationality’s major aspects of life. Key aspects of the ethnohistory addressed include: ethnogenesis, identity, emergence of panŢambaaro ethno-identity, intra- and inter-ethnic interactions; social stratification and marginalization; political history; economic history; religious history; etc. Key aspects of the ethnography addressed include: material and non-material cultures (architectures, artworks, household utensils, farming tools, warfare instruments, graveyards symbols; etc. celebrations, festivals, music, dances, beatifications, mourning funerals, etc; social-cultural organizations (marriage and kinship systems; family relationships, parent-child relationships, husband-wife relationships, child upbringing, adolescence, age grading, premarital sexuality, etc; neighborhood and social relationships); dietary, culinary and cuisine culture; etc 1.4. Relevance and Justification The study was necessitated by the fact that so far there was a serious dearth of reliable, scientific information on the ethnohistory and ethnography of Ţambaaro Nationality, despite the existence of bits and pieces of such information. It was high time, therefore, when this study was commissioned, that a comprehensive, scientific study of the Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture be undertaken. The information so generated (through careful and critical evaluation of existing literature and collecting and analysis of field-based data) would be a valuable asset for the Institute, the Nationality and the country at large. The study would fill a major gap in the ethnohistorical and ethnographic literature on Ţambaaro Nationality and the Region at large. The study also addresses the persistent cries of the Nationality’s members for the conduct and production of such kind of study.
1.5. Approaches and Methodology 1.5.1. The Research (Fieldwork) Team Profile The research team was composed of author and producer of this study report, Zerihun Doda Doffana, Assistant Professor of Sociology and Social Anthropology at Hawassa University. He has 13 years of teaching, research and community-based consultancy works. Ato Zerihun was assisted, in the collection of field-based data, by research assistant from the Institute, Ato Assefa Abate. Ato Assefa holds a BA Degree in history. At Zerihun and Ato Assefa were further assisted by a video- and camera- man from the Institute, Ato Nigusu. The fieldwork team also comprised assistants from the study Woreda. Three experts from the Woreda Culture and Information office provided standby service in the capacity of field-guides, interpreters and key informants. 1.5.2. Places Included in the Study Generation of required data (both primary and secondary) for the study was carried out in the following places: Secondary data sources were obtained primarily from documentation centers of major libraries in AAU: The IES Library and Kennedy Library; local intellectuals at Mudula also provided some written sources. Primary data sources were generated by visiting the study Woreda, Ţambaaro. The fieldwork team, stationed at Mudula, and worked for 23 days in its first cycle field work. Different places, qebeles and localities in the Woreda were visited The questions of ethnogenesis of Lamala Moolla took us into another Zone in the Region Sidama, where we visited localities in three woredas: Aleta Wondo, Gorche, Tulla-Hawella and Bahil Adarash Sub-city. A place in border zone between Ţambaaro (Kambatta-Tambaaro Zone) and Wolayta Zone was visited to study natural heritage of Ajora Waterfall. 1.5.3. The Fieldwork Period The data generation work took nearly 45 days. Of these, 15 days were spent in reviewing and evaluating exiting literature in AAU libraries. The time was from July 25 to August 10, 2009. The fieldwork for generating primary data was undertaken in two cycles. The first cycle was carried out from August 19 to September 10, 2009. A second fieldwork was carried out with the aim of gap-filling activities in Mudula and Sidama Woredas, from September 15 to 25, 2009. 1.5.4 Key Methods Employed Group Discussions Field data were generated by, first and for most, conducting group based interviews. All in all: Three focus group discussions with older male community representatives on issues of social organization, ethnogenesis, political system, and economic history and culture; Two focus group discussions with older women community members on issues of cuisines, culinary and dietary culture; marriage and family issues, feminine aspects of life, etc; Two focus groups discussion with youth community representatives (one females and one males) on various themes; and Two focus group discussions with local intellectuals with the aim of gap-filing discussions on various themes. Key Informant Interviews Key informant interviews were done in two cycles at Mudula and Sidama localities with different community representatives. Overall, about 40 such interview sessions were conducted with different individuals, excluding quite numerous informal, casual interviews at various occasions with numerous community members. (See list of informants in appendix section.)
Observations Observation was an essential part of the field data generation process. The observation task was accompanied by video- and photo-graphing activity. Various historical, cultural and natural heritage sites were visited; on-the spot interviews were conducted and photographic and videographic documentation was done by the help of professional video- and cameraman. The material and nonmaterial cultural aspects of the Nationality were also documented in various events such as market gatherings, day to day activities, etc. 1.5.6. Sampling Issues As an ethnographic and ethnohistorical study, this project was essentially qualitative in nature and approach. Therefore, we did not consider the standard quantitative procedures of random sampling. The main issue in this qualitative study was to get, as far as possible, a thick and rich approximation of the reality on the ground as perceived by the people. We used a sampling approach suitable for this purpose; namely, non-random, purposive sampling. The total number of informants approximately as follows. that participated in data generation process was
FGDs:- There were: 20 older male community members in three group discussions. 13 older female community members in two group discussions. 9 young males and 8 young women in two youth focus group discussions 8 individuals in two mini-focus group discussions with local intellectuals There were, thus, a total of 49 informants in FGDs. There were, overall, about 90 informants who participated in the generation of field data. This number does not really include the many other individuals whom we have informally interviewed on various occasions (children, merchants in the markets, etc).These informants belonged to diverse social-demographic backgrounds: Gender: males and females Age: older persons, adults youngsters and children Education: local intellectuals; illiterate folks, etc Ethnogenetic groupings: Lamala Moolla, Çatta, etc Indigenous inhabitants of the land: Kalmana, Woçifina, Gondorima, 1.6. Community Participation and Representation Community participation in the study process was ensured by the organization of orientation and common-ground building workshop whereby the Woreda officials and various community representatives were made to gain general understating of the purpose, demands, processes and relevance of the study project. A Committee was then established comprising different individuals from the Woreda Administration. The Committee was chaired by the Woreda Administrators and included key personalities from various offices. The Committee saw to it that the administrative facilitation of the study project was going well. The Woreda also provided three experts who were on standby service to the fieldwork team by providing the services of fieldwork guiding, interpreting and organizing the fieldwork process. Community participation and ownership of the study process was further ensured by the organization of debriefing session whereby the preliminary findings and the fieldwork process was presented to the Woreda officials. They were made to gain a taste of what direction the work was taking and the ensuing tasks. Maximum care was undertaken to carry out the data generation task by ensuring the participation of all categories of informants that represent the different sections of the Nationality in terms of age, gender, social backgrounds, ethnogenetic origins, etc.
1.7. Bye- Products of the Fieldwork Process The study project had a bye- product. One such major bye–product was that the Institute assistant researchers including the video-and camera man, were able to obtain the on- thejob training in the ethics and methodology of conducting the scientific study of ethnography and ethnohistory. The art of interviewing, organizing and managing focus groups discussions and key informant interviews; conducting and documenting observation tasks; handling collected data; negotiation skills with community and Woreda officials; handling issues of conflicts in interests, etc were some of these benefits gained by the assistant researchers. The Woreda experts also gained valuable experience in the how’s of documenting and inventorying the cultural, natural and historical heritages. 1.8. Organization and Structure of the Report This study report is organized into 12 chapters. The first Chapter (this one) is an introduction. The second Chapter deals with the profile of the Zone and Ţambaaro Woreda. Chapter Three deals with issues of ethnogenesis, identity conceptions and compositions. Chapter Four describes process of marginalization and discrimination in Ţambaaro. Chapter Five deals with the questions of Sidama-Lamala Molla connections. Chapter Six provides the ethnohistory and ethnography of politics, law and justice. Chapter Seven deals with the ethnohistory and ethnography of religion, while Chapter Eight dwells on the ethnohistory and ethnography of economic and livelihood systems. Chapter Nine is about the social and cultural organization and processes, with Chapter Ten which is part of the previous one, though focusing on the food, females and festivals. Chapter Eleven deals with the cultural, historical and natural heritages. The last Chapter provides summary, conclusion and recommendation. The Report ends with bibliography and appendices.
CHAPTER TWO INTRODUCING KAMBATTA-ŢAMBAARO ZONE AND ŢAMBAARO NATIONALITY 2.1. Ţambaaro in the Ethiopian Ethnographic and Historical Literature As indicated above, a careful review of existing literature in major documentation centers of AAU libraries was undertaken to find out what has been done on Ţambaaro Nationality. The review undertaken enabled me to come up with an understating of the status of the Nationality in the Ethiopian ethnohistorical and related literature. A fairly well-organized and systematic treatment of the Nationalities of Hadya, Kambatta and Sidama, which are the geographic and ethno-cultural neighbors of Ţambaaro, is found in the existing ethnohistorical literature. The literature on Kambatta, which was, in the views of some foreign and national writers, regarded as the major ethno-linguistic group that also encompasses other smaller ethnic groups including Ţambaaro in the Kambatta regional area, was relatively richer and well-documented. Documentation of the Kambatta-Ţambaaro area in the Ethiopian ethno-historical, linguistic and ethnographic literature dates fairly well back to the very beginnings of the coming of the foreign travelers, adventurers, and missionaries into the country in the 16 th century. Some of these foreign writers such as Alvareth, and Al Meida have made attempt to visit the land of these nationalities (Mekonnen Bishaw, 1990; Tesfaye Habiso, 1992). Three categories of writers have made their own contributions to the ethnohistorical and ethnographic understanding of Ţambaaro Nationality. The first group of writers is the foreign ethno-historians and ethno-linguists, some of whom included: Braukämper, Eike Haberland, Ernesta Cerulli, and the like. The second categories of writers are the nationals. These included some well-known scholars who have done good documentation of the history of the south (e.g. Dr. Lapiso, G. Dilebo); the works of Tesfaye Habiso and Daniel Haile Megicho on the Kambatta- Ţambaaro area also provide very useful introduction to the ethnohistory and culture of the nationalities although the focus was on Kambatta. Other writers have also made some contributions such Wolde- Sellasie Abute, Haile Daniel Megicho, and others. The third categories of writers included those from the local intellectuals (Ţambaaro). Direct works on the Ţambaaro Nationality were very rare at best. One such work was attempted by Abera Kalacho who wrote on the history of Ţambaaro Nationality from 1891 to 1974 for his BA Thesis requirement. One other young local intellectual Haile-Mariam Desta (1999) has done on the cultural history of Ţambaaro Nationality (1891-1991) for his BA Degree fulfillment in history from Kotebe College. Locally available written sources were also evaluated. Some of such sources have done useful introduction to the material and non-material culture of Ţambaaro Nationality. One such material was prepared by the Woreda Administration Culture and Information Office expert group. 2.1.1. General Remarks on the Literature on Ţambaaro Nationality It may be argued that, in general, good information exists on the ethnohistorical and ethnographic life of Ţambaaro Nationality in the existing ethnohistorical and ethnographic literature of Ethiopia. A beginner reader is therefore not at confusion when he wants to have an introductory knowledge of the Nationality. The existing literature (particularly those attempted by Tesfaye Habiso, and Haile Daniel Megicho, on Kambatta and its neighboring groups) provide very informing literature on the Kambatta area peoples including Ţambaaro. The literatures by Dr Lapiso G. Dilebo provide a very comprehensive guide to the distant and recent socio-political and cultural histories of the peoples of Ethiopian and South Ethiopia in general and the Kambatta-Hadya areas in particular.
The works by Abera Kalacho and Haile-Mariam provide us with direct reference to the ethnohistory and culture of Ţambaaro nationality. The problems with the existing literature are the following: 1. Insufficient direct reference to the Ţambaaro Nationality in a systematic manner: most of the foreign scholars have made an indirect reference to the Nationality when they were doing overall ethnographic and linguistic surveys of the peoples of the area in general. 2. Confusions existing in the literature of both the foreign and the national writers as to the proper ethnonym of Ţambaaro Nationality. Some sources provide conflicting names (such as Ţimbaaro, Ţembaaro, Zambara, Qambara etc). 3. One of the most conspicuous issues which I found problematic in the writings of Tesfaye Habiso and Haile Daniel Megicho was that they claimed the Ţambaaro Nationality as a sub ethno-social group, along with other smaller groups such Dubamao, Denţa, Lewka, etc). The Tesfaye–Daniel literature generally does not offer independent ethnogenetic and socio-cultural identity to Ţambaaro Nationality. This view is found to be in direct opposition to the existing realties on the ground. 4. Some of the sources by the local intellectuals on the history and culture of Ţambaaro Nationality appear to be biased to certain ethnogenetic groups. As is now well known, and accepted among most local intellectuals, (except by some) Ţambaaro Nationality is composed of various distinct ethnogenetic groups who have managed to arrive at the land from different directions at different epochs. The present writer believes in what he calls the Pan-Tambaaro Nationality, which is built of the centuries of complex and dynamic socio-cultural and politico-economic interactions between the various distinct groups, each of which claim to a distinct ethnogenetic and geographic roots and now claim a shared pan- Ţambaaro identity. The term Pan-Tambaaro though should not be taken too seriously and too technically, in the sense it is used in expressions like Pan-Africa, etc. The idea here is that today the Nationality is a unified, holistic, all-encompassing umbrella for multi- cultural and multi-ethnogenetic groups of people who trace their origins to different geographical, social, cultural and ethnogenetic dimensions. If the term Pan- Tambaaro causes any sense of uneasiness, it can simply be dropped. Despite these and other related shortcomings, the existing ethnohistorical and ethnographic literature provides us with useful introductions to the Ţambaaro Nationality. This present work has made use of these existing works and come up with this more comprehensive and systematic study on Ţambaaro Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture. 2.2. Profile of Kambatta –Ţambaaro Zone The information presented below is based on the current data (compiled during our fieldwork in August 2009). Kambatta- Ţambaaro Zone is one of the 13 zones and 8 ‘special ‘ Woredas that are the constituent elements of the SNNPRG administrative structure. SNNPRG is one of the 9 regional administrative centers in FDRE.
Map 1: Map of Ethiopia highlighting the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People's region. (Source:http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Image:Ethiopia-SouthernNations, Nationalities-and-Peoples.png The Zone is located approximately 7.1 to 7.5 latitude and 37.3 to 38.1 longitudes. The capital of the Zone is Durame, located at some 296 km distance from Addis Ababa through HosannaShishicho road; and 125 km from Hawassa, the regional capital,
MAP 2 MAP OF SNNPRG (SOURCE: Wolde-Sellasie Abute, 2004. An Internet document on Resettlement issues in the SNNPRG) The Zone comprises of three major ethnic groups: Kambatta, Tambaaro and Donga. The ethno-geographic neighbors of the Zone are Alaba Special Woreda to the east, Ommo-Gibbe River to the west, Hadya and Wolayta to the south and Hadya to the north. The total area coverage of the Zone is about 1523.6 square km. The Zone is structured into seven woredas: Angaça, Doyyoganna, Demboyya, Qaççabirra, Hadarro Ţunţo Zuria, Ţambaaro and Durame Reform City Administration. The Zone is divided into a total of 115 rural qebeles and 15 urban qebeles. The topographic and weather conditions of the Zone are such that 22.25% is cold and highland, 70.75 is mid- hot and 7 % is low land. The average annual temperature is 22 degree centigrade. The annual average rainfall is 1275 mill meter. 21.25 % of the land surface is mountainous, 22.25 % is plain and 56.5 % is undulating. The demographic features of the Zone are as follows: The total population, according to the recent (2007) population and Housing Census result, is 683, 167, of which 337,852 are males and 345, 315 are females. The rural population was 585, 471 and that of the urban population was 97,696. The population density is 1: 449.
MAP 3: Kambatta- Ţambaaro Zone The Zone’s population is primarily agrarian regarding its economic livelihood conditions. There are limited numbers of people that engage in nomadic way of life. Major crops grown in the land include ensete (false banana), maize, wheat, ţeff, barely, peas, beans, horse bean, sorghum, millet, lentil, and the like. There are also various root and tuber crops apart from ensete. These include potato, sweet potato, yam and taro. Different fruits and vegetables also
grow in the Zone: banana, mango, avocado, orange, lemon, cabbage, lettuce, papaya, carrot, tomato, etc. The Zone is also known for its various condiments such as ginger, cinnamon, garlic, onion, etc. Coffee is also well grown, In short, in the words of local people in Ţambaaro, ‘the land is suitable for all manners of crops except salt.’ There were a total of 471, 563 livestock in the Zone of which 62, 778 were cattle, 88, 975 were poultry, 60534 were goats and 97328 were sheep. Concerning infrastructural aspects of the zone, all the zonal towns now get 24 hours hydroelectric power service. Ten woreda centers get telephone service; all localities are fairly accessible to mobile telephone network. There are postal service accesses in four towns in the Zone. Durame town has one bank center, Ethiopian Commercial Bank; Ommo Micro Finance Institution offers financial services to various towns and rural areas in the Zone. The Zone is connected with federal, regional and neighboring zonal centers through asphalt and all weather roads systems. The social services sector of the Zone is such that clean, potable water coverage is 30.6 % in urban centers and 22% in rural areas. There were a total of 19 kindergartens; 78 first cycle (1-4) schools; 112 second cycle (5-8) schools; 9 9-10 grade schools; and 4 preparatory level schools; over all 217 schools. There were 128 health posts; 8 health centers, 5 ‘growing’ health centers, 1 hospital and 1 specialized child and women clinic owned by an NGO. The health service coverage of the zone was 60 percent. 2.3. Profile of Ţambaaro Woreda As indicated above, Ţambaaro Woreda is one of the seven woreda divisions of the Zone. The Woreda is located at 60 km from zonal center, Durame and 185 km from regional center, Hawassa. The latitudinal and longitudinal location of the woreda was not possible to identify at the time of the fieldwork. Ţambaaro Woreda is bordered with Sorro Woreda, Hadya in the north; Hadarro Ţunţo in the south and east; and Ommo River and Dawro Zone in the west; The ethno-linguistic neighbors of Ţambaaro are Kambatta, Hadya, Dawro, Wolayta, Donga, among others. Within the Nationality itself, although it is one, unified entity, there exist different ethnogenetic groups who claim distinct ethnogenic and geographic origins in the past. Physical and Topographic Features The total land surface of Ţambaaro Woreda is 27, 917 square km. The highest point in the land is 2600 meter above sea level, with 880 meter below sea level. The topographic feature of the Woreda is that 8% is mountainous, 24% is plain level and 68% is undulating. The highest mountain is Mount Furra. Other smaller ridges also exist: Tuppa ridge, Beyduna, Goffore, Ţumela, Gedrra, Bedda and Anno ridges. The soil texture of the Woreda is that 75% is brown, 10% red and 15% black. The land teems with numerous rivers, springs and waterfalls. To mention some of the major river bodies: Ommo River (called Umma in Ţambaarisa), Lammo River, Buhho River, Gonjo River, Wawarsa, Ha’oo and Satame rivers. All of these rivers house beautiful waterfalls. Lammo alone has a series of four major waterfalls at different location between the origin and destination of the River. Agro-ecological and Livelihood Conditions 10% of the land is high land (cold climate), 60 % is medium altitude (climate) and 30 % is low land and hot weather. The annual mean temperature of the Woreda is 20 degree centigrade. The average annual rainfall is 1400 millimeter. The total forest coverage is 22, 239.4 hectare. During our fieldwork period (August 2009), 20, 566, 825 hectare of land was covered with crops, of which 16,963 hectare was annual crops and 3603.73 hectare of land
was covered with perennial crops. The pasture land coverage was 1947.85 hectare. Cultivable land was 1426.24 hectare; uncultivable land 593.36 hectare. The Woreda population is basically agrarian. 25% of the population engaged in agriculture (land cultivation alone); 10 % engaged in animal husbandry (anomalism); 35% in mixed farming (land cultivation, animal husbandry, apiculture, etc); 15 % of the population engaged in off-farm activities (trade, etc); 9% engaged in craftworks and others, 6%.. The land is suitable for cultivation of all manners of crops: cereals, roots, tubers, vegetables, fruits, etc. Major cash crops include coffee, ginger, teff, bean, maize, peas, etc. The two major open market days are Thursday Market in Mudula and Tuesday Market in Qeleţa. Demographic Features of the Woreda The most recent (2007) Population and Housing Census result) figure shows that the Woreda total population was 146557 of which 73197 were males and 73360 were females. There were 20 rural qebeles and 3 urban qebeles Socioeconomic and Infrastructural Features Since the Woreda attained its independent woreda status, beginning from 2006(?) significant improvements have been registered in the socio-economic and infrastructural aspects. There were, at the time of our fieldwork, about 20 health posts and 3 health centers. There were 34 governmental schools of which 13 were first cycle and 20 were second cycle, and one preparatory school. 1 first and second cycle and 2 kindergarten schools were run by private organizations. The Woreda has got 24 hour hydroelectric power service since 2000; A gravel road that connects the Woreda with zonal center and hence to all other regions is completed in 2008. There is one digital telephone center, 8 rural qebeles were beneficiaries of wireless telephone service; 7 qebeles were beneficiaries of clean, potable water service
Map 4: Qebele divisions in Tambaaro and adjacent ethnic neighboring areas as part of the
former Ommo Sheleqo Woreda as used by World Vision Ethiopia Ommo Sheleqo ADP; Adopted from Haile Mariam Desta, 1999 (The symbols were used as indicators of World Visions Ethiopia’s Ommo Sheleqo ADP’s Humanitarian services such as water, clinic, schools, etc) Note: the current Tambaaro Woreda contains 23 kebeles including urban centers
Map 5: Tambaaro and its ethnic neighbors. Adapted from Braukämper, 1973:32
Map 6 Tamabaro area ca. 1620’s, as witnessed by Antonio Ferdinaz; adapted from Tesfaye Habiso, 1992
CHAPTER THREE: ŢAMBAARO: QUESTIONS OF ETHNO-GENESIS, ETHNIC IDENTITY AND COMPOSITION 3.1. Introduction This Chapter provides a description of the conceptualizations and views of various groups of the Ţambaaro Nationality concerning the meaning, identity, composition, participation and interactions of the different ethno-social groups in the Nationality. We have made maximum care to strike a logical balance when treating the different constituent elements of the Nationality. However, it might be unavoidable in some instances for us to risk the appearance of being biased towards certain ethno-social groups. This might be evident in the case of the Lamala Moolla groups. This happens because the Lamala Moolla group constitutes what might be called ideologically and socio-culturally dominant group in the history of the Nationality for the last 300 to 400 years. We have made every effort possible to treat all the major constituent elements of the Nationality. We begin our presentation by focusing on the Lamala Moolla and then proceed to other major groups, namely, the pre- Ţambaaro groups and the marginalized social groups. Treating each and every major clan groups that have become part of the mainstream Ţambaaro Nationality in the last 300 years following the coming and settlement of the Lamala Moolla groups is, however, beyond the scope and purpose of our present study. There are, for example, over 25 distinct clans that have become part of the Nationality which are also the constituent clan groups in neighboring Wolayta. Treating and tracing the origins and development of these and other different distinct clan groups is not feasible in this study. 3.2. The Etymology of the Ethnonym Ţambaaro According to Ţambaaro elders, the origin of the name Ţambaaro is traced to the ethnogeography and the nature of migration the Lamala Moolla groups made when they left their habitat at what they call the Yemerera locality in Sidama land. A common thread in the narration goes like this: When the ‘seven’ brothers left the Yemerera land and trekked various lands until they finally rested at the present area, they passed several localities and made their test to whether they would permanently settle or not in an area, by sowing a sorghum they carried with them. Finally, they decided to settle at the present land which proved to be their final settlement as it gave bounteous produce when they decided to give the name to their new found land. They called it “Ţambaaro,” meaning, “ now we have settled, after searching and testing.” In a sense, Ţambaaro suggests that they have settled after series of surveying, testing and moving. According to one informant, Ţambaaro, etymologically, is composed of two wor ds ‘ţambi’, meaning they surveyed or tested, and ‘wallo’, we have come’, In Sidama language the root of the term suggests, ‘be cool, be rested, don’t hurry’. One old man said, “We are called Ţambaaro; our land is Ţambaaro; our language in Ţambaarisa, and o ur ancestors named this land, Ţambaaro, saying, ‘we have found this land after repeated searching.” Another old man said the ethnonym also suggests a land which is green, comfortable and productive.” This ethnonym meaning and etymology is more or less agreed among all local informants, including the learned local intellectuals. According to one of the local intellectuals, (see, for example Haile-Mariam, 1999) the name suggested the intentions, actions and belief system as well as experiences of the ancestral Lamala Moolla who trekked in search for a land suitable in terms of defense, water availability and land productivity. When they lastly found this land, it fulfilled all of their criteria. The question of the suitability of a land for the productivity of the indigenous sorghum variety was mainly stressed in the narrations. It is at this juncture important to raise the question; does the ethnonym represent all the current groups that compose the Ţambaaro Nationality? How do the various sub-ethno-social
groups conceptualize and view the ethnonym? We will come to this point later. But at the moment, it is important to make a passing remark. The ethnonym Ţambaaro seems to invoke, in the mentality of some informants, the idea that it is more or less referred to the Lamala Moolla groups. This is also evident in the commonly made expressions among the informants. There is often some sort of a tacit understanding that the name Ţambaaro is another name for the Lamala Moolla groups. But up on further investigation and questioning, we find that the informants seem to accept the idea that the ethnonym is used in its general sense, encompassing all ethno-social groups that currently constitute the Nationality. 3.2.1. Derogatory Names and Misnomers Like many other nationalities in south Ethiopia, Ţambaaro nationality was also proffered derogatory names. Such names are propagated in literature as well. I came across with such names in the works of some renowned historians. One such name is Ţimbaaro; older men categorically rejected this misnomer, saying it was a creation by the nefţeňňas. The name is given by a certain feudal land lord during early 1930s. It means, ţimb (=carcass) aaro (human faece), suggesting “This stinking carcass”. Other variant names used in writt en documents such as Ţembaro, Zambara, Qambara etc, are also simply misnomers. The first is a simple pronunciation defect. The other is a name of a locality in Ţambaaro Woreda. The term Qambara is rendered to the Nationality by the Hadya Nationality, who still use this term to address Tambaaro. These misnomers are popularized in ethnographic works (eg. Ernesta Cerulli, 1956; Haberland, 1972, etc) as well as local historians (eg. see Lapiso, 1992). Informants forcefully noted that correct ethnonym, invented and applied by the first ancestors is Ţambaaro. The derogatory name, Ţimb-aaro, was forced on the Ţambaaro Nationality following the instituting of Menilikan government in the land. According to one informant, an administrator by the name Dejazmach Tachbalew, who was a ruler here in Ţambaaro woreda, since ca. early 1940s, went to Gimbichu area, where the Amhara addressed this man, Administrator of Timb-aro woreda. 3.3. Ethno-Genesis Of The Lamala Moolla 3.3.1. The Founding Ancestors: a Genealogy of the Lamala Moolla Group According to informants, the first apical ancestor of rather the father of the ‘Lamala Moolla’ was called Moolla. Moolla gave birth to the seven sons: Yaaga, Adde, Waaja, Quzna, Taase, Ajora and Sanbata. Lamala Moolla Ţambaaro commonly invoke the ancestral name ‘Abo Manche’ in various occasions. According to informants, Manjolla gave birth to Moolla, who was the father of the “Seven sons’. The genealogy of the Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro is traced commonly up to Manjicho, beyond whom they find it difficult to trace. However, one of the older persons during elders’ FGD traced his genealogy beyond Manjicho. According to this informant, Manjicho was the son of Waayo, who was the son of Anaafo. Anaafo was the son of Gaaddo. Gadibo was the father of Gaaddo. The following is the genealogy (Family Tree) of the “Seven Sons” (Lamala Moolla)
Gaaddo Anaafo Wayyo Manjicho
Fig. 3.1. The Gemological line of Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro
The following is a detail family tree depicting the current clan structure and descendants of the Lamala Moolla groups of Ţambaaro. Note: In the Bamushe line, the abbreviations, K stands for Kereyo; G stand for Gobbe; Gu. Stand for Gutto; Ket. Stand for Ketema. According to informants, some of the seven sons of Moolla are stuck just in the first generation while others such as Yagga and Qu’ena have become wide spread. The Yagga family has particularly become dominant demographically. The demographics dominance has also in a way contributed to the socio-economic and politico-cultural dominance of this family. Apart from possible natural factors working some how selectively, it is not clear why some have become almost insignificant and others have dominant in terms of number of descendants. Informant provided some spiritual factor such as the Yagga family obtained more blessings than others from the ancestor.
Aago Aano Arjama Mantule
Hogofo, Geso, Gereno, Meleke, Girmo
Gerero Gutala Gemmo
Çuguno Marro Garro Woldo Abroshe Aseno Wajisa Bishato
Qallo, Lecgara , Bosaqa
Koemenoo Hoshala Wonjala
Wonqe, Sege Mundaqa
Anaye Konte Momme Habase Aago Bibrsa Jillo Bishato o
Doyo Lençamo Çule Sediyo Sherimo
Fig. 3.2. The current family tree of the Lamala Moolla Group of Ţambaaro
3.3.2. Local Views on When and Why the Lamala Moolla Break away from Their Hawella Clan Informants accept and narrate as a settled fact (which is also supported by available historical evidences) that the ancestors of Lamala Moolla groups first came from the present day Sidama land. They call the land which their ancestors left as Yemerera. According to local informants, their ancestor’s original locality was in today’s Shebedino Woreda, in the vicinity –some 20 km from Tula- Abela area. (In a separate Chapter below we treat this issue to cross check its historicity and whether it is corroborated by local informants in Sidama. But, here, we present the oral tradition as accepted and narrated in Ţambaaro.) The time of this event breakaway of the ‘seven brothers’ claimed to be some 365 years ago. Some local informants point out rough date at 1565 E.C. The validity of this time frame is claimed by the informants through genealogical counting and also a more seemingly plausible form of dating mechanism, namely, through the calculation of the age of a sacred tree that until today stands as a symbol of the Nationality in town center. The tree is an oak tree, a very big, seemingly old and massive one. The oral tradition holds that when the Lamala Moolla first entered and settled at the land, the oak tree was “too young to even be capable of supporting the staff and spears of the ancestors when they leaned their staffs on the young tree.” The claim may be verified through scientific dating mechanism. An average number of generations that have elapsed from the time of Moolla to the grand sons of our local elderly informants is about 12. Some genealogical assumptions in assigning a maximum and minimum number of years each generation has lived may give a rough time
estimation that is more or less corresponding with the oral tradition. Thus, it is commonly accepted among ethno-historians an average of 40 years for a generation and a minimum of 25 years. 40 by 12 gives us 480 years; 12 by 25 gives us 300 years. The average of the two is 360 years. The reasons for the breakaway of this branch and subsequent leaving of their original land and people is generally narrated by elders as an episode of quarrelling over rights to holding political office; it was narrated that the father of the seven brothers gave political office up on his old age to a younger son of a lesser wife when the bigger wife, the mother of the seven brothers with her sons went to her brothers to call them to take part in ceremony. When they came, their father transferred the political office to their little step-brother. Seeing this, they killed the newly appointed son and lethally wounded their father. Then, the clans-folk discussed among themselves and decided to kill the killer according to the norm of the time by putting him in a basket and throwing into a pit. The brothers then begged them to alter the decision but the decision was final. Seeing this, the killer\s party then escaped in the cover of a dark night beginning their itinerary. Their father was said to have pronounced a prophesy saying, “The clan would increase in number and dominate. The barren land beyond (including today’s Hawassa area) will be populated. The break away group will form a separate entity; after a time they would come and request reconciliation.” 3.3.3. The Historical Geography of the Itinerary of the Lamala Moolla Groups According older informants, the ancestors trekked through forests, mountains, rivers, etc and rested at many localities until they finally settled of their final land. The names and number of the routes they took and the places they have passed through and rested a while before they finally settled at Tambaaro are not uniformly narrated. Different versions of views existed. According to some informants, the first place they rested a while was at a place called Qe ţţa (its exact location in today’s geography is not determined, but it is some where between Alaba and Kambatta. They left this area after testing it by ‘planting their sorghum’, which they used as a barometer for their criterion for whether a location/ land would be wroth settling permanently. Then they shifted to Wachamo (today a vast plain land called Wonjala near Hosanna in Hadya). Then they shifted to a place called Qelela (in today’s Hadya land). There they planted the sorghum. From this, they left fo r a place called Faanta (in today’s Sorro Woreda, Hadya). This land also didn’t pass their ‘acid test’ of sorghum. They left this land and went to a place called Geze in Dawro, crossing Ommo River. Being there, they looked down to the land which they first came to and settled before they pioneered into all the other parts of their present land. They found it fulfilling all their criteria for security, productivity, water abundance, etc. They thus came here and settled at a place called Zambara. It was narrated by an elder man that one of the older men, Sifro Maleko, dreamt a dream about a big mushroom springing up in a place called Tuppa. The dream gave tem the direction to come to this place and make it their headquarters. Today, Tuppa is considered the place of their ancestral epicenter, where all the memorial worships for the ancestors were carried out, as well as political appointments took place at this place. They decided to settle at Tuppa because they found is a geographically strategic location. They said “The River (Ommo) is our natural defense from our enemies in long border lines. Seating here, we can easily survey the coming of enemies in any other side.” These are the geographical locations where the ancestors crossed and stayed at. Note that the number of geographical localities the ancestors passed through and stayed at are about 10. In the above narration, the number is about 8. Some provide more than this number. The question of how cong did they stay at each locality was not known. Elders stated the duration is not known, but it was determined, according to their view, by the time it took to test the productivity of the land by sowing the sorghum.
The itinerary was basically in north-west direction viewed from their original land of so-called Yemerera. The ancestors trekked through a long distance covering vast areas; they crossed over the regions inhabited by numerous ethno- social groups: Arsi, Alaba, Kambatta, Hadya, Dawro. Qebena, etc. 3.3.4. Dispersions and Settlement of the Lamala Moolla Groups The present land being their epicenter, the Lamala Moolla group is dispersed across several parts in southern Ethiopia. Elders stated that in all of the historic places where the ancestors passed through or temporarily stayed at, parts of the group managed to stay behind. Thus, local informants claimed that many ethnogenic Lamala Moollas, the descendants of the ‘seven break-away sons of Moolla’ live dispersed across to day’s Hadya, Kambatta, Wolayta, Dawro, Qebena, Wolqite, Alaba, Yem, etc. This dispersion occurred during the initial itinerary and also continued though out the ensuing period through marriage and other factors. Some informants particularly claimed the present Qebena are descendants of Moolla, arguing that the seven brothers camped there a while and a sub group remained there. Locla elders also claimed descendants of Moolla live in Endegen, Shashogo, Yima (local term for Yem). The latter ones probably had managed to disperse in latter period (probably as they strayed when hunting). The Lamala Moolla descendants, according to informants, have today thus dispersed widely in the neighboring nationalities. Of the group, the Yagga lineage has particularity become wide and broad. The Ţambaaroid group living in Wolayta (in bordering localities such as Boloso) is Yagga. (We will have more of this issue in another section where we discuss the Ţambaaro relations with neighboring nationalities.)
Wonjala, Hosaina Molla, Hadaro Qatta, Kambatta Bidiqa, Sorro, Hadya
Qilila, Sorro, Hadya
Fanta, Sorro, Hadya
Alaba Boqayyo, Tuppa, Tambaaro
‘Yemerera, original land in Sidama
Fig. 3.3. The Geography and duration of stay: Ţambaaro Ancestral Dispersion (This drawing is based on the common oral tradition of the people; the location of the place names is not meant to be equated with its exact location in the territories. This diagram is meant just to provide a crude sense of the direction the itinerary took.)
Map 7: A writer’s attempt showing the itinerary routes of the Lamala Moolla (Adopted from Haile-Mariam Desta 1999; The expression ‘Map 3’ should be understood as part of the o riginal source)
3.3.5. Time Elapsed Between the Initial Dispersion of the Lamala Moolla Group and their Final Settlement at Ţambaaro Elders claim that today, the graveyards of the seven ancestors are not exactly known. They were buried at various places during their long years of movement, between Yemerera and Tuppa. According to informants, all the seven ancestors expired before they arrived at Tuppa. Some recent ancestors in the line of the seven founding fathers were buried in different localities. For example, a man called Wonjala was buried at Endegaň, outside Ţambaaro; Baamo was buried at Baaçik –Mazira; Makko was buried at Gedira; all localities in Ţambaaro. Wonjala, son of Hoshala, was great-great-great grand-son of Moolla via Yagga line; Yagga being one of the demographically and socio-politically dominant group in Lamala Moolla. Wonjala is 6th generation from Moolla. Makko was grandson of Hoshala; he is 7 generations away from Moolla. Baamo was Makko’s son; being 8 generations away from Moolla. Local informants were not sure of the whereabouts of the graveyards of ancestors beginning from great-great grand sons of Moolla. It is hinted that they were buried in various localities before they finally reached at Ţambaaro. Judged from these genealogical indications, it may be assumed that it took some at least four generations’ time between the initial beginning of the dispersion and the final settlement at Ţambaaro. This may be roughly calculated at some 150 years (maximum) and 100 years minimum. This estimate coincides with the view of one of the local intellectuals who have done some studies on ethno-genesis of the Lamala Moolla. This length of time seems to be justifiable given the numerous local places oral tradition notes regarding the itinerary of the ancestors. A more useful indicator is the fact of the absence of the graveyards of ancestors in Ţambaaro land beginning from great-great grandsons of Moolla. 3.3.6. Local Views on the Composition of the Itinerary Group Local people had divergent views on the composition of the group that broke away from the Sidama stock and left the land. The story of the itinerary generally stars the “the seven brothers’ or sons of Moolla. The commonly accepted and believed narration generally puts it that the Lamala Moollas left their ancestral land with their children and wives; and the story holds that three major social groups ‘came together’, accompanying the Lamala Moollas. The phrase “came together’ was vehemently resisted by some informants who were descendants of the social groups that “came together’. These social groups were and are considered/ and actually are artisans from three major distinct social stratums. (We will have a separate section dealing with the question of these occupational caste groups in Tambaaro.) A commonly accepted oral tradition states these marginal groups were offered by the Lamala Moolla leaders their own distinct official political titles so that these marginal groups would be represented in the council of Lamala Moolla. Thus, the potters were/ and are/ represented by Erasha; the tanners by Aldada and the servants by Debona (head of servant groups). Oral tradition states the Lamala Moolla group then entered into a covenant with these crafts social groups, which some local informants term as the ‘associates of the Lamala Moolla’. They covenanted not to marry each other, to live peacefully together, the Lammal Moolla to be the patron-protector and the marginal social groups to be the clients; that the two never will harm each other, etc. As will be discussed in detail later, some informants provide this covenant as a reason for the absence of marriage relations between the Lamala Moolla and the crafts social groups. However, up on further and critical analysis we see that the main reason is rather the long standing concept of ritual purity which provides the Lamala Moolla the superior status over the occupational caste groups. Despite there was this sense of occupational caste grouping, the groups (particularity those represented by Aldada and Debona titles were considered equal with the Lamala Molla groups and hence they enjoyed respected representation in the socio-political lives of the Nationality.
3.3.7. Where and When Does the Lamala Moolla History Begin? The question “Where and when does Tambaaro Nationality’s ethnohistory start?” is thus not an easy one to answer. The answer we obtain also differs from the views of informants residing in Tambaaro (the Tambaaro themselves) and those in Sidama where the ancestors were claimed to have originated. The Sidama side of the story shall be presented in a separate section. Our most important source of information here (and for that matter all of our questions and issues in this study) is oral tradition. Some written historical sources are basically those that do not make any significant dissent from the oral tradition. For example, as to the question of ‘where the Tambaaro (rather the Lamala Moolla) ethnohistory starts?’ both oral tradition and existing historical documents provide similar answer: Sidama, Yemerera. (Whether this Yemerera is really a valid toponym that actually exists shall be dealt with later). The Sidama origin of the Lamala Moolla group as far as their recent ethnohistory is concerned, seems to be well supported and accepted among almost all people in Tamabaro. The problem, from the Tamabaro side of the story, is what exactly is the locality or which specific clan or sub clan did the Lamala Moolla break away from? There are no agreements among local informants, particularly local intellectuals regarding which Sidama locality and more importantly which Sidama clan do the Lamala Moolla belong to? However, it appeared the majority of local informants (for that matter almost all of the informants) claim the Hawella clan origin (see the section dealing with the Sidama side of the story). Some local intellectuals claim a different Sidama clan origin; A Yanase clan origin is hinted by some. An Aleta clan origin was also suspected given the information we obtained from our Tambaaro fieldwork. As for the question “When does the Lamala Moolla ethnohistory begin?” we have e xplained this above. Needless to repeat, broadly seen, the Lamala Moolla ethnohistory encompasses from 18-21 generations, counted from the generation of grand sons of existing older informants. Our major source here is genealogical counting, since we do not have any other historical source. As shall be seen in the section that deals with the Sidama side of the story, it is generally agreed and confirmed, based on oral tradition, that the time scale from the initial break away of the Lamala Moolla to the present, it is measured or equivalent to about maximum 21 and minimum 18 generations. As we gave some sort of formula above (assumption where one generation on average takes maximum 40 years and minimum 25 years) we arrive at some where 1560s. The 1560s figure is also generally believed to be the rough departure time for the Lamala Moolla. Based on this assumption and calculation, then, the recent history of the Lamala Moolla begins from the mid 16th century. Although we are not sure at this stage whether the Lamala Moolla departure and dispersion was motivated by the political factors of the time, the time 1560s is in congruence with documented historical evidence regarding the great historical events of the 16 th c Graň Ahmed wars (1531 – 1552) and Oromo expansive movement. The time, places, person names, events surrounding the manner and reasons for the departure of the seven sons are not, however, historically verifiable. The fact of whether this Tambaaro ancestral dislocation was motivated by other factors, such as adventure explorative migrations to occupy unsettled land, factors caused by direct or indirect effects of Gran Wars, Oromo expansion, etc, is yet to be verified. There seems to exist one troubling point concerning the period of time that elapsed since the Lamala Moolla ancestors first landed on Tambaaro. On the one hand, as indicated above, a commonly accepted belief among the local informants states it is about 360 or so years since their ancestors first arrived at the land. On the other hand, the same local informants pointed out that the grave yards of not on the ‘seven ancestors’ but also even their great -great grand sons were not found in the present Tambaaro land. They were buried outside Tambaaro during their itinerary. If this latter account is true, it seems that it is not beyond 7 or 8 generations since the ancestors have settled at the present land. This suggests a more recent settlement than previously thought, maximum 280 to 320 years ago. All of these need to be further verified.
3.3.8. Pre-Yemerera History of Lamala Moolla According to informants, there is a tale that tries to link the ancestral origin of Yemerera group (Yemerecho) as one which was ‘a pure’, ‘chosen’ branch of the Sidama groups. Some claim they had some relations with Gonderine Amhara, thus considering themselves as the ‘decent’ ones. However, other informants argued there was no ethnogenic link with the Gonderine; rather, it was the ‘ritual purity’ of the Yemerera group that invoked the Gonderine claims. Existing ethnographic literature and observations show that the ‘Yemerecho’ are those who consider themselves as ‘pure’ (see Hamer, 1978, Haileyasus, 2004). Descendants of the Bushe group in Sidama claim this ritual purity. (See more on this in Chapter dealing with SidamaŢambaaro Links) Ţambaaro elders trace their pre-Moolla time and place back to about the 11th c A. D. Legend has it that their pre-Moolla ancestors had come from somewhere in Arabia; they moved to south Yemen, crossed a sea (presumably red sea), reached at Çerçer area, then moved to a place in Balle before they finally arrived at Sidama land. This is line with one dominant ‘out of Ethiopia myth’ which is held among many Sidama areas. This tale is more or less in congruence with generally documented historical sources. For example, according to Ulrich Braukämper cited in Tesfaye Habiso (2008): During the turbulent decades of the Oromo expansion, the ancestors of the Sidama people also left their original domiciles in two different areas- the Maldea group came from Dawaro north of the Wabi Šebeli bend, while Bučče group abandoned their territory Dawa west of the upper Ganale - and settled in present Sidamaland. Mixing with the native Hofa they began to constitute a new ethnos, called Sidama, after 1600. 3.4. The Composition of Present Day Ţambaaro Nationality and The Perception of Ţambaaro Identity The question, “who is a Ţambaaro?” was a very important one for us in the field. We did not receive uniform responses. There were divergent views on the meaning, identity and composition of the term Tambaaro. It appears that local informants generally assign the term Ţambaaro to the Lamala Moolla. But upon further probing it becomes clear Ţambaaro Nationality is not just only the Lamala Moolla, but it is really an amalgam of quite distinct ethno-linguistic and ethnogenic groups that have over the centuries come to the land through various means and become assimilated into the nationality accepting their Ţambaaro ethno identity. The idea that Ţambaaro as an ethnonym is often meant to address the Lamala Moolla was based on the fact that the name was devised (as oral tradition holds) by the Lamala Moolla groups. Since the name was their cultural creation for both the people themselves and the geographical location where they settled, it happened that over the years the name has come to be synonymous with the Lamala Moolla. For this and many other cultural, social and religious elements which the Lamala Moolla created as their heritage, some local intellectuals appear to support or rather condone the Lamala Moolla socio-cultural hegemony over the other groups. However, (although it is not deniable that such hegemony existed in the cultural, social, and politico-economic realms for centuries) it appears that many things have been leveled out and a more or less pan- Ţambaaro ethno-identity has been taking shape. This “pan- Ţambaaro” ethno-identity has really manifested itself in quite many realms over the centuries acting as a cementing factor in the unification of the different distinct groups and in the creation of a boarder and more acceptable meaning of the term Ţambaaro. The present day composition of Ţambaaro Nationality is truly, thus, a melting assimilation of the three major ethnogenic families Cushitic, Omotic and Semitic. The Sons of Moolla’ and their ‘associate’ groups represent the demographically and politically domineering groups, at least in the first formative periods of the nationality’s identity. pot of ‘seven ethno ethno -
Many Omotic and Cushitic groups have also over the years come to Tambaaro land from Wolayta, Dawro, Yem, etc through marriage, war captivity, slave raiding, and other mechanisms. The specific people groups (now constituting clans) include Çaata (from Dawro), Donga (from Hadarro Tunto), (Kawka (Dawro), Kalsie (Dawro), Rooms (Jima), Hiziza (Wolayta), Lauka, (Hadya) Womigra (Wolayta), Masmas (Hadya), Dubamo and many other group, etc. A simple comparison of the clans in Wolayta and Tambaaro revealed there were over 23 distinct clans in Ţambaaro that also exist in Wolayta. Although it is tempting to argue that these clans in Ţambaaro have come from Wolayta, we are not sure other better alternative explanations also exist. It might be that the groups might have settled in both Wolayta and Tambaaro coming from different directions, or that some groups might have migrated from Tambaaro to Wolayta. The issue like other related aspects deserves further investigation. It is generally accepted that these different distinct clans or ethno-social groups from Wolayta, Dawro, Jimma Oromo, Hadya, Amhara, Tigre, etc have come into the land following the post establishment of the Lamala Moolla groups in the land. The groups did not come earlier than the Lamala Moolla groups. This helps us to support the idea that it is more likely that different ethno-social groups have come to Tambaaro than the groups have gone to other areas. Semitic groups have also come and joined Ţambaaro Nationality. Amhara groups include ‘Aţţe Amhara who were believed to have come in pre- Menilik II era (1889-1913) probably as a adventuring group or part of the advance of earlier era Solomonic emperors; it is not clear from which specific part of the country did this group originate. There are also those who call themselves as Denni Amhara who claim to have come from Gonder in northern Ethiopia area. Many others have come as part of the post-Menilik II era, as soldiers, nefteňňas; some of these Amhara groups have built up a lineage of their own as part of the pan-Tambaaro identity. Tigre group as a distinct clan is also part of today’s Tambaaro Nationality. According to them, these groups, whose descendants call them Tigra, were believed to have come from Wolayta and Jimma, where they have had a privileged socio-political status following the coming to power of the Tigre group as a ruling dynasty in Wolayta following the collapse of the widely acclaimed Wolayta Malla Dynasty whose earlier era king, King Motolemi, claimed by the Wolayta oral tradition and supported in some historical sources (See Bahru 2002), was allegedly a renowned king ruling vast geographical area in south west and south central Ethiopia. The current composition of Ţambaaro Nationality can also be explained in terms of temporal succession of different ethno-linguistic and social groups that have become part of the Nationality. In this sense, the Nationality encompasses what I call the Ţambaaro proper (th e Lamala Moolla and their so-called ‘associate’ groups), the recent- pre-Tambaaro population groups (Kalmana, Woçifina, Gondorima, Handarama and Beella) and the latter- day comer groups that have joined the Nationality through social, cultural and politica l routes. The ‘latter day comer groups’ are very diverse and multi- ethno-linguistic. They include, for example, those that have come from Wolayta (such as Bubula, Hizea, Kominia, etc), from Dawro (e.g. Çatta, Kawka, etc), those from Dubamao (Dubamao), Kinchichila, Amhara groups, Tigre groups and those from Jimma Oromo. It is interesting to note that, though there still exist a sense of the cultural- social hegemony of the Lamala Moolla groups (a perception that is shared among both the Lamala Moolla groups, the “associate groups, and the non- Lamala Moolla groups), there now exist a sense of pan-Tambaaro identity. All the divers groups more or less consider themselves as part of the greater Ţambaaro nationality.
Descendants of preTambaaro population groups Lamala Moolla groups
“Wolaytoid’ groups ‘Darwroid” groups Other groups (Dubamao, Kinchichila, Donga, etc)
“Associates’ of Lamala Moolla: Erasha, Aldada, Debona Groups
Figure: 3.5. Composition of today’s Ţambaaro Nationality 3.4.1. Further Points on People Groups Who Came in Post- Lamala Settlement Era Once the Lamala Moolla established itself in the land following the complete control of the Kalmana’s challenge and resistance- through various political tricks and subsequent storming, the Tambaaro now began to position itself firmly amidst continuous and fierce enmity and hostility. All nearby and distant nationalities– Maçça, Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya, and Kambatta – were not happy with the presence of the new comer Tambaaro group, as informants claimed. Thus all of them in all directions tried hard to destroy it and subject the land. However, Tambaaro maintained its independence by war as well as by political diplomacy. One such diplomacy was political marriage. Thus, it began marriage connection with the royal and high status clans of its hostile nationalities. From Wolayta, with Tigra, Bubula, Hiz’a groups; from Dawro, Çatta and Kawka groups; from Maçça, Oromo; and from Hadya, Miasmas group. In this manner, it began to attract people from these lands and gradually over the years, these different groups came to be full- fledged clans constituting the current Tambaaro social identity. The general agreement among informants was that since the Lamala Moolla arrival, there had not been any other group-level wave of population incoming to the Tambaaro land. But some argued the Çatta group came as population – in- coming as part of the struggles over power in Dawro. The group- constituting 12 distinct sub- clans came to Tambaaro land – at least half of them came as a group. It is not, however, known whether there Çatta groups came before or after Lamala Moolla. Other informants did not agree with this view: they argued the Çatta, like others have come to Tambaaro through marriage relations. They became a distinct clan group through the offering of settlement land for the husbands who took wives from Lamala Molla. Lamala Molla had this tradition of offering settlement land fro the males/ husbands who took wives from their groups. The Çatta question is one of the many other questions that need further investigation in a future research. 3.4.2. The Ethnogenesis of the Çatta Group The Çatta group in Ţambaaro today is one of the –so-called 66 distinct social groups or clans formally registered in the inventory of the Woreda Administration. The Çatta group, according to local intellectuals who represent the group, have had very active participation and key roles in the ethnohistory of politics, law, military and government in Tambaaro. The group was believed to have come from Dawro, following an inter-clan conflict and completion over kingship rights, some 13 generations ago. This might take us back to some, on the average, 420 or so years. If the information given here is valid and trustworthy, then it might be that the Çatta group was in the present Ţambaaro land more or les in par with the
Lamala Moolla group. However, existing oral traditions generally confirms that on the arrival of the Lamala Moolla, the groups existing in the land were the Kalmana, Woçifina and Gondorima groups, called today, the Buchu manna, the people of the soil. The timing of this dispersion of the Çatta group in the Ţambaaro land needs further investigation. The Lamala Moolla group has lived on the average between 13 to 15 generations in the land. The ethnohistoric root of the Çatta group goes deeper than the Dawro land. Oral tradition holds that the ancestors dispersed from their original Borena Oromo land in Borena area. The genealogy counted from the present generation extends up to 29 generations. The Çatta are the descendants of one of the sons of Debena. Çatte, the others being Hebena, Wayo, Delecho, Arusie and Dele Kerunie. The son of Çatte, Enkallo, emigrated to today’s Dawro land sometime in pre- Menilik II era (1889-1913) due to draught problems. He was led by the divination of his priest to Dawro where he begun living at a place called Meţţa and gradually begun establishing marital relations with the other Dawro clans. He married a woman from a Wosfie clan and gave birth to 12 sons, who alter instituted a political governance system called Enkallo. The Enkallo group gradually managed to usurp the kingship power from the Kawka clan During the Kawo (King) Abetreyo era ( time not known) conflict arose over the kingship right between the two clans and through some conspiracy the Kawka group re-took the kingship right, after killing the king. This spurred the dispersion of the Enkallo / Çatte group to different parts of the southwest Ethiopia. Today, the descendants of the Çatta group live in Wolayta (where they are called Ţatta); in Arsi (Siraro, Kofole and its environs, where they are called Çatti manna); in Jimma area (where they are called Oocha); and in Kambatta (where they call them Dorbe). In Ţambaaro, they are called Çatte. (In Dawro, their original land, they are called Šatta.) Of the 12 sons of Enkallo, oral tradition states four managed to emigrate to Ţambaaro: Angala, Genite, Asho and Herayso. These established the Enkallo socio-political organization and begun establishing peaceful socio-economic, cultural and political relations with the Lamala Moolla and other groups. According to other informants, as indicated above, the above view is not in par with dominant existing narrations. Some informants argued that the Çatta group did not come to Tambaaro land as part of a wave of population incoming. Rather, the group was established in Tambaaro land through marriage relationships with the Lamala Molla. The views from both sides, however, need to be further verified; we cannot at this juncture argue this or that view is truer than this or that. Both views were orally based. None has verified written historical sources to support.
Fig. 3. 6. Family Tree and ancestry of the Çatta group of Tambaaro land; the boxes in blue represent the four ancestors who emigrated to the Tambaaro land in unspecified pre-Menilik II era 3.5. Local Views on Ţambaaro and Its Relations with Other Nationalities During the re-integration and reconciliation ceremonies conducted in 2004/ 2005 organized by Sidama and Ţambaaro elites living in Hawassa, Ţambaaro elders were shown the localities where the descendants of Gaaddo, Moolla’s forefather currently inhabit. Apart from this ethno genetic affinity to Sidama, the Lamala Moolla informants claim that they have no “blood” relational with other nearby nationalities such as Kambatta, Donga, and Hadya. They argued their relation with these nationalities, including Kambatta is only linguistic and socio –cultural. The extremely Kambatic Ţambaarisa, they claim (which some writers estimate to be 80% intelligible, see Lapiso 1992) is a result of not common ethnogenic roots but of the fact of sharing contiguous geographic area and their being made part of the Kambatta Hadya administrative division for long period in pre EPRDF era. Although this sounds plausible, it has yet to be investigated. Ţambaaro’s vest similarity in cultural as well as linguistic aspects with Donga is also similarly explained by informants as an effect of living in proximate geographic locality. Some elders, completely claim no ethnogenic affinity, explain linguistic similarity as a result of the effect of Ţambaaro groups who have assimilated into Kambatta through marriages, and as part of their original migrations when some remained there. Socio-cultural similarities between Ţambaaro and other relatively distant groups such as Wolayta, Dawro, Jimma Oromo, etc is reflection of marriage and market relations that have developed over the years. Elders claimed no Kambatta ancestors came along with the original seven brothers, when I asked them to check whether there linguistic similarity might have any relation due to this shared migration. Informants declare that Tambaaro is ethnogenically akin to Alaba, Sidama, and Qebena. “Sidama, Alaba, Qebena and Tambaaro are one as far as ‘blood stem’ is concerned,” declared one man.
3.5.1. The Tambaaro –Kambatta Relationship Question Local informants particularly had a strong remark when they comment on the TambaaroKambatta retaliations. They stated that some Kambatta people consider themselves as part of the Kambatta which they rejected. ‘Yeqolla Kembatawoch yilun neber,’ said one informant, meaning, ‘The Ţambaaro are lowlander Kambatta.’ I also came across with some literatures which make a strong claim that Tambaaro and other smaller ethnic groups in the vicinity were originally part of the ‘greater’ Kambatta. (See Tesfaye Habiso and Haile Daniel Megicho, 1992) The writer alludes to conceptual frameworks use to define what a nationality means and thus arrives at the conclusion. One informant said intense ideological struggles were made to arrive at the fact that Ţambaaro are not one of Kambatta ethnogenically. ‘Linguistic similarity does not guarantee ethnogenic oneness automatically.’ argued one informant, a statement which appears to be pregnant with profound hypothesis. This means that two ethnic groups sharing similar linguistic, cultural and geographic factors may not necessarily be of the same ethnogenic stem. Some informants made a boldly clear statement that Ţambaaro has no ethnogenic link except for in a distant past probably. According to informants, Tambaaro is distinctly different from Kambatta in terms of its unique history of ethnogenic origins; the way its current intranationality grouping and composition; the psycho- spiritual make up and identity; the nonmaterial culture and the institutions of marriage, wedding, mourning, funeral, etc. the relation Ţambaaro has had with Kambatta was not thus ethnogenic rather it was sharing contiguous geographical region and subjection into the administrative umbrella; the Kambatta Awraja for long period and time ( from post-Menilik era to 1980s). These long years’ geographic and administrative closeness led to a linguistic mutual intelligibility between the two, as local intellectuals argued. According to some local informants, the claim by some Kambatta that Tambaaro is their own is generated by the Kambatta’s interest to boost up their demographic size by including Tambaaro. This is often generated by the spirit of competition with the Hadya. 3.6. Indigenous Inhabitants the Land Ancestral Lamala Moolla must have dealt with lots of geographic, natural and manmade challenges as they trekked their way to the present land. One such expected challenge is dealing with resistance from the occupants of the lands where they passed through, temporarily camped and permanently settled. The time of their dispersion in mid 16 th C, was when the country, including the central and western south, was undergoing turbulent ethic migrations, civil wars and population growth was taking place. Vacant lands were gradually being occupied, and in some areas strong kingdoms and dynasties were already established (e.g. Wolayta Malla kingdom, Keffa Kingdom, Oyata Dynasty in Kambata, Kalmana dynasties in wide south west areas including the land Ţambaaro presently occupy. According to elders, however, there were yet ample vacant land at the time, although the localities they temporarily passed through and camped at had inhabitants. There was not strong fighting with the people of the lands where they camped or passed through. Our main interest here is: who were the indigenous inhabitants of the current Ţambaaro land? What form of resistance was there? What happened to these indigenous ethnic groups? According to elders, the indigenous inhabitants at the time of the arrival of the ancestral Ţambaaro were already maintaining a kingdom, called the Kalmana Dynasty. Although there are differences in views regarding whether the Kalmana ruled other contemporaneous groups, it seems that Kalmana was one of the pre- Ţambaaro groups from which a king ruled all other groups. The other groups were Gondorima Handarama, Beella and Woçifina. Thus, the four main groups were ruled by the Kalmana group. Legend says that the indigenous Kalmana dynasty was running a strong government at the time of the arrival of the Lamala Moolla groups. It was narrated that the Kalmana King lived in a state compound so strong that it had 7 fences. His resistance to yield to the invading new occupant was finally overcome by a political marriage and it was noted that the ancestors took
the king’s daughter in marriage and it was she who led the invading squad to the compound and the king was finally defected. He was said to flee to the lowland and escape beyond crossing Ommo. A different version of oral tradition states king Waqqo swum to his death in a marshy point in the Ommo River valley, with his historic horse. Some myth among the descendants of the Kalmana clan states the point at which Waqqo was drowned is marked by an incessant outflow of fire smoke above the ground. The ruins of Kalmana state compound is currently located at a place called Hoyo, same 15 km distance from Lammo River. The site is located in a farm plot owned by a local farmer. Photo 3.1. An artist’s impression of the design/ layout of ancient palace of King Waqqo of Kalmana, Ţambaaro. The numbers indicate the seven quarters of the palace divided each by massive dug out earth mound and ditches. Number 1 is the king’s quarter; Number 6 was public tribunal and assembly point Ţambaaro oral tradition says many preexisting populations of Kalmana, Woçifina and others were killed; some escaped to various areas, including Jimma, Goffa, Dawro, etc. Those who gave in hands continued to live peacefully, gradually getting into the main stream. The Kalmana rule was thus overthrown and its people overrun and defeated. It is interesting to note that the Kalmana group is also an indigenous ethnogroup in Gomonoid areas, such as Basketo. The remnants Gondorima, Handarama and Woçifina assimilated into Ţambaaro group; today remnants of these indigenous groups are part of the Ţambaaro Nationality, through intermarriages; they are, according to informants, not marginalized. It is also interesting to note that the Kalmana-ruled groups were not the most indigenous groups in Ţambaaro land. Oral tradition of Ţambaaro Nationality states that some groups precede the Kalmana ruled groups, which overrun and overcome their predecessors.
Photo 3.2. Photographic view ancient Kalmana headquarters
Thus, according to informants, Kalmana came from Maçça (the Ţambaaro term for Jimma Oromo); they overrun indigenous peoples, Gudda-Magada groups and took the land, the latter being either exterminated or escaped to other area. According to elders, these GuddaMagada people were the first inhabitants of the pre-Ţambaaro -pre-Kalmana land. They said they did not know whether any other groups precede Gudda-Magada. The time of the habitation of the GuddaMagada groups (which has yet to be verified by historical evidences) and the period of Kalmana occupation of the land was not known. The Kalmana dynasty might have been an Omotic group and it probably had been part of the Enariya Kingdom of the pre-16th c. Informants, including the descendants of the group, were not aware of whether the Kalmana group that exists in Basketo Special Woreda, far south west of Ţambaaro, belonged to their own group. But they suspected that it might be the case because at the time of the clash with the Lamala Moolla groups the Kalmana migrated to various parts of the country in many directions.
Photo 3.3. A View of the topography of Muleta Gofore locality an epicenter of ancient Kalmana king and his palace (now inhabited by different Tambaaro groups) However, local intellectuals claim the Kalmana and Woçifina groups were the remnants of the Keffa groups who were pushed to the present land during the Oromo expansion in the mid 16 th century. On the other hand, the Gondorima, Handarama and Bella groups were said to have been remnants of the Hoffa groups, an indigenous inhabitant of the Sidama land. However, this hypothesis is in direct contrast with the well- established oral tradition among the remnants of the groups who claim a northern Ethiopian origin and further an Arabic origin. 3.6.1. Further Views on the Question of Pre - Ţambaaro Population Groups The questions of who the earliest inhabitants of the present day Tambaaro land, what succession stages expired from the earliest inhabitants to the Ţambaaro coming, where have the pre -Ţambaaro populations gone, where did they come from, at what t ime did they come, how long each successive inhabitants lived in the land, etc, are normally expected from at ethno-history study of the Ţambaaro. Answering these questions successfully and soundly depends on the validity and soundness of the information sources and the techniques involved. It demands extensive and sophisticated analysis of linguistic, ethnologic, archeological, phenotypical (DNA), archeological sciences. These are not at the reach of the present study team and the purpose of the study also doesn’t generally dwell too much on these. However, to answer these questions at least at a preliminary, shallow level, we had used the currently existing evidences: Oral tradition, historical material evidences and direct interview with some of the descendants of the pre Ţambaaro inhabitants. Our discussions with Lamala Moolla proper elders and descendants of the recent preŢambaaro groups revealed some useful, provocative results, though they are also conflicting.
At current available oral tradition evidence, inventory of pre-Ţambaaro populations of the land include; Gudda, Magada, Erero, Masincho, Dodda, Wuça, Hanţala, Sigga, Gondorima, Handarama, Beella, Kalmana, and Woçifina. Some local writers include other indengneous inhabitants such as Dame- Wocashu, Seika- Zada, Duga, Komina, Maka, Golodam, Shodoqamo, Guftamo, Deme Woshesha, etc as part of the first wage of migrants who came and settled at the land (See Haile- Mariam Desta 1999). These writers claim the Boshaic and Keffaic origin of these groups. We are at present not sure of whether these inventory is complete and exhaustive; neither are we confident of which groups exactly were contemporaneous and the exact successive stages in which the groups lived. Although, according to informants, Gudda and Magada are mentioned as the most indigenous of all the pre-Ţambaaronites, we don’t know whether a pre-Gudda and Magada populations existed in the land. The question of when and why they came; how these groups begun to adapt themselves to the land; where they came from; their religious philosophy and political system as well as social organization remain unclear. However, some local writers claim these groups were from Bosha (Garo) and Keffa areas, probably being of Omotic origin. Some relatively better oral tradition exists about Gudda Magada groups. According to these sources, they lived a simple, primitive communal life as hunters and gatherers. They cared nothing about other affairs, such as relations with neighbors, etc. A current proverb, “Don’t be like Gudda and Magade” suggests a person who is careless and lazy. We do not know who the contemporaneous groups of Gudda and Magada were. Probably Erero and Masincho might have been. But Informants had no information on the latter two. Some elders argued that Gudda and Magada population groups were replaced by the latter comers: Dodda, Wuça, Hanţala, Sigga groups. Our current oral tradition source doesn’t tell us whether these were contemporaneous or successors of Gudda and Magada. Informants generally believed (both pre-Ţambaaro inhabitants and Ţambaaro proper) Gudda and Magada were totally anni hilated by the Dodda-, Wuça groups. The former were pictured as simple and defenseless to the Dodda- Wicca onslaught. Informants generally believe a third stage successors existed in pre- Ţambaaro land. These were the most recent pre- Ţambaaronites. The inventory needles to mention, includes; Kalmana, Woçifina, Gondorima, Handarama and Beella. According to informants (representatives of these recent pre-Ţambaaronites), the Dodda, Wuça, Hanţala, and Sigga groups were defeated and presumably destroyed by the Kalmana groups. Our attempt to find remnants of the Dodda, Wuça, and Hanţala and Sigga groups was not successful. One informant from the recent pre-Ţambaaronites informed us that he suspected one Dodda family existed some were in Kambatta. But this needs further cross- checking. Otherwise, the whereabouts of Wuça, Hanţala and Sigga is not known. A complete extinction of these groups was suggested by informants. Some writers argued that groups like Kalmana and Woçifina from Keffa; Handarama, Gondoroma and Beela form Gonder; Bagana from Sidama; Wonigra, Weshesha, Zamina, Oagata, Bubula, etc were also originally Boshaic (Garroic) and Keffaic, being Omotic. The groups were considered as part of the second wave of migrants who came and settled at the land. Some informants argued the Dodda- Wuça groups were not contemporaneous with the Sigga, Hanţala groups. They said these succeeded the Dodda, Wuça group by annihilating or chasing out the latter. Others argued except the Gudda- Magada groups, all the rest were the recent pre -Ţambaaronites but this hypothesis does not seem valid, because if it were so, we would have found some remnants of the Dodda-Wuça and Hanţala, Sigga groups among the present Ţambaaro population. Nothing was known about where the Dodda –Wuça and Sigga- Hanţala groups first lived before they came to Ţambaaro land, how they came, when and how long they stayed before their annihilation by the Kalmana- Woçifina groups. Further research is needed to check out these intriguing questions. However, according to some writers (see for example Haile Mariam Desta, 1999) the first inhabitants of the land such as Gudi-Magada, Golodam, Shdoqamo, Guftamo, Deme Woshesha, , Wuça, Dodda, Hantala Sigga, etc… fled to either Wolayta area or went back to their original areas in Bosha (Garro) and Keffa. It is interesting to not that today,
in Wolayta groups with simial clan names exist: Maka, Komine, Woshesha, Zamine, Bubula, etc. The current official clan list of Wolayta, however, does not include in its inventory the names of Hantala, Siga, Dodda, Wuca, Duga, Dame Wocasha, Erer Massiwa, Dawi Digala, etc.
Gudda- Magada Groups
Erero- Masiwa Groups
Dawwa- Digala Groups Dodda- Wuça Groups Hanţala- Sigga Groups
Kalmana, Woçifina, Gondorima, Handarama, Beella Groups
Gudda – Magada Groups Erero- Masiwa, Dawwa -Digala, Dodda- Wuça, Hanţala- Sigga, Dame- Wocashu, Seika- Zada, Duga, Komina, Maka, Groups
Kalmana- Woçifina (Keffa); Gondorima, Handarama and Bella (Gonder); Bagana from Sidama, Wonigira, Woshesha, Zamina, Ogata, Bubula from Garro (Bosha)
Lamala Moolla and ‘Associate’ Groups Latter-day Comer Groups
Lamala Moolla and ‘Associate’ Groups Latter-day comer Groups
Fig. 3.7. Two models of the temporal succession of population groups in Tambaaro land 3.6.2. The Ethno-genesis of Kalmana, Woçifina and Gondorima- Handarama Groups Relatively better and richer oral tradition and material eco-facts exist on Kalmana, Woçifina, Gondorima groups. Regarding the primary habitations, their encounters with both their predecessors and successors, what status they have currently, etc. Interview with the remnant descendants of these groups revealed interesting ‘facts’. These recent pre Ţambaaronites, according to the informants, were descendants of the same ancestor. Informants based their source kept for centuries by elders. A confirmed agreement among all the informants coming from these groups is that their ancestors descended down from an apical founder some where in Yemenia Arab in an unknown past. They refer to an apical ancestor, Haji Abrha who was an ethno-genetic source for all the five groups. According to them, Woçifina and Kalmana were brothers, their farther being Adiyo. Gondorima, Handarama and Bella were brothers, their father being Wakene (a version, Wakamo was also mentioned) Informants from the Gondorima, Handarama and Beella group claim the time from their founding ancestor to the generations of their sons covers about 37 generations (in some cases 38 generations). Informants from the Kalmana- Woçifina group trace their genealogies beginning from their sons up to Adiyo about their genealogies beginning from their sons. The route their ancestors took during the itinerary included: Yemen- crossing sea –Gonder & Gojjam – Keffa – Bosha – Ţambaaro. A relatively (seemingly) well- informed informants from these groups argued these Kalmana. Gondorima groups brought their Arabic culture and
language which they forgot through their long year’s period of movement. All these groups lived longer period of time at Bosha, present day Kaffa area. According to one informant, for the Gondorima, Handarama & Bella groups, his ancestor named Wakena lived at Gonder, at a specific place called Debre-Tabor, coming from Yemen, Arabia. Then after long years of stay there, his three sons, Gondorima, Handarama and Beella (we are not sure whether these names are exact person names or clan names) moved to Keffa and they finally to Ţambaaro. With minor differences in narrations as to the time, route, names of persons and places, all the same ethnogenic root. Their reference to the out –ofEthiopia, Arabian roots is, however, at dissonance with the existing recent evidences which seem to disprove the out of Ethiopia origin view The informants argued their ancestors were Muslim; this was evidenced from the apical ancestor’s name Haji Abrha. It is probable, if the out of Ethiopia hypothesis is plausible, that the ancestors of these groups (Abrha being left there at Yemen, probably), might have come to Ethiopia some time after the coming of the first Muslim migrants in the 8 th c. If we take the 37 – 38 generations that elapsed between Haji Abrha and the last youngest existing generation, and if we take averages 25 and 40 years as minimum and maximum duration of a generation, we get the following chronological fact. 38 generations by 40 years = 1520 years 2009-1520 = 489 A.D 38 generations by 25 years = 950 years 2009 – 950 = 1059 A.D Average of the two 1235 years (1520 + 950 /2 = 1235 years) 2009 – 1235 = 774 A.D We get the average estimate date at 774 A.D. which is comfortably with in the time of the first Muslim emigration to Ethiopia in the 8 th century. Thus, the ancestors of the present day Kalmana Gondorima groups landed on the Ethiopian soil earliest in around 489 A.D latest in 1059 A. D and more probably in 770s A. D, assuming the out of Ethiopian origin and the 38 generations period is valid. However, as indicated above, some local intellectuals do not accept this oral tradition and offered their own version. They argued that the Kalmana- Woçifina groups were Omotic groups that were part of the ancient Keffa kingdom and pushed to the Ţambaaro land by the Oromo expansion movement. The Gondorima, Handarama groups were viewed as descendants of the ancient Hoffa people, an indigenous inhabitant group in Sidama. Further studies are suggested to determine which of the views are of more valid weight historically. We cannot reject any of the views at the present state.
Wakamo/ Wakena Wakamo/ Wakena
Kalmana Gondorima Handarama Beella
King Waqqo Today’s descendants: 9th generations from Waqqo
Fig. 3.8. The recent pre-Ţambaaronite population groups Genealogy According to a Gondorima group informant, the ancestors of the group first spoke “Geez” (it might be probable they also spoke ‘Kizziňa’ which other similar groups who claim Gonder origin spoke). This informant argued the Gondorima groups entered to the Tambaaro land in a different route: Gonder, Debre Tabour – Gojam – Central Shoa – Qabena – Tambaaro. The Kalmana and Woçifina groups entered to Tambaaro from Jimma side, as this informant claimed). The Gondorima-Handarama group traces their origin as far as to Gonder where their apical ancestor Wakena lived and died, His three sons immigrated as pastoral nomads to the present land. Gonno Lugano was claimed to be the first spot in Tambaaro whose Kalmana settled. The name Kalmana means that which lives temporarily without permanent settlement. The meaning is in Kefficho, the language of Keffa Nationality. According to informants, one of Woçifina sons Gerammo left the land after Lamala Molla’s arrival and subsequent clashes. Today the descendants live in Hadya area. The Woçifina living in Tambaaro are called the descendants of Gotte. The other two sons of Woçifina Çebro and Sadiyo probably had remained at Keffa. Today their descendants live in Qoqna, Bosha, Dawro, Wagefeta, and Hadya. Informants disclosed that the descendants of these groups are currently found in other areas, apart from Tambaaro. For example, Kalmana groups are found in Hadya (Wagefata), Jimma Oromo area and Dawro. (Informants, however, were not aware whether the Kalmana groups in Basketo Special Woreda which are regarded as the earliest inhabitants of the land, later dominated by Goshana’a and Goirena’a groups are in any way linked to the Tambaaro Kalmana. But it is probable if the Kalmana that crossed over to Dawro from Tambaaro, then they might have also managed to arrive at Basketo Special Woreda). The Gondorima, Handarama and Beella group are said to be found in Wolayta (Gesuba area), Jimma, Kambatta, Hadya; some informants did not claim the Arab- Yemen origin. The descendants of
Gondorima, Handarama and Beella in Wolayta called the sons of Liramo live in Boloso Sorre area, as informants indicated. The time of the Kalmana- Gondorima groups coming to Tambaaro land is not exactly known. It is not clear after which generation the groups began to live at Tambaaro. If what a Kalmana informant said was true, that he was the 9th generation counting from Waqqo that if it was Waqqo who came to Tambaaro land, then this time frame seems improbable because it doesn’t go back when we trace the time of the coming of the Lamala Moolla ancestors (on average, Lamala Moolla informants count about 12 generations since Moolla’s ‘seven sons’ left ‘Yemerera’). This point needs further investigation. Religious Identity of the Kalmana- Gondorima Groups The ancestors of the Kalmana- Gondorima groups were originally Muslim assuming their founding ancestor Haji Abrha was a valid fact of history. Then on their way they abandoned this religion and assumed a different religion. According to one well informed informant, the Kalmana and Woçifina groups got their new religious cult called Yejjo (a variant name Yerro which is also commonly practiced among the Keffa group and diffused to other peoples such as the Me’enit in Bench Maji; see Zerihun Doda, 2008): and the Gondorima- Handarama and Beella group got a new religious cult Wombo from Keffa nationality. Oral tradition stets both groups got it “through war.” That is, when they went to fight in war with some groups, they killed each of the persons who were the mediums of the cults. So the spirit “ Wuqabi” was transferred to the killers. Since then, these cults continued to be and play dominant roles in their general life ways. According to informants, these Wombo and Yerro supernatural beings were very fierce and revengeful. Latter when the Tambaaro proper came, they also began gradually to accept these cults adding to their own or replacing it. It was often stated that the Tambaaro, in their latter period, had great recourse to these “gods” to “help them” win battles” with the Wolayta, the “Maçça” and other neighbors. Informants state these cults over the years have greatly suffered a lethal blow following Christian influence especially Protestantism and now practically speaking, the cults have became obsolete. Economic Systems of the Kalmana- Gondorima Groups The Kalmana- Gondorima were simple horticulturalists (cultivators of land) and cattle herders at the time the Lamala Moolla groups arrived in their land; crops such as cotton, sorghum, etc, were produced before the arrival of the Lamala Moolla. Political and Military Organization of the Kalama- Gondorima Groups As indicated earlier, there were conflicting views on the encounters between the indigenous population groups and the new comer groups of Lamala Moolla and their ‘associates.” Two opposite views were given; one stated there was no war whatsoever between the two and thus peaceful settlement and gradual assimilation of the two occurred; the other states the Kalmana staged fierce war. Views on the nature and relationship of the various existing preTambaaro groups were also not uniform. Some informants claimed the Kalmana group was the ruler over the other four groups. Others stated all the different groups conducted their own independent political- social life; no one was subjugated to the other. The Kalmana and Woçifina group lived in their separate habitat peacefully with the Gondorima, Handarama and Beella group, which had also its own territory. There is a strong evidence, an ecofact, that suggests the Kalmana group had fighting with either the advancing Tambaaro proper (which many informants accepted ) or with others in post- Tambaaro settlement era. The majestic and giant wall structure made of earth mound and the ditch dug in seven rounds suggest a strong defense strategy (see the picture above). Some informants argued when the Kalmana king strongly resisted the Lamala Moolla advancers; they defeated him finally by a number of tricks (such as sending a herd of goats to eat up the branches that cover the fences to the Kalmana’s policies and political marriage) and finally drove him out, storming the palace. But the king was said to have escaped and
managed to get as far as Ommo valley, but sadly drown into his death with his horse in the valley (some say Ommo River). The Kalmana- Gondorima Group in Current Tambaaro Currently, the Kalmana and Woçifina groups are represented by one ‘magaba’ in the Tobbee Magaba, council of the Tambaaro corporate group (a magaba is a head of a clan group that represents the group in the traditional general assembly of the Lamala Moolla); similarly the Gondorima, Handarama and Beella groups are represented by one magaba. According to informants, the new comer Tambaaro proper respected and acknowledged their predecessor inhabitants as the “bushu manna”, meaning, ‘the people of the land.’ Discriminations aga inst them have been minimally compared with those of the marginal caste groups. Yet still, the Kalmana -Gondorima groups are demographically very weak. Few household heads existed (although Kalmana informants claimed about 500 household heads existed in different kebeles. The Beella group seems to be the weakest demographically. 3.6.3. Where are the Pre- Kalmana-Gondorima Groups? As indicated earlier, of the 10 or so distinct people-groups that were claimed to have lived in the land at different time periods before the Ţambaaro proper came, only descendants of the most recent indigenous groups are found. All local informants more or less agreed there are today no traces of the other groups in the Tambaaro land, although some writers suggest that the groups might have migrated to Wolayta areas and Bosha and Garo areas in Keffa. As indicated above, the current clan inventory of Wolayta seems to confirm at least partially, this view because it contains some of the clan groups that were made to leave the land. The earliest inhabitants of all, the Gudda- Magada group, were said to have been already annihilated long before the arrival of the Kalmana- Gondorima groups. No conclusive information and agreement is given on the state of the other groups such as Dawwa- Digala, Erero- Masiwa, and Hantala –Sigga, Seika- Zada, Golodam, Shodoqamo, Guftamo, etc. Of the groups, there was an indication as to the existence of the Dodda- Wuça groups somewhere outside Ţambaaro. Dodda and Wuça groups are said to exist in Alaba a nd Kambatta areas. Informants also suggested the Dodda group particularity also currently live in Wolayta. It is probable that the name Dodda is one of common person (male) names in Wolayta. Quite jokingly enough, my own father’s names, Dodda, suggests the re might exist some valid link between the Dodda groups which were extinguished from or chased out of Ţambaaro land. In all likelihood the Doyo lineage which is a vast group that lives as a Doyaha family in all Wolayta area, particularly in Damot Gale, Boloso Sorre, Duguna Pango woredas. The Doyo group, according to Wolayta elders, is also found in Hadya where they call them “Doddich manna” (meaning the Dodda men). If it is valid that the extinguished distant pre- Ţambaaro Dodda group are ethnogenically linked to the ‘Dodda’ (or Doyaha lineage, one of the 113 lineages in Wolayta) group of Wolayta, then we argue that the Dodda group did come originally from Gammoland. Wolayta elders argued three brothers, Womo, Doyo and Dammo whose father’s name not known among the informants) left their original land in Gammo area and occupied different parts of southwest Ethiopia, particularly, Wolayta, Hadarro, Kambatta, Adilo, and Hadya areas. At current level of knowledge among the local informants, it is not known what type of livelihood, religious, political and social-organizational systems did these various pre-KalmanaGondorima inhabitants of Ţambaaro land led. It is recommended that these and related other dimensions of these pre- Tambaaronite population groups and traces of their current states need to be investigated. 3.7. Ţambaaro Ethnic Identity Markers It is worth-noting that every ethnic group has its own systems of institutions, beliefs, values and practices that make up the essential elements of the group’s ethnic identity. Among the Ţambaaro Nationality, informants conceptualize the question Ţambaaro a s an independent entity in terms of its having had developed its own unique cultural elements such as customs,
cuisines, funeral rituals, marriage practices, and having had its own geopolitical identity; and its unique ethno-historical development. Informants also mention linguistic factor as a yardstick of their identity that it has its own corpus of terms, expressions, language rules. There are the most important aspects of such elements which we may term as ethnic identity markers. These identity markers have over the years come to have attainted universal acceptance among all the various groups of the Nationality. The elements that are very popular which we are going to describe below were originally the cultural creations of the Lamala Moolla groups. Today, due to various factors, there are no dominantly known and widely accepted cultural institutions and practices that make up the pan- Ţambaaro ethnic identity originating from the pre-Tambaaro population groups. It is interesting to note that today, all the different ethnogenic and social groups in Tambaaro perceive these cultural values and practices as their own and hence use to define their ethnic identity. Plants and trees occupy central place in Tambaaro ethnohistory. Of these, three specific plants stand out conspicuously: sorghum, masincho, (Bisana, Amharic; English equivalence to be determined) and sycamore. 3.7.1. The Masincho tree The masincho tree is a marker for continuity of ancestral relations with progeny. It is revered at household level, whereby living sons plant this tree at the graveyard of dead parent (father). Individual family level spiritual rituals are conducted as a symbol of honor and respect for dead ancestors. 3.7.2. The Yelelo: the White Sorghum The sorghum plant, called yelelo, is commemorated as a historic plant which was traveled and carried over in a bag all the way with the ancestral fathers. It was the ancestors’ laboratory specimen for testing and experimenting with the would-be land on which the ancestors would finally settle. It was noted that the white sorghum, yelelo, was one that defined Tambaaro ethic identity. Yelelo occupies near equal respect and love as that of Dagale. Legend has it that when the ancestors the ‘seven tribes’, left their original habitat at ‘Yemerera’, they took with them this yelelo, and at every stop they made, they tested by planting this crop and if the land ‘received’ this crop they would stay there. In so doing, they finally came to their final destination at the present Tambaaro land called Tuppa, where the land ‘received’ the crop and gave bounteous produce. During the Masala (the Cross) festival, where the oxen are ready for slaughtering, they would first utter words of blessing, saying, “Ate maros! Masinchu maçoc! Meaning let the Emperor have mercy on us! Let the masincho tree hear our prayers ! The tree has also another use in religious economic field. When a person wants to demarcate a meadow so that no livestock or people intrude, he takes a freshly cut branch of the masincho tree and tie it to a pole and erect the pole amidst the meadow and no one would dare to touch it, as it is believed it would incur a lethal risk on the any one who dares to touch it.
3.7.3. ‘Dagale’ Sacred Tree Dagale’ literally meaning broad and wide is a sycamore. It is called odicho in local term. According to a local intellectual, the tree is over 360 years old. The age is estimated and measured by the generations that elapsed since the first ancestors came and settled. Located at the center of the Town, this sacred tree is said to have been planted by the first ancestors when they came to the present settlement. The tree with a very huge thickness, unique stature and branches is believed to be in a shape of a woman genuflecting in prayer. It was claimed to be named after the name of a women named ‘Dagale’ who was said to have the power of cursing and blessing. The tree is regarded as a shining element in the Tambaaro ethnohistory. The tree is highly loved, respected and in some sections almost worshipped. Major ethno-political, social issues were settled under the tree site.
Photo 3.4. Dagale Sacred Tree taken from tow opposite directions Note the branch that is bent down and touching the ground, perceived by some as the tree kneeling in prayer The sacred tree is a place where political, spiritual and social issues are discussed and decisions are passed. It is a venue for community gathering for various important social, political and spiritual matters. The traditional leaders, the womma, would declare and broadcast important political, spiritual, social events from the headquarters’ of this tree. It is the very tribunal and assembly hall. Cursing and blessings are evoked here. Matters that affect the politico- social wellbeing of larger society (beyond individual household levels) are taken for discussion and adjudication to this site. Clan elders’ representatives would execute words of blessings and cursing where occasions for such events arise. This is a traditional justice tribunal where the traditional judges (clan leaders) with spiritual aura are feared and respected highly. Once upon time, during Dergue era (1974-1991), a man stole 30,000 Birr from a certain home and the victim took the matter to the leaders for revealing the thief. The leaders announced they would execute cursing ceremony and before they do so the thief was (anonymously) informed to reveal himself. He then brought the money and threw it at the victim’s home anonymously and thus was spared the lethal punishment believed to be effective when the clan elders pronounce it invoking the names of their ancestors and their Gamabala Magano, the black god of the sky) see in the section that deals with religion). The Dagale sacred tree site also served as a venue where clan leaders would congregate the people at the times of wars and would say prayers, pointing to heaven at Magano and
blessings are pronounced on the fighting soldiers who would then march to the war fronts (wars were quite common with the Hadya, Wolayta, Oromo and others. during early 20 thc and prior to that. in 2000, a community- scale gathering at Dagale sacred tree site was made in the wake of post- election conflicts (The second Election, 2000 saw an opposition party winning the entire Tambaaro area constituents). The most recent such type of assembly was made in ca. 2005. In 2004/5, there was a movement to bring together representatives of Sidama and Tambaaro nationalities. The initiative was taken by a certain man of Tambaaro living in Hawassa. The purpose was to rekindle ethnic oneness between the two nationalities. Tambaaro representatives went to Hawassa and meeting was organized whereby re-orientation of the ‘lost group’ to its parent clan was made and celebrations rituals performed. Then Sidama representatives came to Tambaaro and met with the latter, rituals and covenants were made under the Dagale tree. The Dagale sacred tree is also used as a site where some community members, especially poor ones would pray to the sprit of the tree, making covenants and evoking help requests. The tree is believed by some as one capable of hearing prayers, embodying a spirit. They would anoint butter on the trunks and spill milk and other liquids on it. In the past, the people regarded the tree as a temple of supernatural being, where they would worship, pray, covenant, and adjudicate. ‘Dagale Magano’ ‘The God of Dagale.’ The present generation has now abandoned this practice and the tree is generally losing its spiritual aura. The tree is still considered as the ethnic tree of the entire Tambaaro nationality. No one would dare touch the tree; even fallen pieces and parts of the tree are not taken for fire wood. 3.7.4. Ethnic Colors as Identity Markers The current woreda administration has officially instituted its ethnic color identity, which constitutes four: black, white, red and green. According to an informant, this is meant to recognize the nationality’s ethno-religious root. Thus, the ethnic apparel of Tambaaro nationality is a pattern with these four basic colors. According to intellectually informed informants, black represents the Gamabala Magano, black God of the sky. The color black also represents the “sympathy of the Lamala Moolla ancestors which they had for their brothers left in the original Sidama land’ and also presumably the brotherly unity that now seems to exist among all the different groups in the pan-Tambaaro Nationality. White color represents the yelelo (q.v.). This ethnohistoric whitish sorghum is until to day a highly revered, status food. It is served when cooked in various forms with cheese to status guests. (Cheese is called wajo qeesa). Red stands for the Tambaaro heroic defense of their ethno-geo-political identity over the centuries, including their patriotic feats during Italian occupation, 1936-41. According to informants, Tambaaro men have bravely fought during Adowa war (1896). For example a certain Tambaaro, named Defaça is still remembered as a brave fighter. Green is a symbol for the luster and productive land they inhabit, a land that flows with numerous rivers forming several waterfalls and also over 300 springs, although the number of sprigs is now declining due to changing climate and environmental factors.
Photo 3.5. A Buluko (big sized sheet hand-woven from cotton thread) with three basic ethnic colors. Green is missing
CHAPTER FOUR SOCIAL STRATIFICATION AND ASPECTS OF MARGINALIZATION This Chapter attempts to provide brief overview of the aspects, trends, and manifestations of social stratification in Ţambaaro Nationality. Social stratification refers to the manners and patterns of social divisions within a given group of people whereby the different sub- groups are assigned differential access to and utilization of power and resources in society. According to sociologists, all societies manifest at least some level of social stratification with unequal access to and possession of power and resources. The manner and characteristic of these stratifications differ from society to society. In modern, western societies, the basic factors in social stratification is socio-economic status, whereas in traditional societies, ascribed (i.e., naturally occurring attributes such as birth into a certain group, gender, age, etc) play important role. 4.1. Roots of Social Stratification in Ţambaaro In Ţambaaro Nationality, social stratification has been basically associated with the ascribed statuses of different groups and individuals within those groups. The social worth of an individual and a family has been judged generally based on the person’s family and birth background. Individuals and groups belonging to certain allegedly ‘ higher’, ‘purer’ and so called ‘more descent’ family grounds have enjoyed higher social -political statuses and powers was monopolized in their hands. Certain groups, on the other hand, have been subjected to categorically ‘low’ and marginal social statuses. Ţambaaro social structure is generally, albeit subtly, divided into the following divisions: The ruling gerontocracy groups: this includes the threes wommas: traditional rulers, who were responsible for managing and ruling the Nationality’s entire social, spiritual, political affairs; The common peasant groups: all persons belonging to the so-called ‘descent’ social categories. These are found in all clans and ethno-historical groups; The occupational caste group: This social category is further divided into: o The potters’ group, represented with a ruler assigned the title of Erasha o The tanners’ group, whose leader is assigned a title of Aldada o The servants’ category, represented by ruler assigned a title of Debona We will below describe these and other related dimensions of social stratification in the Nationality. We will attempt to cast a historical touch to the issue by discussing the origins of social stratification and marginalization and how these conditions have declined over the years. Within in this broader social stratification framework, there are further sub-stratifications, particularity within the so-called ‘low’ caste groups. For example, within the artisan social category, the potters’ or Erasha groups had enjoyed the lowest privilege and social status in Ţambaaro ethnohistory. The so-called ‘servants’ or the Debona group had on the other hand enjoyed the highest social status and privilege. This is based on the view that the ‘servants’ groups were of ‘purer’ or non- artisan group in their original areas before they were brought to alien countries due to various factors such as being victims of war slave- raiding, etc. As we will see below, these groups have today attained almost equal status with the other groups now enjoying sharing power and positions in the highest echelons of the society. The Aldada or the ‘tanners’ group have also relatively had better social statuses as they have currently totally abandoned their original occupations that have granted them the despised occupational caste status.
The ruling gerontocracy: the Wommas
The common peasant categories: all non-artisan occupational groups
The artisan, caste groups of potters, tanners and servants
Fig. 4.1. Social stratification in Ţambaaro Nationality In a more subtle sense, there appears to exist (have existed) in Ţambaaro a form of social stratification that was based on a different criterion that is difficult to designate. For example, the Lamala Moolla group as a whole seemed to have enjoyed the highest social status compared to others; this is because the supreme socio-political and spiritual leaders were recruited from only from the Lamala Moolla group. Due to sharing similar alleged ethnohistorical and migration experiences and their alleged covenanting, the three major occupational groups (Erasha, Aldada and Debona) have had special acceptance in the Lamala Moolla corporate community. Others such as the indigenous inhabitants were considered the minority due to their decimated demographic size, though they were and are not marginalized as the other occupational caste groups. The indigenous inhabitants were said to have commanded particular sympathy from the Lamala Moolla, who proffered them a name, Buchu manna meaning the people of the soil’. The various later -day comer groups from Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya, Oromo, Amhara, etc, have enjoyed more or less equal statuses. The introduction of the Amharic rule into the area reinforced the social stratifications and the resultant manifestations of discriminations. The hierarchies of the social strata increased and got more pronounced following the Menilikan incorporation. This has been more or less the case in other parts of the country as well (Donham, 1974) Below we shall present detail dimensions of the marginalized groups and their current statuses and trends in the process of marginalization. The introduction of Protestant Christianity together with modern political and social currents of thoughts has over the years helped shape positive attitude towards the discriminated, marginal groups (Wolde Sellasie, 2001). 4.2. The Three Major Occupational Caste Groups: An Introduction Narrated from the perspective of informants from the Lamala Moolla groups, three distinct social groups came together with the Lamala Moolla. They were given official titles: Erasha, Aldada and Debona. Erasha represents the potters’ group; Aldada, the tanners group and Debona, the servants. As informants narrate, these three groups came from their original land as covenant-associates. At a superficial level, it appeared these groups enjoyed equal rights in all the politico-social lives the Ţambaaro corporate identity. As a version of hypothesis states, children of these three groups do not get married with children of the Lamala Moolla because, informants say, they had developed a quasi-ethnogenic, blood relationship through covenant in their long years’ trek. However, at deeper level, there exists the real story under the façade of assumed equality. In real life, some of these groups, especially the potters’ group represented by Erasha, are marginalized and subjected to various social-economic oppressions.
Over the years, however, due to various influences (modern politics, religion, education, better economic opportunities, etc) there has been gradual assimilation especially the Aldada and Debona groups. Some children of these groups have been tied in marriage with the Lamala Moolla descendants. The Erasha groups, as informants say, have maintained their original status, not mixing with the main stream society. Informants from the potters’ groups complain that the Lamala Moolla don’t see themselves as equal; children of the despised groups are marginalized, they are not given across to political offices, they are discriminated in employment. Children of the Erasha group particularly rarely go to schools, because, they complain, these educated Erasha are not hired due to discrimination. According to some informants, the only comfortable, vacant opportunity for the Erasha children has been serving in the military, where ‘’they don’t ask one’s ancestral root.’’ 4.3. Erasha or Bete- Israel? The Question of the Potters’ Group In Tambaaro 4.3.1. Ethnogenesis, Dispersion and Settlement: A Different Story Viewed from the perspectives of the marginal groups themselves, a more or less different story emerges. According to informants from the potters group in Ţambaaro is quite very different in terms of ethno-history, origins, and current identity. To begin with, the so-called Erasha clan members completely reject the title Erasha saying it is given to them by the others, with out their knowledge, and just to cover up the real exploitation and discrimination. Informants draw a very sophisticated, broader and apparently logical picture regarding their names, origins and identity. Thus, the so-called Erasha group in Tambaaro is not really the descendants of the associates who joined the seven sons of Moolla. Rather, they are part of the widely dispersed category of what they called the ‘’Bete Israel’’ now living in different parts of the country, carrying different derogatory names and socio-economic discriminations. According to these informants, the potter communities are called by different names in different places: - Erasha in Ţambaaro, Çinasha in Wolayta, fuggicho in Kambatta, fugga in Gurage, Gafat in Gojjam, Felasha in Gonder, etc. The Erasha or Fuggicho of Ţambaaro are thus part of this total picture. As informants and other historical documents claim, these groups whom they call themselves ‘’Bete-Israel’’ (House of Israel) refer to biblical, linguistic, oral tradition evidences to justify that they are really descendants of the Israel-Jewish nation. According to informants these currently despised potter and tanner groups had come from Israel, following the collapse of the Jewish capital by the Roman Power inducing the historic and global dispersion of the Jewish nation. Those who come to Ethiopia were said to have crossed the red sea (time and manner of transport not known) and thus first settled at Gonder and are the ancestors of the different potter groups in Ţambaaro, Kambatta, Hadya, Gurage, Wolayta, etc. They managed to come southward some unknown time/ generations ago. According to informants, there are over 58 different clans in southern Ethiopia especially in Ţambaaro, Kambatta, Hadya, Woliso, Gurage, Wolayta, Yem, Keffa, etc. The Erasha group in Ţambaaro thus belongs to some of the clans of these 58 different groups. The forefathers first settled at places called Anara and Masmas when they came from Gonder. When they found life difficult at north Ethiopia, they were dispersed into different direction: Jimma, Yem, Kambatta, etc. Then the ancestors of the present Tambaaro ‘’potters’’ came back to Tambaaro from Anara in Gurage and Yem. The ancestors of the present day potters in Ţambaaro (and nearby areas) first managed to come to the Masmas area in Hadya allegedly carrying their ark and live some time defending themselves from the nearby groups. But when they were overpowered, they were dispersed to Yem and beyond. Then after some time (duration not known) they migrated back and finally came to Ţambaaro land and through various means began to settle.
As indicated above, in the Ţambaaro mainstream narration, one of the ‘’associates’’ who joined the Lamala Moolla during the 16th century dispersion and eventual settlement in the present day Ţambaaro were the ‘potters’ group – to whom they gave the title Erasha. In the Ţambaaro mainstream narrative, all the ‘’potters’’ group now are viewed as Erasha clan members. But, in the narrative philosophy of the members of the group, this mainstream interpretation and narration of history is only a tiny part of the ‘giant’ picture. As indicated above, current so- called ‘Erasha’’ clan in Ţambaaro are thus made up of descendants of the ‘’Bete-Israel’’ groups who were dispersed into all parts of Ethiopia, including Sidama, where the origin of the Ţambaaro proper is believed to be located. It is therefore probable that those who have come together with the Lamala Moolla were descendants of these dispersed Bete Israel. According to informants from the ‘Erasha’ group, who call themselves, the Bete- Israel, it might be that the ancestors of two current clans, namely Gontana and Bossa, might have joined the Lamala Moolla groups not necessarily from ‘Yemerera’ but on the way from Kambatta area, as the Lamala Moolla passed through the route. The descendants of the Gontana and Bossa clans of the ‘Bete Israel’ are currently found in Kambatta as well. 4.3.2. The Alleged Linguistic Evidence for the “Bete- Israel” Claim by Potters’ Group According to informants, the potters group living in Ţambaaro and elsewhere has the linguistic evidence that they are actually the descendents of the Jewish Nation. Their language, Hebrew, was gradually lost as the speakers became decimated and dispersed. As evidence, members of the ‘’Bete Israel’’ group have kept certain secret words and expressions rooted in Hebrew. We asked our informants to tell us some words and expressions which they did. This linguistic claim was further supported by local intellectual informants, who recounted they had attempted to crosscheck the language used by the “potters” in Ţambaaro with the potters in Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya and Kambatta, where they spoke exactly the same language. It seems if this were true then the potter groups dispersed all over the countryidentified by different local names were actually descendants of an original population group. The claim by the informants that they belong to the ancient Gafat or Felasha group is then substantiated; yet it needs further linguistic comparison of their dialect with the mother Hebrew, also phenotypical and DNA tests might help very much to sort out this issue. The current inventory of lineages is Tambaaro, within the ‘’Bete Israel” clan, according to an informed informant – are 21 – these are the following. 1. Zengera 6. Shomole 11. Wayossa 16. Annossa 2. Neega 7. Bossa 12. Beedra 17. Fanerra 3. Gaja 8. Goswosso 13. Tontossa 18. Beddogo 4. Nesddo 9. Wontana 14. Borda maala 19. Gewosse 5. Hogiya 10. Meren manna 15. Gebrosso 20. Worosse 21. Offra Fig 4.2. List of ancestral lines of the ‘Potters’ Tracing the genealogy from the line of one of our informants, taking his son’ s generation as a starting level, the ‘’Bete Israel’’ community have lived in and around Ţambaaro for about 11 generations. The founding ancestor, Zagnwa, was said to have come to Masmas (in Gibe woreda, Hadya) some 13 generations ago – he gave birth to two sons. Zengera and Bagutee of whom the former’s first son Mosqoriye came to Ţambaaro land 11 generations ago. He gave birth to three sons (Hamlo, Hugato and Sherwoso) whose descendants now predominantly inhabit Ţambaaro. According to informants, the descendants of Mosqoriye lineage predominantly inhabit in Ţambaaro. They are also found in Wolayta, Oromiya, and Hadiya. Some of the descendants of Hamlo went to Hadya some of Sherwosso’s descendants went to Oromiya (Jimma area): Hugaţo’s descendants also live in Wolayta.
Clans now living in Kambatta as part of the “Bete Israel’’ corporate group include Ţontoso, Gestesa, Mereno, Anosso, Badoge, Wontasa, Goshoso, Wayosa, Geja, Bossa and Hagiya. What informants called the Masmas clans include Angode, Egiru and their sub branches: Qenumo, Nega and Zegnuwa. The ‘’Ener and Endegan’’ groups include: Çakuza, Mikiyo, Dordiya, Anso,and Hamburyo. The above views of ethnogenesis and origins of various clans and lineages of the potters’ group and the claim of the Bete Israel identity are presented here for the purpose of provoking future attempts in this line of research. The informants who provided raw data for this presentation have their own rights to claim the kind of view they believe to be valid. We cannot reject these views as totally unfounded no more than we can do so to other views presented in this study. It should be noted that we are not arguing the views are necessarily correct. They need further verification. 4.3.3. Local Views of Origins of the Pottery Art According to informants from the ‘’ Erasha’’ group, pottery skill was originally limited to one clan from the ‘Bete Israel’’ community. This clan is called Saaga. This clan was the one which also originally practiced pottery in Israel. This clan or people group disseminated the art of pottery to the rest of clans. It is interesting to note that one of the original people groups that inhabited the Ţambaaro and environing land before Ţambaaro ancestors came – was the Sigga group. It is probable that this pre- Ţambaaronite group might well have been the Sagga of the Bete –Israel. This claim is, though, by no means to be accepted as a valid one. It is only a hunch we are throwing for further investigation. According to informants, the origins of three major despised occupations are traced to different times. Their original occupation was carpentry, which was practiced by all ancestors; the pottery occupation was practiced by one clan from the beginning. The tannery occupation was a borrowed skill from other groups who originally were tanners but latter left the practice, as informants claimed. Now, the other Ţambaaro members have gradually learned and accepted the skill of carpentry. In the past, it was a shame for a Ţambaaro proper to engage in carpentry. But now, it has become common. Pottery is not as such welcome among the ‘’pure’’ Ţambaaro. However, there seems to be an emerging positive attitude towards the craft; some women have showed an interest to engage in pottery as an income source. During the lean seasons when food shortage is high, such tendencies are particularly high. 4.3.4. The Contribution of the Potters’ Group in the Economy and Craftwork of Ţambaaro Nationality A highly emotionally disturbing expression was made during an interview session with informants from the ‘potters’ group. They argued that society discriminates them but enjoys the very utensils which potters make using their creative skills. Nothing could be far from the truth: practically ever material, art and craftwork in Ţambaaro have been made by the despised groups. To engage in any of such art and craftwork have been shameful for those who consider themselves ‘pure’. The despised groups used to make and still continue making the water storing and drinking; food cooking; milk drinking and storing; etc utensils through pottery. They used to makes the stools, beds, coffin and other wooden art work-through their carpentry skills. They used to soften the ‘beautiful bed cover from hide’ Through their tanning skill; they made wind -blown, percussion and other musical instruments without which the wedding, mourning and funeral ceremonies and festivals would have been unthinkable; these people provided medical services: as traditional pharmacists, surgeons, birth-attendants, obstetricians, veterinarians, etc… without which services the entire fabric of the society would have come to a halt. 4.3.5. Aspects of Marginalization The explanation of why the Erasha or Bete Israel groups have been subjected to blatant and open discrimination vary between the discriminated groups themselves and the mainstream
society. The mainstream version generally takes the blaming the victim approach. In this sense, the commonly accepted explanation is that the potters’ group themselves brought upon themselves the problem due to their own weaknesses and their engagement in some practices that are not acceptable in the society. Examples of such practices include ‘eating carcasses of dead animals’ and failing to keep their personal and home hygiene. But informants from the potters’ group provided a very different and probably more logical explanation. They argued that the potters’ group have be en subjected to various forms of marginalization and discrimination first and for most due to the fulfillment of the biblical prophesy. One enlightened informant who claimed he had found the answer to all the root causes of the troubles of what he calls ‘My people”, the Bete-Israel, was due to the curse that was spelled up on the Israelites following their rebellion against the divine law. He claimed he was observing before his eyes how the biblical prophesy concerning the Israelites was happening all around them. He invoked various biblical stories and cultural and social practices to substantiate how his claim was true. Then the informants also provided another more tangible explanation. According to this view, the cause of the potters’ discrimination and their engagement in various socially despised practices was a result of the cumulative processes of social exclusion and gradual losing of power in the society. They were forced by factors beyond their power, into a vicious circle of hopelessness and powerlessness that pushed them into resorting to engagement in such despised behaviors and practices. I found this latter explanation more valid and acceptable than the explanation provided by informants from the mainstream society. Some aspects of marginalization included: when a potter family member comes to the home of other non-marginalized groups (particularly the Lamala Moolla) he/she would not sit in a seat as others: they would order him/ her to sit just on the ground. They would not drink coffee, water or other drinks from the same utensil. They would not kiss or shake his/her hands. A worst case of discrimination in the past was that when a potter goes to a house of a higher status person, if the potter wants to drink water, they would ask him or her to put his/her two hands on to his/ her mouth as a form of a cup and then would pour water onto it (See picture below). The potters were required to carry a water drinking utensil which they made from a horn wherever they went. “We were not allowed to d rink using the pottery cup which we made,” said an informant. Photo 4.1. Two ‘Bete-Israel’ informants demonstrating an aspect of discrimination against their people in the past. This practice was common during and before Menlik II era (1889-1913). During Haile sellasie I era (1930-1974), a small improvement was made. According to informants, in general, the magnitude of discrimination and derogation endured by these groups has been extremely horrible. Ownership of land was a dream. Marriage was and is unthinkable between these groups and the others. Eating and drinking together and using similar utensils were unthinkable. It was and continues to be a taboo for a ‘higher’ status group member to go and eat or drink in the house of these potters: A person from the ‘higher’ status group would not eat or drink in case he/she goes to the Erasha house. Many other manifestations of discriminations existed in the day-to-day interactions and social relationships. The Erasha family members may participate in communal maters such as burial and work associations, but he/she is allowed to contribute money and other materials such as firewood, grass, etc, during burial occasions; he/she is not permitted to bring food and drinks
to house of the non-potter group. If and when a person from Erasha family dies, people of the non-Erasha group may contribute foods and drinks, but never eat or drink at Erasha’s house. 4.3.6. Historical Trends in Discrimination Nowadays, signs of improvements are looming large on the horizon though discriminations persist. Many of these and similar forms of discrimination have gradually been either abandoned or replaced by a relatively better practice. During the Derg era (1974-1991); many of such discriminations were abrogated: it was declared “All mea are equal!’’ and for the first time in their history these despised groups were made owners of their own land. They were empowered in many ways. Eating dead animals was gradually abandoned through the teachings, awareness creations and law enforcements. In the wake of Derg’s collapse, the ‘Bete Israel’ group was a victim of the resentment from the other communities, They became and often continue to be scapegoats for the evils, misfortunes and other problems that happen in the community. One such problem, mentioned by informants is the harassment of the ‘Bete Israel’’ group for the alleged practice of what is called ‘the evil eye problem’, a belief that is pervasive in the country which states “a the potter’s group have a spiritual power in their eyes to make other people sick and then eat their flesh when the victim dies”. Often in times political crises, they become scapegoats and victims; two such incidences were mentioned by informants that happened in Ţambaaro. In post-Derg era, conditions improved slightly in terms of assimilation, equality and empowerment for the ‘Bete-Israel’, at least in some areas. However, informants complained discriminations still continue in many forms: participation of members of ‘Bete Israel’ in various leadership position, education, and employment in government and NGO sectors, etc, is still far from (too far!) being satisfactory. Eating and drinking in the homes of the ‘Bete Israel’ is still unthinkable for a vast majority of the non-potters’ groups. The irony of it is that while teaching the fact that all human beings are created in the image of God, and thus equal, the different Christian religious denomination priests themselves do not eat or drink in the homes of these groups even today! (I was holding an informal conversation with informants from the potters’ group when one ‘minister of a Protestant church came to me whom I knew and whom the informants also knew (being from the same church) but the minister kept silent pretending as if he never knew the potters.) The future is, though, promising given the favorable political framework (at least in principle) where all people’s rights, irrespective of their backgrounds, are protected. The consciences and general awareness level of the people is also gradually increasing through education. Yet, much needs to be done in the context of Ţambaaro Woreda in terms of creating equal opportunities for these discriminated groups, empowering them through positive discriminations, fighting against injustices, engaging in community dialogues to fight against the harmful beliefs, etc. In this line argument, the first thing the members of the so-called Erasha group want is to the abrogation of the derogatory name, fuggicho, and acknowledge their claim for a new ethnonym, Bete-Israel’. They also request opening up of opportunities in the society whereby they and their children would participate equally in various spheres of life: employment, politics, education, etc
4.4. The ‘Debona’ Question: Views of Ethnogenesis Mainstream historical narration puts it that one of the ‘associates’ who ‘came together with’ the Lamala Moolla was the Debona clan. In real sense, Debona is not the name of the clan, although some informants (like Ato Admasu Gebreyes Gobena) use the term Debona to refer to clan. The name Debona is, as the narration puts, an official social- political status title proffered on the clan leader of the group. Informants did not agree as to whether this name was in use before or after the historic departure from ‘Yemerera’ land. Although informants claim that the Debona –led group of the associate of Lamala Molla has enjoyed equal socio-political status, informants did not hid the fact the two were not of equal social status originally in the Sidama land. The historical origins of the superior status of the Lamala Moolla and the subservient position of the Debona were shrouded in a myth which does not provide us any clear detail. Describing this condition, informants simply noted, ‘’The Lamala Moolla regard themselves as our fathers and bigger brothers’. Thus, the Debona group as a ‘little’ brother began serving them. But this does not offer us a clear answer. In the case of the ‘ Aldada’ (q.v.) group the informants put a more or less valid theory on how their group was ascribed with their caste status: It was the demographic preponderance of the Lamala Moolla and their ancestors that gave them their superior position. It is probable that the Debona group as the ‘servants’ of the Lamala Moolla might have assumed that position probably due to their incorporation as war victims or slave raiding that was common in the past ( particularity pre- Haile sellasie I era (before 1930s). In any case, it appears that members of the Debona group as a clan in the current Ţambaaro nationality have accepted and well assimilated themselves into the mainstream ethnohistorical narration. They ‘came as associates’ with the Lamala Moolla. They ‘entered into mutual covenant’’ on their way to the present land. But the covenant seemed to benefit the Lamala Moolla. The Debona group benefited from the covenant by its being recognized and represented in the Tobee Magaba (the traditional political council of the Lamala Moolla Corporate group) and other corporate issues. The group’s leader would be recognized as a womma (king) to its group and represent his group in the general council. The Debona groups were also occupational castes in a sense that they used to engage in occupations which the Lamala Moolla would never try. These included weaving, ironsmith, etc. They (the Debona) never engaged in pottery. These occupations were however not the major ones for them. They were also farmers. Neither did they engage in tannery, which was the occupation of the Aldada. They Debona groups engaged in these occupations not due to their lack of sufficient land; it is not clear, though, whether they started these occupations might probably arose out of the need for supplemental income. As to their ancestral roots and clan classifications, informants claimed they descend from a stem ancestor called Dayyo who had three sons of whom Debona was one. But there exist a conflict here: is Debona really the name of one of the ancestors or the official title proffered on them? We are not sure. A family tree of the Debona clan – beginning from the time they left with Lamala Moolla from ‘Yemerera’: Another key informant (who argued the above view was not correct), stated that the Debona ‘clan’ arose from what he called the Sabola clan of Sidama ‘Yemerera, though it is not clear whether members of the Sabola (Sawola) clan today or in the past resided in the so-called “Yemerera’ land. According to informant Admasu G/yes, four sons descended from Sabola: Gaashe, Hanqidina, Haybine and Gard Bonaye. Of these, Garad Bonaye gave birth to six sons: Asamo, Azmae’lo, Aleko, Sidano, W oreb GaradMelke, Shindao (Shichama). Of these, Asamo gave birth to Chula, Bacho, E’edo, Gesemo, Lebisho, Lalebo and Aroye. Shinadao (Shichama) gave birth to Garad Sitemo, who in turn gave birth to eght sons: Misebo, Atero, Gillo, Gedde, Sae’lo, Denebo, Usamo, Lambebo.
Of these, Misebo gave birth to Mareno; Mareno to Bateno; Bateno to Godare, who in turn gave birth to Debone who was a womma. The more proper family tree, (in the view of Ato Admasu) is as follows:
Sidama, ‘Yemerera’ Sabolla
Lambebo o Godare
Debone, who was a womma
Fig. 4.3. Family Tree of the Debona clan
4.4.1. Historical Trends of Discrimination and Current Conditions of the Debona Group The Debona groups in Ţambaaro were not permitted to intermarry with the Lamala Moolla groups. The superficial reason the Debona group did not intermarry with the Lamala Moolla is that the two groups got into covenants ‘not to marry’ each other when they left the ‘Yemerera’ land. The Debona group was not allowed to marry from the Lamala Moolla group; neither was the Moolla group allowed to take wives from the Debona. The Debona children were counted as ‘one of the family members’ of the Lamala Moolla because they ‘were part the group – as their home servants’. This was given as a reason for not marrying each other. But it appears that this reason was not a real one. The real reason was the alleged social distance between the two groups, one considering itself as the superior status, the other considered as inferior. As its stands currently, it is appears that the Debona are more or less totally assimilated into the main stream Lamala Moolla and their collective consciousness has adopted the system. Unlike the two other caste groups, particularly the Erasha, the Debona group today intermarry with the Lamala Moolla. Their presence in the political, educational and social leadership positions is more or less equal with the Lamala Moolla. The ‘burden’ of servant-hood and deprivation was relieved following the demise of the imperial regime, as in formants, argued.
The Debona group, according to informants, used to practice the cults of Barro (those in Donga Sodicho), Hambese (those in Soyame Macho) and Buriye (those in Bachira). Such religious beliefs and practices have now more or less disappeared. 4.5. The ‘Aldada’ Group 4.5.1. Ethnogenesis, Ancestors and Sub- Clans Formal, mainstream Ţambaaro oral tradition holds that the ‘ Aldada’ group was one of the ‘associate’ groups that ‘accompanied’ the Lamala Moolla when they left their original ‘Yemerera’ land in Sidama. This nomenclature, which is the official political leadership title, is also accepted and believed by the ‘Aldada’ group. In our understanding, we take this term as a diplomatic rhetoric for the real occupational caste status of the group, that of tanners The Tanners (called Awacho1 which is a derogatory name should thus never be used today both) in Ţambaaro and in Sidama, are the marginalized groups who specialize in tannery. During our key informant interview with two older men, one of whom was currently the official holding the title Aldada, we appreciated the idea that the politically and demographically ‘superior’ group would often use a tactic of ideology whereby they create a system that would in real terms serve their interests and help them control the marginal groups. The system also works in such a way that the marginal groups themselves begin to take the ideology as a fixed reality. According to the informants whose version of the Ţambaaro migration and settlement history generally converges with the mainstream version, the Aldada group, the Awacho (a name which is derogatory and thus not liked) was led by its own womma (king). The Aldada was numbered among the four wommas that left ‘Yemerera’: Lahee womma (representing the Lamala Moolla), Erasha (the ‘womma’ for the potters), Debona (‘womma’ for the servants) and Aldada (‘womma’ for the tanners). The narration holds that the present day Aldada group which is numbered summarily as one of the 66 clans in Ţambaaro belongs to the seven ancestors who came together with the Lamala Moolla. The seven founding fathers of the Aldada now make up the major ‘sub clans’ or lineages in Ţambaaro. It is interesting to note that this ‘seven” figure is a key aspect of the ethnogenesis story, corresponding with the seven brothers of Lamala Moolla. The seven were part of the total 16 ancestral stems descended from the apical ancestor, Awacho. Awacho according to informants was one of the sons of the ancestral Sidama clans, who happened to receive the despised status of tanner group – in an unknown past. The inferior status held by this group was theorized by the key informants, as to how and why it began, as a manifestation of demographic factor. That is, the ones who had numerous descendants began to dominate those with few descendants. This folk theory sounds good in explaining the origins of the Awacho as the marginal group, but the question is still too complex. According to informants the descendants of the 16 founding ancestors the Awacho are currently found dispersed in many parts of Ethiopia, especially south. Thus, the ethnogenically related descendants /lineages of the clan’ in Ţambaaro are found in Wolayta, Kambatta, Hadya, etc. It is not clear whether these 16 ancestors were children of the same father or ancestors figure from subsequent generations. We are not sure whether they are contemporaneous or not.
We are referring to this term only as part of historical study. We use it as it was applied in the past. We totally agree tat this derogatory name should never be used as the firmaments demand)
Fig.4.4. 13 of the 16 ancestors of the Awacho supra family
Fig. 4.5. The seven founding fathers of the 16 ‘Awacho’ Supra- family which ‘joined’ the Lamala Moolla during the epic movement The manner the informants narrate the origins of the Ţambaaro migration, the composition of the migrant groups, the routes they crossed and rested and the final settlement at Ţambaaro and their encounters with the indigenous groups generally coincides with the mainstream narration. The informants accept and regard the name Aldada as one which was originally bestowed on them as they began their historic movement. 4.5.2. Participation in Mainstream Socio-political Spectrum The highest sociopolitical and religious authority in the ‘Tanners’2 group is Aldada. It is a womma, a status parallel, not equal though, with the Lahee womma. The political leadership structure has three hierarchies. Each of the seven sub-groups (descendants) of the seven original tanners has its own magaba, a front tine leader responsible for handling all the affairs of the sub group. Above the seven magabas there is one magaba who is responsible for overseeing the affairs of the clans and reporting to, and consulting with, the Aldada. The Aldada, the womma, of the entire clan, is responsible for settling all administrative, judicial and criminal issues. The Aldada also represents his clan, in the tobee magaba, council of the Ţambaaro corporate body. He also reports to the balee-womma and acts as a medium between his people and the balee womma. It appears the Aldada authority rests of the good will the balee womma.
Fig. 4 .6. Hierarchical structure of political social leadership in the Aldada clan
Today, the Aldada group, as well as the Debona, has totally abandoned their former craftwork of tannery and, weaving and providing service for the Lamala Moolla group. They have become more or less completely assimilated into the mainstream structure. They also played key roles in the socio-political history of the Nationality.
Badee womma: Convener of tobee magaba
Lahee womma: the spiritual leader, the keeper of the ‘golden ark’
Balee womma: the king proper
Tobee magaba: Council comprising of all magabas
The magabas of the seven sub groups in Aldada
The Magabas of the Lamala Moolla Fig:- 4.7. The political organizational leadership and hierarchical structure of the Ţambaaro corporate body, excluding the other ‘non-Yemerera’ groups (Showing the participation of the Aldada group in the tobee magaba) 4.5.3. Aspects of, and Historical Trends in, Marginalization The Aldada clan members in Ţambaaro have held subservient position in the politico-social ladder. Informants reluctantly revealed their ancestors were destined by some unknown mystic process and power to serve the Lamala Moolla. Thus, up on their arrival in the newfound-land, they began their marginal life – by serving them. They had not their own land to farm; they were denied this; they played key roles in the political and economic affairs of the Nationality, by standing in the frontline as war combatants, as serfs for the land lords, as artisans by making leather- works. This view, however, is not verified through cross-checking. Though over the years conditions have improved, the Aldada group remained landless and subservient through-out their long history until the ousting of Imperial regime (1930s-1974). During the imperial era, they carried double burden of toiling for both the local and nefteňňa taskmasters. Following the demise of Haile Sellasie |’s regime in 1974, they became owners of land and stopped thenceforth working for the Lamala Moolla. According to informants, the Aldada group has currently ceased engaging in tannery. Discriminations in various spheres suffered by the Aldada group have declined. For example, there is now assimilation of members of this group in marriage with the Lamala Moolla. The Aldada, also today participate in various leadership positions and they are employed as civil servants. The degree of this assimilation process and the rate at which discrimination has declined seems to be increasing since the downfall of Derg in 1991.
CHAPTER 5 INVESTIGATING THE LAMALA MOOLLA- SIDAMA ETHONOGENIC CONNECTIONS 5.1. Introduction Our fieldwork among the elders and local intellectuals of Ţambaaro regarding the ethnogenesis of the Lamala Moolla group, which constitute the culturally dominant elements of the Ţambaaro Nationality, at least in the views of some informants, l ed us to head to some Sidama Woredas. We went to these woredas with some pressing questions that needed to be checked and clarified: The question of Yemerera: whether this toponym which the Ţambaaro informants claimed to be their original land in Sidama existed; Whether there existed clans bearing the name of Yemerera; What link exists among Yemerera, Womerera, and Yemerecho; The question of the actual link between the Lamala Moolla and the corresponding clans in Sidama: whether the stem clan from which the group broke away belonged to the Hawella or other clans; Whether cultural roots of the Gamabala Magano, the Masincho as a totem and the question of yelelo (Ţambaaro’s most respected, ancestral sorghum) indicated Sidama origin and other links between the two nationalities; Etc. Our fieldwork in the Sidama took place between September 17 to 25 2009. This period was a time for us to carry out gap- filling activities in fieldwork/ data collection. We visited the following areas: 1. Hawella- Tulla Kifle Ketema 2. Gorche Woreda 3. Aleta Wondo Woreda 4. Hawassa City We met and contacted a number of local officials and elders as well as intellectuals in these Sidama woredas and localities. During the week- long fieldwork, about 10 local elders, four local officials and intellectuals were contacted and interviewed. The specific kebeles and localities where we met with our local informants included: 1. Harangama Kebele in Hawella- Tulla Sub-City 2. Hotto and Gultuma Kebeles in Aleta Wondo Woreda 3. Womme- Bunammo and Gorche Kebeles and Gorche Woreda 4. Bahil Adaraš Kifle Ketema Our visit to the Sidama Woreda was also aimed at locating some historical and cultural/ material evidences and sites such as ancestral burial sites, toponyms, etc. One of the main such material- historical evidences is the burial site of the Gederra ancestral burial site located in Womme-Bunammo Kebele, Gorche Woreda, about 15 kilometers from the Woreda Center, Gorche, which is located some 18 k.m from Lekku, which in turn is Shebedino Woreda center.
Photos 5.1-3: Some shots depicting our fieldwork at Womme-Bunammo, Gederra Burial Sacred Site in Gorche Woreda 5.2. Did the Lamala Moolla Group Break Away from the Gadawo Ancestral Stem and Why? Our pressing question when we went to the Gederra Burial Sacred Site at Womme Bunammo Kebele in Gorche Woreda was to investigate whether the Lamala Moolla elders and local intellectuals claim of the Hawella and Yemerera origin was valid and supported by local oral traditions and material evidences in Sidama land. The first locality where we went was the Harandala kebele in Hawella-Tulla Kifle Ketema, Hawassa City Administration. We held group discussions with three notable local elders from the Hawella clan (see photos and their names below.) According to these local elders, the ancestor stem from which the Hawella and the Lamala group of Ţambaaro descend is Gadawo, the son of Gadrra. The Hawella clans with its numerous sub-clans and several lineages today makes up a substantial territorial clan- based territorial group in Sidama land. The descendants of the Gadrra family live in the Hawassa City Administration, notability in Hawella-Tulla Kifle Ketema and many other localities in such woredas as Gorćće, Shebedino, Dore Bafano (the former Hawassa Zuria Woreda), Aleta Wondo, etc. However, the vast majority of the Hawella clans-folk live in Gorćće Woreda, Hawella-Tulla Kifle Ketema. According to local elders at Hawella-Tulla Kifle Ketema, descendants of Hawella clan spread to many other woredas during different time periods. 5.3. The Question of Ancestral Gadawo and the Hawella Clan Membership of Lamala Moolla Descendants Our discussion with local elders at Hawella- Tulla Kifle Ketema led us to visit the burial site of the Gadrra family which is located at Womme- Bunammo Kebele in Gorche Woreda. The Bunammo Burial Center is located in a vast area in the Kebele. It is the sacred site and epicenter of spiritual activities for the Gadrra Family. The Gadrra family, according to informants, is a generic name for the Hawella clan that constitutes four major sub clans descending from the four sons of Gadawo who was the son of Gadrra. Gadawo was, according to local informants, the son of Gadrra. Gadrra whom some Sidama local intellectuals call Bunammo (see Hotana Beteso, 1991) is the apical father of the Hawella. Some local informants indicated that Gadrra gave birth to two sons and one daughter: Gadawo, Hawella and Furra, although the claim is not verified by other informants. We are not sure whether this daughter, Furra, is the legendary Sidama heroine who lived in some unverified distant past. The oral tradition says that Hawella died without giving birth to any
children. Hence, Gadrra, when he died, ordered his sons to name the coming descendants by the name, Hawella, as a commemoration for the childless son. Informants noted Gadawo gave birth to four sons: Gaaddo, Gamasso, Dobbe and Womme. Some elders added a fifth son, whom they said was Ţambaaro. But other informants never supported the view that Gadawo had a son named Ţambaaro. Rather, the possibly convincing position was that Gadawo had another son, whose name Sidama informants said was Keeddo. This Keeddo was given another name, Marro. The name Keeddo was given to this son, who was said to be one of the little surviving sons of Gadawo, the brother of the criminal siblings that fled after killing their brother and emasculated their father (We will come back to this point later). Local informants in Hawella, Gorche and Hotto Gultuma all agreed that there was a breakaway group today living outside of Sidama. Some informants argued one such breakaway group live in Gamo Goffa area, particularly in Borroda area. As for the Ţambaaro breakaway group, all informants pointed out that descendants of one or some of the sons of Gadawo today live in Kambatta. Some elders spherically pointed out these descendants of Gadawo live in today’s Ţambaaro. According to informants, Gadawo had three wives of whom two were sisters and one was a woman whose ethno-geographic identity was out side of Sidama. Informants did not agree as to the exact identity of this woman. Some informants (in Hawella- Tulla area) said she was an Amhara woman, others (in Gorche area) said she was an Amaro Kelle woman. Still others said she was from Silţi. According to informants, this third wife of Gadawo was not liked and respected because she was not a Sidama. Oral tradition puts it that when it was time for Gadawo to be circumcised, he ordered one of his sons (some said this was an elder, first born son) born from this third wife with the mother to go and bring their uncles to participate in the ritual. She went with her sons. According to Sidama culture, it was the first born son who should lead the ritual of presenting honey as part of the Daaššo ritual (a ritual whereby dead ancestral fathers are venerated and commemorated by offering honey sacrifice, which is spilled on the burial site). When she went and lingered a lot, the circumcision ritual was performed in the absence of the sons and party of the woman. Some informants at Hawella also noted the ritual was conducted in the absence of the other two sons of Gadawo, Gaaddo and Womme) who went hunting. Only Dobbe remained at the circumcision ritual. Other informants noted it was Gamasso who remained at the ritual and performed the Daaššo ritual. Upon their arrival, the woman’s party and her sons were enraged by the condition and it was said they killed one of the sons , Dobbe who was present and they additionally emasculated their father, Gadawo. Some informants said both Gadawo and Dobbe were killed while others argued only Dobbe was killed but Gadawo sustained a lethal wound from the emasculation and latter died. The Ţambaaro version of the story was also not unitary. Some informants noted their ancestral father killed both one of his brothers and his father. Others argued he killed only his brother. The story of Gadawo’s emasculation tragedy was not raised in Ţambaaro. The Sidama elders’ version of the story more or less emphasizes the emascul ation of Gadawo, who eventually died of the wound. When Gadawo died, the killers and the party of the woman with all the children born to her from Gadawo were banished and chased away to distant lands. Informants at Hawella noted that when the other brothers came back from the hunting saw that Dobbe was killed and their father emasculated, they immediately wanted to revenge and begun chasing the killer party as far as they could but could not manage to arrest them. Upon their return they wanted to kill the little brother of the killers, but their dying father forbade; Instead of killing him, they banished him to Malaga area near today’s Hawassa where the killers’ sister lived and he would grow up there. They gave him the name, Keeddo, denoting, “Let such a matter and event never be done again; let the killers be banished forever.” There was confusion as to the identity of this little brother, Keeddo, whom they latter renamed, Marro. Some informants said Keeddo was one of the brothers of the Gadawo’s children, while others said he was one of the sons of the killer brother. But it appeared the
former version is more dominantly held and supported. Thus, the Lamala Moolla ancestors have now their kinfolk, descending from this rescued little brother, Keeddo, who, was renamed Marro. Their sister’s descendants also live in Malaga Woreda. The dying Gadawo who was said to have prophesized that when the Hawella clan becomes so vast as to cover the Hawassa area the descendants of the killers would in the future come searching and seeking for reunification. When that happens, he ordered that they should not revenge and take them as part of the Hawella clan. It seems as if this prophecy was an inspiration behind the move that begun some years ago by some learned and committed individuals from both Ţambaaro and Sidama sides (more so from Ţambaaro side). We met with one of these individuals in Hawassa, Bahil Adarash Sub City. He was a Ţambaaro who traced his genealogy to Gadawo. He was one who played “for the last thirty years” as he claimed, to facilitate the re-introduction and reconciliation process between the elders of Hawella clan and the Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro. Photo 5.4. Ato Kelaye Hadaro, narrating how he worked hard for the last thirty years to realize the reunification between the Tam Ţambaaro and Sidama, which he said, is now a reality. He claimed the Lamala Moolla are now known to be ‘hundred percent’ descendants of the Hawella clan. 5.4. The Sacred Site of Gadrra Grave yard in Womme Bunammo According local informants in Gorche Town and WommeBunammo Kebele, Gadawo’s Burial site is located in a locality called Alaame, some “one hours’ walk “ distance from the Gadrra Burial Site. The burial site is not currently given as much veneration and weight as that of Gadrra. Some informants said this is because of the effect of the conflict which caused the emasculation Gadawo. A person without genitalia is not given the status of being a reposted ancestral figure. Hence, today, the epicenter of the Hawella clans’ sub clans of Womme, Dobbe, Gamasso and Gaaddo continue paying regular sacrificial ritual that commemorates Gadrra. The ritual involves the offering of honey and meat sacrifices at the burial site.
Gadrra: the Ancestral Figure of Hawella/ Otherwise called Bunammo
Keeddo or Marro
Fig 5.1. A genealogical tree of the Gadrra/ Hawella Clan as Perceived and narrated by Sidama Elders in Gorche Bunammo The burial site is built in the shape of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church temple. Some informants called it as the “Sidama temple.” The current temple which is located inside a fence and surrounded by sacred forest containing several indigenous tree species is well kept. The sacred burial site has two round fences. One fence is what might be called the outer yard where the ordinary people congregated and where sacrificial honey and other preliminaries were organized and prepared. This first outer fence contains two houses one in a form of rectangular thatched roof house with wooden walls and the other a hemispherical thatched house with wooden walls and grass covers from top to bottom, a typical Sidama indigenous house model.
Photo 5.5. A typical Sidama indigenous house, found inside the Gadrra Burial Site Photo 5.6. Elders at Gorche Town, narrating the Gadawo genealogy and the Hawella roots of Ţambaaro
These houses are used for conducting the various preliminary rituals. The second, inner fence separates the burial temple from the outer yard. Only select few would enter this inner circle. The traditional religious ritual leaders, the Womma and Ganna would hold these inner circle world and its rituals. 5.5. Genealogical Roots and Similarities: The Gadawo and Gaaddo Question From what Sidama elders at Gorche and Tulla-Hawella localities claimed, it is possibly most probable thus that there actually took place a breakaway of one of the ancestral fathers of today’s Lamala Moolla group in Ţambaaro. All informants attest to the fact that the burial site of Gadawo today stands to witness near Gorche kebele. He was almost killed to death by being emasculated (being cut his genitalia) due to the alleged disregard for one of the sons of his wives and her parties who should have attended the circumcision ceremony. The disregarded first born son of the woman and her party thus was enraged by the event and took the revenge on the father and sons of his other wives. There are however diversions in the narrations as to whether the ritual was a coronation ceremony whereby one of the elder sons would inherit the mantle (this is narrated in the mainstream version in Ţambaaro). The Sidama version sates it was the circumcision ritual wherein Gadawo was the one to be circumcised. The Sidama version of the story, as narrated by some informants, puts that Gadawo disliked one of his wives who was not a Sidama and thus he purposefully sent her and her children away to bring her relatives so that he would not wait their arrival and perform the ritual in their absence. The Ţambaaro version states that it was not a purposeful calculation, but it was due to delay of the wife and her party. The Ţambaaro version stated there were seven sons of Moolla who was one of the sons of Gadawo who then fled away from the wrath of the other party. The specific names of these sons of Moolla are vividly mentioned. Sidama elders did not mention the names and they did not agree as to the number of these deviant individuals. Some said three sons of Gadawo went away as a break away party. Their names were not mentioned. The name Moolla was not known among the Sidama elders. Moolla, whom Ţambaaro elders said was one of the sons Gadawo. Sidama elders noted there was one small brother of the break away group who was spared the banishment due to some sympathetic stances and hence was accepted, with a name Keeddo, connoting some sense of excommunication and wrath on his mothers and relatives who dared to cut the genital of Gadawo. Some informants argued the name Keeddo was changed into Marro, connoting, a mercy, following consultation during the post Italian occupation era. Thus, today, the descendants of this remaining son of Gadawo are called Marro Ayde, the Kinfolk of Marro. Elders at Hawella provided information that somehow was closer to the Ţambaaro version as to the number of those who fled after the crisis and the composition of the group that fled. Mainstream Ţambaaro oral tradition states the Lamala Moolla were “accompanied on their way to the new land by three different social categories of people, each headed by its own official title; there was an a potters’ group headed by the Erasha; a tanners group headed by Aldada and a slaves’ group headed by Debona.” According to Hawella elders at Harangala kebele, these different artisan groups actually “accompanied” the breakaway party. This view was not accepted among elders in Gorćće area, who said there was no artisan group that went together with the breakaway party. Hawella elders also claimed the uncles of the killer brother went together. They also said some of the fleeing group remained in Alaba land while the rest went to Ţambaaro. This latter view is also shared among some Ţambaaro informants who said some groups in Alaba are today their ethnogenic kin. 5.6. Common Ancestral Stem of Ţambaaro and Hawella Sidama Ţambaaro elders trace their genealogies up to Gaaddo. The na me Gaaddo is used as a phrase of addressing the Lamala Moolla. It is often invoked during various occasions. According to Lamala Moolla elders, the last apical ancestral figure beyond which they could not name is Gadibo. Gadibo was great- great- great- great grand father of Moolla who was regarded as the
ancestral figure whose proverbial seven sons fled away following the clash. There seems to be an irreconcilable issue here: if the Ţambaaro elders’ claim that it was the seven sons of Moolla who actually were part of the conflict scene that led to their fleeing and banishment, then Moolla must have been known among the Sidama elders as being one of the sons of Gadawo. But Moolla is not known among the Sidama elders. It is Keeddo who latter was called Marro that was remembered as the remaining brother of the break away group, the Ţambaaro. On average, existing Ţambaaro / Lamala Moolla elders count their genealogies (beginning from their sons and in some cases their grandsons generation) up to 12 or 13. The longest genealogy from among one of elders’ group was about 15 generations counted up to Moolla. Then the elders traced from Moolla upwards six steps stopping at Gadibo. Then on average, the number of generations from today (counting from grand children of existing older persons) is about 17 to 18 generations. It is interesting to note that on the part of the Gor ćće , Hawella-Tulla and Hotto Bultuma elders belonging to the Gadrra/ Bunammo/ Hawella clan from which the Lamala Moolla Ţambaaro did break on average counted from the their children’s generation up wards up to Gadrra, the father of Gadawo, about 18 generations ( of four sample elder informants who traced their genealogies , one counted up to 20, the second up to 19 and the third up to 17 and the third up to 20; two of them begun from their sons’ generation one from grandson’s). Here it is interesting to note that there appears to be a more or less convincing matching of the length and duration of generations between Ţambaaro Lamala Moolla and Sidama Gadrra families. If what the Sidama elders said was valid, that it was during the generation of Gadawo when this break away took place due to the conflict, then the Ţambaaro version of Gadibo as the last remembered apical figure must be the Gadawo version of Sidama. The Lamala Moolla of Ţambaaro then descended from the line of Gadawo. Although Sidama elders did not verify, the Lamala Moolla elders claimed they descended from the line of Gaaddo, one of the four sons of Gadawo (Ţambaaro’s Gadibo). Sidama elders said the Lamala Moolla group descended from other unknown sons of Gadawo from his “despised” third wife. It is very troubling when we note that the claim of Lamala Moolla elders that it was the seven sons of Moolla who fled the post crisis episode does not match with the Sidama version and the facts of genealogical information. It is probably correct that from the present generation to the ancestral figure of Gadawo, the sons of Gadrra, Hawella founder, it is about 18 generations. This is confirmed from both sides of genealogical studies in Ţambaaro and Sidama as shown above. But it is not probable that Moolla was one of the witnesses of the conflict event, because he was the seventh from the ancestral figure of Gadawo who was hacked to death by emasculation, spurring the break and fleeing away of the ancestral figure of Lamala Moolla. We are not sure also whether Gaaddo was actually the ancestral line from the four/ or five sons of Gadawo from whom the Lamala Moolla descended; Sidama Hawella elders did not confirm this. Today, sub clans based on Gaaddo, Womme, Dobbe and Gamasso exist in Sidama. The Womme sub clan dominates in Hawella Tulla area, Hawasa, Dorre Bafano, etc. the other three, namely, Gamasso, Gaaddo and Dobbe dominate in Gorche area. Also, the sub clan of the Keeddo/ Marro family exists today. The other sub clans based on the fled sons of Gadawo are not known in Sidama. But on the other hand, it could quite be probable that Gaaddo is the ancestral father of the Lamala Group of Ţambaaro, because, this apical figure and name has be en part of the collective ethno-psychology and tradition of the people. Had it not been that Gaaddo was the ancestral figure, they might not have invoked his name. Then if this is so, it could be probable that it was Gaaddo’s other siblings who fled and t hen on the way gave birth to the subsequent generations. Moolla, the proverbial father of the seven brothers, must then have been born not in Sidama, but somewhere in the migration routes six generations after the clash episode from Gadawo. It is interesting to note that our elders in the Sidama woredas who counted their genealogies (one of these in Hawella- Tulla area counted up to 34 generations!) all mentioned the name
Murnacha as the son of Gaaddo. On the other hand, the Lamala Moolla elders mentioned they descended from the line of Anaafo, Gaaddo’s son.
The Hawella sub groups The Hawella clan of Sidama of Sidama
The Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro
Fig. 5.2. Point of departure for the Lamala Moolla and Sidama Groups of Hawella Clan, Gaaddo’s Family It is not clear at the moment why the Lamala Moolla elders failed to have the memory of the bigger family head, namely, Gadrra, who is the apical ancestor for the entire Hawella clan. There is also an irreconcilable clash between the Sidama’s version and Lamala Moolla elders’ version of which father figure, from the sons of Gadawo, do the Ţambaaro descend. The former believe the Ţambaaro descended down from a son whose name they do not remember, but they definitely believe the four sons, Womme, Gaaddo, Gamasso and Dobbe are not the lines from the Ţambaaro come. All of the descendants of these fathers today live in Sidama land forming a well established sub clan / lineage organization. On the side of the Lamala Moolla, the idea that Gaaddo was their apical ancestral figure seems to be undoubtedly established in their entire ethno-collective psychology.
Gaaddo Anaafo Wayyo Manjicho
Fig. 5.7. The Gemological line of Lamala Moolla group of Ţambaaro The Numbers 1-7 designate the popular “seven brothers/ or seven sons of Moolla 5.8. The Question of the Non-Sidama Wife: Ţambaaro as HalfSidama Origin? According to elders at Bunammo in Gorche Woreda and Hotto Gultuma kebele in Aleta Wondo Woreda, both from the Hawella clan, the ancestral figure, Gadawo, had three wives. Two of these were reported / believed to be sisters and first wives. It was narrated that the elder wives of the two complained that her husband should not directly come to her house to share the bed after spending his night with her younger sister. She suggested that he should take a third wife who would then be a “buffer” bridge between the two. Gadawo would then not directly come to and fro between the two sisters. This third sister was believed among the elderly informants as a woman from non-Sidama ethnic group. Some said she was from Amhara, others said from Amaro, still others claimed she was from Silte. Although Ţambaaro oral tradition does not claim this non-Sidama identity of their ancestral mother, the narration implicitly suggests she was from a distant part of the land, probably outside Sidama. This was because it took her and her relatives longer period of time before they arrived back to attend the Gadawo circumcision ritual, resulting in the performance of the long waited and important ritual in the absence of the third wife, her sons and her relatives. If this narration that Gadawo’s third wife was not a Sidama were valid, it might be argued that the Lamala Moolla groups of Ţambaaro Nationality might be not as fully Sidama as their other kin because of this non- Sidama wife. However, since ethnic identity is mainly traced and determined through paternal line in Sidama as in other traditional nationalities in Ethiopia and elsewhere, the Lamala Moolla groups are properly Sidama.
5.9. The Question of Yemerera, Womerera, and Yemerecho We went to Hotto Gultuma kebele in Aleta Wondo and a locality in Hawella- Tulla Kifle Ketema with the questions of whether Yemerera as a toponym existed in Sidama or it is a corrupt version of other related terms such as Yemerecho and Womerera, which refer to clan names and or social status. We found out that there are conflicting views regarding these terminologies. I witnessed a hot debate among the local Sidama intellectuals as well as local elders in the said localities, particularity in our Aleta Wondo site. From the discussions and debates, it is possible to conclude that the term Yemerera as a place name never existed in Sidama land. There is no locality that is designated by this name. The Lamala Moolla elders’ claim which is commonly popularized in the oral tradition and existing literature that their ancestors migrated from a place called Yemerera in Sidama is thus disproved as far as the place name is concerned. However, although it is now not exactly located, the ancestors could have been living in today’s Bunammo Kebele where the grave yard of Gadrra now exists; or they might have been living in today’s Harangama in Hawella locality from where the descendants spread to other areas such as Gorche. According to local informants in Bunammo Kebele, the grave yard of Gadrra is situated in its today’s location because “the corpse of the ancestor refused to lie resting in its original Hawella area and it came as far as its today’s location and it rested at the spot.” Further informants claimed an ox of Gadrra led the way until it arrived at today’s location and rested. The People then sacrificed it and since hen the site has become the sacred burial site. Local elders offered an interesting explanation that seemed to solve the question of Yemerera. According these elders in Hotto Bultuma kebele, the Ţambaaro term Yemerera could be a version of y- merero, a y being a simple prefix and merero meaning in between. According to one these informants, Gadawo had three wives of whom one was the youngest. Her residential compound was situated in between the two older wives. Photo 5.7. Informant Sheik Kayeso Sidda grappling with the Yemerera, Yemerecho, Womerera question The youngest wife of Gadawo, the mother of the ancestors of the Lamala Moolla, was thus in between the two wives, in the sense that her house was positioned in mid way between the two. This wife, thus, left her middle ground location and left the land with her children and relatives. Thus, if this hypothesis were valid, when Lamala Moolla elders say their ancestors came from Yemerera land, it means nothing more than this, that they and their mother left the middle merero residential compound in the original Gadrra locality in Hawella territory. As ingenious as it appears, though, this hypothesis is not further verified by other informants and thus we can not say it is fully plausible. Needless to mention, the question of whether Yemerera as a toponym in Sidama existed is now settled. Then the question of Yemerecho and Womerera remains though. When we went to the Sidama localities, we had an intriguing hypothesis in mind that the name Yemerera could possibly be a corrupt version of Yemerecho or Womerera. We had suspected that probably the Lamala Moolla descendants might be part of the Womerera sub clan which is one of the dominant sub clan in the Aleta supra-clan (which is composed of 12 distinct sub clans). Among the Ţambaaro informants some informants made reference to the idea that their ancestors were “of pure group”, claming the relation to the concept of the Anga Manna, the People of the Hand. This referred to a social category of people in Sidama who claimed to have a purer
descent compared to other groups. With this background it was quite logical for us to suspect that the Lamala Moolla might have belonged to the Womerera sub clan. The Womerera clan in Sidama is associated with some mythical origin stories such that their ancestors “descended down from heaven tied with a certain type of ring plant.” Others said they just descended down and landed on a spot called Diramo, located somewhere in today’s Shebedino area along the asphalt road. Descendants of the clan claimed their ancestors had a special relations and closeness to God that he gave them special favors. They could fly to anywhere in the land. Some claimed their descendants now exist in many parts of the country beyond Sidama. One elderly informant in Hotto Bultuma argued since the ancestors of the Womerera sub clan had these mythical qualities and their ancestors flew away, today there is no grave yard that is identified as that of the fathers of Womerera clan. Local intellectuals demythologize this by providing a possibly logical and convincing explanation. It was argued that the ancestral fathers, both of Bushe and Maldea line, did not arrive at the present day Sidama land at the same time. Some groups who arrived lately devised ingenious means to get land with the early comers. To evade clash and repulsion, then the Womerera and Gisha ancestors told their early comers when asked ”Who are you and where do you come form?’ saying, “We just descended from heaven.” According to Betana (1991), there are some other groups, too, in Sidama who managed to get land through such ingenious myths. Some groups for example, such as the Dafna claimed, “We came riding on a tiger’s back from a forest..” The Dolma group claimed they just popped out of the soil together with cows. The Banqanno claimed they “descended together with the sky flash and rain.” Intriguing as it appears, this is nonetheless noting more than a myth. But it might have been based on some special characteristics of this particular group of people. The suspicion that the ancestors of Lamala Moolla might have belonged to the Womerera sub clan is solved. This is because the ancestral names Gaaddo, Gadawo/ Gadibo, are not found in the genealogy of the Aleta clan. Further, there is no mention of a historical event whereby a group of people broke away due to a conflict and fled to other parts of the country from the Aleta clan. The question of Yemerecho was raised and discussed during our key informant interviews with Hawella and Hotto Bultuma locality elders. The question of whether Yemerecho is a clan or a social class was hotly debated. There seemed to be divided positions on this point. Some local intellectuals as well as elders from Hawella area said Yemerecho is not a clan. It is a social status. It is the title that is assigned to the group of people who are considered as the pure ones: those who pursue some special purification rituals when conducting their traditional religion. Further a Yemerecho is a person who is a member of a higher, ruling class in any Sidama territory. Thus Yemerecho are found in all clans and areas. Some even argued that the Yemerecho as a social status group existed in Alaba and Qebena nationalities (who are, according to some Sidama elders, the descendants of Maldea.) Photo 5.8. A Hotto Gultuma elder man, an Aleta clan member, defending his claim that the Yemerecho is a name for a dominant clan given solely to the descendants of Ţumano, brother of Aboo: the Faqsa and Yanase clans. Some informants in Hotto Bultuma, however, argued that the Yemerecho are those who have descended from the Ţumano line and the name is a clan name particularly designated to all the kinsfolk of the Faqsa and Yanase clans who are the descendants of Ţumano. However, the idea that Yemerecho is more of a social status designation rather than a clan name is better supported and accepted among majority of informants and
also existing literature support this position. Father, Ţambaaro elders also believed that their ancestors were Yemerecho in the sense of “pure” groups not in the sense of a clan. According to one of the informants, the Ţambaaro equivalent of Yemerecho is Womanicho, which implies the decent and ‘allegedly pure” status of some groups, (in this case, the Lamala Moolla) compared to other groups, particularly the artisans. 5.10. Shared Geo-Culture? Similarities in Toponyms and Cultural Practices Beliefs and
Our Sidama visit and discussion with elders could be a good help for us to solve some besetting questions discussed above, although we still remain with many unsettled questions. At least some general ones have been settled: that the Lamala Moolla groups of Ţambaaro are the descendants of the ancestors who broke away from their Hawella family some 18 generations ago due to a family level disagreement over procedures of, and participation in, conducting rituals that resulted in the bloody clashes and the killing of either or both the father and one of the siblings. The criminal party then was banished for ever and forgotten. The ancestors of the Lamala Moolla came from some where in a locality in today’s Hawella Tulla Kifle Ketema or in Womme Bunammo Kebele in Gorche Woreda in Sidama. The Lamala Moolla ancestors were part of the Hawella clan; they are not part of the Yanase clan as some claimed (example, one of the local intellectuals in Ţambaaro disagrees with other elders that his ancestors were not part of the Hawella clan. As a sign of his disagreement he was said to have boycotted the historic reunification festival that was held some four or five years ago in Mudula.) Neither were they part of the Aleta supra clan and that of the Womerera clan as it was initially suspected. Some similarities in place in Ţambaaro and Aleta Wondo and also cultural practices happened to be an invigorating idea for us when we planned the Sidama visit. Place and river names such Hotto, Bultuma, Malabo, etc, are found in both Sidama and Tamabaro. The intriguing thing is not just the mere resemblance of the names, for such resemblances in toponyms could exist in other areas between any two or more nationalities that are not necessarily related ethno-genetically or geographically. It is rather the degree and uniqueness of the resemblance. For example, in Ţambaaro, there is a river named Malabe at the vicinity of Mudula Town. The names of the localities beside and beyond the river are called Hotto and Bultuma. In Aleta Wondo Woreda of Sidama, there is a river called Malabo and the names of the kebeles beyond the river just at the vicinity of the town are called Hoddo and Bultuma. Our exhilaration with this resemblance was though faced with unsettled questions: is it that the ancestors of the Lamala Moolla lived in these localities before they left? Or did they migrate to Aleta Wondo area and lived there before migrating? At the present these and similar other questions remain unanswered. The questions of cultural similarities such as whether the idea of the Gamabala Magana, the Masincho tree as the totem figure of paternal ancestors, the rituals of womma institutions, circumcision, annual calendars, etc, were further investigated. We found out that, although the Sidama do not make use of the terminology of Gamabala Magana, they have similar religious philosophy. They invoke the Kolisho La’oo, when they make vows. This signified, “the black heavenly God who lived in the black sky.” The masincho tree (Bisana in Amharic, presumably Hagenica Abyssinica, its scientific name; I could not determine its English equivalent at the moment) as a totem figure of ancestral fathers is a very interesting point of similarity that probably gives an added support for the same cultural traditions and roots of the Ţambaaro and the Sidama. In both Sidama and Ţambaaro, the tree is viewed as a sacred totem figure that represented ancestral ghosts. The annual and other regular ancestor-honoring rituals are carried out in the grave yards where the tree is planted. It is interesting to note that Masincho existed as a particular name of one of the ancestors of the Maldea genealogical line.
The traditional religious philosophy that takes Magano as its central supreme being (both Ţambaaro and Sidama term for supreme creator is Magano); the practical religious performances that revolve around the commemoration of ancestral ghosts who are regarded as the intermediaries between Magano and the clans-folk, by offering regular sacrifices of an ox’s blood and meat and honey, by spilling it over the grave yard; the extreme form of veneration given for the Masincho tree as a totem figure of paternal accentors; etc make up strong evidences of shared cultural traditions in the past. We do not make any attempt (because it is beyond the purpose of this study) to raise the issue of phenotypical and linguistic similarities between the Lamala Moolla and the Sidama groups, which is also a strong evidence for the shared ethnogenic past; we do not however, forget the fact that such phenotypical and linguistic similarities can exist in two or more ethnic groups who are not linked ethnogenically.
CHAPTER SIX SYSTEMS OF POLITICS, GOVERNMENT AND LAW: POLITICAL HISTORY AND CULTURE This Chapter deals with the history and ethnography of politics, law and justice in Ţambaaro. We treat the ethnohistorical dimension first and then proceed to the ethnographic dimension. 6.1. The Formation of Ţambaaro Political-Legal Culture Ţambaaro traditional political, legal and military history and culture are basically a product of the centuries’ old amalgamation and hybridization process of the interaction among different ethnogenetic groups who trace distinct ancestry past but who now subscribe to an allinclusive Ţambaaro political, legal and justice culture. In the Nationality’s long years of existence in the present land, these different distinct groups brought their own unique experiences and institutions of political and legal culture. These political and legal experiences and cultures have over the years forged into a unified politico- legal system through dynamic interactions. The political and legal culture of the Ţambaaro Nationality is now a common property and possession of all distinct ethnogenic groups that now make up the Nationality. The politico-legal history and culture of Ţambaaro has also been decisively influenced through its interaction with its nearby and distant political entities over the long year’s period. The present Ţambaaro politico-legal culture is, therefore, the product of the contributions of these different ethnogenetic and social groups who have come to the land at different epochs, from different backgrounds, with different motives and experiences. It is the product of the influences of the neighboring nationalities. Ţambaaro’s exposure to, and incorporation into, the greater national political world has also helped shape its own traditional political system in some unique ways. However, there is a definite imprint from some groups such as the Lamala Moolla and Çatta groups that highly outweighs the share of others in the politic-legal culture and history. Over the years, many other smaller ethnogenetic and social groups have, either voluntarily or otherwise, assimilated themselves into the politico-legal culture of the dominant groups, particularly the Lamala Moolla. The Lamala Moolla groups have played by far the greatest role in the Ţambaaro political, legal and military history and the formation of the present day Ţambaaro political and legal culture. The Dawroic Çatta have managed to write their own indelible political culture in the ethnohistory of the Ţambaaro. According to some informants from the group, the Çatta group has had its own traditional political and legal culture which was used in juxtaposition with the Lamala Moolla’s system. The group has maintained a politico -legal system called Entallo, depicting the ethnogenic root of the group in Dawro and far back in Borena area. The members of this group, according to informants, have played pivotal roles in the political and military leadership positions in the political ethnohistory of Ţambaaro Nationality. Many of the gazenas (the military leaders) during the Ţambaaro war with the Wolayta, 3 Hadya and Jimma in the late 18th and 19th centuries were recruited from the Çatta group. Some of the military leaders were so renowned during their epic performance at war fields in the war with the Jimma Oromo that the Jimma Aba Jiffar was reportedly said to have called these brave warriors and awarded them lands in Oromo area where now descendants of these men live until today. However, as for the Çatta group’s role, future researches might do well to go further and verify the above claim. In this general study, our aim is not to go into deeper diggings but to present views from local informants. Some sources, however, seem to corroborate some of the above claims such as the bravery of Çatta warriors during Ţambaaro’s war with neighboring groups (See for example Haile-Mariam Desta, 1999).
Some of the notable gazanas include: Bulamo Chakiso, Adilo Berasa, Amaro Huluqo, Adebo Amero, Somano, Adilo, Amche Sidde, Dimbiso Neggo, Diqaso Angiso, Chakiso Qelto, etc
As for the other groups we made some brief remarks on this issue in previous chapters. Scanty information we had on the political systems of the pre-Tambaaronites (particularity the Kalmana- Gondorima groups) showed at the time of the arrival of the Ţambaaro proper, there existed an advanced form of dynastic rule run by the Kalmana group. The last king of the dynasty was Waqqo. The information available could not help us as such to present any detail pictures of the systems of politics, law and justice in pre-Tambaaronite era in the land. The groups have made a complete shift, assimilation and internalization of the political culture and system of the Lamala Moolla. Needless to mention, the political history and culture of the preKalmana populations of the Ţambaaro land could not be incorporated in this Chapter for obvious reasons of lack of information. Over the years, the different groups have come to assimilate and internalize the menu of cultural values, mores and institutions that were presented to them, as a historical chance, by the dominant groups. We must, therefore, note at the outset that this Chapter unavoidably makes a bias to these dominant groups and in some cases the Çatta group in treating the traditional political and legal systems. PART 1: POLITICAL, MILITARY AND LEGAL HISTORY 6.2. Origins of Traditional Government According to informants, the system of government, law and justice Ţambaaro had had not changed for the whole period of about 250 years from ca. 1550s to the incorporation into Menilik II's Ethiopia in early 1890s. Informants had no idea or knowledge about the system of politics and government their forefathers maintained other than the one which they have received coming down from their forefathers. Neither do informants know about how and when the Ţambaaro indigenous political and government system originated. According to informants, the three pronged government and legal structure made up of Badee Womma, Lahee Womma and Balee Womma had been handed down to them, with all its intricate, well advanced political and legal institution and philosophies (q.v.). Judging from what informants say, little or no qualitative change had been made in the essence off Ţambaaro political and legal philosophy throughout the 350 or so years of its settlement in the present Ţambaaro land. The traditional democracy of Ţambaaro with all its basic characteristics, political values and authority structures, had continued until a modest change was brought in following the Menilikan incorporation in 1891. This incorporation introduced a pseudo-dynasty -based kingdom, overturning the original rotating, term- limited democratic system of government (q.v.). Hence, from roughly about the time their first settlement in 1560s to the Menilikan incorporation in 1891, Ţambaaro Nationality had no dynastic rule. It maintained a clan-based, rotating and term- defined system of rule. Beginning from 1891, the office of Balee Womma began to continue with in one family, where the power was monopolized until the last balee womma Qeňazmach Beyene Barena, was deposed by the Derg government in 1974. 6.3. The Oromo Expansion Movement and Ţambaaro in the 16th C (1520s to 1620s) One of the great historical events of the 16 th c in Ethiopia was what has come to be known today as the Oromo expansion. This event had affected peoples, places and ethno-linguistic as well as socio-political landscape of the country (Bahru 2002; Lapiso, 1991, 1992, 1999; Tesfaye Habiso, 1992; Bekele Woldemariam Adelo, 2002). Southwest Ethiopian peoples were one of those who were directly or indirectly affected by this event. We are curious at this juncture to know whether and in what ways the Ţambaaro nationality (including the preTambaaronite populations) were affected by this event. According to local, educated informants, the departure of Lamala Moolla from its Sidama origin was precipitated by this Oromo movement (Hailemariam 1999). But it is yet not clear as to how this process of interaction took place. Oral tradition in current Ţambaaro as well as in
Sidama suggests a completely different story; that the onset of the dispersion of the so-called ‘seven-sons’ of Moolla was precipitated by intra-clan conflicts over alleged injustice in the procedure and transfer of political offices. Yet, we can look at the Oromo expansion movement and its relation to the current Ţambaaro land in another dimension. Oral tradition, local toponyms and persons names suggest that the Oromo expansion movement had reached the present Ţambaaro land. It appears that if the coming of the Lamala Moolla to Ţambaaro land was in 1550s – 1570s (as oral tradition and written sources suggest) then the influence of the Oromo movement had already reached at the Ţambaaro land and probably the recent pre- Tambaaronite populations were the ones whom the Oromo encountered in the land. In the same vein, we may argue the ‘Graň’ wars of 1531 -1552, another big 16th C historical event, had some influence in and around the environs of the present Ţambaaro land. According to informants, one of the Graň war generals (whose name not remembered by informants), had reached to the area and today the artifacts (stone structures) suggest that influence. Informants hold an oral tradition in which the Ayamo kinu (the Graň stones) were planted by Graň himself. About three such steles today exist in the land. The oral tradition regarding the so-called Gran stones abound in the southwestern Ethiopia. Horrendous and mammoth images given to the Graň, ‘who could threw an epic spear to a great distance,’ ‘who could erect a huge stone with his left hand’, etc, are rampant (see Tesfaye Habiso, 1992). Stone structures of the phallic shape abound throughout south Ethiopia and existing historical evidence do not lend support for the stones being erected by Ibin Ibrahim Ahmed, commonly called the Graň. Toponyms in nearby woreda suggest Graň influence, too. An example could be Wagebeta in Hadya, where many of the descendants of per- Tambaaronite groups currently live. This place described as a place where emperor Libne Dingel ( a 16 th century Ethiopian Emperor who spent much of time during the Graň wars, rested and was suddenly informed of the advancing Graň army, as he was at his meals. He exclaimed, “Waa gebetaye!” meaning, “Ah! My food!” Thence the place name, “Wagebeta”. 6.4. The Struggle to Maintain Geo-Political Identity & Independence: 1560s To 1891 Right from the very first departure and settlement at the present territory the Ţambaaro had to wage fierce resistance and defense of their geo-political identity. Their land being surrounded by hostile people groups and kingdoms especially beginning from the 2nd half of 19th c, they hade been exposed to dangers in all sides. Notwithstanding the natural defense of topography and Ommo and Gojeb Rivers, enemies came to invade. Informants' memories are filled with accounts of how their ancestors fought with the Wolayta kings, the “Maçça" (Jimma Oromo) and occasionally from other nearby nationalities, Kambatta and Hadya. The ‘era of clan wars’ as informants say, i.e. that one nationality was fighting the other, was very tough. It is evidenced by the now visible defense ditches dug by the ancestral Tambaros in all directions, especially in south, southeast and northeast sides. According to informants, throughout all the long years of 17 th -19th centuries, Ţambaaro had not paid any tribute to any kingdoms. The repeated attempts by Jimma Oromo particularly (presumably Jimma Abba Jiffar at its height in 1850s onwards, Bahru, 2007), was culminated and dealt of total blow at the war off Gesuba, a vast plain meadow in the south part of the land. Informants did not provide the date of the battle, but it probably was between the 1850s and 1870s. One old man at his 90's narrated how his great- grand father bravely fought the ‘Maçça’, ‘cut the tongue out’ as a dear lesson for the others at home. The Wolayta's repeated attempt, too, to invade and occupy their land was equally thwarted, as informants claim. In one of the wars with Wolayta (the time was not exactly known, but they vaguely said during king Ţonna’s era,) the Wolayta king, informants narrated, sent a sign of warning and request for giving a quintal of ţeff as a symbol that gave a message: "a swarm of soldiers are coming so you had better give hand!” The Ţambaaro Womma in return sent a
messenger with a sack of tiny pungent pepper, signifying a message “Although we are small and tiny, we are burning and pungent like the peepers." Photo 6.1. The Ţambaaro Womma sent a sack of a pungent pepper to the Wolayta king, signifying, “We are burning and pungent like these peppers!” The Wolayta soldiers went forward and came to invade the land. The Ţambaaro, guided by a diviner's promise that "the divine power will fight on their side”, marched. The diviner caused torrents of windy rains on the Wolayta side so that the soldiers on the horseback perished falling into the ditches unawares. Some informants indicated Kawo Ţonna of Wolayta and Jimma Aba Jiffar used to communicate and connive to take the land of Ţambaaro. When they saw that it was difficult to take this land, they abandoned the idea and began making market relations. Informants claim there was not a time when Ţambaaro made tribute to any of these mighty kingdoms of the time. Since then, informants argued both the Jimma Oromo and the Wolayta kings reluctantly accepted the independence of Ţambaaro and began developing marriage, commerce and political relations. One informant told the Wolayta king invited the Ţambaaro king and made alliance and allowed “this brave people" as the informant claimed the king said, to live in his own land. He gave a vast land to them and these began the Wolayta- Ţambaaro relations. One of descendants of the ancestral line Ajoricho- as informants narrate- occupy areas in adjacent Wolayta localities /in Boloso Woreda/. Despite repeated enmities and wars between Ţambaaro and Wolayta the two nationalities since then have developed cultural and economic relations so much so that, now, many pockets of ethnogenic Ţambaaro /in their parental line/ inhabit several kebeles in Bombie, Kindo Koysha, etc specific lineages such as Gareno and Tassie are ethnogenic Ţambaaro who have entirely Wolaytanized /culturally and linguistically/. Similarly, ethnogenic Wolayta now predominate in some localities have become Tambaaronized. /Balela, Debub Ambaguna and Soyame kebele residents are culturally Ţambaaro, but they are ethnogenic Wolayta; they also speak Wolaytan/ As for the relations with the nearby kingdoms in Kambatta, informants didn't talk much about this, except mentioning the time when a feared Kambatta king-named Bargano had clashes with them. Neither did informants mention about the state of their relations (political) with Janeiro (Yem) kingdom and the distant Keffa kingdom. 6.5 Political History from 1891 to 1936: The Era of Incipient Feudal and Serfdom System Oral tradition and existing historical sources point out the Ţambaaro- Kambatta area was occupied by Menilikan army in early 1890s (some suggest an exact date of 1891; see Tesfaye Habiso 1992; Lapiso, 1992). According to informants, Menilikan army did not easily capture the Ţambaaro land. At the time of the Manlike II war of occupation, Tamabaro war generals such as Moççonna4 Akko, Gazana5 Sageto Mandaqe and the like staged fierce resistance war with Menilik II's army. Womma Çofforo was the womma (king) at the time of Menlik II occupation. They claimed (though this claim is yet to be cross-checked) their forefathers resisted the Menilikan army for four solid years, after which they could not resist further as they were overpowered. The rifles used by the enemy army were unknown to them. The
Probably a borrowed Wolaytic term for a war/ army leader A war / army leader term
Ţambaaro traditional warfare was no match for the Menilikan army with superior technology although they had courage and psycho-spiritual strength to fight. Their cursing power did not work at this time. But they (the Menlik II army) paid dear price in human lives. Menlik II’s administration then was introduced to Tambaaro. After ensuring its allegiance and re-appointing womma Çofforo as the first Amhara style balaabat (feudal lord); they left. But the feudal representatives and Amhara landlords began to come and settle in Tambaaro. The first such Amhara settlers came on mule- back and landed at Woligotta in Durgi Kebele. These settlers were led by a man called Sheto Shonkoro who also introduced mule, rifle and Orthodox Christian Church for the first time in late 1890s. The Ţambaaro were thus finally incorporated in to the Menlik II’s Empire in 1891. From 1891 to 1936, they were subjected to a new system of rule; new bosses were assigned. Their balee womma, Womma Çofforo, was given back his title but imposed a new form of rule unknown to the Ţambaaro nationality: dynasty. He would become a faithful Balabat, maintaining and displaying his allegiance to the Menilik II government. He would collect tributes and taxes allotted on all land owners. Their land was measured and given to the peasants (who were using the land before) with fixed tax amounts, and the rest land was apportioned among the melkeňa and neffteňňa who leased the land to the landless tenants who would work and toil for their new taskmasters. The Tambaaro nationality was thus gradually pulled into the new system of land tenure and political economy where they would be subjected to ceaseless and season-less toiling (Lapiso 1991, 1992; Bahru, 2002). After Tambaaro was incorporated into Menilik II’s Ethiopia in 1891, the Menlik II’s administration disrupted the traditional democratic egalitarian political system which rotated key political religious offices among the “seven houses.” The traditional political system was forced to take the form of a dynasty in likeness of the other kingdoms where one family monopolized absolute power. At the time Menilik II’s army controlled Ţambaaro land, the key political office balee womma was being run by a man named womma Çofforo as indicated earlier. The line of this wommaship was thus limited to and possessed by the family. The legacy o the Menilik II occupation of Ţambaaro was the introduction of the Amharic feudal title of balabat (land cord). Thus, since the 1891 occupation of Ţambaaro land the balee wommas were given the Amharic feudal style title of balabat and the original rotating primitive democratic system of rule was changed to kingdom dynasty. The balee womma right was thus possessed by one family in one clan. The other clans and the community in general were not satisfied by this state of affairs. But although they were indignant at the changed system they could do nothing to resist the military might and organizational sophistications of the Menilikan government. This improvised womma-balabat political office was a victim-compared to the other two womma positions Lahee womma and Badee womma, q.v.). The addition of the bullbat title and the role played by the balee womma as a vassal and implementer of the feudal serfdom laws for the long period of rule (1891-1974)- resulted in the creation of class difference and resentment in the consciousness of the other clan members and the corporate Ţambaaro. Thus, when the imperial government was ousted in 1974- the Revolution was a lethal blow to the balee womma both to the title, the man and his families. According to interview with the third wife of womma Qenazmach Beyene Barena, during the eve and event of 1974 Revolution, their family property and possession were ransacked by the common people. The womma was imprisoned for three years at Hosanna prison. The genealogy of Womma Çofforo’s family dynasty beginning from the eve of Menilik II occupation is as follows:
1. Womma Qenazmach Beyene 1938-1974 2. Womma Bokasa Anebo 1935- 1938 3. Womma Fitawrari Anebo 1931-1935 4. Womma Lambebo Haţiso 1931(?)-5. Womma Haţiso Çofforo 1898-1931 6. Womma Bachore Çofforo 1894-1898 7. Womma Çofforo Lanchamo 1891-1893 8. Womma Sisgaye Lachamo ? Fig 6.1. Genealogy of Womma Çofforo’s Dynasty Prior to Womma Çofforo, according to Abera Kalacho (cited in Tesfaye Habiso, 1991), the line of wommas ( balee wommas) runs up to 11 generations. Accordingly, the following wommas were claimed to have reigned in Tambaaro, beginning from 1832 (E.C.) Name Date Clan 1. Womma Denebo 1840 Bamushe 2. >> Sibaato 1843 Hogofoo 3. >> Gareni La’ele6 ? Makko 4. Salgado ? Bamushe 5. >> Batemo ? Qu’ena 6. >> Woleche ? Wonjala 7. >> Beelo ? Habache/ Yagga 8. Kabisso ? Yagga 9. >> Ogeto ? Taase 10. >> Ololo ? Gareno 11. >> Dilebo ? Taase 12. >> Çofforo 1891 Bamushe Fig 6.2. Ancestry of Wommas in Lamala Moolla Group from 1840 to 18917 After the Menilikan incorporation, the wommahood was limited to the Çofforo family from Bamushe clan. It continued until 1974. This chronology of the Womma Çofforo dynasty was cross-checked as to the number and identity (name) of the individual womma and the exact period they ruled by interviewing one of the surviving sons of Womma Lambebo Haţiso who was a womma during the Italian occupation and was killed for his involvement in patriotic activities ( q.v.). It is also supported by information obtained from local intellectuals. But there is lack of the accurate chronological ordering of the dynasty. Some local written sources, however, do not include Womma Lambebo Hatiso in their list of balee wommas. This needs further verification. 6.6. Italian War of Occupation: 1936-1941 The Italian army took control of the Tambaaro area in late 1936. They then established a camp and an administrative center at a place called Durgi. Local informants called ‘rasdanse’ the name of the Italian general who headquartered at Durgi. It was presumably a viceresidence title which was a very powerful title next to the Residence title during the Italian administrative rule (Bahru 2002). Durgi served as a residence for the army official. The Osheto area served as a depot and ambush as well as cross point to Jimma.
Gareni Lal’e was a renowned, legendary balee Womma in Tambaaro political and military history. He was a contemporary of Wolayta’s Kawo Damote (1836-1845) and Abba Gomol of Jimma Kingdom. (See Haile Mariam, 1999. p.23) both of whom proved to be Tambaaro’s headaches until there emerged peaceful relations. 7 It was not possible to provide the time frame for the leadership of the balee wommas. Neither existing written sources nor elders could provide the time frame except for few wommas.
The Italians used the Osheto locality as a site for a depot and a military base. They used the locality as a strategic location to control the environing areas and also easily cross over to Jimma over the Ommo River on which they built a bridge. (Today evidences of the Italian military rule in the area exist. A massive tank presumably used for transporting fuel lies in the Osheto locality. Pieces of the military tank/ vehicle also exist.) 6.6.1. Local Resistance: the Patriots and the Banda It was a known fact that during Italian war of occupation, the Italian army camped at place called Durgi-a strategic location and residence for the Italians. They erected what local informant called an "antenna” on the mountains of Durgi and controlled different areas from this site. During the five years period, it was known that Ras Mesfin Sileshi fled to the Valley of Ommo River and ambushing there fought the Italians. The local people fed and supported him. The local played various roles as patriots. According to one old man he served as one who hid the firearms for the Amhara and local patriots is brother served as one who helped patriots cross the Ommo River. There were a number of renowned Ţambaaro warriors at the time of Italian occupation who fought with the enemy. One of such local patriots was a man named Abebe Mandoye. Many other Tambaaro men field into the forest to resist the Italians. The Italians maltreated, whipped and killed the elders, fathers and mothers as retaliation. Womma Lambebo Haţiso was, for example, killed by the Italians. Key patriots included Abadina, Balango Uwito, Balamo Godato, etc. they lived in the Ommo valley and forest and returned safely after the Italian flight. One local man was told to have killed an Italian and offered him as a sacrifice on his fathers graveyard showing the anger and revenge on the invading Italians and their cruelty to the local people. Some local Ţambaaro played a strategic double personality role, whereby they on the surface severed the Italians in different capacities. But they clandestinely served various functions as supporters of the patriots. We met one such old man who at the time and Italian occupation was in his early 20’s /now he is about 95/. Asked why they acted like this the man responded it was a strategic decision. At a pragmatic level it was logically the only choice for them because they said the Italians were so callous and merciless they would strip any suspected person naked and whip with scourge, and would sprinkle burning salt on the fresh wound. They did not care to check for any verification. If any person gave any gossips that so and so is supporting the patriots they would take immediate and merciless action. The Italian soldiers would also force any woman they wanted and raped them. Older men remember Italian occupation period with untold shuddering. The “hamassen” soldiers would mercilessly kill any local person who does not serve the Italians.
Photo 6.2. & 6.3. Left, Ato Abebe Lambebo, son of Womma Lambebo Haţiso( A patriot killed by Italians in 1938 ),standing on the his father’s burial mound: Right, Hawdara, a place where the patriots fought with the Banda (Italian conscripted local solders) 6.6.2. The Italian Defeat and Local Events According to one old man, "The Italians passed Thursday by colleting tributes from the locals (wheat, honey, butter, etc). On the morrow, Friday, Engliz (the British) came and destroyed the sea going vessel that was used to cross Ommo River. The residence of the ruling officer was at Durgi. The resented, beleaguered locals, the patriots and the British army all fought the fleeing Italian army mercilessly. The British army entered to Ţambaaro territory through Hadarro Crossing Over Saana Bridge. The British plane hovered over the Ţambaaro sky chasing the Italians. But the Italian blew the Saana river bridge that led to Durgi area. They also blew the bridge on the Ommo which they built. They wanted to cross to Jimma. Seeing that the bridge was blown the British brought the plane fighters. One old man claimed he saw it. the British soldiers came flying one manned small planes which where carried by one giant ‘black’ plane, “which carried several smaller planes,” in the words of an old man; but it was presumably not a small plane coming out of a giant plane’ it was parachute. Informants remembered that running for their life some Italian soldiers would force ten to fifteen Ţambaaro men to put him into their midst so that the hovering British plane would not spot him. If the local men refused he would threaten them with the bombs. 6.7. The Post-Italian Feudo- Bourgeoisie Era: 1941-1974 Ţambaaro had yet to face a more powerful and organized form of feudal serfdom. However, for five years from 1941-1946, according to informants, the Haile Sellasie I government (1930-1974) granted them a five years tax relief as a compensation for what informants called their brave defense of the country as patriots during the five year occupation. It was said that Ras Mesfin Sileshi, a giant political figure of the time, was said to have spent the five years in the Ommo Valley and the Ţambaaro had supplied him with support. As gratitude, he "bought" this tax relief for them. However, the tax relief ended and the onerous feudal serfdom drained their lives. As similar elsewhere in the country especially in the south, the local peasants endued terrible economic
hardships. The absolute power of melkeňa and neffteňňa was draining all their power. Despite all these, informants said they could not stage open rebellions. The English- engineered, postItalian occupation Ethiopian feudal land tax laws and other socio-political systems had brought about more intensified exploitation and suffering on the local peasants ( See Lapiso, 1992; 19991; 1999). 6.7.1. The Student Movement (1971-1974) Towards the end of the feudal era, especially beginning from the early 1970s, educated Ţambaaro students who made their way through escaping the drudgery of serfdom managed to get modern education outside of Ţambaaro began to incite public resistance, agitating the people, mobilizing resistance, and disseminating news from the center. Mobilizing leaders include Matewos Hateso, Tesfaye Abuye, Mikael Ssakalo, Jembre Meskel, etc. They organized and mobilized locals to fight against the landlords. Gradually local resistance against feudal lords began to be intensified (Haile-Mariam, 1999). Towards the eve of the Revolution (1974) the student movement was already registering visible fruits; they began confiscating the properties of the feudal lords, sold them and built schools. The student movement also began disarming the landlords, neff teňňa and other vagabonds following the revolutions. Then the ‘land to the tiller!’ movement resulted in the new land proclamation of March 1975 that reinstituted land ownership right to the people. The almost 90 years of onerous feudal system (1891-1974) came to an end. 6.8. Ţambaaro in the Derg Era (1974-1991) The 1974 Revolution brought about a relatively better political economy atmosphere, with the toppling of the feudal serfdom. The people now regained their land-use and ownership rights. They had now no "melkeňa" and neffteňňa who takes their honey butter, milk, cows, children, crops, etc at will. It brought about the abolition of the 90 years or so old vicious feudal system that took the people’s own land and made them serfs and slaves in their own lands (Lapiso, 1992; Bahru, 2002). The most visible and thankful beneficiaries of the collapse of the feudal system were the marginalized social groups such as the Erasha, Aldada and Debona who had little or no access to land use. They were subjected to double oppression during the feudal era: one was to the Amhara melkeňa and neffteňňa and the other was to the Lamala Moolla group. However, according to informants the Derg era had also its own problem. A new political economy, with it radical socio-political ideology began another for and wave as harassment. The traditional womma, especially the balee-womma were persecuted as vassals of feudalism. The Derg government also deprived the people of its rights to utilize its age old traditional cultural, spiritual and political values and institutions. It also brought about an era of terror as the able-bodied males were being chased for military conscription. The Ţambaaro also had great discontent with respect to the administrative structuring, as it suppressed their ethnocultural identity (see administrative history below). 6.9. Administrative History: 1891-1974; 1974- 2008 Ţambaaro area was subjected to various administrative structures since it came under the control of the Menilikan II government in 1891. It was included in the Gimbicu centered woreda which covered vast areas including Ţambaaro and other ethnic groups. The Ţambaaro people strongly resisted this administrative structuring. Womma Çofforo was given back his traditional title with added title of the feudal lordship, balabat. HE was to become the medium between the Menilikan administration and his local people. The first administrative center for Ţambaaro and environing areas was Angaça which was set up in early 1890s. Then Woyra was set up after some four years (ca. 1894-1897) following the establishment of Angaça. Woyra was the urban center for the newly structured woreda Dansaa-Tambaro, 3 km north of Mudula Town. After some time Wachamo (later Hosanna) was established in early 1900s. The Awraja was Kambatta. Ţambaaro were ruled from this Awraja (See Haile- Mariam, 1999).
According oral sources and Ato Haile-Mariam (1999), the first Amharic administrators were Fitawrari Shonkoro and Dejazmach Gafarso Eshete who continued organizing Menilikan forces to proceed with marching against the recalcitrant Wolayta Kingdom. Fitawrari Shonkoro ruled headquartering at Sigezo, near the present Mudula Town and Dejazmach Gafarso Eshete ruled from Durgi. Womma Çofforo was ousted in 1983 and his son Bachore replaced him as the liaison between the local people and the Amharic Administration. 8 During the Italian occupation, Womma Lambebo Hatiso was made to maintain his traditional title and as replaced by another when he was found sabotaging with the patriots and immediately killed in 1938. The traditional wommaship as left as it is throughout the Italian occupation. When the Italians left, according to local sources, an Amhara ruler named Dejach Tachbele was appointed to rule the Tambaaro area including other vast areas in Hadya and Kambatta, beginning form the mid 1940s. His seat was not within Ţambaaro, but at Gimbicu. Ţambaaro was under the Shewa teqlaw gizat until 1974, the Awraja (sub division) being Kambatta. From 1974 to 1990 it was assigned under Debub Shewa kfle hager (Region) with Ziway being the center. The Awraja was called Kambatta and Hadya in between for about two years (1990-1992). It is worth mentioning that the name Ţambaaro was a generic name for the entire vast Woreda that was to include Ţambaaro, and other communities in Hadya, Kambatta, etc, since 1943. This continued until 1981. The woreda center was situated at Gimbicu. There were heated debates and conflicts revolving around this matter. The woreda was within Kambatta Awraja until 1975. The Awraja name itself was a source of conflict among Hadiya people and later the term was changed to Kambatta -Hadiya Awraja in 1975. Then in early Derg era, after series of debates, the name, Ţambaaro woreda was dissolved and the constituent ethnic groups gained new woreda names. the vast woreda structure was broken into separate woredas. During the end of Derg for a short time the name, Kambatta Administrative Region was set up, encompassing a host of ethno-linguistic groups and areas including Ziway area, Siltie, Azernet, Berbere, Hadya, Kambatta Ţambaaro, Alaba, Qebena, etc (see Tesfaye, 1991). Attempt was made to make capital city at Shishicho but Ţambaaro people refused to agree. With much struggle the administrative concoction, "Ommo Sheleqo Woreda' was set up to cover Ţambaaro and other ethno -linguistic groups in the area, including Hadya, Ţambaaro Donga and Dubamao. This name continued in effect from 1989 to 2008, whence the name Ţambaaro woreda was given to the people of Ţambaaro. 6.9.1. Urban Growth and Administration According to informants the term Mudula is traced to a man named 'Mudulo" who used to live, some 5-6 generations back (ca. 200 years ago) of a near by locality on whose front yard market was held. That market place was retransferred to the present site by negotiating with the man due to repeated problems of thievery, killings and unrest in the community during market days. The term Mudula has since then become synonymous with "Hamus Gebeya" (Thursday’s market). This market thus dates back to pre -Menlik II times, unlike most other markets in south which were often instituted by feudal administrators. Mudula Town developed into an urban center from a humble beginning in the 1950s as a market center when the market place from another area was shifted to this site. Since 1980 the town grew into and administrative and social amenities center when the Ţambaaro area administration was shifted to Mudula.
The expression “Sheto Shonkoro” has now become part of the local political oral tale in Tambaaro. It appeared as if these two different Menilikan men were merged into to one person. The names of these administrators are thus raised in relation to the introduction of Menilikan rule and the EOC.
Photos 6.4. -6.6. Some cross sections of Mudula Town Picture taken on foggy days of the summer season Some informants say Qeňazmach Beyene Barena was credited to have established Mudula town. In 1980, the Gimbicu town woreda center which Ţambaaro struggled to change was successful when Ţambaaro and the nearby communities were assigned under a new woreda administrative structure, Ommo Sheleqo. The woreda administrator was Gizaw Taye until 1983 when another administrator Haile Mariam Gemechu came and expanded the town by ordering all kebeles to build one house as service center. These houses were later sold to the residents and the income was used for constructing a high school premises (by World Vision Ethiopia. The premise was later (in 1995) officially inaugurated as a high school.) Until 1980, the town did not grow to urban status; it stayed with the name Mudula market. The first modern school was established in Ţambaaro in 1950 by Catholic Christian Church mission at Mudula. Ga’echa health center was upgraded from clinic level which was first built by World Vision Ethiopia, Ommo Sheleqo area Development Program in 1992. It is up-graded to health center level in 2009.
Photos 6.7.- 6.8. Ga’echa Health Center 6.10. Post- Derg Era: 1991 to the Present Like other nationalities in Southern Ethiopia, the Ţambaaro recognize very tangible changes and improvements they have witnessed in the political economy of their lives since the downfall of the Derg in 1991. Among other things, informants argued, they have gained their
'lost' ethnonym now formally recognized as the woreda name. Their ethno-linguistic and cultural uniqueness is now being recognized. Informants enumerate the types and scope of infrastructural and social service devilments since EPRDF came to power. Electricity was inaugurated in 2000; all- weather road connecting the Woreda with Zonal, regional and federal centers have been put in place since 2008. Number of schools, health facilities and other services has increased. Above all, they argued the fact of cultural supremacy of other nation and nationalities imposed on them has now corrected. They now go confident holding up their heads, no one no more calls them "Timb arro"! One manifestation of the feudal era (1891-1974) was ideological and politico-cultural hegemony of Amhara rulers over Tambaaro. This was evidenced in the sphere of ethnonym and terms used to address the people and their area. A poem goes like this in Amharic: Woredaw gimbicha, Hizbu ţimb aaro Wonzu gemuna, Meaning, "The people are stinking feces: the land is only stinking and the river is stinking. They are stinkers!” 6.11. The Role, Status and Participation of Youth and Women in Ţambaaro: A History Over the years – across the four broad eras, 1560’s – 1891; 1891 - 1974; 1974 -1991 and 1991 to the present, we may argue important gradual changes have taken place in the way females and youth were (are) treated; their roles and participation in political, social, religious and economic affairs. The kind, content and intensity of problems these social groups/categories have endured also changed over time. It may be argued that through the entire period before the coming to power of the Derg in 1974, women (both youth and adults) have had very lower status in the society. Males as fathers, husbands and wommas have had complete control over women. Except for the wives of the Balee womma and Badee womma – who were given the royal title of qoricho – women have had no place and participation in political decision making. Even the qoricho did not command any useful authority, except enjoying royal privilege. Since the 1970’s, however, the Derge regime has brought some freedom and p articipation rights for women in political and social affairs. Women’s freedom, equality and participation in political – social, economic affairs increased greatly with the coming to power of EPRDF. The political and economic dominance and control of men over women has been more or less broken in these days. As informants indicate, brighter years have come for women – they are now free to choose their own husbands, free to exercise their own religion (in the past, a woman was forced to adhere to the religion of her husband). As far as youth are concerned, according to youth informants of both sexes, the youth endured tortures political – economic hardships during the feudal era; they endured a period of terror and fear of death during the Derg era; now, in post – Derg era, they have become more and more empowered politically and economically, with ample opportunities.
PART II: ETHNOGRAPHY OF POLITICAL AND LEGAL INSTITUTIONS In the political and legal ethnography of Ţambaaro below, we are not going to be exhaustive and detail. We will focus on key aspects such the nature and philosophy of government and law; the manner and basis of leadership; the making of the leaders and their relations to the ordinary people; systems of justice and military technologies, etc. It is worth -noting that the ethnography we depict below is in the ‘Ethnographic present’ mode. This is not to be construed as something that is now active. Much of the ethnography is in fact depicting what used to be in the past. There is now going on an active and rapid hybridization of the traditional and modern political and legal values and institutions, with the former more and more rapidly giving way to the latter. Some of the traditional mores and institutions have actually become defunct; some have remained in their token forms, without any real power or effect. 6.12. Philosophy behind Traditional Government, Law and Social Order Ţambaaro political and legal philosophy is essentially one that was founded on the hallmarks of the need for defending one's political sovereignty and independence; the need for meeting out justice, equal participation of clans and sharing of power; holding political officers accountable and limiting terms of office life; and belief in seeking solutions through discussions, among others. According to Ţambaaro traditional legal and political philosophy, the demarcation between the secular and the spiritual is hazy; spiritually inspired and based powers are a hallmark of their law and politics. There is no distinction between religion and government. The two are inextricably blended together. Any political officer and leader are inherently religious. Ţambaaro traditional legal and political philosophy takes into account the divine as a readily accessible, effectively cooperative and powerfully lethal instrument in all matters of politicolegal arena, be it fighting and facing an invading enemy, or punishing a deviant community member breaching sacred mores of law and order. The institution of pronouncing cursing and blessing spells is a key element of the traditional political and legal philosophy; it was a powerful, relentless force in commanding the collective community in gaining adherence to the sacred legal values and mores. This sacred politicoreligious institution is based on an underlying philosophy that "words uttered in agreement among the gerontocrats invoking the quintessentially superior divine powers by agency of the ghosts of dead ancestors will surely come to pass." The clan leaders and the politico-religious officers are the guardians of their sacred legal philosophy. Social control in Ţambaaro traditional political and legal system is thus fo unded on this sacred philosophy. This system of social control applies to all members of the Ţambaaro corporate political community, irrespective of gender, age and socio-economic status. In real sense, in Ţambaaro philosophy of politics and law, 'all citizens are equal before the law' in the sense that any one- be it the ordinary person or the high raking womma who violates the sacred mores of social control- is liable to standing before the impartial jury of clan gerontocrats. Fear of and reverence to this sacred philosophy of social control is thus one that maintains social order, peace and community wellbeing. There is no 'police' force, no need for any mechanisms of imprisoning, using firearms and fear of fines to command citizens’ allegiance to community legal mores. Firearms were needed to face outside enemies. 6.12.1. Ţambaaro Traditional Government Judging from its key elements and operations, the traditional system of government in Ţambaaro may be designated as what some scholars call as traditional democracy. Ţambaaro traditional government system had no place for autocracy and absolutistic monopoly of power.
Unlike their near and distant neighbors, Ţambaaro did not have any institution of dynasty or kingship (except for the pre-Tambaaronite Kalmana group that maintained its dynasty for long and was ousted by the Lamala Moolla group. We cannot at present depict the political and legal culture of this group.) In some sense, their political system might be termed as a ‘the divine- centered democracy", in that in all matters of law, government and justice, the divine supra human power is called up on and easily accessed. It is a democracy in the sense that key political powers are not monopolized within the hands of few individuals or families. It is democracy in the sense that all the ‘seven clans’ of Lamala Moolla shared in the power of decision and ruling. It has had broad based participation by all clan members in that the representatives of all the so-called ‘66’ clans are/were participants in the corporate Ţambaaro socio-political matters. All key social, political and economic issues were decided through open and thorough discussion forums. It is a democracy in the sense that the political offices are attached with clear direction of accountability and the terms of political service are limited to at most two cycles. One leadership cycle (at least for balee womma) is defined up to 3 years, with occasional variations. The badee womma would rule as long as he is alive and is found leading a clean and impartial leadership. It, however, lacks the principles of democracy in that the highest politico-social leadership positions were and are maintained only in the families recruited from the Lamala Moolla group. No man from other non-Lamala Moolla clan groups would aspire to be a badee or lahee or balee womma. These supreme leadership positions were by definition limited to only the Lamala Moolla group. The traditional political and legal system was not a democracy, too, in the sense that it allowed blatant form of political- social marginalization of certain groups, such as the potters. A democracy does not deny basic human rights such as the right to marry one’s own choice, a right to own and produce ones own land, right to equal participation in all matters of social life, etc. 6.12.2. Appointment Criteria and Accountability of Politico-legal Leaders The Badee womma, Balee womma and Lahee womma are/were recruited on the basis of their belonging to one of the seven sons of Moolla; their arithmetic behaviors; their ability to influence others; good physical and mental health; etc. The lahee womma is ceremonial king who is appointed to 'keep the lahee' (the ancient mystic golden ring whose identity, size and shape is however not known in details; no one is allowed to see it except the keeper or a close confidant). The ring is kept in a small pot, which is continually filled and refilled with fresh milk. The mystic religious object is a central source of power and a sacred power is attached to it. It presumably represents, along with the sacred sycamore and masincho trees, the Lamala Moolla. Any who dared to see it would pay dearly in death as it is believed; one can't survive by looking at it. The object is considered as an equivalent of the Ethiopian Orthodox church's ark The lahee is dazzling to the eye-one cannot look at it." said informants. The lahee womma, the ceremonial keeper of the mystic object, is chosen from the ‘seven sons' clan. The office is not limited to one clan. (The lahee is so sacred one cannot take a photo picture of it). The magaba (the clan representative) was chosen on the basis of leading a 'clean life', one who is decent, who can talk and convince others, an orator and also an old man of the clan; renowned and charismatic. The clan members would elect such a man. The term of the office of the magaba depends on the manner in which he leads the clan. If the clan-folk find any problem with the magaba’s leadership style, they would work towards deposing him; they would report it to the corofra. The corofra would instruct them to recruit another man and appoint him and then notify it to the corofra. Currently, the traditional political and justice system is implemented at least partially and in some sense nominally because the yesteryear’s charisma and commanding powers of the
leaders have waned. Currently, the balee-womma the royal balabat (land lord of the feudal era) is not in place. The last such traditional officer was Qe ňazmach Beyene, who was deposed in 1974. At present, (at the time of our field work in August 2009) the lahee womma, the spiritual father of the Ţambaaro proper is nominally in office. His name is Bergano Balango (one of our key informants). The current badee womma is Basore Bardilo who was elected in April 2009. The balee womma who served as a middle power between local community and the central government’s administration until 1974 (1891 -1974), is now replaced by the formal woreda government structure. 6.12.3. The Roles and Responsibilities of the Three Wommas At the upper echelon of Ţambaaro government are the three key womma positions: Lahee womma, Badee womma and Balee womma, ‘the king of lahee’, the mysterious gold ring, ‘the king of badee, the land’ and "the king of balee, literally the feather king, king proper,’ respectively. Some writers also add a forth womma: Hagi Womma (leader of military wing), although this was not confirmed by elders during interview and discussion sessions. Rather, there was a gazana the war leader. Although it appears that the three wommas (kings) are at equal political power planes, there is a real power attached to the badee womma who is empowered to check and control the other wommas. The Lahee Womma Lahaa is a term for reportedly a golden ring. No one particularly women and young people are allowed to see it. When the lahee womma is appointed, the people give a heifer which gave birth to a male calf. The Lahee womma would drink milk and the pot containing the lahaa is continually filled with milk. When and if the people delay in giving in a new cow, the lahee womma would take out the lahaa and put it outside. It was believed misfortunes such as drought would occur when this happens. Of the three wommas, the lahee womma is more of the caretaker of the spiritual legacy and ancestral sacred symbol. He has the key role and responsibility of keeping the biţera, a pot where the lahee (the mystic sacred golden ring) resides." He is the keeper and high priest of the 'Ark of covenant" so to speak. In a sense, he is entrusted with the most profound responsibility because the entire ethno-political identity of the corporate Ţambaaro proper hangs on the keeping of this sacred ancestral power symbol. Lahee womma does not have any power to ‘order people’ except ‘keeping the mystique ceremonial ring.’ This political office is given to a person from one of the seven clans and the power may stay as long as the lahee womma is alive. Balee Womma Balee is a feather. The feather is taken from a kind of a bird (some say it was an ostrich) Two feathers (about 35-40 cm long) are tied to the head of the womma. The feather is a symbol of kingly status. Origins of why this bird was chosen and what the philosophy behind the feather is not clear. Balee womma is the governor of the people.
Photo 6.8. The balee
The balee womma is the king proper, the ruler and administrator of the people. He is so to speak like an implementer of the sacred legal and governmental rules; he is the 'prime minister," but with limited and clearly accountable power use. Balee womma is the real king and his office is rotated among the seven clans every three years. The Badee Womma The badee womma, or exchangeably referred to as (sometimes with confusion resulting) the corofra, is the one that has power to summon the balee womma and account him on his performance; he has the power to control the balee womma. The badee womma has the power to appoint and confirm the new balee womma is appointed. Over the years, beginning from the incorporation of the Tambaaro land into the Menilikan Government a power reversal had taken place: the balee womma emerged as the most powerful womma with benediction from the Menlik II government. The badee womma was the one that sees to it that the other wommas (particularity the balee womma) as well as the lesser political officers were carrying out their duties properly, effectively and in fair manner. The corofra, the council of the tobee magabas (the clan leaders) is the highest decision making body. There are confusions among local informants regarding the identity of the corofra and the badee womma. A debate among local intellectuals did not even seem to settle it. But the general agreement is that the badee womma and the corofra are one and the same. But when they explain what the corofra is entrusted with, they note that the corofra is a council mad up of all the three wommas and hence they confuse it with the tobee magabas. In this line of argument it appears that the corofra and the tobee magaba are synonymous. The badee womma is the 'Speaker ' of the council. The council is composed of the magabas (clan leaders) and the three wommas. The power of declaring war, leading war, and similar duties rest on the balee womma. Declaring the calendars of the annual masala festival rests on the lahee womma. The magabas are responsible for administering the affairs of their clans-folk and implementing the orders and duties given by the balee womma and badee womma. Badee womma is the supreme authority in Ţambaaro. The badee womma is a convener of the Tobee magaba (clan leaders); he is the governor- general of the 66 clans' magabas. The magaba reports to badee womma. The corofra (the badee womma is like father figure; if the balee woman makes wrongs, the people would come to the badee womma for compliant (via he magabas). the corofra may summon the balee womma and question him, and even depose him. The tobee magaba act as messengers between their clans and the corofra. The tobee magaba also act as advisors and counselors (on clans affairs, crime issue etc.) to the corofra. It seems in some written sources, a term Molli- Ya’a was used as an alternative to tobee magaba. According to Haile-Mariam Desta (1999), Molli- Ya’a was “general assembly of Mola which involves all the people of Tambaaro”. May be this “all the people of Tambaaro” i s intended to mean all the clan groups. Below the Magaba there existed other low-ranking socio-political offices. One of these was Gochi Danna, meaning, ‘village/ neighborhood leader. Gochi –Danna was elected in the Gochiya’a that consist different clans in a given locality. The lowest rank I the politico-legal office seems to be boik-bahro or nubatcho, meaning the household elder. Every household was thus led by its boik-bahro, who would see to it that the family members abide by the clan rules and mores. Cases that were difficult to handle at this level would be taken to the gochi danna. But if it was a specifically clan matter, the case would also be taken to the clan eider/ representative (magaba).
Lahee Womma, Spiritual leader, “the keeper of the Lahaa, the ‘ark of covnenat’”
Badee Womma/Corofra, “Executive Director” Tobee Magaba: “The Advisory Council to the Corofra” Balee Womma, “Prime Minister"
Gochi-danna (neighborhood/ village leader)
Magaba: Clan Leaders (All the representatives of the major clans in Ţambaaro)
Boik-bahro (Nubatcho) Household elder
Fig 6.2. Ţambaaro traditional political leadership positions and their responsibilities (Note that this model differs form the one given above, reflecting the existence of confusion as to the clear-cut distinction among the various political- spiritual-social leadership positions But, in a real sense, the wommas work in consultation with one another. There are rarely cases of power abuse. Power abuse is immediately dealt with. Conflicts sometimes occur when questions of fair participation of the seven major clans in the rights of exercising the womma title. The three wommas often work together in some cases. If for example some 'bazaar' thing, such as birth of defected baby occurs, the three would go and conduct prayer ritual. It was believed that the blessing as well as cursing pronounced by these leaders would surely come to pass. Although the traditional political titles were not family or clan based in principle, it appears that the titles often run in limited clans. This is particularity true of the lahee womma which has always been in the house of only one clan. Badee womma titles also more or less run in one family. It was the balee womma title which was properly rotating among the seven clans (although to how much extent this claim is true is not verifiable, because some of the clans of the ‘seven accentors’ have almost become decimated demographically.) It appears that limited clans have played key roles in the political-spiritual leadership positions in the Ţambaaro political- legal history. (The Ţerre- Yagga line is a case in point.) 6.12.4. The Privileges of the Wommas The privileges accorded to the wommas and other leaders in Ţambaaro nationality are manifested more in the form of non-material than material aspects. In terms of the outward characteristics such as the kind of apparels they use, the residences and the household utensils, the dietary habits, the kingly insignia, etc, there has been no conspicuous difference from the ordinary people. But in terms of the non-material privileges, there used to exist a marked difference. The wommas and the other social-spiritual leaders were accorded a venerated respect. Their ideas, words and orders were accepted with great adoration. Violation of their dignities and customary mores was unthinkable. The womma’s bed cover was a specially prepared clean white cowhide. The clans-folk would bring white honey as tributes to the womma, "to receive blessing from the womma."
Whenever oxen are slaughtered, the neighboring people would bring the hump meat directly to the womma family. They would sit down, spread a clean leave of ensete (false banana) and cut from the hump and eat; and then pronounce blessings on the bringer of the meat. The sons and daughters of the balee womma were not given any special political office or title. They were addressed as 'Womma ebelo betto’, meaning “the son of Womma so and so”. They were, however, given special ho or and respect. During pronouncement of blessings at special events the sons of the wommas receive primacy. The Ţambaaro Wommas did not have any conspicuous regalia. The wommas are not expected to mix and sit together with other ordinary people; neither would the latter dare to mix with them. The kind of food they ate was not as such different from that of the ordinary citizens. Neither was there any significant difference between the wommas' living home/ residence and that of others. The wommas, however, had other people who served them in farming, maintenance of fences, building house, etc; they never worked in farms. The wommas had no crown worn on the head. Neither had they any ring on their hands or scepter held in hand (of course, the badee womma put a finger ring made of brass.) The funeral ritual of the wommas was/ is not significantly different from that of others. This lack of any conspicuous regalia and privileges for Ţambaaro womma is probably due to the democratic nature of their political system, a system that does not put individuals in elevated positions, at least not in material sense.
Photos 6.10 & 11 The late Womma Beyene Barena and one of his living wives 6.13. Ţambaaro Traditional Justice System In Ţambaaro traditional justice system, the highest authority is the badee womma (literally, the king of the land) otherwise called corofra. The other two high-ranking politico-legal leadership positions are balee womma and Lahee womma. (Detail will be given below) There is no uniform agreement among informants as to the structure and hierarchical relationships of the various political- legal leaders. The structure and hierarchy of the justice system is as follows.
Badee Womma (Corofra Chairperson) Lahee Womma: the priest-king Balee womma (the ceremonial king) The magaba: The clan leaders Individual sub clans The Tobee magaba: A council of clan leaders from all major clan groups
Individual appellant family
Fig. 6.3. system Ţambaaro traditional hierarchal structure in political offices and justice
When an issue of big significance surface (such as a deviant son or daughter marrying within the clan, homicide, etc) the appellant would take the matter to the megaba, the leader elder of the clan. The megaba if finds the case above his capacity, takes the case to the balee womma, who then will take it to the corofra. The leader, badee womma, would then summon the tobee magaba, a kind of traditional council where all the magabas would be called up on a specified data. The lahee womma and the balee womma would be present. The meeting would be led by the badee womma. Then they would make the final, binding decision. There would be no appeal chance beyond this level. 6.13.1. Criminal Justice System Ţambaaro traditional criminal justice system was basically punitive; it was not restitutive. Crimes are meted out with unflinching punishments. In the traditional criminal justice system, there was capital punishment. A person who committed homicide was punished by death. The method of death penalty was to put the criminal in a basket and throw in to deep pits over cliffs. This very death penalty system was the cause of the ancestral fathers’ flight from ‘Yemerera’ land when one of the ancestors killed his brother and decision was made to enforce the death penalty over killer. This criminal justice system continued in Ţambaaro in their new found land-until it was finally abrogated when the Menilikan government was introduced. Such capital punishment method was practiced in Sidama and hence it was basically Sidamaic. We do not at the present have information on the methods of capital punishment practiced by other non-Lamala Moolla groups. When homicide occurs, the penalty is known. It is death. But sometimes, the criminal may be granted mercy. The families of the criminal would hand over the latter to the tribunal. They would then beg for mercies. Appointment is given for two weeks (15 days) in Lamala Moolla influenced-Ţambaaro culture.
6.14. The Leadership and Organization of Military Campaigns The balee womma has the power in consultation with the corofra to declare war, lead the army, and organize the army. Invitation to war from the enemy side is sent to the corofra. When war invitation and threat comes, the corofra summons Lahee womma and balee womma for consultation. Conflicting views were forwarded regarding the roe of the wommas in the military campaigns. Some argued that the badee womma and lahee womma do not go for fighting during war. Others said although the balee womma may march to the war front, he doesn’t actually engage in fighting. Some insisted that the balee womma would also be present in the fighting giving overall guidance and direction. The badee womma’s and lahee womma’s role is to see the army and the general off. He conducts the welcome and blessing ritual when the army comes back home after fighting. As one informant argued, “The lahee womma and the corofra would send the army giving its pronouncement of blessings. The army would be prayed for in the sacred Dagale tree site.” The war general is called gazana, who is chosen on basis of bravery. The gazana is like defense minister who is appointed on the basis of strength, bravery, discipline, etc. He could be from any clan. There are also very renowned war generals called qari-gossa. The corofra gives order to the qari-gossa. The qari-gossa is chosen on the basis of bravery. The organization of fighting is to such that the qari-gossa takes the vanguard, frontline position; behind him is migiso, who encourages the qari-gossa. If migiso gets frightened there is grisidda. If the one gets weakened, killed or frightened, the other takes on. The ware /army had infantry and cavalry. The war/ army was organized in bands and the brave warriors called the gazanas would lead the army.
Fig. 6.4. Military Leadership hierarchy
The warfare technology of Ţambaaro included spears, shield and swords. The spears called bagazu were of three types. One was called maçamé (one that had a sort of protruding part which would tear apart the enemy once stuck into the body); the other was a medium sized one, a long broad surfaced blade capable of also cutting; the third was a thinner, more sharpened one which could pass through the body piercing. The shield is held in left hand and used for defense. It is made from the hide of gasanich (hippo) by potters. Bagazu (spear) is made by ţomano (black smiths). Bissa (big-sized knife) with long and wide blade was also an important war arsenal. The bissa was used when they fought face to face.
Some writers add other military positions. The Aersida or zaeshiqas were those who would give command to the army to encircle the enemy and attack it. The murtqas were those who would give the command to the army to the detach the enemy into two halves so as to attack it (See Hale-Mariam Desta, 1999). 6.14.1. Defense Ditches The Ţambaaro military defense system also included digging ditches. Today defense ditches are seen as relics of historical events. Ţambaaro had constant war relations with its nearby and distant neighbors. One of the defense systems was to dig ditches along those sides where the natural defense is weak. In other words, these ditches were dug at all directions except the borders with Dawro and Jimma Abba Jiffar as these directions have natural defense of Ommo River. Some of the defense ditches measured very long distances. So Ţambaaro Wommas had dug these defense ditches with very deep wide margins. The ditches were dug by mobilizing all able bodied males. The check points at all directions were continually protected and chosen warriors would stand day and night as sentinels. Each defense ditch is termed by specific names: Adde Wadaya, Amaro Kobate, Angiso Wussissa, Arijami Bodena, Abale Boroja, Abaco Durgi. These were the check points where watchmen would stand and oversee for any enemy signs. If men went away for a war or other mission, a woman would serve as a watchperson, informants claimed. 6.14.2. Religion, Politics and War The war arsenal was also backed by the ‘tool of cursing’. Diviners would also often give them guidance and counseling. In Ţambaaro traditional religious system, there existed borrowed and gradually incorporated religious forms of different groups that later assimilated in to Ţambaaro society. These religious forms such as hawzula, adama, yafaro and others played important roles in political, economic and socio-cultural affairs. The leaders of these sprit possession cults and the seasonal ceremonies they held often served as legal justice dispensing agents. Those in conflict or have legal cases would often take their matters there and adjuration would be made. During wars, the war leaders would often consult the hawzula or adama cult leaders, who would then do some magic and it was said they would send some torrential rain or other danger over the enemy power. Informants claimed the hawzula cult was particularly a great help for the Tambaaro during its wars with the Wolayta and Jimma Abba Jiffar. The bandicho ritual as military arsenal was particularly well known. According to informants, Ţambaaro forefathers recourse to the bandicho ritual as an aid supplement to fighting. It is a
form of cursing ‘producing words of cursing and blessing.’ This ritual was brought from the ‘Yemerera’ land as informants claimed. Before marching to any Warfield, the fighters and clan elders and all wommas would congregate at Daggle sacred tree and conduct this ‘cursing and blessing’ ritual. It was believed this cursing uttered in agreement by the elders, invoking their ancestral ghosts and the Gamabala Magano would give the Ţambaaro psycho-spiritual confidence and power and it would send a ‘sprit of terror and fear among the enemy.’ Informants believe the spells of cursing pronounced by he Lamala Moolla elders would be a lethal blow to any enemy whether a lone individual or an invading army. Informants believed this religious dimension maintains its geo-political identity. Informants claimed the Lamala Moolla had a great confidence in their power of cursing which was terrifying and scarier to the enemies than any confidence in horse power or military arsenal. 6.15. Gender and Politics in Ţambaaro Traditional Politics Ţambaaro traditional systems of politics and government are essentially paternalistic. The politico-legal identity of the nationality is based on the ancestral fathers. There is nothing as such the ‘motherland’ concept in their politics. It is their male ancestral land, be t the Lamala Moolla or the pre-Lamala Moolla groups or any other ethnogenic groups. The male-father ancestral figure is the quintessential base and the very spirit of the political and legal system. All the key positions of political leadership are solely in the hands of the males. Women have no rights to be attaining to the position of any one of the three key wommaship. Neither do they participate as leaders in the lower political hierarchies at sub-clean, lineage and family level. The father- husband figure is the key decision makes in all family and household politics as well as neighborhood politics. The womma's (balee womma) wife was called Qoricho an equivalent of empress or queen. The wife of the corofra is also given similar title, Qoricho. She is highly respected. She did not work in farms. She did not go to markets; others would bring needed commodities to the family. The qoricho wore a red hemmed broad, big cloak called Qamisa; it is like jalabia not worn as a skirt). They tied the cloak with a long strip of belt. The cloak was made with special care.
CHAPTER: SEVEN ETHNOHISTORY AND ETHNOGRAPHY OF RELIGION In this Chapter, we shall present an ethnohistory and ethnography of religious institutions and philosophies in Ţambaaro. This will be done in two parts. Attempt shall be made to entertain all the major ethnogenetic groups in the pan- Ţambaaro Nationality where possible. The different such groups and their imprints on the religious philosophical and institutional map of the Nationality will be examined. Certain ethnogenic groups, however, shall be unavoidably emphasized as availability of data permits. PART I: ETHNOHISTORY OF RELIGIOUS PHILOSOPHIES AND INSTITUTIONS 7.1. Origins of Different Religious Philosophies and Institutions in Ţambaaro The Ţambaaro religious landscape is made up of distinct religious philosophies and ethnohistories that were produced by different ethno-social groups in the land. Some of the religious philosophies and institutions were original to the land whereas others were introduced to the land with the arrival, in different time periods, of various ethno-social groups. It is most probable that the earliest known inhabitants of the present Ţambaaro land, such as the Gudda and Magada, Erer-Masiwa, Dawi-Digala groups, must have developed their own religious system that helped them make successful adaptations to the environment. It is known in the ethnological science theories that all ethno-social groups, whatever their level of technological and social development, have their own system of religious philosophies and institutions; for without such philosophies and institutions, it would have been difficult to the people to understand and master their ecologies. Religious philosophies and institutions have been developed, according to ethnological theories, to satisfy the fundamental questions and desires of human beings (Kottack, 2002; Hammond, 1972). The earliest inhabitant groups have thus had their own religious philosophies and institutions. Of the type, content, nature and elements of these philosophies and institutions, however, we have no data at them current state. From what available oral tradition state, we may presume that, depending on their primitive socio-economic and political level of organization, they must have had very primitive forms of religious philosophies. We are, too, not certain as to the nature and types of religious philosophies and institutions that were espoused by the other pre-Tambaaronite population groups. It is, though, probable that these groups may have espoused a religious system that more or less resembled the traditional African religious system of ancestral worship, which is also a fundamental religious system of the latter population groups including the Lamala Moolla, Çatta and others. What is relatively better documented and of what current oral tradition provides fresh accounts are the religious systems and philosophies of the most recent population groups that have become part of the Ţambaaro Nationality: the Lamala Moolla, Çatta, Tigra, Kalmana, Woçifina, Handarama, Gondorima, etc. These religious forms and philosophies have been the underlying superstructure basis of the Nationality until the arrival and gradual dominance of the modern religious philosophies and institutions, namely, Christianity and Islam. We shall now proceed to the presentation of the origins and basic philosophies of the different religious systems. 7.2. Origins of Lamala Moollaic Religious Systems Elders generally claim that Ţambaaro ancestors-before leaving their leaving ‘Yemerera’ land and their post settlement period, as well as the period of their long years of trekking in between, their ancestors adhered to what they tall a belief in only Gambella Maganoliterally, the ‘black deity’. It appears this religions-philosophical system has been the original,
most indigenous one of the Lamala Moolla. It is not, however, clear and yet to be confirmed whether their Sidama kin adhered to the same system of religious philosophy. It is clear, though, that the Magano concept is etymologically and linguistically the same in the Sidama Nationality. This religious philosophical system, according to informants, continued to define Ţambaaro ethno-religious identity at least in the subsequent several decades (perhaps longer) following their settlement in the present day land. In the decades and centuries following their settlement, the 17th , 18th and 19th centuries, this indigenous religious system continued to survive as other religious philosophical systems gradually began to be borrowed by the people sometimes and forced up on other times until the original religion then finally “gave in its hands in the 20th century to the more systematically organized, appealing, and politicoeconomically and ideologically powerful religious systems, particularly Christianity and Islam. 7.2.1. Lamala Moolla Religious Philosophy in 17th and 18th Centuries: Religious Exchanges with Other Groups As the Lamala Moolla began to settle down and come of age in their new found land, they began on one hand to fight for their geo-political identity with the indigenous inhabitants and other neighboring groups, and on the other, exchanging and borrowing new religious philosophical systems with the groups. According to informants, the Lamala Moolla began making marriage relations with their neighbors and with such relations new forms of religious systems began to flow to their land. We also surmise the religious systems of the indigenous Kalmana groups might have also infiltrated9. One dominant historical development in Ţambaaro religious history was thus the introduction of the Fandano religious system (q.v.) which was a common religious system in Hadya groups. It came to Ţambaaro through “the wives who came”. Fandano religious system appears to have been corruption resulting from Muslim and Christian influences. Same historians suggest it might be a corrupt version of Islam in evidence for the ancient Muslim Hadya kingdom (Braukämper, 2004). In essence, Fandano religion, as expressed by informants, is a form of spirit possession cult where a charismatic person embodying a spirit manifests bizarre religious behaviors and mystic expressions such as glossolalia, jerking, and other expressions. The adherents gather around the compound of the religious leader and partake in the various socio-spiritual and legal adjudication, sooth-saying and problem solving sessions. Ţambaaro traditional religious system also incorporated in to its system more other religious forms from Kambatta, Hadya, Jimma, Yem, Wolayta and other groups. What Ţambaaro elders called Jarra (Amharic Zar) is one such form, a form of spirit possession cult known by different names although with more or less similar contents and philosophical systems in various ethnic groups. The qalicha cult, for example, is one such dominant religious form in Oromo areas. The Hawzula, Adama (q.v.) and similar religious forms now still in existence in Ţambaaro are also borrowed such forms from neighboring areas. 7.3. Religious System in Ţambaaro: from Late 19th to the Present 7.3.1. The Ethiopian Orthodox Christian Roots in Ţambaaro Existing historical documents indicate that the Ethiopian Monophysite Orthodox Christianity begun spreading to and arriving at the south and southwest Ethiopian land as early as the 13 th century when ardent EOC missionaries waged hot and large missionary preaching campaign. The names of such priest as St Abune Teklehaymanot who was said to have converted the
Some writers, though, argue that the Lamala Moola groups have managed to wipe out over 38 different religious cults that prevailed in the land before their arrival, through offending the deities of the cults or through using the institution of cursing that was part of their own traditional religious system ( See HaileMariam Desta, 1999).
famous ‘pagan’ Wolaytan king Motolemi into Christianity and thus spreading the faith to this area is well acclaimed (Wana Wagesho, 2004; Bahru, 2002; Braukämper, 2004). Similarity, the Kambatta- Tambaaro region was also brought under the EOC influence as early as the end of 13th and the turn of 14th centuries during the era of the acclaimed Emperors Amde Tsion (1313-1344) and the ensuing emperors, Yishaq (1414-29), Zar'a Yā'kob (1434-68) and others. Some writers claim the nearby Kambatta was already a dominantly Christian kingdom before the Graň Ahmed Wars (1531 -1552) (See Tesfaye Habiso and Haile Daniel Megiso; 1992). The historical progression in Ţambaaro religious identity took a major thrust with the introduction of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity (EOC). Some learned informants locate the historicity of this event within a specific time framework: ca. 1878. A man named Fitawrari Sheto Shonkoru10 was credited to have brought EOC to Ţambaaro land. Material evidences for this appear to exist, with the existence of on extremely old Ethiopian Orthodox church named Durgi St. Mary Church-at the outskirts of Mudula town. EOC was more forcefully strengthen in Ţambaaro with added impetus from Menilikan era (1889-1913), as the overcoming empire began to set in place in more forces the sign of its ideological power- the church. Influences of EOC culture seem to play a dominant role in the life ways of many Ţambaaro today (although Protestant Christian influence is much stronger). The practices of fasting in Wednesday and Fridays and the lent and other instituted fasting seasons are popularly practiced. These practices however also display subtle syncretization processes. Photo 7.1. One of the oldest EOCs in Tambaaro, Durgi Mariam Church The manner of conversion of locals into EOC in the past took a form of mass performance. According to old men informants, during early years of Haile Sellasie 1 (1930-1974), the representative administrators declared to all people on Mudula market day that they should all convert to Orthodox Christianity. Then mass christening occasion was arranged and the locals were “sprinkled en-masse” into Christianity. They were given Orthodox Christian names such as Wolde-Mariam Haile-Mariam, etc (for males) and Wolete-Mariam, etc, for females. Hundreds of people christened by a priest administrator and they would then bring gifts of honey and butter to the administrator and a feast would be organized. The males were christened by the Amhara ruler, females by the wives. They would sprinkle the water and tie the cross symbol on their necks. There are some indications of the hybridization of Ethiopian Orthodox Christian concepts and practices with indigenous religious forms in Tambaaro. Terms such as Kitosa, Mariayame, etc reveal such hybridization. They are common particularity among the Lamala Moolla. The idea of Kitosa as a deity was, according to some informants, an element of Tambaaro origin even before the ancestors came from ‘Yemerera’. Obviously, the term Kitosa is a corrupt version of Christ and it is in al likelihood probable that it is a syncretization of original Tambaaro religion with Orthodox Christianity, as the elements and influences of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity
The expression, Sheto Shonkoro in the local narrative is equivalent to the two separate Menilikan administrators who begun ruling Tambaaro area following the 1891 occupation. They were Fitawrari Eshete and Dejazmach Gafarso Shenkoru.
could be traced as far back as to 13t and 14th centuries in south Ethiopia. Similar corrupt terms also exist in other southern Ethiopia nationalities such as Wolayta, where the roots of EOC influences go back o 13th c. The idea that same informants claim the Lamala Moolla originally was already Christian before the introduction Christianity is not a valid one. 7.3.2. The Question of Muslim Origins in Ţambaaro Islamic religion seems to be of minor historical significance in Ţambaaro. Although the religion appears to have been in Ţambaaro for long time now (over a century-- exact time of introduction yet not known) the local adherents are few and far in between. Muslim religious influence in current Ţambaaro religious landscape is very insignificant, compared to Christianity in general and Protestant Christianity in particular. Despite this, Muslim origins based on local traditions, go deeper in Ţambaaro. A number of distinct social categories in the land claim ancient Muslim religious roots. They claim an ancestral figure who was a Muslim, bearing Muslim name. One of such groups is the Kalmana- Gondorima groups consisting five distinct sub-clan groups in the current inventory of cans in Ţambaaro. They claim a certain Haji Abrha was the apical ancestor in Yemen, Arabia who gave birth to the two founding fathers, Adiyo and Wakena or Wakamo, whose descendants, respectively, are Kalmana and Woçifina, and Gondorima, Handarama and Beella, Another group that claims Muslim roots is the Farzaano clan. Descendants claim their ancestors came from Arabia (specific country or locality not known) in an unknown past. According to informants, the ancestors passed through Sudan. We do not have detail information on the specific routes the ancestors passed through, the duration they stayed, their encounters with the indigenous inhabitants of Ţambaaro land upon their arrival. Informants claim some branches of the Farzaano group today live scattered in different parts of the country such as Arsi, Kambatta, etc
Photo 7.2. A Muslim mosque Some informants argued that the first batch of known Muslim adherents came to Ţambaaro about 100 years back. The leader was called Hadji Shokota. They came from Maçça, Jimma. Currently, the Muslim community built up around this family has become well established. The man was the first to introduce water powered flour mills into Ţambaaro. Some local intellectuals wrote that a renowned Çatte man played his own significant role in the first ever organized and formal attempt at spreading Muslim religion in Ţambaaro land. He was claimed to have obtained favorable support from the Emperor Haile sellasie I himself in his efforts. The man, named Sheik Seid Aba Zamzam, was said to have been imprisoned for his religious missions during the Italian ear in Soddo Prison (Tekle Tesema, unpublished manuscript, 2009). The argument by some informants that Ţambaaro were Muslim from the beginning is not valid though Muslim elements, existed in Ţambaaro beginning from the settlement of people groups from Muslim influenced areas such as Jimma Aba Jiffar and also the coming of certain Muslim origin families, descendents of whom claim their ancestors came to Ţambaaro from Arabia some time in the past which is not exactly defined). Islamic elements infiltrated in to Ţambaaro area also through trade and commerce beginning particularly from the time of the long distance trade.
7.3.3. Origins and Current State of Protestant Christianity in Ţambaaro In the religious history and identity of Ţambaaro evangelical (protestant) Christianity occupies an even more popular, and above all deeply felt- impacting and widely grassroots level. According to informants, which is also in congruence with the written historical sources, protestant Christianity was first introduced to Ţambaaro land in early 1920s and 1930. Local missionaries from neighboring Wolayta, Kambatta and Hadya brought evangelical Christianity. The Wolayta missionaries were particularity very popular in spreading the gospel message of Protestant Christianity in neighboring nationalities (Markina, 2008; Lapiso 1992). Photo 7.3. & 4 Full Gospel Church in Mudula Since then, amidst fierce competition, pressure and suppression from the state sponsored Orthodox Christian Church, as well as particularly under the Derg Regime (1874-1991), protestant Christianity grew rapidly (See Grenstedt, Stafan. 2000). Its impacts began to be felt deeply and the most severely affected being Ţambaaro indigenous and borrowed religious forms. Protestant Christian songs hailing from every corner, from small kiosks to big hotels and bars, appear to be evidence for such wide presence in the Ţambaaro land at present. 7.4. Origins and Current State of Some Other Traditional Religious Cults As stated above, the present Ţambaaro religious landscape is reminiscent of the existence of, and to some extent the persistence of, different religious systems that were espoused by different ethno-social groups. Based on the information provided by local informants, the inventory of the various traditional religious systems in Ţambaaro land includ ed some very popular ones in terms of commanding people’s allegiance and adherence in the past as well as in terms of their pragmatic utilities in the Ţambaaro socio -cultural and politico-economic landscape. Most dominant among these religious systems include: Adama (originated among the Çatta group); Yafaro, (among the Tigra group); Yejjo (among the Kalmana and Woçifina groups); Wombo (among the Gondorima- Handarama and Beella groups); Genoina and Jarra (among the potters’ group); Hawzula (a renowned deity probably originating in Kaffa Garo area and gradually emerging as a celebrated deity of war and rain among the new comer Tambaaro group beginning from the first half of 17th century); Fandano (among the Hadya originated groups or among those people who ‘took wives from Hadya areas’); etc. 7.4.1. The Adama Cult of the Çatta According to oral tradition, when the ancestors of the Çatta group first emigrated from their original Borena land in some undefined date in the past, they were said to have brought their own religious philosophy and institution to the Dawro land. The religious priests who served as the medium of the guardian spirit called Adama gave divinations and directions during the migration. The guardian spirit was said to have ‘rested’ in any pe rson from the Çatta group and it was transferred from one person to other over the generations. When the Çatta finally immigrated to Ţambaaro in an undefined date in pre - Menlik II era; they brought the cult through the medium of a man named Amero Huluqo. Since then, the guardian sprit was identified with the Çatta group through its manifestation by human agents with a title of Qerba. A line of Qerbas on whom the sprit ‘rested” include: Qerba Hisabo, Qerba Hidibo, Qerba Huluqo, Qerba Helore and Qerba Lemancho.
7.4.2. The Yafaro Cult of Tigra Group The Tigra group in Ţambaaro is described as the descendants of ancestors who came from the Tigra clans of Wolayta and Maçça, according to the local informants. The group is called the Tigre-Malla clan in Wolayta. Their ethnogenesis is traced back to a man who was believed to have emigrated from the Tigray area of north Ethiopia. He was gradually befriended with the Wolayta Malla royal family and eventually happened to become the founder of the third dynasty in Wolayta, called the Tigre Dynasty which runs a about a line of Kawo (kings ) over nine generations ending with the last Kawo, Tonna in 1894. It is not, however, clear whether the present Tigra groups in Ţambaaro did really come from Wolayta or Jimma, or directly from Tigray region11. There exists today a protected scared forest with some Muslim historical significance in Ţambaaro. It is a reflection of the religious and political relations between Ţambaaro and Jimma Oromo. According to informants, this scared forest was established as spiritual cult site for a cult called Yafaro, which was a Tigra cult. It was introduced to Ţambaaro through warfare encounters whereby a Ţambaaro killed a spirit medium during a clash some 5 generations back. The cult spirit was said to have transferred to the killer Ţambaaro, when he came back to his home country. Since then cult was established in Ţambaaro land. The trees were planted before 4 generations back by a man named Tobaro Manchamo according to Ato Abera, great- grand son. The scared forest has served as a scared temple where adherents came and partook in the cult. These days, however, the descendants of the founder man have made complete shift to Muslim region and hence the Yafaro cult of the Tigra clan has almost become absolute. The cult and scared site have as a byproduct effect of helping preserve indigenous trees and contributed towards forest conservation. 7.4.3. The Yejjo and Wombo Cults of the Kalmana–Woçifina and Gondorima- Handarama Groups Yejjo cult was a well- known and widely practiced religious form among the Keffa nationality and other ethnic groups that were brought under Keffa influence. Among the Me’enit of Bench Maji Zone, for example, they used to have this cult which they called Yerro which they noted was introduced to them from Keffa (Zerihun Doda, 2008). It is a complex system of religious philosophy and institution which was in existence since time immemorial, it origin not being well-established (Ernesta Cerulli, 1956). The origin of Wombo cult is not as clearly tied to the Keffa group as the Yejjo cult. But both Yejjo and Wombo cults were traced to the ancestors’ time of sojourn in the Keffa area before they finally immigrated to the present Ţambaaro land preceding the arrival of the Lamala Moolla, Çatta and other groups, at least more than 16 generations ago. According to informants, the ancestors acquired the Yejjo and Wombo cults through a warfare encounter with groups who had these guardian spirits in them. The guardian spirits were said to have transferred to the ancestors of Kalmana-Woçifina and Gondorima-Handarama when their ancestors killed men who were mediums of the spirit. It is not clear what the philosophical significance of this transfer of the spirits meant, whether it was a means of revenging the ‘blood of the victims’, or the spirit entered into a new human medium when it lost its former medium. Since the Lamala Moolla group arrived in the land, the Yejjo and Wombo cults began interacting with other religious systems and gaining some acceptance among the new comers. However, according to informants, the Yejjo cult was dealt a lethal blow with the death of the
Some writers (see Haile-Mariam Desta, 1999) ascribe the Yafaro cult to the Hogofo clan. This might be the case if this particular Moollaic clan gradually adopted this cult as other Moollaic clans also specifically adopted other cults, like Ade clan adopting Gawdue or Libana cult
Kalmana king Waqqo whereas the Wombo cult continued with some favor among the remnants and the Lamala Moolla groups. 12 7.4.4. Origins and Current State of Hawzula and Jennoina Cults The Hawzula cult of the Aqama, the Jennoina and Jarra cults among the Potters, the Fandano cult among the Hadya –influenced families and groups, etc, all continued to exist in Ţambaaro religious landscape until the gradual dominance of new religious forms of Christianity and Islam and their eventual complete control of the religious landscape of Ţambaaro. The origin of the Hawzula cult is not well-known among the local informants as there was no informant to narrate about it. But it appears that this cult must have infiltrated into Ţambaaro land from neighboring Wolayta where the cult was one of dominant cults among certain groups. For example, among the Doyyaha, Womigra and Damota clans of Wolayta and Kambatta, the Hawzula cult was a renowned one until it was finally pushed to obsolescence through protestant Christianity. The origins of the Jennoina and Jarra cults are not well known. It is probable that the cults may have been brought to the land by the ancestors of the potters groups. According to local informants, the cults have today become completely obsolete. 7.4.5. Origins and Current State of Fandano Cult Of all the traditional religious systems in Ţambaaro, the Fandano cult was popularly practiced among the people. According to Lamala Moolla elders, before the introduction and gradual dominance of Christianity, the Fandano cult was a major religious identity for many people including the Lamala Moolla. Local informants generally attribute the origins of Fandano cult to Hadiya nationality. As far as its origins in Ţambaaro land is concerned, thus, it is traced back to the contacts between the Ţambaaro and the nearby nationalities of Hadya, Dubamao, Donga, Maraqo, etc, among whom the practice of Fandano cult was wide-spread and its root go deeper into the past (with unspecified origins in time). As indicated above, some scholars have tried to associate and link the origins of Fandano cult to the 16th century influence of Ahmed Graň War when Muslim religion was widely acceptance in Hadya. As the Ahmed Graň influence and dominance waned and graduall y the Christian dominance was returned to area, these Islamic elements were gradually intermixed with indigenous religious elements and then creating the Fandano cult ( See Braukämper, 2004; Haberland 1972). Before the introduction and gradual dominance of Christianity (particularity Protestant Christianity) the Fandano cult had a popular acceptance among the Ţambaaro. Those who had no similar sprit- possession cults were more likely to be attracted to it. Other groups who had their own spirit possession cults (the Wombo, Hawzula, Adama, Yafaro, etc) continued practicing their own, where as the Lamala Moolla and others who did not have their own sprit possession cults were likely participants. As indicated elsewhere, the Lamala Moolla as a group, though, had revulsion and negative attitude towards it, considering the cult as not belonging to their ancestral religious philosophical system.
In fact, it is recorded both in oral tradition and existing local written sources that the Lamala Moolla adopted the Wombo cult together with the Hawzula cult from early 17th century following their experiences of reportedly miraculous performances performed by the deities of these cults. It is believed among the local people that the deity Wombo made two rivers, Lammo and Kokka, appear from dry rocks thus solving the water problem of Tambaaro. The Hawzula deity was reported to have been standing on the side of Tambaaro during the warfare with the Maçça Oromo and Wolayta. It is recorded in the oral tradition that the Wolayta feared more than anything else the Hawzula deity. May be seeing this, the Wolayta latter adopted this cult. Some groups in Wolayta used to adhere to the Hawzula cult until recently.
The cult has gradually become obsolete beginning from the introduction of Christianity; with its more or less final death process began occurring with the dominance of Protestant Christianity. 7.5. Syncretization Processes, Current States and Attitudes Over the centuries, a gradual syncretization of different religious forms took place in Tambaaro land. Although the various ethno-social groups managed to maintain their own religious cults without any active proselytization efforts, there occurred a gradual mixing of the philosophies, values and practices of these different religious forms. The attitudes of the various ethno-social groups to these traditional religious forms apart from their own were not generally hostile and condemning. However, among the Lamala Moolla groups, there appears to have persisted the idea that their own original religion of belief in Gamabala Magana was perceived as better and superior to the others. Such belief was particularity evident among elders when they talked about the various religious cults. Their attitude towards the Fandano religious cult was particularly very negative. According to elders, Ţambaaro indigenous religion, the one that their ancestors brought from Sidama, was uniquely different from the rest. Elders claim the various religious forms brought through marital relatives (usually through wife line) were inferior to their ancestral Gambella Magano religion. Some elders regarded religious forms such as Fandano, Hawzula Wombo, Jarra, Yejjo, etc, as witchcraft and lowly, satanic ones; their ancestors knew nothing except Gamabala Magano. The Ţambaaro traditional religious system is thus generally composed of religious systems brought by the ancestors of the different groups at different times and in different mechanism. The most notable religious identity acquisition mechanism were marital and trade relations within and between the different groups both inside the land and outside of it. It is interesting to note that through the complex process of religious systems interaction, some forms were more rapidly and easily weakened than the others, at least in the sense of being actively practiced. The religious identity of Tambaaro nationals is thus composed of the results of the syncretization process of the various religious systems over the centuries. Latter and more recently, the identity of the traditional religious system and the peopl es’ attachment to these traditional religious systems was dealt with a serious blow following the introduction of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity, Catholicism, Islam and more so of Protestant Christianity. Elders declared that at the present Ţambaaro traditional religious forms (including the Lamala Moollaic belief system centering on Gamabala Magano and the remnants of the Kalmana dynasty as well as the imported forms of Jarra, Fandano, Adama, etc) are in a precarious state. Some informants stated Gamabala Magano and Fandano have almost become obsolete. However, others indicated that there religious forms still continue to exist, albeit in a clandestine manner, in some remote villages of the woreda. The current religions affiliation profile of Ţambaaro nationality is divided among Ethiopian orthodox Christianity, Catholic Christianity introduced in 1950) Islam and Protestant Christianity. According to a 2001 E.C. statistics of the woreda Administration, adherents of protestant Christianity overwhelmingly outnumber others.
Religious forms of Gudda-Magada group: Unknown past
Religious forms other lost groups: Dawwa- Digala, Hantala- Sigga, etc: Unknown past Religious forms for Kalmana –Woçifina and Handarama groups: pre- 15th century
(Yejjo and Wombo)
Fandano, Hawzula, Adama, etc: Post- 16th century Gamabala Magano cult: 16th century Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity: 1870s Evangelical Christianity: 1920s Islam: some claim over 100 year’s existence; others say preaching began in 1930s Catholicism: 1950s
Fig.7.1. Chart on the chronological succession (and arrival of) various religious systems in Tambaaro land Group Religion
Kalmana, Woçifina Gondorima, Handarama, Beella Tigra Çatta Different groups with Hadya links Lamala Moolla and ‘associates’ Aqama and other groups
Yejjo Wombo Yafaro Adama Fandano Gambella Magano Hawzula
Fig. 7.2. Different ethno-social groups with their espoused religious cults
PART TWO: ETHNOGRAPHY OF TAMBAARO RELIGIOUS SYSTEMS In this part, we shall present ethnographic accounts of some selected issues in traditional religious philosophy and institution. We shall focus on those religious systems for which we have obtained relatively better information: the Lamala Moolla’ Gambala Magana and the Fandano cults. Other belief systems that bear religious underpinnings shall also be described here (e.g. ethno-anthropology, ethno-cosmology, ethno-medicine, conceptions of life and death, etc). 7.6. The Essence of Lamala Moollaic Religion Ţambaaro Gambala Magano is the supreme deity. He dwells in the sky. Informants claim ancestral Ţambaaro did not have any form of elaborate worship ceremony, liturgy, clergy and rules. They simply prayed, invoking the name of this black deity. However, deeper analysis of informants’ statements reveals that the ancient Lamala Moolla religion is not devoid of rituals and liturgy. It appears that the religion is part of the Sidama ancestral worship complex, as the rituals of paying homage to the ghosts of dead ancestors by offering sacrificial foods and drinks is an evidence for this complex ancestral worship system. The ancestors in Ţambaaro tradition hold high and venerated place; they are believed to be towering onlookers of their living progenies’ actions and are regarded as part of the living world. Thus as of old, Ţambaaro household heads would take fresh milk, honey and meat an d place them on the graveyards of their dead ancestors. The practice is particularly elaborated during masala (q.v.) festival. Explaining why they offer milk, honey, meat, etc informants noted that it is a sign of respect and sympathy with their ancestors. “Why would they not be given when we enjoy and celebrate?” said one informant. Giving honey represents, according to one informant, that the dead man was a strong person who used to enjoy drinking wine. Milk and meat offering also symbolizes the chosen items are high regard for the dead man. Conducting religious rituals by assembling together under the sacred Dagale tree to commemorate dead ancestors during annual festivals such as masala is another evidence of the presence of elaborate worship system where ancestors are the epicenters and their ghosts as the mediums between the living offspring and Magano. Ţambaaro traditional religion also incorporates the ritual of planting a tree called masincho13 has been a symbol of respect and commemoration for their paternal ancestors. A walk across the Ţambaaro graveyard is an evidence for this: the masincho tree is seen in every graveyard. The masincho tree, like the Dagale (oak tree), occupies a central palace in the Ţambaaro ethno-religious identity. As a tale goes, during their post-settlement era, when the clan wars were common, there was a story of a woman frantically fleeing with her baby son from an invading army, as she fed, she saw a big masincho free with a high hole in its trunk and she hid her son inside and thus saved the son. Afterwards, she told it to her son and from that time onwards, the tree came down in history to enjoy the status of a totem figure. The Lamala Moolla respect the tree highly; they plant this tree in the graveyards of their ancestors letting it carry the charisma and honor of their ancestral ghosts. In sum, lahaa (the ceremonially kept gold ring), Tuppa, masincho tree and Dagale sycamore were the quintessential elements of Lamala Moolla indigenous religion. The lahaa (ring) was kept in a rotating manner in the elected man’s house. 7.6.1. The Theology of the Gambala Magano It was interesting to note ancient Lamala Moolla associated the Supreme Being with black color. The philosophy behind this blackness, though, is not clear; we are not sure at this time whether this blackness is really an attempt to impute the deity a black identity so that he is like one of them, closer to them. Existing elder men associate the dark-blue color of the sky
bisana in Amharic; croton in English; scientific name,
Codiaeum variegatum 107
with the creator who lives there. Since the sky where this deity must be living in is dark blue in its color they reasoned he must be a black deity. The Lamala Moolla indigenous religious theology appears to be a well-advanced, monotheistic belief system. As informants claimed, their ancestors “knew no other smaller deities, neither did they worship as their gods other objects except invoking the name of this one Supreme Being, Gambella Magano”. There is no plural term for Magano - it is always a singular form. There is only one Magano who is a supreme deity, creator of all tings. His abode is sky “samo”. The sky is not equivalent to the deity; it is his abode “Gambala Magano” living in “Gambala samo.” 7.6.2. The Theology of Anna Magano: God the Father The Lamala Moolla indigenous religious philosophical system also has the concept of “creator as father.” According to informants, ancestors considered Magano as “anna” father. The concept of God as father is a very complex here, one that is also highly used in the monotheistic Judeo- Christian and Islam religions. The way ancestral Lamala Moolla used and addressed their Magano as their anna is a beautiful model of affinity and closeness of humanity to deity. In indigenous Lamala Moolla religious system, thus, the supreme creator was not one that was far and distant, unconcerned with the affairs of humanity. He was a close father and the people are his children. According to informants, every Lamala Moolla could address Magano as his father. Both “Magano” as father and the actual biological father are highly revered; the latter when joining the ancestors’ world through death, continues to command prof ound intervention and presence in the world of the living. Thus, every Lamala Moolla man is expected to commemorate his father, especially during the masala feast. They would spill milk and honey on the graveyard, and also anoint butter on masincho tree which is a sacred tree which is planted on the graveyard as a symbol. 7.6.4. Religious Priests, Systems of Prayer and Traditional Medicine In the context of traditional societies, systems of medicine are inextricably tied to religious philosophies. The manner of managing, preventing and controlling diseases, misfortunes, dangers, etc, that affect the wellbeing of the people, livestock, land and crops-are essentially handled by religiously-oriented and inclined specialists. The religious leader is at the same time the people’s doctor, the physician of the land, the animals and the plants. Every household head is also both a religious priest and a health officer over the wellbeing of his household, his farmstead, and his animals. In Tambaro as of old, religious leaders would often administer management of diseases and misfortunes by offering animal sacrifices at designated epicenters such as Tuppa-- the first geographical site where the ancestors settled in Tambaaro; at Dagale sycamore tree that sacred tree which has lived the whole ethnohistoric period, a symbol of Lamala Moolla ethno-geo-bio-identity. When dangerous pestilences, wild animals, misfortunes, wars, etc, befall the community, the religious priests of the people would thus conduct the anima secretarial rituals, meant for promoting healthy socio-spiritual environment by acknowledging the ancestors. The supreme religious priest leader of Lamala Moolla traditional religion is balee womma, king of spiritual matters. The balee womma, along with other political religious officers is thus responsible for the health and well-being of the entire community and bio- physical environment. In times of economic, social, political and health crises, when drought and pestilence hit the land, when a deadly enemy neighbor rise up against the land, when dangerous wild beasts threaten etc, the religious priest would thus conduct the prayer and propitiation rituals. The Gambala Magano and the ghosts of the dead ancestors would be invoked by offering animal sacrifices. He would slaughter the ox, praying in the names of the ancestral ghost symbols, blessing all the seven clan descendents. He would pronounce blessing, saying,
“Masincho maçoch! [Let the tree (croton) hear you!] “Lahee maçoch!”[Let the lahaa (the arc of covenant) here you!] “Tuppa maçoch!” [Let Tuppa (the ancestral grave place) here you!] After the ritual they would feast on the meat. The balee womma would sprinkle blood on the tree and the congregants. The Lahee womma, king of the lahaa, will also take part in the rituals; but his main duty was to keep and protect the lahaa. There are generally two major kinds of sacrifice offerings in traditional Lamala Moolla religion. One is the sacrificial offerings dictated by sudden or other misfortune events as described above. The other is that which is conducted in commemoration of dead ancestors in times of major annual or other ceremonials such as masala festival. The former is a form of crisis management while the latter is a form of preventive measures 7.6.5. Worship Temples and Corporate Worship Lamala Moolla traditional religion does not involve elaborate physical architectures; there are no built worship temples. The time of corporate worship in times of annual festivals of masala and in times of political and socio-economic crisis, all people would assemble together and partake in the corporate worship, the essence of which being placating with the ancestral ghosts, the mediums through which Gambala Magano reveals him self. The “temple” of worship is the epicenter of the sacred trees and places. These sacred trees and places (the place is in Tuppa, the original place where ancestors first rested finally) are temples. The Dagale sacred sycamore tree is one of such prominent temples. Sacred trees are therefore the epicenters in traditional Lamala Moolla religious rituals and ceremonies. Although Lamala Moolla traditional religion is not one in which the tree themselves are worshiped as objects, the sacred trees, nonetheless, occupy central place in the system; they embody the entire philosophical system of the religion, they symbolize the proximity of the deity to humanity; they make the spatio-temporal succession and location of the nationality meaningful; they define the very ethnogenetic unit, existence and continuity of the nationality.
Photo 7.5. & 6 Lamala Moolla Corporate worship epicenes: Left Dagale Tree; right Tuppa, the ancestral epicenter where the first ancestors planted the masincho tree When they conduct these rituals, they would invoke the name of Gambala Magano and those of the ancestral fathers. It was believed when these sacrifices are properly performed, the misfortunes would subside. Tuppa, now at Bohhe kebele, some 5 k.m from Mudula has been epicenter and quintessential temple in Lamala Moolla religion, represented by masincho tree as embodying ancestral ghosts, the mediums to the spiritual world. They would call on Gambala Magano at this ancestral epicenter. Prayers, blessing, cursing, covenants, vows, etc, are made at this place. Informants believed the ancestral ghosts dwelt in or embodied in the tree.
According to informants, prayer and rituals conducted at this site was the key element in Tambaaro’s preparation for war with neighbors (near and far). They claimed Tambaaro’s ability to defend itself and not bow and pay tribute to any neighboring or distant kingdom was partly due to their “feared” power of Gambala Magano. 7.7. Essence of Fandano Religious Cult According to informants, Fandano religious form is not part of the original Lamala Moolla. Some elders dub it a shufuro, i.e., something which is trivial. It is despised because it is not related to the high status ancestral Lamala Moollas. Informants describe it as a form of witchcraft, a bitta, i.e., black magic which is transferred to Lamala Moolla men through marriage with Hadya women. Fandano, as some elders argued, is not an organized community-involving religious system like that of others; it’s practiced often as an individual family affair. The pe rson who is a medium of the Fandano sprit is often described as one who appears weird, lives a bizarre form life; he grows his hair, does not wash his body and cloths; he refuses sex; and does exhibit other bizarre forms of practices. On a typical Fandano ritual day, the wife of a Fandanchu (one who practices Fandano religion) prepares a form of porridge with much butter and the man lets the family members taste the food. The wife/wives also brew borde (local beer). The porridge is made of barley flour. All Fandano adherents conduct such rituals each in his house. The people would say ‘ebelu fandanchu!’ meaning, “so and so is a Fandano practitioner”; this was applied to a person who was neither a Christian (Orthodox, Protestant, Catholic) nor a Muslim. Any adherent to a religion which is different from these mainstream religions was celled called a fandanchu. 7.8. Religious Syncretization According to one old man ca. 90 years old, he was a fandanchu, one who practiced Fandano religions cult, when he was an adult. He said he inherited it from his mother’s side, who was a Hadya. He said none of this Fandano element existed in the Lamala Moolla. He was a practicing Fandanchu. he said he used to practice witchcraft, divination, “sprayed ash in the air to prevent rain from falling’, etc. he said he practiced bitta (magic) by dipping the blade of his spear in the burning coal, and tying a bundle of grass on the handle; he said he denied this cult when he converted to protestant religion. He said he reaffirmed his commitment to the Gambala Magano religion of ancestors. From men like, looking at their religious experiences past and present, it appears that there still exists an active form of religious syncretization. For Ţambaaro older men like this informant, converting to Protestantism doesn’t prevent them from adhering to his ancestral religion. Here is religious syncretism in action calling the name of yesusa (Jesus) for informants like this old adherents to kalehiwot (word of life) protestant Christian denomination, together with calling on, and making a deference to “Tuppa” sacred site and tree representing ghosts of Lamala Moolla was not antithetical. 7.9. Expressions of Religious Worship and Women’s Participation Ţambaaro worldview generally bestows preeminence to men and males in all matters of life. Women and females in general have occupied a subservient position in all spheres: politics, religion, economy, society and culture. Such overtly and overly male-dominated situation is part of the general framework of realities in traditional societies in Ethiopia and beyond. In religious spheres of life, women have occupied no positions and roles of leadership as well as even active participation in the male-dominated world of religion in Ţambaaro. Their roles and participation in Ţambaaro traditional religion ( across all forms of the diverse religious systems) limited to the roles of providing support to the religious ceremonies and festivals as food cookers, drink preparers, and facilitators of other necessary procedures. However, in
certain aspects women as wives, daughters, mothers and sisters often partake in the religious world of their groups by sharing in the beliefs, practices and behaviors as adherents to the religious system. They partook by way helping fulfill the observation and protection of the religious mores, norms and values; this they mainly do as primary socializers of the new generations of community members as well as initiators of the new entrants to the social groups ( when for example a woman joins the group as a wife). We have no information to account about the role and participation of women in the religious world of the different pre-Ţambaaronite populations. Neither do we have information to talk about their roles and status in various religious cults (such as Adama, Wombo, Hawzula, Fandano, Yejjo, etc). As for the Lamala Moolla group a relatively better data source exists. Women used to anoint Dagale sacred tree’s trunk with butter and tie a thread of cotton on the trunk. This was done as expression of thanksgiving when their petitions are answered. They prayed to the Dagale tree saying, “Dagale if you grant me this and this I would do this and this for you .” when they think that their prayer requests are granted they perform their vows. Another form of religious expression in Lamala Moolla traditional religion is deference to ancestral ghosts during the masala festival. The masala festival is a New Year festival and a key aspect of this festival is offering of food and drink sacrifices to ancestral ghosts. This must be done on the morrow of the day of the masala. the ox is slaughtered. On the next day of the masala festival, the family head (father) would take milk, honey and part of meat; he would take one of his sons with him. They would go to the grave yard. If the grave is an old one, they would smear the masincho tree which is planted on the grave. They would take three pieces of ensete leaves, put the milk and honey on it. This practice is called çoqqisha. Those who can afford to get milk and honey they offer; those who cannot, the offer what they have. Women would never be part of this paternal ancestral commemoration ceremony by directly appearing in the graveyard. Rather, their participation was indirect in that they would make ready all the necessary raw materials needed for the ceremony. The çoqqisha ceremony was always performed on a Sunday (called Abba) following the Saturday, called Officho, on which date the masala ox- slaughtering takes place. The balee womma was responsible for declaring the festival date of the masala. The day must always be on Saturday (Officho), because the çoqqisha ritual, the ritual of ancestral ghost commemoration, must be on Sunday (called Abba) Sunday has been the day of big rest, merrymaking and ancestral ghost commemoration. It is yet to be verified what connection exists between Ţambaaro concept of this rest, Sabbath Sunday, and the biblical concept of Sunday. In Ţambaaro, the masala festival must always be on Saturday; the Ethiopian Orthodox Church’s official date Meskerem 17 (September 27), considered as ‘the official date of the finding of the True cross’ has no relevance in Ţambaaro traditional calendar of masala festival. They waited for a Saturday, come what may. It would be entirely antithetical to the Lamala Moolla’s very ethnohistory to slaughter the masala ox on another date. The day Abba (Sunday) appears to be the day of the ancestral fathers. Preceding the Saturday masala festival adherents to traditional Lamala Moollaic religion would celebrate the Awayya ritual. This ritual is performed on Tuesdays. Special food from bul’ea, the flour produced from the dough of false banana) is made by mixing with butter. This ritual was another form of commemorating the paternal ancestors. 7.10. Religion and Public Festivals: The Masala Celebration Masala, a term for the Christian version of the so-called “the Finding of the True Cross of Christ’, has been a renowned public celebration event comme morating New Year. It is celebrated in the memory of the ‘finding the cross of Christ’. The practice seems to have been a relic of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church festival of ‘Mesqel’ showing the influence of this religion in Ţambaaro area which may be traced back to early 14thc. This ‘Christian origin’
institution down the ages has become indigenized and syncretization between indigenous and Christian values took place. The masala celebration takes place under the Dagale sacred tree, and declaration of the ceremonial event was broadcast in markets by messengers (the fuggicho/ potters’). The celebration day must be on Saturday (reasons for this not exactly known), Fridays and Sundays represent days of ‘fasting’ and ‘rest’, respectively. This also a relic of Orthodox Christian influences. 7.11. Ţambaaro Traditional Religion and Various Belief Systems about the Created World All societies espouse certain distinct and well established models of ideas and beliefs about the created world. Although these systems of belief about the world may vary from place to place, the underlying motifs and philosophies seem to be generally converging (Hammond, 1972). Myths and philosophies about the origins and emergence of human beings, the biotic world, the cosmos, etc; meaning about certain fundamental questions such as life, death, etc, appear to be universally sharing fundamental principles. In Ţambaaro we do not have sufficient data to narrate abut the various belief systems and worldviews of the different groups of people. Rather rough information from local informants on these issues suggests that the different groups in Ţambaaro Nationalit y seem to share similar belief systems about the created world. According to local informants the sun is called arinich. Moon is aganio. Certain beliefs were associated with the sun. When mothers were churning milk outside home, they would take a part of the butter and spray it up towards the sun as a sign of warship. Star is celled beezeta. Beezeta is mentioned in relation with blessing; Well wishers pronounce their blessings, saying, “May your progeny be innumerable like the stars!” A myth regarding the sky was that in the past the sky was very near/ close to humans. Once up on a time the mule struck it and the sky cursed the mule and went high to its today’s position and the mule then became infertile. The ethno–anthropological belief the Lamala Moolla group, which appears to have been internalized by other groups as well, was that Gambala Magano was regarded as creator of humankind. Details of creation myth were lacking, though. A myth related to the phenotypical resemblance between humans and apes states that the ape was formerly a human being. Once upon a time the ape (when he was like a human being) borrowed money but was unable to repay; he went to the bush and became ape. Ţambaaro conceptions of the spiritual world are such that they believe in the existence of evil spirits as opposed to the benign ones. The arch benign spiritual being is Gambala Magano. The opposite they call Shaţana, an Amharic version of Sayţan, which means Satan, the devil. This evil being is believed to indwell in or along river shores, bigger trees, in shrubs. He is believed to have immense powers over the land. He caused madness, accidents and deaths. Other evil beings also lived around graveyards. The graveyards were also feared because the ghosts of the dead were believed to lie there. Evil eyed persons called goromote were also feared as agents of the evil spirits; it was believed persons with this power would take buried human corpses, transport them on hyena back and eat the flesh. The potters are often suspected with these evil practices.
CHAPTER: EIGHT ETHNOHISTORY AND ETHNOGRAPHY OF ECONOMIC LIFE This chapter presents the ethnohistory and ethnography of economic and livelihood aspects of Ţambaaro nationality. We will first deal with the ethnohistory part and then proceed to the ethnography part in two separate parts. Attempt is made where possible to treat all the various ethnogenic- social groups in the nationality (that makeup the constituent elements) as far as their economic and livelihood history and culture are concerned. But we should note at the outset that, as in other chapters, here also we make some unavoidable biases to the Lamala Moolla group. PART I: ECONOMIC AND LIVELIHOOD HISTORY 8.1. Origins of Ţambaaro Economic and Livelihood Systems Looking at pre-1560s economic life obliges us to treat the economic history from two angles. The first is the economic life and production practices of indigenous populations of Ţambaaro land. The second is that of the Lamala Moolla and their ‘associate’ group before their final settlement at Ţambaaro land. A third possible group may also exist: the various ethnolinguistic groups that have come, settled and assimilated themselves into the mainstream Ţambaaro economic ad livelihood system. But these latter groups could safely be treated as part of the general Ţambaaro. As stated elsewhere above, before the Lamala Moolla and other groups came to the present Ţambaaro land, there were different population (ethno-linguistic) groups who had already made economic adaptations to the Ţambaaro land. Although we do not have convincing evidences, existing oral traditions indicate that the earlier inhabitants of the land, Gudda and Magada were said to have led a simple primitive communal life style. They simply lived on gathering fruits and hunting small games. The Gudda–Magada groups had no sophisticated system of land cultivation; nor had they domesticated livestock. Other informants, however, hinted on the existence of a simple hoe-based agriculture in the Gudda-Magada era. The Gudda –Magada “simply dug their gardens and cared nothing about what is going on around”, informants said. The other population groups that were said to have wiped out the Gudda Magada groups and began their own economic adaptations to the land included Dawwa Digala, Dodda Wuça and Hanţala- Sigga groups. (Needless to mention, we are not sure whether these population groups were contemporaneous or lived in successive historical epochs). Informants had no clear idea as to the manner and kind of economic activities of these groups. No remnants of these groups currently exist in Ţambaaro, nor are the relics and ecofacts that depict the economic lives of these groups. Our educated guess is they might probably have started their lives as pastoral nomads and began incipient agriculture as they were said to have come as political- economic predators Gudda and Magada groups. The most recent pre- Ţambaaro population groups: Kalmana, Woçifina, Handarama, Gondorima and Beella were said to have made a relatively successful politico-economic adaptation to the land. Informants both from the remnants and others argued these groups descended from the same ethnogenic stem. Some local intellectual informants doubted this, though, giving a more probable explanation. The Kalmana and Woçifina groups were /are descendants of the Keffa –Bosha groups who were pushed down by the Oromo expansion. The Handarama –Gondorima and Beella groups were/are descendants of the indigenous populations of the ancient Enaria kingdom; they are the Hoffa groups held vast areas in today’s southwest Ethiopia (including Sidama, Gedeo, and Kambatta area). Now, at the time of the coming of the Lamala Moolla and other groups to the present land, these recent indigenous groups were already an advanced peasant societies leading mixed agricultural production. Existing eco-facts and oral traditions of the remnants indicate that the
Kalmana- Handarama groups had brought an advanced agricultural system from their Keffa Bosha and other areas. The Kalmana group had an advanced political-social organization, maintaining a well established kingship. Such political –social organization was not possible without the economic infrastructure. The pre-Lamala Moolla populations were advanced land cultivators and animal/livestock keepers. They produced various cereals such as maize, sorghum, and root crops. Cotton as a cash and raw material crop was also known. Coffee was not known as a stimulant crops and thus not cultivated as some informants noted. The technology of ox-drawn plowing was not known in the pre- Ţambaaro era. 8.2. The Economic Life and Livelihood from 1560s To 1891 According to informants, the ancestors of Ţambaaro proper were ‘peasants’ in the ir pre -1560s era. Both at their original ‘Yemerera’ land, and during their ca . 120 years’ long itinerary history, they were engaged in mixed agriculture. The standard popular narration of the Lamala Moolla ethnogenesis contains a venerated reference to a type of sorghum called yelelo, a white sorghum. This indicates that the ancestors were crop cultivators. On their way to the present day land, the Lamala Moolla and their “associates” grew other root crops, such as woyse (false banana.) Informants claimed the Lamala Moolla ancestors continued producing the crops which they were using in their ‘Yemerera’ land. Following the settlement of the Lamala Moolla and their “associates”, their subsequent assimilation and interaction with indigenous inhabitants of the land and the neighboring populations, the inventory of crops grown in the land became more diversified. As a common saying goes, “the Ţambaaro land grows all manner of crops except salt”. It is probable that in the 200 or more years from the 1560’s to the Menilikan incorporation in 1891, different crop and animal varieties might have been introduced to the Ţ ambaaro land. The fact that the present Ţambaaro nationality is composed of quite rich varieties of people who came to the land in different epochs from various agro –ecological and economic cultural background has contributed to this rich mix of crops that are cultivated in the land.
Photos 8.1-5 Some selections of the varieties of crops grown in Ţambaaro land The mix of crop varieties in Ţambaaro land had in the period between 1560’s and 1891 at least three sources: one was that the Lamala Moolla themselves brought crop and animal varieties from their Sidama origin. They might have also caught up agricultural experiences and crop varieties from their encounters over the more than 100 years itinerary with different population groups. Secondly, the indigenous inhabitants of the land had already developed their own agronomic and agricultural experiences, with various types of root, tuber and cereal crops. Thirdly, the different neighboring nationalities such as Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya, Kambatta, Jimma- Oromo, etc have had also chances to export their own agronomic and agricultural experiences to Tambaaro land. With all these agronomic and agricultural bases and experiences, it is therefore no wonder that the (current) Ţambaaro land is suitable to cultivate all manner of crops “except salt”. 8.3. The Menilikan Incorporation and Introduction of New Agro Economic Practices and Contents Ţambaaro land was incorporated into the central government set up by Menlik II in 1891 after about four years of fierce resistance. With the incorporation, it is probable that more and new agro- economic practices and newer crop and animal varieties were introduced. At the moment, however, we are not sure what crop and animal varieties such as chick peas, beans, some ţeff varieties were introduced following the Amharic rule. Some beasts of burden such mules were said to house introduced to the area by the first Amharic administrators coming to Ţambaaro. We are not sure, though, whether these beasts of burden including donkey and horses were indigenous to the land. Horses were, however, already in use as means of cavalry in pre-Menilikan era. We are not sure whether the Lamala Moolla had brought these beasts of burden and war from their ‘Yemerera’ land. Photo 8.6 Beasts of burden such as mules were believed to have been introduced in the post- Menilik II era The technology of ox-drawn agriculture in Ţambaaro land was in existence for long time. Informants, though, told the pre-16th c indigenous inhabitants of the land did not have this technology. Neither did the Lamala Moolla or other groups such the Çatta bring this technology with them. It is probable that ox-drawn agriculture in Ţambaaro was began during the post 16 th c settlement with diffusions of the idea and technology from neighboring groups. It is even more probable the technology might have arrived following the Menilikan incorporation.
8.4. Economic Life in the Era of Incipient Feudalism: 1891-1936 The Menilikan incorporation in 1891 brought about a new politico-economic order in Ţambaaro land, as was the case in other parts of south Ethiopia. The here-to-fore vast land was begun to be apportioned into measured acres and given to the peasants. A system of land tax was introduced whereby every land holding peasant would pay a fixed amount of tax. A new “balabat” (land lord) system was imposed on the people. The balee womma (the feather king) was changed to the ‘balabat’ who would thenceforth act as a landlord and facilitate the feudal serfdom, see to it that land taxes are collected duly and timely. The post- Menilikan incorporation era brought a more ‘orderly’ and modern system of land use and political economy, but with heretofore unknown type and degree of economic dependence of the ruling class on the peasants. It brought a new form of economic exploitation on the peasants. New groups of economic exploiters were introduced. Dr Lapiso g. Dilebo in his different books (1991; 1992; 1999) vastly argued how the incorporation by the Menilikan government brought the peoples of south Ethiopia under a new form of political economy that usurped the people’s economic freedom. According to informants, pre-Menilikan Ţambaaro was characterized by a simplistic socio economic class structure whereby the womma (ruler) families enjoyed upper economic class. They did not need to engage in production activities. They had the lower classes such as the ‘Aldada’, ‘Debona’ and ‘Erasha’ groups who met the various economic and artisan needs of the royal families. The ‘Debona’, ‘Aldada’ and ‘Erasha’ groups did not have their own land use right. They lived on the lands of their masters. The common non- caste socio-economic class, the peasants, lived their own independent life. They occasionally contributed their labor service to the royal families. The Menilikan incorporation changed all these socio–economic structure and system. The system brought improved socio–economic status and power to few local people, the balee womma and other traditional politico-religious leaders. The bulk majority of the nationality has fallen into the lower economic base and into a network of social-economic exploitation with the introduction feudal system (See Tesfaye Habiso, 1992; Abera Kalacho, 1984; Haile-Mariam Desta, 1999). The nefteňa and melkeňa class (a politico-economic class of pioneer soldiers and feudal rulers) were gradually emerged as the members of the upper socio-economic class in Ţambaaro land. Informants did not, however, note that these new Amharic ruler classes were actively present in Ţambaaro before the Italian occupation. 8.5. The Italian Occupation and Economic Life in Ţambaaro: 1936-1941 The Italian occupation (1936-1941) was a brief interlude of economic re-orientation. The system broke up the feudal rule and it toppled down a feudal socio–economic structure that was built up for about 50 years (1891-1936) (see Lapiso, 1992).the local land lords and the Amharic dominated central government representatives were deposed and deprived of all their economic power, benefits and privileges. However, the local and other non-Ţambaaro personalities who befriended the Italian system were permitted to retain their socio-economic status and privileges (Bahru, 2002). The incipient serfdom and slavery machinery was brought to a halt, albeit temporary. It seems, the Italian occupation in a sense brought a relatively better economic independence as the peasantry was relieved of the economic exploitation. However, informants remember the period as a time of more vicious economic burden. The extent of economic inhumanity of the Italian task-masters was so unthinkable that some older persons who were witnesses of the time shudder when they narrate. Some informants told the Italians put local men in “yoke” and tilled the land using human energy.
The peasants were burdened with more vicious tax and tribute system. They were forced to pay different forms of tax in cash and kind: honey, egg, milk, crops, live animals, etc. The Italian task-masters burdened the peasants with intensive labor work. The infrastructural developments particularly road building was based on the local peasantry labor force. The positive aspect of the economic development efforts of the Italian occupation era in Ţambaaro (as in other areas) is debatable. Although the Italians built impressive road structures (today relics/ marks of the ancient Italian road patterns still exist in Ţambaaro) and other social amenities, these nonetheless did not take the local people into account as the beneficiaries; they built it for their own purposes and much of these developments were destroyed by them when they fled, or by the war of liberation (Bahru, 2002; Lapiso, 1992). 8.6. Economic Life In The Post- Italian Era: 1941-1974 The Italian occupation in Ţambaaro was ended with re-introduction of the feudal system. As the restless five years ended, the peasantry was more forcefully pushed into a frenzied serfdom, of ‘seasonless and ceaseless toiling’ in the words of Lapiso (1992). The Ţambaa ro people were relived of land tax for five years following the Italian defeat. Local informants noted this was an economic compensation for the patriotic resistance of the locals and their political leaders together with the Amharic nefteňa. After the five years, the tax-relief ended; the people once again entered a circuit of feudal and serfdom of tolling. More number of nefteňa and melkeňa came as the exploitative political-economic class. The invigorated Haile Sellasie l regime, assisted by the British political-economic engineers (Lapiso, 1992), introduced more and newer forms of administrative laws that brought an iron rule on the local economic life. More tax and tribute system were introduced. The lower stratum caste groups the ‘Debona’, ‘Erasha’, Aldada and the like were subjected to double-sided economic burdens and toiling: on the one hand, to the local ruling classes and, on the other, to the nefteňa and melkeňa classes. They had no access to the land of their own. Sixty to 100 local peasant households would work on the land farm space of one feudal lord, bringing various forms of tributes and taxes, with all forms economic services. The wives, daughters and sons of the peasant would all work hard in different capacities and realms of economic services. Although the Haile sellasie I government attempted to introduce more progressive economic policies (such as abrogating the forcible conscription of peasants to work for the feudal landlords, it did not help much (Bahru 2002). In the words of informants, economic life and condition in the post-Italian era (1941-1974) were all in all harshly exploitative and extremely abusive. This state of affair continued until the eve of the revolution and finally abolished in 1974. 8.7. Economic Life and Condition in the Derg Era: 1974-1991 The Ţambaaro nationality like its other neighbors accepted the end of the feudal imperial economic system with great expectation and welcoming. Indeed, the 1974 revolution and the subsequent march 1975 land proclamation were great heralds of economic independence and betterment. The doubly exploited socio-economic classes, the ‘Debona’, ‘the Erasha’ and the ‘Aldada’ and other non-caste, land-poor sections of the society got their own land and began leading their own free economic life. The exploitative machine of feudalism, slavery and serfdom, with all their power classes of the “balabats’, melkeňa and nefteňa, were toppled down. According to informants, the educated student groups who were educated outside Ţambaaro played big roles in mobilizing the people for economic freedom and empowerment, building schools and other social amenities. The economic assets of the ‘balabats’ and the power classes amassed through exploiting the peasantry were looted and put into building social institutions for the people. The euphoric early years of the Derg era, however, did not last long. People’s expec tations for better economic life and independence were thwarted by series of cruel derg laws of taxations, the terror of conscriptions into national military services, etc. Independent groupings and associations for better economic life were not possible due to the overarching and omnipresent Marxist–Leninist ideology of the Derg. Free economic thinking, trading, commerce, etc were
not allowed. Independent and economically powerful youth could not be created. Local and regional Derg officials created an economic hell for the people. Local informants remember the names and deeds of such vicious Derg officials as Petros Gebre, who could harass, imprison or kill any person at will. The situation continued until the Derg finally collapsed in 1991, despite its attempt at bettering economic life with introduction of mixed economic policy in 1990. 8.8. The Post-Derg Era and Ţambaaro Economic Life: 1991 To The Present Informants from across all the spectra of the society claimed that the EPRDF brought a new era of economic opportunities to the Ţambaaro nationality. With the recognition of the nationality’s geo-political and ethnohistoric identity questions, the people began to see some veritable signs of economic betterment and empowerment. Economic development which was in halt throughout the Haile sellasie I and Derg era was began as improvements in infrastructure (road, electricity, telecommunication , etc) and social services (health, education, etc) improved. The establishment of the hydro- electric power in 2000 and the allweather gravel road in 2008 (that connects the woreda center with other zonal towns) particularly helped accelerate the economic development. Despite this sign of practical economic betterment and independence, there are yearnings for the ‘good old days’ in terms of land productivity and food security. Informants argued new waves of climatic changes are threatening the entire fabric of economic life, especially since the last few recent years. Poverty, beggary, thievery and hunger are becoming real threats. Informants attribute these problems more to natural factors than to politico-economic policies. Photo 8.7. The proverbial, historic Lamala Moollaic sorghum, yelelo Today, Ţambaaro nationality engages in a mixed form of agriculture system whereby crop/land cultivation and animal husbandry are carried out side by side. This mixed form of agriculture system has thus its origins in the distant past (i.e., in its essential characteristics it has not changed over the past 300 or so years). But the system has over the years registered a number of important developments in various spheres such as the mix of agronomic and agricultural practices, the types of crops cultivated, the manner and types of agricultural farming tools, etc. Building on the cumulative developments of the past years, thus, today, it might be said that the Ţambaaro today cultivate all manner of crops (cereals, roots, tubers, fruits, vegetables, etc. Indeed, the topography and agro-ecological features of the land is suitable for the production of “all manners of crops but salt,” in the words (claims) of the local informants. The land is cultivated with both the indigenous and imported varieties of crops (cereals and root/ tuber crops), including the historic Lamala Moollaic sorghum, yelelo. Many varieties of cereals, fruits and vegetables have been introduced in the last 300 years and more so in the last 100 years. (example, certain varieties of teff, wheat, maize, peas, beans, etc; root and tubers such as sugar beat, yam, etc; fruits such as avocado, mango, orange, etc; vegetables, such as cauliflower, onions, garlic, etc. (this importation of various cerals fruits and vegetables has been attributed to the efforts of travelers and pioneering colonizers as well as merchants that crossed the land or came to the land (as in other southern parts of the country) from the northern Ethiopia (see Haberland, 1972).
Photo 8.8-10 Selected views of Ţambaaro topography and agricultural lands (note ţeff and sorghum crops) 8.9. A Brief Overview of Drought and Famine in Ţambaaro The earliest orally recorded accounts of famine in Ţambaaro land goes back to, according to older men informants, ca. 1850’s when tribal wars were hot and rampant. This time frame was determined based on old informants’ estimate ‘4 generations’ time. One of the horrible earliest accounts of famine was what informants call the ‘ashkera’ era. The term ‘ashkera” from what informants describe referred to presumably a food deficiency induced disease –displayed in the bodies of malnutrient persons. The food deficiency was so severe that death was common. Ashkera-affected persons were so common in all houses, when food was obtained from somewhere, they would not let the patient eat the food lest it would kill him as he was so weakened by famine. They would rather sprinkle the food on the body of the patient. The patient would regain strength by inhaling the smell of the food. This deadly famine episode was said to be the result of the incessant tribal wars. The people had little or no time to cultivate the land as the able-bodied males were engaged in fighting. Ţambaaro was besieged in all sides by belligerent nationalities (Wolayta, Maç ça, Hadya, etc). The decades of early and mid 19th century (and even before and after that until the Menilikan incorporation) the Ţambaaro had to fight all these enmities in all sides; inside home, they had to fight food shortage induced by these political factors. Informants made no mention of the recent famines episode of the late 19 th century what has come to be known as the ‘kifu qen’ (the bad day). A four year long famine episode mingled with human and livestock diseases. The time was just in the early years of Menilik II(18881892) (Bahru, 2002). Though informants located the ‘ashkera’ era somewhere in 1850s, it might be possible the time was this kifu qen era. All the way from the ashkera era to the 1973 famine episode, there neither was nor recorded significant famine. The 1973 famine episode was a significant factor in Ţambaaro economic and livelihood history. It was caused by rain shortage and drought as informants noted. The government provided food handouts by airplane. Food rations were thrown from the air in selected level plain fields in Gesuba and Gidansobba. Photo 8.11. People waiting for food rations at the world vision center, Mudula The third famine episode was the 1984 famine episode a nation wide famine which wiped out lots of human and animal lives. According to informants, the 1984 famine claimed so many lives that there were no ‘edir’ (a traditional self help association) efforts to handle funeral procedure. According to informants, the government responded to the famine episode by settling about 12,000 household heads in Gambella, Gojjam, Pawee areas (north-west Ethiopia). The NGOs notably the world vision came at this critical moment to the rescue of so many lives. The Christian humanitarian organization set up feeding and medical centers through out the Ţambaaro woreda whereby it embarked on a massive life saving works. The Ţambaaro people are indeed grateful to the
world vision not only for its life saving work in the 1984 famine, but its development endures since then. We had the opportunities and other development projects that are now functional. Famine, drought and food insecurity lessened down since 1984, but reappeared with more frequencies since the last 3-4 years. Informants mentioned the famine episodes of 1993, 2008 and 2009. They claimed the 2008 famine and drought killed many human lives (especially children). Climatic changes and resultant recurrent drought have dealt heavy blows on the livelihood bases of the people. Informants claim poverty, beggary, thievery and other social evils have become rampant with increasing productivity loss, drought and growing population size.
Photos 8.11 – 15 World Vision Ethiopia “the NGO that saved thousands of lives during the famous 1984 famine in Ţambaaro 8.10. Trends in Deforestation According to local informants, much of the present Ţambaaro area was covered with indigenous trees – (acacia, zigba, doqma etc). Legends say the acacia forest made a canopy of long distances and vast areas that arboreal animals used to walk and run on tree tops from one end to the other without dropping on the ground. Now much of the land is cleared of indigenous tree forests. The main factor was overpopulation leading to increasing clearing of the forest for farming and illegal timbering. During pre-Derg time, there was no land shortage and population size was not as such high. But in Derg’s time population size begun to increase . Reforestation processes were made during the Derg era and it has increased in this regime. The Lammo indigenous forest area, one of the remnant forests in Ţambaaro is now juxtaposed with other manmade forests (gravellia, tid, acacia, eucalyptus, etc). Planting these trees begun in late 1980’s, culminating in more aggressive re-forestation efforts most recently. We visited seeding farms in the Lammo forest area. Forest protection is now being given more attention. Other protected remnant forest areas are not available now in Ţambaaro, except small tract of forest land in Ambuguma where manmade trees exist. The Lammo forest land houses a number of wild animals such as colobus monkey, hyenas, hares, wild pigs, etc. Formerly, bigger wild beasts such as lion and tiger existed. Now these have vanished as the forest thinned. During the Italian war, much of the vast Ţambaaro land was a thick forest, serving as an ambush for the patriots.
Photos 8.16-17 Note the remnant forest converges of a selected neighborhood. Note how the mountain ridges were cleared fro land cultivation 8.11. A History of Market Exchange and Trade Relations Our discussion with elders and other local intellectuals reveal that trade and commodity exchange have been important aspects of the Ţambaaro economic system. The market exchange system of the pre- 16th century indigenous populations was not known, although it may be guessed there existed primitive bartering system. According to informants, the mid 16th c to early 17th c was generally characterized by bartering system. Even the politicoeconomically (supposedly) more organized new comer groups were not conversant with more advanced market exchange system. People from the high land brought cabbages and other crop products that were not accessible to lowlanders, who in turn brought sorghum and other commodities so that they exchanged these at a central place (a primitive market place). Sometimes toward the close of 17th and beginning decades of 18th cc an advanced market exchange system was introduced probably through diffusion from the neighboring areas. The first money based market exchange started with Maçça a term that signified the type of iron material brought from the Maçça (Oromo). It was used for digging/ tilling the land. It was a heavy iron object. Four marça iron bars were exchanged with a heifer. The Maçça iron bar was succeeded by amole maţinne (a bar of salt). This salt bar was a wide spread symbolic money throughout the country. We do not know when and how this was introduced to Ţambaaro land. But it was probably diffused from its contacts with the neighboring nationalities. For how long this market exchange system endured we do not know either. Informants narrated the amole maţinne was replaced by the tamina –‘a small sized cent’ that was introduced during Menilik II era. Informants did not remember what /whose symbol/image did the tamina bear. Nor did informants mention about the Maria Theresa (known in Amharic as martreza) note that was known in the country sometimes preceding the Menilik ii era or also sometime in post- Menilik ii era. The tamina was replaced by a “white ţagara birra”, a heavy iron bar. Informants did not describe how this iron bar differed from the Maçça. This ţagara birra stayed rather long time in Ţambaaro until the coming to power of Haile Sellasie I in 1920s four ţagara birra was equivalent to one big fattened ox. The ţagara birra was then abolished by the proclamation issued by the Haile sellasie I government (specific date cannot be established here). It was replaced by the first ever paper money called birr. The birr and cents bearing Haile Sellasie I’s image were then replaced by the current paper money and smaller bronze coins. In between, the Italian government introduced its own money system the lirre (lira). Informants also mentioned about chencha, shilling and bobla. It is not clear whether these were contemporaries with lira, though informants said they were introduced by the Italians. However, the shilling was brought by the British. The coin was a small sized one with a hole at the center. The shilling was replaced by a coin bearing the image of Haile Sellasie I and lion.
Maçça GIRO 17th -18th
GGGMMM early 18 MMMMATI Lira /Bobla Chencha NE MATINE
1900s to 1920s
Fig.8.1. Chronological order of succession of money systems as conceptualized by Ţambaaro informants 8.12. Markets and Urban Growth Development /and origin/ of urban centers in Ţambaaro is associated with market relations. Except one urban center which is now more of a historical relic than a dynamic town, Durgi, the rest urban centers were originated in relation to market forces. Qeleţa town which is a registered urban administrative center since 2004/2006-grew as a result of a market forces as was Mudula and others. A big market day on Tuesday marks this town. The market is an epicenter for trades from as far as Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya, and Kambatta. This market has origins since Italian occupation (1936-41). Similar market-driven towns are on formation in other kebeles. PART II ECONOMIC ETHNOGRAPHY 8.13. Philosophy and the Organization of Work In this section we will present ethnographic descriptions of economic organization. Issues discussed include the philosophy of work; meaning and characterization of poverty and wealth; trends in resource distribution; organization of labor; age and gender division of work; social class work, classification of work; production, exchange and maintenance of production tools; agronomic calendar, etc. The social cultural values and philosophies that govern economic activities have been derived from different groups of people that came to the Ţambaaro land from different geographical and cultural backgrounds. The current work ethic and organization in Ţambaaro land are thus the result of the long year’s synergization of values and norms originating from these differ ent ethno-cultural groups. All of the following have in some way and degree have contributed to this current work ethics: Indigenous population of Kalmana Woçifina, Gondorima and Handarama groups; Lamala Moolla and ‘associate’ groups; The latter day comer groups from neighboring areas, such as the Çatta, etc
8.13.1. Classification of, and Attitudes towards, Different Work Categories Work according to Ţambaaro informants is a productive activity whereby basic survival needs are met. Every economic activity is interwoven with spiritual values. Productive activities in Ţambaaro economic culture are categorized into land cultivation, artisan work, livestock rearing and household chores. Farming, that is, crop production and animal husbandry is/ has been by far the most important economic activity. Non-farm, non artisan economic activities such as trade is recent phenomena. Such economic activities are not regarded as ‘real’ works like farming; farming is very important defining economic activity for the economic identity for the bulk of the population. Artisan economic activity: pottery, weaving, woodwork, ironwork, leatherwork (tannery) has been the ever existent work category side by side with mixed farming but this category of economic activity has been the single most important category that divided society along status power lines. Farmers’ groups enjoyed higher social statuses. Arti san groups particularly potter have occupied the lowest economic and social stratum in Ţambaaro economic history.
Social status ‘purity’ has been essentially tied to link with pottery and other artisan occupations. For those groups engaged in artisan economic activities, these activities were not the sole means of living. They have used these activities as supplementary sources of livelihood. Some of them, however, have engaged in these artisan occupations as their sole economic activities. The attitudes of non-artesian groups to these economic activities have changed over the centuries. These work categories have been conceptualized as ‘impure’ ones. The ‘pure’ peasant social classes did not even dare to think of engaging in such tasks; this was particularly the case with pottery. Over the years, positive attitudinal changes towards weaving, woodwork and ironwork (to some extent) have been created. Some non-artisan groups have begun engaging in woodwork, ironwork, and weaving as additional economic activities. Such types of changes in attitudinal towards pottery and potters are yet to be seen. Occupational switching has also taken place across these various categories of work. Some artesian groups have, for example, made complete ceasing (e.g. The ‘ Aldada’, tanner group) and shifted totally to farming. 8.13.2. Organization of Labor and Participation of Different Social Groups in Economic Production Labor and work are organized against gender, age and social class lines in Ţambaaro as in other similar traditional societies. Some works are clearly demarcated for females while some for males. Household chores are exclusively for females. Food preparation (including bringing raw food items from farms), cooking, serving the meals, house cleaning, organizing household utensils, making certain home appliances (e.g. Food serving utensils, sifting and containing equipment made from grass and farm trees), etc are all women’s work. Some farming works are also feminine. Every married woman has had a backyard plot of land where she planted some “feminine” crops (such as cabbage, condiments, and the like). Masculine works are generally carried out ‘off home’. Ox-drawn agriculture is completely masculine. Tilling the land, sowing seeds; weeding, harvesting and storing crops are also masculine. Women’s participation in these firming stages has been limited to preparation and serving of food to the (male) laborers. Caring for livestock is carried out by both sexes. Milking cows and handling dairy products are feminine tasks. Preparation, collecting and provision of animal feeds are also shared among the two sexes. Economic productive works are also organized along age line. In Ţambaaro nationality, children begin engaging in productive work quite early in life. It is still today, common to come across with a small child of about 4 to 5 collecting firewood, getting animal feeds, fetching water, tending cattle, making errands, etc. Active engagement in tougher farming and feminine works begins at bajame and wodalicho stages, (stages of adolescence for females and males, respectively).
Photos 8.18-23. Children are active laborers in the productive activities in Ţambaaro (they engage in some simple works such as tending cattle and also tough works such as collecting fire wood by climbing trees (see bottom, middle); they also take responsibilities in selling goods and carrying goods to markets; note children winnowing cereals in the market, top, middle; two kids carrying grass for sale, top, left; a kid selling an ensete decorticating tool, bottom, left) Carrying commodities to markets and selling are done by both sexes and all age groups. Small children and females are active carriers of goods to markets and sellers of these goods and other services. It is thus common to see small boys and girls carrying goods to markets and selling them. Some artisan products are solely made by one sex (male or female) but carried to markets for sale by either or both sexes. For example, blacksmith (the tumicha) are solely males; their products can be brought to the market for sale by both sexes. Wooden products are solely masculine jobs, but they can be brought to the market and sold by both sexes. Products made of grasses are solely feminine, and are almost solely sold by the same sexes. Sisal and false banana thread products are solely masculine. Pottery work is by and large the task of women, males engaging in locating, extracting, and transporting of raw material, the soil. The pottery products are carried to markets and sold by both sexes. Small children also engage in the carriage and sale. Work is also organized across class. As indicated earlier, some occupations are ascribed at/ by birth. One’s social class position is thus defined by the types of occupation. The ‘higher’ social class was in the past relieved of engagement in economic activities. The womma families (all the three wommas) never engaged in such activities. The ordinary citizens have voluntarily or pseudo- voluntarily worked for the royal families.
Photos 8.25-28 “Some works are solely feminine or masculine; some works may be produced by either sex; some commodities are sold solely by either sexes…” 8.13.3. Pooling of Labor In Ţambaaro, productive economic activities are carried out both independently and on team basis. Much of routine household chores, farm works and other artisan works are performed at private, household level. Certain aspects of productive activities, however, demand the pooling of labor. Thus, there are such group- based, cooperative work in farming and food reparations. Weeding of crops is particularly best suited for such cooperative pooling. Boys and youths have the enfila, a small group of youth that works in team turn by turn in each other’s farm. Bigger forms of cooperative works also exist. Dabba is a name for such a large group of individuals which is more elaborated and organized. In dabba labor organization, several family heads or household members become members. On a particular labor work day (on farms), the wives would prepare and provide foods and drinks. Construction of residential house building is also another work that demands cooperative pooling. In the past, before modern flour mills were in place, women often shared their labor to grind grains turn by turn in each other’s house.
Photos 8.29-30 Young men engaged in enfila, a traditional form of labor pooling in weeding crops, Osheto qebele 8.14. Definition of Characterization of the Poor and the Rich Ţambaaro vocabulary has clear-cut terms for the poor and the rich: buţich and dubalash, respectively. The philosophy that is still resilient regarding why or how someone becomes poor
or rich is that poverty and wealth of a person are determined by fate and the divine will. Some common proverbial statements depicting such underlying philosophy include: “He whom god has bestowed wealth become rich.” “He who is poor thinks it is god who deprived him.” “A poor man’s cow dies; a wealth man’s cow gives birth to twins.” “Rain falls from above; only in homes where god has determined wealth comes. “ These expressions clearly indicate how religion shapes economic views. Up on further probing, some informants, however, indicated that poverty and we alth are also determined by one’s degree of hard work and commitment. “he who works hard gets rich”, was not, however, equally and forcefully stated. Some people are destined to be rich and some poor. Such attitudes might not be, of course, necessarily shared by all social groups. 8.15. Production Tools (Implements) In Ţambaaro, as in other traditional societies, production practice has been carried out manually. Human energy was the sole source of work until it was supplemented very lately in history by animal energy. These days, animals play key role as energy /labor source. Beasts of burden (donkeys, mules, horses) carry humans and commodities to markets and other places. Farming activities from farm preparation to harvesting and storing are all manual. Various production tools are used in carrying out the various productive activities. The following are some categories of such tools. 8.15.1. Farming Tools Made Of Iron Works Baçe, sickle, is used for mowing grass as well as cutting. Modern and indigenous sickles are used side by side. Modern one is bought from shops. The ţumano often renovate modern sickles when they get dull. Ţagara is a heavy duty splitter whose iron material is about 30 cm long with 5 cm wide at its center. It is inserted into a hole at the end of a club with egg shaped head and about 70-80 cm length. The local term is tazicha. The wooden handle is made of a local tree called garba. The iron end is called tagara. The tool as a whole is called misani. Haqi kalta is a wooden hatchet; wooden part with angular shape at the end. The handle part is about 60 cm long. The iron part section is about 20 cm long. Iron blade is inserted to split wood. Tikke – is soil digging tool. It is a thin iron bar sharpened at the end. Two such bars are tied to wooden handle used for hoeing. Marça and woffalu are two connected iron parts fashioned into sharpened tool, used in plowing the land in ox drawn agriculture.
Photos 31-35 Some of farm tools (digging, cutting, wood splitting, hoeing, etc) 8.15.2. Various (Feminine) Tools: false banana decortications tools, unçatta (false banana dough) cutting tools, water and other liquid storing to utensils; food cooking utensils, cereals winnowing, storing and sifting utensils , etc.
Photos 8.36-38 Some selections of ‘feminine’ tools (earthen bowls, p ots and ironware (knives) The earliest inhabitants of the land, Gudda and Magada might have employed the most primitive tools such as stones, wooden sticks and other natural objects. The subsequent population groups must have had better economic adaptations to the environment. The recent pre- Ţambaaro population groups and the subsequent new comers employed digging poles, hoes and other farm tools. According to informants, use of sophisticated farm tools was lately developed. The use of big, digging sharpened wooden poles was commonly practiced. Later, iron topped farming tools were introduced. The use of ox drawn agriculture was even much more recent. The various land tilling implements and the ox drawn plowing was gradually diffused from the subsequent population incoming and trade contacts probably beginning from the early and mid 19 th century. Owning, managing and maintenance of production tools were shared between both sexes. Males were responsible for ‘masculine’ tools while females were for the “feminine” tools.
8.15.3. Sisal Works (Ensete Leave Products) Ensete (false banana) is a multi-purpose plant in entire south west Ethiopia, including Ţambaaro. One of the multiple uses of this tuber plant is that sisal is produced by scrapping its planks. The fleshy materials scrapped out and serving as qoçço after passing through various fermentation stages; the remaining thin thread like parts are made to dry and they become very hard and strong threads. These threads are used for making ropes, called wodoru; wodoru is made by males, usually boys. An innovative, similar sisal work is that ropes are being made by using threads strapped out from sacks.
Photos 8.39-41. False-banana (ensete) thread products 8.15.4. Bamboo-Works and Wooden Works Sissa- is a split bamboo wood sharpened at its sides. It is about 50 cm long. It is used for scrapping false banana stem when making unçatta. Akate is a wooden club with thick, ball shaped end, having a shallow hole and it ends with triangularly sharpened parts, which resemble beer or soft drinks bottle cap ends. It is used for crushing the tubers of false banana when making scrapping (decorticating) it for unçatta production. The material is made of abalo (a type of very strong tree variety) wood. It is made by males. Fathers may send it to markets by their sons, daughters or wives.
Phtos 8.42-43 Akate 8.16. Means of Transport
sissa Photo 8.44. Mule transport Ţambaaro nationality has depended on traditional, indigenous means of transport for centuries. Domestication of bests of burden is shrouded in unknown, unspecified past. Mules, donkeys and horses have been put to the use of means of transporting both humans and goods. Water transport mechanism was necessitated by the socio-cultural and market relations Ţambaaro has had with its neighbors beyond river Ommo, notably Dawro. The Ţambaaro have crossed the river Ommo for centuries using traditional
transport technologies. One useful technology, locamo is made from the goat’s skin which is fashioned into very smooth state by scrapping, assisting with butter and other ointments. This locamo is a see-going vessel, used for transporting people, commodities. 8.17. Agricultural Season Calendars The seed sowing season makes up an important part of traditional seasonal calendar in Ţambaaro. The seed rowing calendar begins after Hamle 4 (July 10 or 11). The first 10 days of hamle is called torjume sanna (10 days) followed by honse sanna (9 days), ezete sanna (8 days). Then comes lamale sanna which is “outside of the main seed sowing calendar.” Crops sown during the first cycle (toriume sanna) include the ‘meher’ (spring) crops such as beans, ţeff, wheat; peas wheat, beanm barely, etc 8.18. Crop Protection Ţambaaro protect corps in the field by erecting a small t riangular house that is set on a frame of wooden poles on four beams. This is called machi godduto, a similar structure also exists. It is called gidani goddu, literally, ‘ape control’. It is a house made of woods and thatches, erected over elevated wood poles, meant for watching wild animals such as monkey which spoil farm crops. Photo 8.45. A gombisa (barn) The men would watch incoming wild beasts that get to the crop. They also watch for thieves. The boys also protect crops using dambarsa: which is a form of tool made of thread or leather stripe with a holder for stone pebble and the pebbles are thrown to chase away or kill pest birds. Harvested crops are protected by being stored in a well-built barn called gombissa. The barn is made of woods and bamboo tree; it is a hemispherical shape wall with triangular thatch roof.
8.19. Apiculture Photo 8.46. Qachut, a beehive made of bamboo tree Ţambaaro have practiced apiculture since the first time the various people groups discovered the art in some unknown, unspecified past. The land and agroecology of Ţambaaro is suitable for the production of honey. Honey has been an important socio-culturally and spiritually valued product. It has been used as part of the ordinary dietary and basic ingredient in local drinks. It also has been a high status element in the ancestral- honoring rituals whereby it was spilled on the burial/ grave site.
The traditional manner of honey production involved use of various smoking mechanism to attract the swarming bees and once they are captured they would prepare a place for them to rest. Baskets were hanged on trees. Qachut a beehive is a cylindrical shape with about lob 120 cm long and about 100 cm circumference. It is made by men women may bring it to markets and sell it. Bamboo is grown in highland sections of Ţambaaro land. Males make various products by using the slices of the wood. 8.20. Market Surveys of Commodities At the major market day in Ţambaaro such as Mudula (Thursday market) varieties of commodities are bought and sold. Our inventory of commodities revealed that present day Ţambaaro market is a show ground for practically every type of commoditi es– from vegetables, fruits, cereals, roots, tubers, live animals, poultry; various forms of art works – wood works, pottery, iron works, bamboo works, grass works, leather works; cotton woven products; animal feeds; local liquors; animal products, such milk, butter; stimulants such as local cigars/ tobacco; etc.
Photo 8.47 Iron works Photos 8.48-49. Wooden products Photo 8.50. Grass works The market is an epicenter for all manner of services: women serving local liquors ( borde /beer), areqe; local cigars; shoe shining, ironing clothes, mending cloths, house wares.
Photos 8.51 woman selling local beer Photo 8.52 Woman readying local alcohol (areqe) Photo 8.53 Man getting cigarette service
Photo 8.54 local cigar pot Photo 8.55 Tobacco ‘bread’ being sold addicted smokers getting cigarette smoking service
Women – girls, mothers alike are major participants in the making, buying, selling, transporting of goods and services. Some products are gender specific: only women make and sell them: example includes grass works such as sifting, winnowing utensils; pottery; men make iron works, wood works solely but women may sell them. According to informants, some 4 -6 decades ago, the inventory of commodities at Ţambaaro markets were quite significantly different from those of the present, where modern commodities dominate; in those days, indigenous, local made commodities dominated. Most cherished, dominant commodities brought to Ţambaaro markets by ‘sirara”, long distance, merchants included abujdedi (a type of cloth which was factory made inside the country or brought from abroad), salt (through Alaba, Wolayta), drugs, pebbles, etc. They bought coffee, tobacco, live animals, etc from Ţambaaro. Locally produced products dominated in the past. These products have persisted until today; however, our market survey on a historically significant, big market day confirmed these. Buyers, sellers and merchants come from all corners of the woreda and beyond, particularly from nearby woredas. For example, merchants from Dawro bring butter. They cross Ommo River, which is a natural boundary between Ţambaaro and Dawro towards south west, using traditional innovative water-going vesicle, silicha, made of goat skin.
Ţambaaro had trade relations with neighboring and distant nationalities for centuries with Kambatta, Hadya, Wolayta, Dawro, Oromo, etc. Dawro and Oromo of Jimma areas would cross Ommo River; Dawro often brought butter; Maçça brought maresha (a part in ox drawn plough). Ţambaaro called it maçichu maresha, meaning the maresha/plough of Maçça. (Ţambaaro call their Ommo neighbors beyond Ommo river as Maçça, which derives from one of the big moieties of Oromo nation, Maçça.)
CHAPTER NINE SOCIO-CULTURAL ORGANIZATION AND PROCESSES: A HISTORY AND ETHNOGRAPHY In this Chapter, we shall present an overview of the historical and ethnographical aspects of Ţambaaro socio-cultural system and organization. Issues addressed include: patterns of kinship relationships (marriage, marital and premarital sex relations; family life, child birth, growth, parenting and parental relations; etc); age grading, forms of social boding; patterns of personal adornment through apparels, body marking, and beautification; recreational activities that glue social relationships (songs, dances, music, games, etc); dealing with misfortunes (disease, death, bereavement, mourning, funerals, etc); etc References are generally and frequently made to the Lamala Moollaic socio-cultural systems as these have over the years become dominant and well- internalized by other ethno-social groups and hence part of Ţambaaro culture. Information on the socio-cultural systems of other different groups was not obtained due to various factors (not the least of which is the fact that these groups have more or less adopted the Lamala Moollaic socio-cultural systems). Of course, some groups (such as, for example, the so-called ‘Erasha’ or “Bete-Israel’ groups have managed to preserve some of their socio-cultural systems (we will present this in some detail). We have no information whatsoever regarding the socio-cultural system and organization of the pre-Ţambaaronite population groups, both the extinct ones and the currently assimilated ones. No one was able to provide us with information on the culture systems of the extinct groups. The remnant pre-Ţambaaronite groups have successfully become assimilated and thus have long adopted the Lamala Moollaic socio-cultural traditions. 9.1. A Brief Introduction to the Socio-cultural History: the Development of a Ţambaaro Culture The fact is that over the long years of successful co-existence and peaceful interactions, the different ethnogenetic and social groups that make up the present Ţambaaro Nationality have now successfully created what might fairly be termed as a Pan- Ţambaaro socio-cultural system. Some local intellectuals argue much of the system is today a product of the Lamala Moolla group. Because of the long-years’ co-living and mutual inter-influencing of the different groups, however, the present socio-cultural system might be rightfully a heritage which none of the groups may claim as only their own possession. All of the major groups now proudly point to a common Ţambaaro socio-cultural system and identity that makes Ţambaaro as a unified nationality distinct from other nationalities. The socio-cultural history of Ţambaaro has passed through a distinct discernible epochs whereby a progressive emergence of a Ţambaaro cultural system happened. At the initial epochs in the history of the socio-cultural system (which may be located presumably somewhere in the beginning from the mid 1550s, the different ethnogenetic and social groups have managed to continue espousing their own distinctive socio-cultural identities. This trend continued until the different groups gradually were brought into unavoidable mutual interactions whereby their distinct socio-cultural elements begun to be subjected to effective hybridization process, a process which has not yet come to a completion, but which has resulted in a discernible pan-Ţambaaro socio-cultural identity. In the process of the socio-cultural intermeshing of the different groups, some of the parts of the systems managed to survive fitting to the changing conditions of the environment and socio-cultural landscape. Some were in the process befallen with the fate of obsolescence. Thus, today, we can rightly assume that many elements of the socio-cultural systems of the different ethnogenetic groups of Ţambaaro have become extinct, or at best have become modified, changed or hybridized. Over the process, certain discernible Ţambaaro socio-cultural elements have emerged in which all the different ethnogenetic groups now participate, taking it as their own way of life. Some
of such Ţambaaro socio-cultural systems include: the various public festivals, notably, the Masala festival; the political tradition in which each clan participates through its representative as a magaba; patterns of material cultures used by them, e.g. residential house architecture; use of common language which is a major element of culture; patriotism that results from common historical-cultural traditions in the military and warfare sphere as all participated in the defense of their common land; a similar Amharic vernacular which all Ţambaaronites now use; etc. The unique socio-cultural aspects of the different ethnogenetic groups is now even the more being rapidly overshadowed by the ever-increasing reality of the common, encompassing socio-cultural forces of the contemporary time. Thus, the socio-cultural and politico-economic unification factors are bringing all the distinct groups into one socio-cultural umbrella. The exposure of the different groups in the same forces of ideologies, such as religious ideologies (e.g. Protestant Christianity which is a powerful unifying factor socio-culturally, at least in principle) is a good example. This process in all likelihood will continue more forcefully until the Ţambaaro socio-cultural system and identity will be finally consummated. What we present below thus needs to be understood as the socio-cultural system as it functioned in the past, as it morphed over the years and as a dynamic reality, not as a constant, fixed entity. 9.2. Kinship System 9.2.1. Kinship and Marriage Rules Traditional Ţambaaro marriage rules were such that it has been exogamous – in the sense that the descendants of an ethnogenetic group (in Ţambaaro case a clan-group) do not marry within, as obviously is the case in other societies as well. Marriage rules have been and still continue to be very strict particularly among the Moolla group. The issue has become a matter of loud crying and oppositions among the different groups within the Moolla corporate, as it has got a rather unique code in that all descendants of the original ‘seven brothers’ still regard marriage within themselves as a taboo. The issue has created gaps between the older and the younger generations (specially the intellectual ones). The basic argument presented by the younger generation is that the Lamala Moolla has now so propagated and become vast that there is now no biological or cultural reason to prohibit marriage between the different clans descending form Lamala Moolla. The rules prohibit any marriage formation between two persons who bear a Moollaic blood in their veins, whatever the distance in the genealogical relationship may be. The Lamala Moolla groups have thus carried on its ancient tradition of marrying out, from groups which do not bear any Moollaic blood. They have since the 16th century continued this tradition; thus, the males have been taking wives from groups such as Wolayta, Dawro, Hadya, Donga, and other pre-Ţambaaro groups; their women have been given to groups in the land that do not bear Moollaic blood. The Moollaic marriage rule is now said to be inflicting a special harm on their female population as the women are lacking chances of marriage because they do not get their male matches in the land, as more and more males in one way or another bear the Moollaic blood. The number of males in the marriage market for the females has become gradually decimated and thus more and more females are today remaining single. Out of desperation, some individuals are taking bold steps whereby they makes campaigns against the Moollaic marriage rule; due to the effects of this and other efforts some are hesitantly breaking the rules and getting married within the Moolla line. The ‘associate’ groups that were part of the Moollaic itinerary group contented to marry within their own sub groups as others have regarded them as caste groups due to their ascribed occupational status. But over the years, the Aldada and Debona groups have become more or less succeeded in making equal marriage relations with all groups, while the Erasha continue to be excluded.
9.2.2. Polygamy Ţambaaro traditional marriage system was essentially polygamous. Males have had the right to marry more than one wife. This polygamous marriage rule of all the various groups in Ţambaaro Nationality was to be expected as a matter of fact; it is the trend a nd pattern in traditional, paternalistic societies, with settled agricultural system of production. All the neighboring nationalities have had this form of marriage system in the past and the system has been progressively declining and in some sense is almost disappeared as a overt, cultural practice. The main factor behind this demise of the polygamous marriage system of Ţambaaro, as in other neighboring nationalities, have been the forces of modernization, changing socio-economic and political conditions as well as the influence of Christianization of the nationality. 9.2.3. Mate Selection and Betrothal In the past, neither the girl (bajame) nor the boy (wodalicho) had freedom to choose and marry by their own decision. This is the normal practice – at least in the most commonly practiced marriage types. Mate selection was in the hands of the parents – particularly the father. One commonly practiced rituals of mate selection were the father of a wodalicho would take a stick and go to the home of his son’s would be wife. This practice is termed ‘bringing the stick’. This is one of the symbols of mate selection – and if one man had already ‘brought the stick’; no other person would then go to request the parents of the girl. She is considered ‘betrothed’. During betrothal stage, the boy’s party (represented by two males of his clan) would give various articles to the girl’s mother and father. Dress, umbrella, etc are handed over to the mother. To the father, they offer gun, cap, overcoat, etc. To the girl they give cash to buy various articles such as customs. This is a more recent practice in the distant past; the betrothal process would take long time. The boy’s party may be made to come again and again until the girl’s father finally decides to give the girl to the boy’s party. The boy’s party may come to request for three or more cycles. The boy’s father assigns a gaana (go-between) who is selected on the basis of being capable to attract and win the favor of the girl’s father through forceful negotiation. The first day of coming to betroth the would-be wife, the boy’s party may not be allowed to sit down; they would stand and express their mission. The father may not utter any word; the party goes back. At a second or third round, they may be allowed to sit down and now begins the negotiation. When the father gives his good will and is ready to give his daughter, they prepare a reception ceremony, whereby the boy’s party is invited coffee, drinks and food. Then they give the bride-price to the father. In the distant past – probably before Menilik II era (1889-1913) and in the early periods of the era, they would give as a bride price – ‘three marça’ – a bar of iron representing money valley at the time. 9.2.4. Types of Marriage The forms/ types of marriage discussed below are not necessarily originally espoused by all groups of people in the Nationality; nor are they to be understood as solely belonging to limited ethnogenetic groups at the present. There is a sense that these various marriage forms were Lamala Moollaic in origin (though we cannot establish this as a fact at the moment); however there is a likelihood that these marriage forms have been the results of the long years amalgamation and hybridization of institutions of marriage attributed to different ethnogenetic groups. Now we can safely argue the forms were gradually accepted by all groups in the Nationality and hence are Pan- Ţambaaro in their current state. I. Qorsisha (Arranged Marriage) A typical marriage form is called qorsissa, arranged by parents, without the involvements of the children. This form dominated in the history of Ţambaaro marriage system. This form of marriage involves long and elaborate process and rituals – and it might be termed ‘the normal’ form of marriage; by ‘normal’ it is not, though, meant that it was practiced by the majority; rather it meant a formally ratified and culturally respected form of marriage arrangement.
Arranged marriage form involves elaborate procedures and weddings arrangements. Some of the institutions in this form of marriage are the following. Çiççu or woffu: - was a bearer of good or bad fortune that crosses one’s way on the road. It could be a kind of a bird or any other coincidence such as a sick person in the girl’s family. The çiççu is also a go-between the two families. Alternative term is gaana. The arranged marriage form thus involves an elaborate wedding ceremony. The bolocha (wedding) ceremony takes place both at the girl’s and the boy’s home. The bride, when wedding day appointment is fixed, begins to make herself ready for the wedding day. One of the preparations involves the ritual of finger nail cutting. The nails are almost cut to the very roots. To medicate bleeding and pain, they would deep the finger in a butter soup. She was assisted by her friends in this finger-nail cutting. As the wedding approaches, the bride also drinks kosso, a concoction prepared from the fruits of a repulsive tasting tree fruits which is used as an intestine purging and clearing potion; (also used as an antidote against tapeworm in many Ethiopian societies). The purpose of both finger nail cutting and kosso drinking is meant to make the bride totally submissive to her bride during sexual intercourse. It was believed that if the bride’s fingernails are not plucked out, she would scratch the bride-groom during intercourse as she would struggle hard due to pain as the bride groom struggles to deflower her. Çifla: is a group that comes with the bride groom to accompany the bride to take home. While the group is dancing and singing outside, the relatives give counseling and directions to the bride. They wash her, cloth her and make her ready. The bride’s mother would sit calmly and decently in the living room. As the bride is ready for the ‘taking’, the comp any handover the dowry which are carefully counted and evaluated. The bride takes specially prepared butter, stuffed into a pot. She takes two types of butter, yuuma and zuuma, which she uses for anointing and making a special food. During the wedding day, the girl’s family prepares feasts (of small degree); various drinks were prepared; ox was slaughtered and meat was cooked. The boy’s party would come on the day dancing. The bride-groom best-men would also bring a girl with them to take care of the bride. The boy’s party would be fed one to two days and they would then take the bride to the bride- groom’s home. The bride would be given by the mother cooked foods, butter and other things. The boy’s party would then mount the bride on a mule; but before doing so, the bride should be mounted on a female horse, as a sign of wishing fertility. The boy’s family would make huge wedding party. As they arrive at the boy’s home, the bride is made to sit on the lap of her mother-in-law, and embrace two children (one male and one female) and the mother would pronounce blessings. After this ritual, the bride accompanied by the bride groom’s sister and others, would get inside home (the boy’s father’s); but before they enter, the sisters and others standing would perform a mock ritual whereby they struggle to prevent them from entering. At this time, the bride-groom gives some money and is allowed in. Inside home, they head towards the qoroţo – a specially enclosed room at a corner in the house. At this stage, the other girls nearby also would try to protect the bride and the bride-groom from entering, where n the bride-groom gives a gift of money, and they now get into the room. The new couple would spend their ‘honeymoon’ here in the special room. The bride is expected to resist all urges to go out for a fresh air outside. Neither does she go out for a call of nature. The ‘kosso’ she drinks on eve of the wedding is believed to clear all solid waste so that throughout the four days, there is no need for going to toilet. The bride – now the wife- is not expected to see the faces of her father-in-law. Neither she ‘uses’ or utter their names lightly. In fact, she would use an alternative name or term any article that has got a similar letter or sound with the name of her father and all other male elderly. This norm is termed bal’esha. It is probably a Lamala Moollaic mores carried over from their Sidama land, where the practice is strongly held.
After the honeymoon, the family would make a ceremony meant to get together the bride and her in-laws. A sheep will be slaughtered and drinks will be prepared. Before they feast, a strip of carefully cut-out fresh hide of the killed sheep – a strip cutout right over the head down to the scrotum – including the scrotum - would be hang over the neck of the bride. This signifies well-wishing of fertility. The father would also sprinkle the blood on the faces of the family members. Mini-agisha/ Balisha: - a ceremony which the bridle-groom’s parents prepare to let the bride ‘mix’ with the new family. The new wife is then taught how to call and treat the bridegroom’s parents and other older males. This is done by a girl (a relative of the bride) who takes a gourd of milk and an unused gourd; she makes the bride sip the milk and teaches how to call the name of the father, of clan name, etc. She tells her “let you be dumb as like this gourd if you raise the names of your husbands’ male relatives”. This is the balisha ritual. The balisha ritual forbids the bride not to address her male in-laws’ names as well as even the names of objects whose initial sounds /letters match with the in- laws’ name
Photos 9.1-3 Gourds The bride may continue in ‘honeymoon’ being limited to a special room in the bride- groom’s house. This may continue up to four months. After this time she begins mixing with the inlaws. The mixing day in marked with a special ceremony wherein the family slaughters cattle, smear the newly-weds and family members with the blood, as a covenant. On that day, the bride handovers special gift articles which she made at home and brought it with her. She gives a leemat (a table on which the father eats food) to the father, soruwa (bowl), and similar other articles. There articles are made of grass. She also gives borkano, a mattress mode of wood, to her mother-in-law. This borkano is carved of wood by craftsmen. (See figure)
Photos 9.4-5- Soruwa Photo 9.6. A borkano a pillow made of carved wood. It has three opening with roughly rectangular shape. It is about 20 cm by 30 cm size. The best-man of the bridegroom was called tamishra or shafi jaala. When the bride gets inside the çagula house (honeymoon room), he accompanies the two inside. The mixing of the new bride with her in-laws also includes a
ritual called the looga ritual- a ritual whereby a sheep is killed and the hanuffa, a carefully cutout strip of skin including the genitalia, is put on the bride as a symbol of fertility. This ritual is done when a man is marrying his first, virgin wife. Kiffa ceremony: – About three months after the wedding, the bride’s mother requests her daughter’s friends and age mates of both sexes to go and visit her daughter. The friends would take different articles such as food items prepared by the mother, household utensils, etc. Upon arrival, the bride groom’s parents would prepare foods and drinks and welcome the bride’s friends. The bride groom makes maximum care not to come into face to face with his mother-in-law until a get-together ceremony is made, which may wait until the bride is taken home for child birth. For this purpose, the kiffa ceremony is made. This is a ceremony whereby the bridegroom and his associates come together with the bride to the bride’s family for a ‘mixing’ or getting together. This kiffa ceremony –getting together –might be made some three or four mouths after the wedding. The kiffa ceremony is marked with slaughter of cattle (ox), sprinkling blood over the couple and family. The ox’s freshly cutout strip of skin including the genitalia part is put on the man to symbolize fertility. The new couple and neighbors would feast. The group that came accompanying the new couple would go back home after two days, but the couple would stay up to a week unite they exhaust the meat feasting. The new couple begins to live in the home of the father. The new couple is expected to live in the house until they give birth to a baby. They would then shift to their own home built near the house. The couple’s house is built at the left side of the big house to signify respect for the father. II. Heragishe /Herato Çirro (Abduction) When and if this form of marriage becomes difficult, people opted for the other alternative marriage arrangements. One such marriage is called heragishe or herata çirro. When a man seeking a wife finds that it is difficult for him to afford the bride-price or wedding costs or if he finds that the girl’s parents refuse to ‘give’ her; also if the girl has contempt for him. He waits a favorable time and place, ambushes the girl when she goes out for water fetching, etc. He, accompanied by his associates, would abduct the girl. III. Labetu (Labu or Etanmaru: Marriage by Enticement and Brokerage Another form of marriage does not use force; the girl may be coaxed or enticed by some gobetweens and marry, without elaborate process. The boy and his parents may seek reconciliation through negotiation, by sending gaana (an agent of reconciliation) who would go and open negotiation with a proverb: ‘your heifer is lost’, signifying the ‘stolen girl’ is now found. Labetu is engagement and marriage based on the active interaction and agreement between the two sexes, facilitated by go-betweens. The two get to know each other often during masala festival dancing, called masala-boloia. They dance and sing in the homes of newly wed couples. The two may get into covenant by putting a lemon onto their mouth and dividing it by biting. IV. Ragita Marriage by Inheritance The fourth form of marriage is called ragee. It is called levirate in technical anthropological sense. That is carried out when a brother or a relative ‘inherits’ the widow of a deceased husband. This form of marriage also does not involve elaborate process. 9.4. Pregnancy, Childbirth and Parenting 9.4.1. Pregnancy When the new wife gets pregnant, she is expected to prevent herself from eating some food items such as taro (gobisa in Ţambaarisa), avocado, sugarcane and others; because these items are believed to come out smeared over the infant upon birth.
In Ţambaaro tradition, the new wife is expected to give birth to her first baby in her parent’s home. Thus, sometimes near the last trimester, the mother would send two women from her neighborhood to bring the pregnant daught er home. The bridegroom’s parents may try to resist the request, but after negotiation they finally give in. The bridegroom’s parents would welcome the women and invite foods and drinks. Then they bring the pregnant daughter home. 9.4.2. Labor and Childbirth As the labor approaches, the pregnant reports to her mother. Her mother first tells her to get strong and be patient. But as the labor gets intense, the mother prepares a special bed near the fireplace where the pregnant lies/rests. Then other neighborhood women are summoned. The birth attendant – who is a member of the “Erasha” group (who call themselves “Bete Israel”) – is called and she begins to assist the laboring woman. If the labor gets intense and very difficult, they change home; she is taken to other homes which must be at higher elevation or upper side because this is believed to hasten the birth. But if the labor gets still stronger, the husband may be called in and made to hold her waist to “facilitate” the labor (but this is the case when the women gives birth at her husband’s home, as it is the case sometimes). Following the birth, the woman is made to drink a sauce or a soup made of barely flour mixed with some condiments. After three days, they would wash her body. The woman would also drink a boiled butter fluid; they would put butter on her head and those of other women present. Following the birth – within the next two days – the family would send a messenger to tell the husband’s family. Then the husband would come together with othe r accompanies and would bring a sheep which they would kill and feast. Upon arrival, the sheep would be killed and the strip of carefully cut skin – from the head to the scrotum – is put on the neck of the husband – to signify fertility. The blood sprinkling ritual is also conducted. After this, the bride’s mother and the bridegroom’s mother (?) and her company come to take back the woman. The woman’s parents would give her a heifer if she gave birth to a baby girl and an ox if it is a baby boy. 9.4.3. Child Naming, Upbringing, Breastfeeding There was no special ceremony whereby the baby is given its name. The name may be given by the mother, father or other family members. Name in the past were given based on the circumstances and events during the birth. If the baby is born at a happy, good time, it might be granted such name as ‘Lafebo’ - for a male. If it is born during conflict times, names such as Ţumano (“peace”) are given. Now, following the influences of Amharanization and Christianization, Amharic and biblical names are mainly given. Breastfeeding in the past would continue until the baby gets stronger and the breast milk exhausts. The child begins to take solid foods and milk and soups - sometimes within few months. There was no traditional medication – such as medicinal plants as birth and pregnancy protection. However, the mother would not share the same bed for some one year and hence there was no sex and this served as traditional birth spacing mechanism Children were brought up without much ado. They would be trained as early as 4 – 5 years to shoulder responsibilities. Thus a small baby – of 5 or 6 years may be seen collecting fire wood even today. Parents used to command absolute power and control in the lives of children. It was generally autocratic parenting. The father had particularly absolute authority over the children. Children are also taught to hold relevant attitude and respect towards the parents. An outgoing, wayward child would face staunch admonition There used to exist, in relation to child upbringing, a harmful traditional belief and practice. One such practice was the practice of banishing infants born malformed. When a deformed baby is born deaf, handless, blind, etc all the women, led by community leaders’ wives, and carries the misfortune–befallen child, march to a giant hole, chanting, carrying dried leaves
and grass and throw the baby over the cliff alive. They would exclaim, ‘Keeho! Keeho!’ let us not see this again!” This practice was in effect until recently, 1940s and 1950s. 9.5. Husband- Wife Relations, Divorce and Remarriage In Ţambaaro traditional custom, the husband commanded absolute authority over his wife/wives. The wife would take the husband’s name. For example, if her name is ‘Abebech’ and her husband’s name is ‘Ţumano’, her official name would be ‘Abebech Ţumano’. She would not take her father’s name. Such practice is common elsewhere such as Wolayta in the past. The wife would not dare to call her husband by his name. She should offer him a reverent respect. The husband had total control of household property, including all the assets, even including the wife’s own cattle, sheep, poultry, etc. He was the absolute decision maker. The more or less democratic political system in the community is not applied at home, between husband and wife and parents and children. If the wife finds her husband’s treatment of her as unbearable, she may go and complain to her parents, who then would take it to the husband’s parents. Even if the situation is unbearable, she is advised and encouraged back to her home. Second or remarriages are possible for males. A man would marry another wife if his wife dies; but a woman may not marry another new man of her choice; she was ‘inherited’ by her husband’s brother. Divorce was generally discouraged in traditional Tambaaro cultural landscape. This scenario has generally been changing, especially since the Dergue’s time (1970’s), and now in this regime many improvements have been registered. 9.6. Trends in Premarital Sexual Relations and Values of Virginity Traditional marriage rules in Ţambaaro were very strict in matters of premarital sex relations and virginity. Although the rule was sterner and more highly punitive on women, males were also not expected to engage in any premarital sex relations. However, in certain circumstances, following post-circumcision stage, the society condoned some behaviors, even encouraged them that might have sexual connotations. Yet, those practices were not expected to lead to engagement in sexual intercourse before marriage. Thus, the wodalicho and bajame used to engage in ‘yaburu sunqu’, literally, ‘lip love affairs’. This might not necessarily lead to marriage; it was not sexual friendship; pre-marital sex was considered a taboo for both sexes. The ‘lip- biting’ love affair is more of plain friendship matter than sexual. The ‘lip biting’ love affair was a much cherished youth affair. The circumcised males and the girls play together- singing, dancing following Masala festival. The girls go to picking ‘duffa’ (a kind of grass that flowers in September) for makings grass-work objects from the grass. The circumcised wodalicho follow them to the field and they play, sing and dance. As the play gets hot, the wodalicho test and tease each other by playing ganli çacho, felling down each other by applying force. The wodalicho also go and pick a girl, bite her lower lip and bleed it. They do it covering them with a gabbi (a cotton woven sheet). It the man does not succeed in bleeding her lip, she despise him. When he succeeds, she presents him article slash as water glasses, coffee cups, etc. In Ţambaaro traditional custom, virginity was highly respected. As a matter of fact, every first time marrying female must be a virgin. Pre-marital sex was a thing unheard of in the past. It applies to both sexes although it is very stringently applied on females. Pre-marital sex was a taboo and as such, if a girl by some accident gets pregnant and gives birth at home, it was considered as a great threat to the social order. In the past, if a girl gets pregnant at home before marriage, it was taken as a very horrible breach of mores and the girl would be treated very contemptuously. No one would marry her except an old man, or a widower, she would live her life as a shameful and despised person. The fate of the illegitimate baby was to be thrown into a ‘mukuro’, a deep gorge. The women from different clans and neighborhoods would gather, take grass, ensete leaves, tree branches, etc. and would march singing ‘Keeho!
Keeho.” This is a shout of ‘warning and well- wishing let such incidence would never happen again. They would come back, by washing their bodies in the rice. Males were not expected to appear in front of the women at this event. This ritual was meant for condemning such mishaps and teaching a lesson for others. 9.7. Age-grades, Rites of Passage and Characteristics of Adolescence 9.7.1. Male Adolescents: the Wodalicho Male adolescents are the youth in Tambaro are called wodalicho14. Wodalicho are those who have come off age: ready to shoulder responsibilities in marriage, economic production, warfare. Wodalicho engage in hogaţo, hunting; engage in labor works in farms; Wodalicho stage continues until a man marries, establishes his home, and begins engagement in various community responsibilities. Things the wodalicho were not permitted to engage in include going to funeral ceremonies, looking into funeral burial hole (because ‘it might causes infertility’); and carrying corpse. Wodalicho are identified by their physical and biological features; playing with females during festival dances; economic contributions; participating in festival dances; etc. Circumcision (see below for detail) takes place when males reach wodalicho stage. Parents take maximum care when the adolescent is circumcised and being fed. The may feed him to the maximum, he may be taken care up to a year. In post- circumcision weeks, the wodalicho engages in ‘gaami çecha’- a kind of physical struggle among the circumcised wodalicho. 9.7.2. Female Adolescents: the Bajame The female youth in Ţambaaro are given a title, bajame, which is an equivalent/ opposite of wodalicho–young males. The bajame age group females are identified by various biological, behavioral and role characteristics. According to Ţambaaro conceptualization of bajame, a girl enters this age grade when she begins to see her first menses; her breasts become visibly bigger and pimples show up in her faces. Bajame is also identified by her beginning joining dances and plays during weddings and when she engages in yaburu sunqanchu practice: the practice of getting into ‘lip-lover’ relationship. During the plays, it is customary for a wodalicho and a bajame engage in such practice. The wodalicho is expected to bite bleed the lower lip of his ‘lip -lover’ bajame. This practice precludes any sexual relationship which is strictly forbidden. Such practices are usually times of mate selection for the males. Another signs of the bajame is when the girl breaks household utensils, the family calls her, bajame; one who is ready for circumcision. Circumcision begins when a female enters a bajame circle. Another sign of bajame is that during play times (especially at festivals) a girl and a boy get a lemon and divide the lemon into equal halves by their teeth. This marks their friendship; but they don’t get into marriage. In fact, the two who divided the lem on, are not expected to get married, the culture forbids. A bajame is expected to engage in various works, especially preparing various household utensils from grass. She is expected to make these utensils (art works made of a special kind of grass called duffa). these utensils are regarded as essential ingredients of her dowry during marriage. If the bajame does not engage in these works she is rebuked and considered lazy. The household works of bajame include, sweeping the dirt, cooking food, collecting firewood, clearing a livestock dung, etc. She was not expected to go to market and neither was she allowed to go to school. In the past, the bajame age limit was from 25 -30; this is the age at
Below this stage osicho adaba are those who do simple tasks such as collecting firewood, tending calves, do errands etc. Çilla are well as small kids. The breastfeeding babies are mamula. Mancho are married adults, Nubacho are older males
which she would marry. Girls/females above the bajame circle are termed menticho; above that they are called amata – when she becomes a mother. Unless she gives birth she is called menticho- a married woman. Above the amata, the woman is called emechota – an old woman. Emechota is also called nubachota. 9.7.3. Circumcision as a Rite of Passage Circumcision has been an important part of Ţambaaro tradition. The philosophy behind this ritual is that uncircumcised guys are unclean, girls become sexy and they ‘break’ household goods- behaving unruly, uncircumcised males find it difficult to make sex, etc. The circumciser was a member of the ‘Bete-Israel’ group for both sexes. Circumcision was taken very seriously and it was like wedding, bolocha. The ritual was accompanied by different ceremonies, creates a number of social ties, and incurs lots of investment. The parent of girl or boy being circumcised (in the past the age was a bit advanced- 25-30 years) seeks in advance- a jaala – the person who would ‘hold the eye’ during the circumcision. There were two kind of jaala: one was a jaala for helping the circumcisee drink kosso (a bitter juice made of a fruit of a tree), the other is a jaala for covering the eye. On the eve of the circumcision morning, the jaala would bring about 10 individuals (the number is not fixed) they would spend the night playing, encouraging the boy /girl to be circumcised. Circumcision takes place early in the morning on Saturday. Girls would be made to sit on a mortar, open their feet wide, one woman tightly holds the feet and another woman covers her eye. The circumciser then cuts the clitoris. Males were similarly circumcised by the male counterpart. Circumciser who uses a maglale (a knife) to cut the prepuce; he would pull the prepuce tightly and tie it with a clipper and cut the prepuce. Photo 9.7. Demonstrating the manner in which a girl is circumcised Post- circumcision days and weeks were full of foods, drinks, plays, celebrations. The “eye holders” and their parents would be responsible to bring meat sheep /goat in some cases oxen and slaughter. Then they feed the meat –sheep/goat in some cases oxen and slaughter. Then they feed the circumcisee. The male jaala would also bring a harp called ditta (see below) so that the circumcisee would soothe his sore pain by playing the harp. After some two weeks, the jaala would call the circumcisee to his/ her family where the circumcisee, with accompanying friends, would pass the night by feasting and playing.
Photo 9.8 A ditta that is played during post- circumcision weeks to help sooth the pain These days, many of the associated with Female circumcision as an stricter punishment so carried out clandestinely various rituals, norms and values circumcision have become obsolete. act itself has been subjected to a that these days female circumcision is
9.8. Forms of Friendship In Ţambaaro, some forms of means of forming friendship exist among equals or otherwise. It may be age and sex specific of not. One such form of friendship is the loomee ritual whereby two equals (in this case female get a lemon, divide it by their teeth, hold each half of the lemon in their mouth. From that time onward, the two would call each other “ loome”, literally, “lemon”. This practice is also common in Wolayta in the past; the very name and practice are also found there. It may be that this practice has diffused from Wolayta through marriage and other relations.15 Another interesting form of friendship formation is that when one gets a uniquely shaped maize /corn head (like a double/ twin head), one would haste to give it to the sister of one’s brother’s wife. This would create an occasion for a great feast. The woman would throw a big party and celebration would take place. The man would also take a fatty ox and they feast for two weeks. Henceforth, they would become real friends (without any sexual connotation). The ceremony is named, adaaro, named from the term for a twin headed corn. 9.8.1. Circumcision Ritual as a Basis for a Social Relationship The Ţambaaro practice circumcision of both sexes. Needless to mention, elaborate rituals and ceremonies are held. On average, females are circumcised at around 15 years of age. Males also get circumcised at advanced ages like females. The jaala is a person who is responsible for ‘holding’ or ‘covering’ the eyes of circumcise. Two forms of jaala exist for females; kosso jaala, those who encourage the girl by helping her drink a bitter juice made of a tree fruit that is meant for anesthetic value; and elle jalla, ‘the eye friend’, literally. The two (the jallas and the circumcised guy) afterwards continue a venerated relationship. 9.8.2. Greeting as a Non-material Culture Photo 9.9 An indigenous mode of greeting Typical Ţambaaro greeting expression is “ţuuma!” meaning ‘peace, how are you?’ it is widely used among the Hadiya and Kambatta people as well. In the past, typical greeting mode was kissing cheeks among equals across both sexes. Small boys and younger people would kiss the hands of older persons. Nowadays, there is a shift to a different mode of greeting. Typical, ‘modern’ greeting style is now to ‘kick’ shoulders in one direction 2 to 4 times especially among young people and adults. Older greeting modes have continued among older persons especially in rural areas 9.9. Beautification, Body-marking, Dressing and Hair Styles 9.9.1. Beautification and Body-marking In traditional Ţambaaro, girls below the bajame stage would cut their hair on both sides with some part of hair left. Boys will cut all hair except a tip at the center called gutto. In bajame stage, girls would let the hair grow into medium height and they would comb it erect. No hair/head cover was used. Married women would normally grow their hair and cover it with pieces of apron. Body marking included a tattooing that circles around the cheek on both sides called hatara. The bajame would also mark their gums – both sides by pricking with needle. They would smear the pricked mark with soot to make it ‘beautiful’. Women, specially unmarried ones – would pick out a tooth from their front part to look beautiful. This was called bitramitta. The
Many Wolaytic terms, cultural elements and practices exist in Ţambaaro. The ways in which such cultural diffusions have taken place is not clear, though. Some Wolaytic terms in Tambaaro include: maţine (slat), wodoro ( rope), wozana (heart), bolocha/ bulacha ( wedding), etc)
putting of a circular mark on hands was based on a belief that would serve as money when they die and go to the other world. Both sexes would also put marks on their hands and sometimes on their cheek. This was called içinna. These marks might have medical treatment values. Adornments – rings, etc are put in the hands, feet and neck. During festivals, bajames would paint their hands red by smearing with the dough of a plant tuber called onsholola. 9.9.2. Dressing Dressing has a history which starts with a period – early settlement time in before the 116th century – when cow/goats hides were used as apparels. As recent as early 20 th century, women wore a stripe of bids tied threads (stripes of hide) that was worn under the waist, covering the genitalia, the buttock uncovered. Males wore cowhide covering their genitalia. Gradually, these dresses were replaced with cloths made of cotton–woven sheets. Males wore a gown over their waist and their simply put on an open wide cover below their waist. Women wore cotton woven ‘bulluko’ tied with belt. The also wore shishina (a cotton made skirt). The okona (buluko, a big cotton yarn made blanket) is also used as a bed cloth. Thread yarn is brought from other areas. The blanket is embroidered with black and red colors at the hem. Photo 9.10. blanket Okona (Buluko), a
Then, beginning from the 1940’s a type of factory- made cloth called ‘mardofa’ was introduced. This was replaced by more modern looking factory made customs, particularly beginning from the late 1960’s, following the fall of feudal regime and coming of the Derg in 1974, more improvements were registered, with culmination in wide spread use of modern cloths and total abandoning of indigenous ones. This process reached its peak with EPRDF. Indigenous cloths, representing cotton–woven ones, are now being re-introduced, as expression of ethnic identity. But they are worn only during festivals, shows, etc by selected few.
Photos 9.11-13 Modern re-indigenization of ethnic cloths Kitta: sweater, with short sleeve worn above waist. The color combination of white, representing yelelo (indigenous sorghum); green (representing topography and, land productivity); red, representing patriotism; and black, representing sympathy and brotherhood. The weavers (usually from the Aldada clan) make it. For both sexes, kitta is used. A recent past dressing style for women was to wear s skirt called shinshina – made from factory made clothes (called abujiedi and jersi). Males wore a short and a Ti-shirt called jiji. As said above, these indigenous apparel designs are now being reinvented as part of the ethnic cloth production. (See pictures above)
In a distant past – until the time of Haile Sellasie I– (1930) – it was said men would wear a cloth prepared from goat skin – which was made smooth by smearing with butter. This was called quetta. Women wore a homemade cover called mashko – made of a string of beds tied to a strip of leather; this was tied on their waist, covering the genitalia, the buttock being bare. This was worn by girls below age seven bajame. Mashko was in use until late 1960’s; until the same time too, males also would cover their genitalia with abujiedi cloth, the buttock being bare. They call it wizdro suppe. The distant past, until 1930’s, 1940’s, men and children also wore lemda – a cloth made of goat skin. It was worn over the waist. Girls covered their genitalia by mashko. Mashko was a distant past cloth. Since the early 1990s, with the introduction of liberal free-market based system of political economy, big discernible changes have taken place in the realm of costumes. Modernization, western model clothing systems and cloths have gradually come to dominate the cloth culture.
Photo 9.14-15 A glimpse of modern apparel culture in a market day at Mudula 9.10. Ţambaaro Traditional Residential Houses Four types of houses are in use in Ţambaaro, this first and most ancient being Ţambaarichmini (literally, Ţambaaro house). This is a cone-shaped hemispherical (circular) house covered top to bottom with grass, its wall structure being made of various woods; (woyse/ ensete) false banana leave strips are used for tying horizontal reinforcement beams with vertical beams. At the center of the house is erected a thick pole about 5 meter long. The house has one door/ entrance with no windows. The entrance door beams are made of hand chiseled wood beams. The height of the door is about 1.70-1.80 cm. The door beams are called qorre (upper bean). Fenga is the main door; gocha, side beams; and zere, lower beam. The inside of the house is divided into two main sections. A partition of wood structure divides the two. At the left side of the house, there is a quarter for livestock. Above this quarter a structure is made on which various items such as cereals are put. It is called sakut. When the house is built, it is carried out by labor sharing. Neighborhood will contribute labor and material; women will cook food and provide drinks. As the house is ready for entering and living in, a ceremony (with spiritual significance) is held. The owner of the house sits beneath the pole throws a cooked taro at the top, center point of the house (the point when the pole joins the top). As he throws, words of blessing and well-wishing are done. This is done after they have eaten and well fed.
Photo 9.16-20 Ţambaarich- minne and its widow owner (Note the different parts of the house) Ţambaaro indigenous house, apart from the hemispherical one, is also built in a rectangular shape. It is about 2.5m high; with main door and no windows. The wall is covered with grass; the structure /body being farmed by tying horizontal wood beams with threads of certain tree species (creeping trees). The roof is thatched with grass. This house is called dassa or zuufa. It is regarded as a temporary shelter and transitional in nature in that it is used as one which serves for the time being until a family builds and moves to other permanent house. This house is, however, also used as a permanent house for those who could not afford to build other house types.
Photo 9. 21-22 Zuufa, an indigenous Ţambaaro house used for temporary purposes
The third form of house in contemporary Ţambaaro is a triangular, cone -shaped one with walls structured by nailing wooden beams. The roof is a cone- shape –thatched with grass. The house like the original hemispherical one is supported by a pole at the center. This house is termed as elfiňa. It is said to have diffused to this area from Hadya nationality. It began to take inroads into Ţambaaro since early years of the Derg era (1974 -1991), now being the most dominant form. The most recent form of house is made of corrugated iron roofs, with wall structure build by wooden frames and plastered with mud bricks. This form of house began for the first time during Haile-Sellasie I era (1930-1974), in rare distribution. It used to be a dominant socioeconomic status symbol. Now it has become common. Initially, there used to exist certain beliefs associated with corrugated iron. Such beliefs discouraged people building this house. It was believed that ‘building this house makes one poor’; ‘it kills cattle’.
Photo 9.23 An elfiňa house The indigenous houses are now being obsolete. The Ţambaarich- minne is particularity at the state of virtual obsolescence. It is being replaced by the 'elfiň' house; Modern, corrugated iron roof houses are also coming to the dominance, next to the elfiňa. Inside a Ţambaaro house, typical inside room plan is that it has livestock quarter at the left side of the house. Livestock generally share the house with humans. In limited cases
Photo 9.24. A selected section of a rural settlement. Note the distribution of the elfina houses and the corrugated iron-roofed houses; not a single Tambaarichminne is in view
some well-to-do families build separate quarters for livestock. The remaining part of the house is divided into two bigger halves, by a wall of fence made of bamboo tree or the stalk of sorghum. The section lying just next to the entrance part is the multi-purpose room, the’ saloon’; the section behind the partition fence is the place for cooking and storing feminine house appliances. Females generally lie in that section. Children also lie in the saloon, on a casually prepared ‘bed’ (this is basically a mat spread over the leaves of false banana or other dried grass materials. A typical indigenous bed is made of wood, four pieces of wooden beams are erected a rectangular shape, and horizontal and vertical wooden beams are tied to the erected poles. Then dried false banana leaves are spread over the bed. Above it salena, a mat made of locally grown dates tree or a cowhide is used as a mattress.
Photo 9.25-28 The inside sections of a Ţambaarich minne 9.11. Games, Recreations and Forms of Friendships 9.11.1. Music, Songs, and Dances Males and females, especially unmarried ones – would entertain themselves by singing and dancing specially during festival and wedding times. A typical play/game (for males) was qolicho, ‘yegena çewata’ – a kind of rugby. Both sexes played hiyyo, a sort of singing and dancing during wedding and circumcision ceremonies. The content of the song would focus on teasing or appreciating opposite sex. There was a recreating song and dance called gifata. It is a type of song play which males play/sing during Masala ceremony and also when marching for various group work in farming. It involves dancing as well. Much of the recreational and entertainment were done during the masala festivals – this was mainly dancing and singing.
9.11.2. Traditional Games and Sports Much of traditional recreational activities and games were usually associated with the events following circumcision rituals and wedding ceremonies. One such game is free physical struggle between males following recuperation of their circumcision wound. It was called gami-çenço; a game is a game that involves a free physical straggle between two males immediately following the healing of their circumcision wounds. It attracts spectators who would enjoy the game. It is meant for testing which of the two is well fed by his mother/family. In a sense, it is also a form of checking and monitoring how parents care for the circumcised sons. All the boys circumcised at similar period would come for this game of show of post- circumcision physical ability.
Photos 9.29-30 Children playing a jump over the rope
Another play was called qulfu-matto, a game which involved playing a ditta ( a guitar) as a game in which they would hide a needle somewhere in a corner and one guy would search for it following the ditta player. This game was part of the post-circumcision recreational games. There was also a game called sadiqa,, a type of game whereby a plate made of wood carving wherein two rows of holes are dug. The holes are filled with pebbles (3-4) of pebbles or other tree fruits. Various simple games existed for females; example, ţoţobe, a game played by drawing lines on the ground, putting a piece of stick and pushing it by their feet. Indigenous recreational plays and games have now more or less become obsolete, particularity in urban settings. Some of children’s plays are not necessarily limited to the Nationality alone. They are found across other cultures as well. An example could be children\e play whereby two children hold the ends of a rope and one or more children jump when the rope holder’s move the rope up and down. (See picture above).
9.12. The Socio-Cultural Organization and Management of Misfortunes and Funeral Rituals 9.12.1. Philosophies of Misfortunes (Diseases, Death, etc) It was often believed a person dies when his /her ancestral ghosts are angry or when one is bewitched. Death is highly feared. It is associated with bad omen. It may occur due to cursing by parents. The ghosts of dead parents/ ancestors were regarded as if part of the living community. The deed ancestors were highly respected. Even when they talk or converse during casual interaction, any reference to a dead ancestor was carefully monitored. They would often say, “folisan seman marro!” meaning, “let the gods have mercy on his soul!” Any conversation making reference to the dead ancestors was precede by this and similar other expressions. Belief in the power and influence of the malevolent supra-human beings was also strong. For example, macara/ bicare (madness) is caused by attack by shaţana. A person stricken with madness was believed to be physically huge. 9.12.2. Main Human Diseases and Their Treatment For mental illnesses, the main management was by manipulating the evil sprit that caused the illness to come out. The patient, if he/she became aggressive, would be tied to a pole. His/her feet would be inserted through a hole dug in the thick pole. Treatment for mental illness was often to exorcise the evil spirit indwelling the patient. The heeler would order the family to bring a rooster. Then he orders the evil spirit to leave the patient. In so dong, it was believed, the patient becomes free and normal. One major health problem in Ţambaaro has been shekere, malaria. The histopathology of the disease is not known. Informants claim malaria has existed in Ţambaaro land for centuries. Treatments for malaria included slaughtering a black goat, cook the meat in a big mouthed pot, and let the patient’s head into the pot’s mouth apply the smoke. It was believed that malaria would be cured this way. They also let the patient drink gall bladder of a black goat for malaria; they would also drink a juice of a sour plant. Some individuals were believed to have the medical knowledge. Another disease is demume-(typhoid). Demume was believed to transmit to others if they enter into a house where the patient resides. They put a rope on the outside of the house. Only one person would be with the patient. No one would wash his body until he is cured. If the bed sheet is washed, it is believed it would relapse and kill. The treatment was to bring very cold water from the river by rising up early in the morning and pour the water on the patient's head by putting a sieve on his head. The smoke application mentioned above for malaria was also believed to be efficacious for treating demume. When a person was struck with gordomy (small pox), they would look for another person who was earlier struck by the disease and healed. He would come and take care of the patient. They would not even mention the name of the disease. They called it simply woga mossu, a big disease. They would wait until seven days; if the patient is not cured until then, then he would die. Where the patient dies, no one would say so and so has died; they would say, "He was broken!" No normal mourning and funeral would be held. People believed the disease was the "Wombo's" disease so that they went to the Wombo shaman to receive sacred water to drink. (Wombo was a feared guardian sprit that was the center of the religious cult of the Gondorima and Handarama groups.) For fractures, there was a specialist healer orthopedist called zuuqaniu. This healer would deal with every form of fracture even a case pronounced, ‘let this foot be cut’ was dealt with by zuuqaniu). Another healer lafaniu was on ethno-surgeon. This healer, for example, would insert a knife or similar surgical instrument into the uterus of a sick pregnant cow whose fetus/ calf is dead and capture the dead calf and bring it out, to the safety of cow.
For other diseases such as snake bites, woshe machara (dog’s disease), etc, the traditional pharmacist would concoct juices from various roots and leaves of plants (which they don’t reveal to any other person) and treat the patients. 9.12.3. Animal Diseases and Their Treatment Known animal diseases included ţinticho (Aba sanga); bobra (desta), and shulula (gendi). Shulula is treated by applying pounding pikare barbaru (a tiny, highly pungent pepper) and let drink the sick animal the juice. For bobra (desta), they would burn the sick part with a hot iron bar. For aba- sanga there is no traditional treatment. Such veterinary practices are done by farmers themselves. The skill is acquired through traditional experimentation. 9.12.4. Death, Bereavement, Consolation and Funeral When comforting the mourners, they would say “Maganuu qarsu!” meaning, “May God comfort you!” Pronouncement of comforting expressions varied according to the age of the deceased. For young ones, they would say “may God give you another child!” In the past, mourners would hurt themselves by bruising their cheeks with thorns (usually females); by beating themselves with whip; and by falling down. Bereavement and such selfinflictions were particularly stronger on women. Wives upon their husbands’ death would shave their hairs entirely, tie a strip of cloth around the head; don’t cut their finger nails, and never wash their bodies; they would wear black cloths. This would continue for a year; she would never go out for markets. After a year, she, accompanied by relatives of the deceased, would hold her husband’s spear (its tip being bent down as a sign of the death), wear a black gown and would go to market and they would let her drink local beer, which they would prepare. The widow would put on a feather if he r husband was a brave fighter. After a year’s bereavement, they would settle issues of whether the widow would marry her deceased’s relative, if she was young. If she refused to marry, she would be forced to leave the home. The deceased’s relatives would never permit her to bring any outsider as her new husband. Photo 9.31. The nagaritta The funeral of big, known persons would involve elaborate mourning dances and songs. A big drum called nagaritta played. Nagaritta is a big hemispherical shape drum with two end tops plastered with softened leather. The main body is made wanza (oak timber) wood. The makers are potters. The mourners would be accomplished by the ceremonial beating of the drum. The artistic drum beating was not done just by every body; the potters had the skills. This material culture with associated intangible elements has now become obsolete. (The nagaritta is played by placing the drum on floor. There were two pieces of these nagaritta that were beaten in pairs. The beater would sit down on the floor). The relatives of a known deceased person would also put on a guffo, a cap made of the skin of colobus monkey’s head. When such renowned men (those who were brave fighters, who performed feats at war who killed big wild beasts, etc) dies, a messenger puts on a balee a white colored feather, taken from a bird called workom; stuck on both sides of his head and would go to markets to declare the death. A special practice in this aspect was the practice of lessa. Lessa is a ritual of expressive culture in which a man would mount on a horse, roam throughout the villages and markets, declaring the death of a famous older man. He would narrate the genealogy of the deceased, his deeds, and inform the funeral date. Such practice has now become obsolete.
Photo 9.32. A guffo
9.12.5. Burials (Disposing of the Deceased) and the Graveyard
Tambaaro bury their dead within 2 to 3 days of the death of a person. If a small child dies, it would be buried within the same day. There was not a tradition of keeping the dead body fro weeks and months (even years) as was customary in other nationalities (e.g. Konso, Basketo, etc; se Zerihun Doda, 2008) A visit at Ţambaaro graveyards would reveal an interesting historical pattern of change and continuity, tradition and modernity all in one site. Very old masincho trees stand in queues, in decreasing order in age. Modern sepulture also stands at the other corner of the burial yard. Modern burial symbols are well-built sepultures with Christian cross symbol towering over. This depicts a historical change from the indigenous forms to the modern one. The modern and traditional forms are found in mixture. There is a strong indication of religious syncretization. At one particular burial sepulture, we saw beautiful stone structure with cross sign and horns attached at the base. Our field guide narrated to us the horns indicated the wealth of the deceased man that he has owned several cattle.
Photos 9.33-35 An artist’s design of the Tambaaro traditional coffin (wongro)
CHAPTER TEN FOODS, FEMALES AND FESTIVITIES This Chapter (though it could be rightly treated in the Social-Cultural Organization Chapter) is allotted a separate section with the aim of treating issues of food, females and festivities in Ţambaaro. The Chapter outlines issues of cuisines, culinary, dietary beliefs, nutritional behaviors, table etiquettes and food- based household utensils, and food-based public festivities in which women take major or sole roles. These material and non- material cultural aspects of a nationality constitute one of the most conspicuous dimensions of what cultural anthropologists call the “expressive culture (Kottak, 2002). The Chapter offers females a fair treatment as they are the cores of the food and dietary cultural beliefs and practices of a given society. In this connection, we shall present certain food-related festivities in which females/ women have major and or sole roles. 10.1. Origins and Development of Culinary and Cuisine Culture in Ţambaaro The term cuisine refers to “a style of cooking, especially one that is notable for high quality.” It also signifies a “range of food prepared by a restaurant, country, or person” (Encarta Encyclopedia, 2009). Culinary is also more or less related to cuisine. Its essential meaning encompasses the kind of food a person, a group or a society cherishes, or the way foods are cooked. So in this section, we will be using the terms cuisine and culinary alternatively. The different ethnogenetic groups that now constitute the Ţambaaro Nationality have come from various agro-ecological conditions and thus this has helped create the rich food and dietary culture of Ţambaaro. We do not at preset have any information on the food and dietary beliefs and practices of the distant past pre-Ţambaaronite populations. They were ‘lost’ with all their food culture. The present food and dietary beliefs and practices of Ţambaaro are built up of quite much diversified groups of people who have come from different socio-cultural and agro-ecological dimensions. With them they have brought rich experiences in food and dietary culture and finally helping the formation of a rich Ţambaaro food culture. In the words of the local informants, “Ţambaaro land is suitable for all sorts of crops except salt.” This signifies the rich diversity of the food culture. Thus, today, quite a wide range of edible food items are found in Ţambaaro ranging from cereals, roots, tubers, leaves, to fruits, etc. However, not all of the food menus are accessible to all groups of people at all sections of the Nationality. There are variations in terms of agro- ecological differences. Nonetheless, since the Ţambaaro Nationality is a compact group in terms of its geograp hical coverage, there are no problems in accessing the different food items that are produced in any part of the land as there are well-developed market systems. Although there are intraregional and agro-ecological variations in the types of food crops grown and foods eaten, we may argue that certain food items make up the major, staple food items for the entire people of the Nationality. Thus, woyse (false banana) is by far the most important food crop in Ţambaaro as it is also for other neighboring nationalities (termed as ‘the Ensete Culture Complex Areas’). False banana is a plant of diversified uses, not only dietary. In fact, it defines the very dietary cultural identity of peoples of southwest Ethiopia (Zerihun Doda, 2007). The crop is a source for many types of food items. The most common food item produced from the woyse plant is unçatta bread that is prepared from the decorticated stem of the plant after being subjected to periods of fermentation. The underground, root part of the plant, the tuber, is also a cherished food item. It is eaten by being cooked in a pot. Woyse is also a source for a cherished food item which is made in the form of porridge. The porridge is made of bule’ta, a finely distilled and sun-dried watery part / juice of the stem of the plant. (See below how the porridge is prepared from bule’ta).Other root and tuber crops
are also very dominantly utilized in Ţambaaro. Of these, the most important ones include taro, potato, sugar beat, yam, and the like. Cerals are also used as important food sources, some of which are claimed to be indigenous to the Nationality. For example, indigenous cerals include sorghum, teff, barley, beans, maize, etc. Some of the food items made from cereals were introduced from other areas or brought to the land during the Menilikan era (1889-1913) and the Italian Occupation (1936- 1941). The most cherished cuisines of Ţambaaro are thus the product s of woyse, sorghum, and cattle products (milk and butter). Unçatta has been staple food eaten as common diet with cabbage, pepper soup, etc. A Lamala Moollaic cuisine was also most often mentioned as being the most cherished cuisine: the bread made of the yelelo (white sorghum), the indigenous sorghum claimed to have been brought by the Moolla ancestors. The bread made of the indigenous sorghum was often a status dish when it was presented to visiting guests. It was eaten with a whitish cheese. The white sorghum bread with ‘white’ cheeses was not, however, a staple food, found in every home or eaten always. The sorghum itself has now become hybridized with other varieties and it is very rare. Cheese, milk and other animal products are also very scarce at the present. 10.2. Special Cuisines and Their Culinary Methods 10.2.1. Meat Meat is eaten both raw and looked. When it is eaten raw, they would prepare pepper, butter, and wassa (bread from unçatta and sorghum flour). The raw meat is cut into pieces. The wassa is broken into slices. The shaata (small bowl for putting pepper sauce) is put at the center. Meat is eaten also boiled. They first wash it. They put and mince it on ganga (a wooden beam for made this purpose). The minutely minced meet is then boiled on a pot. After it is mixed with butter and different condiments and when the meat is ready they transfer it onto a shaata (earthen bowl). Then unçatta (false banana bread) and wassa (sorghum flour bread) are made ready. Then the cooked meat is transferred onto a smaller shaata and put on a lemat (table) and gets ready for eating. This meat is called sulso. This type of special meat is not given for any one except the father. 10.2.2. Atekano Special festival food items include a ceremonial food prepared from the unçatta a food material made by scrapping (decorticating) the fleshy substance of the barks of false banana plant, a common tuber crop in Ţambaaro and the south Ethiopia. The unçatta is cut into very fine piece using a knife made for that purpose, called masha; the cut pieces are then sifted to distil the material to isolate the grassy threads. The sifted, distilled flour is then roasted over a pottery pan over a fire place. The roasted unçatta powder is then mixed with milk and smeared with butter and condiments. This is then ready to be eaten; it may be eaten with milk or pepper sauce. Photo 10.1. Masha on sale 10.2.3. Bul’eta Porridge The bule’ta porridge is cooked by putting a small earthen bowl on fire. The raw material is the bule’ta. It is a distilled and sun-dried liquid material that turns into powder. They stirred by using sirini- a three-fingered stirring stick. Butter would be ready beside the hearth; melting condiments are made ready to purify and make the butter tasty. When the porridge is cooked, it is purred on to shaata, a small bowl. They add maţinni (salt) and the condiments such as okashi, (cinnamon), shuuta (nech azumud, a kind of condiment with sour taste) and gambala manuta (ţiqur azmud, a similar condiment
with black color)). These two condiments are put in small gourd hoisted on the wall. They then stir the porridge. The butter filtered by kokano, an earthen pot used for this purpose). They would add much butter. The porridge then gets ready for eating.
Photos 10.2-5 Unçatta on sale in the market 10.2.4. Bule’ta Mucho Other special festival foods are also prepared from bule’ta. This bule’ta used for making mucho, a kind of porridge-like-diet, cooked by stirring, adding much butter and condiments. Mucho and atekano appear to be similar both in their material content and the culinary method. However, they differ in that atekano is prepared from the dried, fleshly matter of unçatta whereas mucho is made from the liquid-turned into solid material, bule’ta. Mucho is more related to porridge made of bule’ta as so is mucho. The difference lie sin the types of ingredients they put in the dish and the culinary process. Mucho takes much longer culinary process than porridge. Mucho is more of a festival-time food and as such is of higher ‘prestige’ than porridge, which can be cooked at any time.
Photo 10.6-7 Different sized shaata on sale 10.2.5. Qessa (Cheese) Other culturally prestige Ţambaaro cuisine included qessa (cheese). It was served with masinqi-wassa (bread of sorghum). The woman would bake one, full circular bread on the earthen baking pan. This is made by pouring churned up milk separated from butter onto a pot. This pot is then put on fire side (not on the hearth). It is covered on its top. Then they wait sometime and check it whether it is cooked. They then take it a way from the side of the hearth. The cheese part separated from the ougate( the fluid part) is transferred onto a new storing pot. When they want to make cheese, they pour it from the pot. They make ready melted butter and condiments. They use waţecho (a kind of good smelling wood) to wash and smoke the shaata (bowl). They pour the dried cheese onto the bowl. They stir it by adding
butter and condiments. They put the cooked cheese on ţillo (a kind of bowl). They add much butter. This cheese thus prepared is served with the sorghum bread.
Photos 10.8-10 Butter and cheese on sale in the market 10.3. Some Ordinary Cuisines and Their Culinary Methods 10.3.1. Preparation of Hanicho Hanicho is the tuber of false banana. It is pulled out and the leaves and stems /barks are cut away. The hanicho is separated from its covers by carefully scrapping with knife the covering part that is removed out is ţabaro. When they cook the hanicho they put a big put on the hearth. The hanicho is sliced in to smaller shapes. The sliced pieces are added on to the pot. The base of the inside of the pot is layered with bigger pieces of the ţabaro. This is for protecting the hanicho from being too watery. They add cabbage, pepper and other condiments when it is cooked. This hanicho dish is then eaten with a pepper sauce or milk. 10.3.2. Preparation of Donika Donika is Ţambaaro term for potato. Ţambaaro identify two typ es of potatoes. 'Oromo' potato, a finger shaped one; and normal ball-shaped like one). This donika is dug out by ayla (a digging tool). They would bring this donika on a container. The donika in washed and is boiled on a pot. When it is cooked, it is transferred onto a broad leaf (of false banana) spread on the floor. Children like this very much. Sauces are also made of this donika. They also make bullo, porridge, by mincing donika into pieces and mix it with other powder (of maize or sorghum). They would add butter. Preparation of shukare (sugar beat or sweet potato) also resembles that of donika. But it is not subjected to different cuisines as donika is. Shukare is a more staple tuber crop in the southwest Ethiopia where it has been a witnessed drought –resistant crop. Since it is very sweet in it taste, children like it very much. 10.3.3. Preparation of Qoţine Qoţine (cassava) is also part of the Ţambaaro cuisine. It is very big sized tuber. It is males who dig it out because it demands much strength. Women carry it home on a container. The tuber is cut into slices (some small sized ones are left as they are) and they cook it after washing. It is cooked in a big pot. The qotine is eaten with pepper sauce or milk. 10.3.4 Preparation of Bilabilo Bilabilo a kind of diet prepared from unçatta mixed with flour/ powder of ţeff, and barely and also mix it with cooked cabbage. This diet is prepared by cooking it on a pot, mixing with the unçatta flour, barely or teff flour and added with butter and condiment. This is made for the father. Another version of this bilabilo is prepared for children; usually they add hamela (pumpkin) as an ingredient which is not added in the father's dish; the others also eat with children.
Photo 10.11-12 The hamela (pumpkin crop) plant behind the house
Note the woyse (False banana
10.4. Preparation of Drinks Ţambaaro prepare two forms of local drinks. One is alcoholic and the other is non -alcoholic. The latter kind, the soft drink, is made without adding the alcoholic element, an element that induces intoxication; it is called geesho. Soft drinks are made using different raw materials: barely, sorghum, sugar cane, etc. The same raw materials are also used in the preparation of alcoholic drinks; the difference is the addition of geesho and other intoxicating ingredients. The culinary process sis not necessarily uniform throughout the different localities; there may be variations in process of adding ingredients, steps followed, the kind of taste produced, etc.
Photo 10. 13-14 Local drinks on sale The most common alcoholic local drink is called seelo. This seelo is made from millet, sorghum, teff, or barley. They would roast it and keep for a week. They take a dried geesho leaves and pound and mix it with the roasted millet. They would then squeeze the mixed material on a big pot put on the hearth. They would use womsho, a filtering object (made of grass). They womsho is put on the mouth of a big pot. The mixed material is transferred onto the womsho for filtering; the filtered liquid is stored in the pot. The residue is put on a shaata (a big bowl). The residue is pounded on a mill. They would bring back the pounded residue, add water and filter again to make the initially filtered liquid called naasha (a thick liquid). They would continue this squeezing. They would take from the initial naasha and prepare it by adding condiments and put it inside on a pot separately. The fermentation process may take 2 – 3 days. Fermenting ingredients are added. Other type of drink is called qarebo, which is also made from barley or sorghum - but without adding intoxicant material, such as geesho. Such drinks are until today prepared and sold in markets by women. A simple walk through a typical market day would reveal this. Unless it is a festival
or other ceremonial time such drinks are not prepared always. Water and milk are always available, at least in the past – as far as milk is considered. A different form of local drink, called areqe is also part of the drinks cuisine of Ţambaaro. It is a very strong form of drink. Its intoxication power is higher compared to others. It is produced through distilling the liquid from various cereals through applying fire and boiling in pot. The distilled liquid is collected via a long stick of hollow attached to the baling pot on fire.
Photos 10 15-17 Local strong drink, areqe, on sale and customers enjoying 10.5. Stimulants 10.5.1. Coffee Stimulants have been in use in Ţambaaro from time immemo rial. Coffee has been put to such use, although we don’t have evidence as to when coffee as a stimulant drink begun in Ţambaaro. In many southern Ethiopian parts, coffee grew in vast natural forests – it existed for millennia until it was discovered in Keffa area by local people – the time not known though.
Photos 10.18-19 Coffee pots on sale
Ţambaaro also use different forms of stimulants apart from the normal cuisines, food and drink items. Coffee is used both as ingredient in the normal regular diets and also as a stimulant. The coffee bean is used for its stimulation values though not necessarily exclusively as such. The leaves of coffee plant are also used for making hot tea-like drink that is drunk as an ingredient in a daily diet. The ‘leaf-coffee’, as it is literally called both in Ţambaaro and other neighboring southwestern Ethiopian nationalities, is a very important element in the cuisine. It is prepared as follows. The matured leaves (that turned to yellowish color) are picked from the plant or the ground and are washed. The leaves are then pounded into pieces in a mortar. The pounded pieces of the leaves, wet with water, are then squeezed to distill the liquid while the residue is avoided. The distilled liquid is boiled in a pot. It is mixed with several types of condiments such as garlic, cinnamon, and other shrubs. The hot juice is then drunk as a corollary of a standard diet such as roasted cereals or cooked maize. 10.5.2. Tobacco Tobacco is grown in Ţambaaro as a stimulant plant. It is made/ prepared in two forms for use as a stimulant smoking substance. Firstly, is its fresh green leaves are picked, pounded and are stirred; then pounded into bread form – with typical black color. The bread is then used by cutting pieces and putting it on the smoking pot, at the top of which is coal fire (see picture below). Secondly, the dried tobacco leaves are crushed into pieces. These pieces are then put in a smoking pot and are inhaled. Sometimes, smokers would make a make-shift modernlooking cigarette and smoke it. This second type is often frequented among youthful and urban-influenced smokers. The odder rural people prefer the first option. Smoking method from the indigenous smoker-pot is as follows. Powder of died tobacco leaves or a piece of the tobacco ‘bread’ are put in a pot which is capped with another earthen -ware; coal fire burns the cigar; inside the pot is also water. The earthen pot has a hole on which a long bamboo stick (a pipe) is inserted. Men and women would put their mouths to the other end of the pipe and inhale the tobacco. These local cigar services are often provided as additional, free bonuses to attract customers towards the local beer. It is served by women merchants. It is called gayya. The liquid inside is a fermented bear. The long inhaling bamboo stock is called ujumo.
Photos 10.20-23 The tobacco corner in a typical Tambaaro market A visit to Ţambaaro markets would reveal this. There is a special part/corner in the op en market where women sale this service. Smokers would come, sit in circles, and inhale from the pot using a long reed turn by turn. A cloud of smokes and a noise of coughing are interesting scenes here. Informants associated the use of smoking cigarettes with its soothing effect. According to smoking informants, it ‘helped them cope with stresses and forget about the drudgeries of their poverty-stricken life’. Some informants also claimed gnawing a bit of the ‘bread’ of tobacco has anti-pain effect for abdominal crump.
10.6. Dietary Beliefs and Practices There are certain food and drink varieties which women, children and other social groups are prohibited from eating or using. This prohibition is stronger on women. Women, for example, do not drink milk towards their last trimester. Neither do they eat cheese. This is, because, it is believed these sorts of diets stuck on to the fetus. They usually eat unçatta. They also drink churned-out milk. As the labor nears, they drink "kosso" ( teemu) (a concoction made of a bitter kind of tree fruit). This is believed to clean the fetus of its dirt. As she nears the birth, she prepares halamu (a soft thread substance taken from the inside part of false banana pulp). This is used as a towel to clean and dry the fetus. She also prepares hasuma, a bed for the new-horn. Women and children also were forbidden to eat the whitish special cheese cuisine because it was believed that if she ate it, she would defecate on bed at night. Women were also not allowed to eat the bread made of the yelelo, the ancestral white sorghum variety. It is conceived of us the paternal ancestral food. It is believed it the women eat of this sorghum bread, she would urinate on the bed. Thus, the special whitish cheese and yelelo bread were for the male-husband-father figure. There were also certain beliefs and practices relating to infant/ baby feeding. As an infant gets stronger, the mother would prepare kaacha, the first ever feeding for the infant. She prepares an injeba a small cup made of pottery. The kaacha is prepared adding a black cobblestone, a piece of kosso (bitter fruit of a tree), and a finely pounded powder. She adds water. Then she puts droplets of the concoction on her palm and lets the baby taste. This would cause the infant diarrhea. This is done with the belief that the dirt inside his intestine gets out purged out by this concoction. They begin given the infant cow milk after some five weeks. 10.7. Household Nutritional Behavior and Table Etiquettes: The Special Privileges of Husbands Ţambaaro household dietary rules were very strict in the past,; the father -husband head of the house was a near monarch who was treated with special care and deference as far as table etiquettes were concerned. The wife was considered like a servant, not an equal partner. The husband-father ate alone; no one would share a dish with him. The wife is not permitted to eat together with her husband. She must first serve him. Then she serves the children. She eats finally after serving others. The mother and children ate either together or separately. The father-husband ate specially and carefully prepared cuisine. The mother and children did not share with him as he ate such choice dish. The wife prepares this cherished food and serves it to her husband. The leftover may be eaten by the children. In certain festival occasions, such as the Masala, the wife may be permitted to eat together with the husband. When the Masala meat dish is prepared and ready for eating, the father first dips from the pepper sauce with meat and tastes; and then lets the wife taste. She sits beside him. He then lets her eat from his hands, putting the meat into her mouth now and again. She is not permitted to do the same fro him. If in case she resists, saying "this is bigger for my mouth'’ he would slap her. Even this ‘eating together’ is not a mark of genuine equal partnership; it is rather is cultural more to be fulfilled more to honor the ‘spirit of the festival’ than to honor equality. Older women informants indicated that in their days, back in the past, the wife would rise up early in the morning and prepare shenedera (porridge) for breakfast and serve her husband while yet he was in bed. After making ready the breakfast, the wife would then carefully go to the bed and wake up the husband. He would not rise fast. She would wait standing beside the bed. She would make ready heated (boiled) water for washing his hand. He would rise up stealthily and wash. The porridge would be served on soruwa (a grass-work bowl) on which the porridge would be put with the shatta. She would then go back to the hearth. She would stand behind the dividing wall between the hearth/fireplace section and the saloon and peep through the opening whether he finished eating. He would not call her. When she sees that he stopped eating, she would then go back to his bed. He would go to farm work very slowly.
The dish a father-husband is served for breakfast is different from that served for supper. He ate porridge for breakfast. His diet for supper was cheese. In between (for lunch) he may eat other dishes. As the husband eats his special supper (cheese), the wife would be standby, and she would fill and re-fill the bowl with new cheese dish as he eats. She would serve him a carefully brewed seelo (beer) for his drink For lunch, usually 'normal' ordinary food items were prepared such as gabza (taro) fafenu (cabbage); unçatta (bread made from false banana flour) and the like. There food items were served for the normal family members. The special porridge and cheese cuisine were the sole diets for the husband. For children, a ‘second-rate’ cheese might be prepared simply by mixing with cabbage. The special, whitish, butter dominated cheese was for the husband. The mother—wife was prohibited from eating it as, needless to mention, it was believed that she would urinate on the bed at night 10.8 Crockery, Cutlery and Other Culinary Utensils: An Inventory Ţambaaro traditional crockery and other cuisine utensils are made of pottery, grass -works, ironworks, gourds, etc. Cooking, water storing food eating utensils are generally made of pottery. Pots and bowls of various sizes are used in the household for such storing and food holding functions. Water storing pot is called bosso. Bread baking pan, ‘miţad’, is also made of pottery (see picture below). Water-drinking cups are made of gourds. It is called tulicho. Coffee-drinking cups called wancha are also made of pottery. They are bought from the ‘Erasha’ or ‘potters’. Food-serving, storing, winnowing, sifting, etc, utensils are also made of a special kind grass (called duffa). Examples include: soruwa, a bowl shaped object; memmeta, a sieve, lemat, a table like utensil (on which husbands/fathers are served their dish); etc. Cutleries are made of iron works by iron-smiths. Some of them include masha, a big knife used for cutting unçatta; bilama, smaller knives for cutting meat, onion, etc; are made by ţumano (ironsmith). Today, the indigenous crockery and cutlery are being replaced with modern equivalents; but also are used side by side with modern ones. 10.8.1. Gourd Products Gourd, called qadita, is used as a raw material for making liquid holding and drinking cups. Such cups are used especially for drinking local beers. We saw in our market surveys that such products are still in use, side by side with modern cups and plastic glasses.
Photos 24-26 Gourds 10.8.2. Grass-work Products Ţambaaro make beautiful art works from a grass species called, duffa (a grass growing long, looking barely when it flowers in September). The stem of this grass is used in making various types of utensils. The products are embroidered with beautiful colors dyed with shop bought paints. Some of the grass work products (which we surveyed and saw during our market visit) include the following.
Lemat (mesob, Amharic equivalent), is a table-shaped object with a wide end that stands on flour and wider-spread end at the top. It is used for placing and cooked food items during meals. The husbands are entitled to eat from this table.
Photo 10 27 Lemat
photo 28. Dawudita
Photo 30 Soruwa
Sampa (dawudita) - is a wide, circular tray which is of different sizes, on average measuring about 30 cm radiuses from center. It is used for winnowing cereal and also putting cooked and uncooked food staffs. Soruwa: is a small, bowl used for placing rousted cereals and serving during meals. It is also used for similar other purposes in the household. Menne/ memmeta, sieve is used for winnowing ţeff, unçatta, and other cereals to sift dirt. These glassworks are solely made by grown up girls and mothers make it.
Photo 10 31-35 Sieves of different size; children sieving in a market day 10.8.3. Pottery Products Miţad (Amharic word, no Ţambaaro equivalent) is a circular- shaped earthen ware with about 30-40 cm radius (different sizes). It is used for baking local bread (maize, sorghum, teff flours). Smaller miţad is called liţ. Jebena (no Ţambaaro equivalent) is a tea pot used for making coffee. Bigger size pots (efanchu or ganita:) are used for storing water, distilled local drinks and sometimes crop seeds are stored. They not often brought to markets, because of their big sizes. If a customer wants such big-sized pots (some pots might hold up to 100 liters), he or she would go to the potter’s house and give orders. When the pot is ready, two persons would go and carry it together inserting a wooden club to a rope which ties the neck of the pot. Milk pot (Ţambaaro term not given by informant) is used for churning milk to create butter. Shaata is of different sizes on average about 10 cm high and bowl of about 15 cm wide. They are bowls used for storing foods or eating food from, usually meat and other festival foods. Some of the bowls are with lids. They are embroidered with beautiful symbols, as are the grass works. Biţira is a small hemispherical, beautifully embroidered pot used for drinking milk from. It may hold about half a liter. Coal fire holder and burner is also made from earthenware. It has no Ţambaaro term, as it is a recent urban life introduced utensil .
Ph.10 36 Bitira Ph. 37. Big pot Ph. 38 Coffee cups (bowls) Ph. 41 Baking pans
Ţambaaro make interesting earthenware for the purpose of feeding infants. When a woman gives birth to twins, she would order the potters to make a twin –mouthed bowel and biţira which she would use to feed her twins. Angalanjo is such a bowl with twin sections used for washing the faces and bodies of twin babies. Injeba is a pot with twin opening used for serving water or milk to twins.
Photo 10.42 Angalanjo 10.9. Festivals, Foods and Females
10.9.1. The First Fruits Festival There is a ritual whereby the father conducts this ritual when the crops ripen and are ready for harvest. No one would begin to touch or even go into the crop-field until the first fruits of all ripen crops (such as maize, pumpkin, yam, taro, etc). This mores is especially strict on women. The father would take the samples from each crop variety and pronounce blessings and then handovers to the wife who would cook in a pot. The mother would put pieces and bits of cooked food and put on to the father's hand who would put the food in four corners of the house, mumbling, “My ancestral ghost! We praise you!" They also sprinkle seelo (beer) on the food propitiating the jacho spirit (a sort of guarding spirit, who would get angry if not propitiated). On the morrow, the father would look at the sprinkled food offering and it is claimed that the offered bits of food were not there since it was believed the jacho has eaten up and they would be happy. 10.9.2. Female- Specific Festivals and the Role of Food A mother who has given birth to twins would not go to market. They would prepare an atekano, and make ready a ewe which has become menopause. They would tie a thread on the ewe's neck. The atekano is prepared and they put a smelly shrub (called natra). The father sits with the woman; they would bring another couple who had given birth to twins, who
would sit together. Then all the neighborhood women would be called; they spend the night feasting on food. They would sing and dance. They put the natra on the woman’s head. The ewe is slaughtered and her blood is sprinkled on the mother and others. The hanchufa, a strip of the skin cut out from head to breast, and would be inserted on to the woman's neck. They would cover the woman’s head with halamo, a soft thread from false banana leave used as a scarf. They would get a grass and tie it on to a stick. All of the women would then play and sing "Endigo, Endigo!”(meaning, ‘mother of children!" During the ceremony, they would prepare a twin of cup from earthenware, (see picture above). she would also prepare a twin cup (attached at the base) for her twins who would drink milk from this pot If peradventure one of the twins dies, she would not demand any contribution from the local edir (saving and self – help association) because it is believed the other baby might also die. The women would invoke the name of Mary in all the rituals and songs associated with childbirth and food festivities. They believe Mary was the goddess who would bless them. The women (not male) would often offer food and drink offerings to this Mary whom they consider a deity. Informants claimed this belief in Mary was a pre- Christian influence and origin. However, we can not say this claim is valid. When she gives both to alaba (male baby), after four days, they take out the dried ensete leaves which were used as mattress for the bed. Two women take the leaves out and take them to the woyse (false banana) farm and throw the leaves under four woyse plants. There four woyse plants become their properties. The neighborhood women would prepare food and all the women and men would gather and feast. Some would give gifts to the woman. This is called gobati. They would sing! "Ousua madalae ousua madalala Anga bata atabe" Meaning "the mother of children" --- this "mother of children" is St Mary for them. They regard St Mary is the goddess who gives fertility and blessing. This song is sung in honor of Mary. The husband would know that the new born is a baby boy when the women call him and tell him to go and bring four fresh leaves of the false banana. For a baby boy, they would ululate four times. When the mother gives birth to a baby boy, the husband would take care of her very lovingly and feed her carefully. A mother who has given birth to 9 children is given woija; that is, they make a crown that would be hung on the wall in the inside corner. The 'crown' is made of a kind of creeping tree variety. They would make seelo (beer) and call neighbors and conduct the wocha ceremony whereby they feast and bless the mother. The baby born at this juncture is called wochamua. If it is female, she is called wochame. An infertile woman is not treated well. The husband may leave her and marry another. A woman who has given birth to 12 children was called herro eltee. They would kill a big cow which has stopped birth. When a cow gives birth to twins, they would get a pack of bolea (a salty soil) and would gather all the cattle and put the cow amidst the cattle. They even prepare atekano to the honor of the cow; the twin calves would be left to suckle the breast entirely, no one would milk the cow. 10.9.3. The Masala Public Festival: A Time of Food Festivities: Past and Present Public New Year celebrations in Ţambaaro are influenced by Amharic Orthodox Christian factor. The Ethiopian New Year (Meskerem 1/ September 10 or11) is called lengiba which signifies a type of grass which they mow and bring home. Lengibe heralds the new year- and the basis for the Masala celebration. Christmas is called qolicho tomme, signifying, the qolicho game (a kind of rugby game) played during Christmas. Easter fasting month (April is called hudadi, and Amharic version is kadade. Similarly Easter festival is sasigga (Amharic – fasika).
The greatest of all public festivals and annual calendars is the Ethiopian celebration of the “Finding of the True Cross, Mesqal in Amharic which the Ţambaaro call Masala. Informants claim the Masala celebration was their original, per- Amharic Christian contact. However, such a claim is not supported by available historical evidences. Those who claim to have come from Sidama land attribute it to their Sidama origin; but the Sidama don’t have the Masala festival; there they have a New Year festival called Fitche. According to informants, many aspects of the Masala festival have now become obsolete due mainly to modernization and Christian influences. The following are some such key aspects. The ritual of smearing the ox before slaughtering it with the muchu( a porridge made of bule’ta, false banana powder), as a part of propitiating the jachio spirit which is a malevolent one. It was believed that if the ritual is not carried out, the evil spirit will revenge the people. The people would immediately rash to home by taking fresh blood of the slaughtered ox, to sprinkle their home, smearing the pole, door posts, etc. Jacchi malla: - is a ritual involving eating roasted meat by taking bits and pieces of the meat before eating the meat. This is to propitiate the evil spirit. Çoqssa ceremony is one of the key elements of the Masala festival involving the commemoration of ancestral ghosts by offering meat, milk, honey, etc, on morrow of the Officho (Saturday). Awacho is ceremony carried out three days before Saturday, on Tuesday as part of the Masala. When the ox is slaughtered, on Saturday, the people used to divide the meat among themselves on Sunday, they take to their homes on Saturday few pieces just for that night’s supper. In the past, the Masala ox should not be slaughtered until noon day- when all the cattle get inside home after being tended from early the morning. The pasture land was particularly protected for this purpose two months before the Masala festival. Even the milk cows were not milked, the milk was totally left for the calves to enjoy. All the firewood and livestock feeds were prepared in advance (well ahead week before) and there was no need for colleting firewood and animal feed, etc. the boys and girls would find time to devote themselves to Masala plays. But now the ox is slaughtered just simply early in the morning and the people simply divide the meat and disperse to their homes. Neither are there now the pasture lands on the Masala day. The Masala festival also even controlled the way market days were conducted. Major market days (Mudula-Thursday, Qeleta- Tuesday, etc.) would come to halt at least two weeks following the Masala. On the first market day following Masala the celebrants would take flowers to the market – so that all the market places would seem heap of flowers. Photo 10.44. A bag boys make from a grass used for collecting gleans and bits of meat while the Masala Ox was slaughtered There was a kind of Masala song and play which the small boys and girls would enjoy. They would sing a song in Wolaytic asking for a few salts from any passerby woman. She would normally give them. It was not known why and how this song in Wolaytan language was adopted. The purpose of the song and getting salt was to use the salt as an ingredient to make a pepper sauce which they would use when eating meat which they would collect during the Masala ox slaughtering day. The boys would prepare a special container from a grass for this purpose. As the Masala ox is being slaughtered the little boys would collect
bits and pieces of meat and fill it in their small bag. Food and drinks are the epicenters of the Masala festival. Females play pivotal roles in the food and rink preparations of the festival. Feasting on meat, drinks and other specially prepared dishes at this festival week is a major enjoyment, merry-making and reunification of social and family bonds among people. It was a time of feasting on food both for the living and the dead. It was considered so callous and irreverent for the faithful adherents of the traditional religion not to honor and commemorate their dead ancestors with choice foods and drinks during this Masala festival.
CHAPTER ELEVEN ŢAMBAARO HERITAGES This Chapter presents description of Ţambaaro heritages. The heritages described hereunder are limited to material-cultural heritages as far as manmade heritages are concerned. The natural heritages include some known waterfalls, river bodies, forests, gorges, caves, etc. Historical heritage sites and objects are generally the material cultural evidences of the past in Ţambaaro land. Some important historical heritages studied and described here include relics of the Italian Occupation era, stone steles, battle fields, ancient palace wreckages, ethnogenetic / ancestral shrines, etc. 11.1. Natural Heritages Ţambaaro land teems with beautiful and graceful natural sceneries. The land is particularity conspicuous in terms of the abundance of waterfalls that stride (and in some part gallop) gracefully forming as part of its several river bodies. The following is a description of the natural heritages of Ţambaaro. 11.1.1. The Lammo River Lammo River is one of physically and historically signifi cant rivers in Ţambaaro land. It originates in a place called Wagebeta in Duna Woreda, Hadya. As it comes from that place, it gets bigger and wider when crossing the Ţambaaro land. The River is rich with ethno -historical themes. The Lamala Moolla Ţambaaro Nationality attach it with the roots and geo-identity of their ancestors. They call, "Lammo Ţambaaricho," meaning, “the people of Lammo”. The River feeds the Ommo River (called Umma in Ţambaaro). River Ommo (Umma) is a natural border between Ţambaaro and Dawro. The economic significance of this River is also great. The Osheto irrigation site, built in late 1970s by Derg with over 2 million birr, provides big livelihood support to a number of qebeles. This River is a source for big and beautiful water falls, which could also serve as tourist attraction. (See below.) 11.1.2. Lammo Waterfalls The land of Ţambaaro overflows with several rivers that are tributaries to River Ommo. The hilly undulating topography over which the rivers flow creates beautiful waterfalls. Of the several waterfalls, the four part series of Lammo Waterfalls is very significant. The Waterfalls take their name from the River Lammo which is a historically important one, defining Ţambaaro geo- identity. Lammo Waterfalls is not just one waterfall in one point in place; four separate waterfalls are formed at four different points on the course of the River. The most significant and biggest of these is found at about 5-6 km from the Town of Mudula. The length of the fall is estimate at 20-30 meters.
Photo 11.1. Malabe Waterfall
Photo 11.2. One of Lammo Waterfalls
Near the waterfall, there is another smaller river, named Malabo, which originates at some point near the Town, flows into Lammo River. Another river, originating at the Ţumissa ridge in Ţambaaro, flows parallel with Lammo and joins at some point (Osheto) with Lammo before finally entering River Ommo. Lammo Waterfall at Osheto is a fourth waterfall as part of Lammo River. It is located between Farsuma and Osheto Gultuma qebeles some 22 km from Mudula. This is the biggest waterfall of the Lammo falls. The other waterfall of Lammo river is located at Hoddo Gultuma qebele, some 12 km form Mudula. This water fall is used in water mills. 11.1.3. The Gonjo and Gombissa Rivers Gonjo River Joins in the way with Lammo, feeding it, and finally entering Ommo River. Gonjo River also serves as a boundary between Ţambaaro and Hadya at Gimbicu. Another River, Gombissa, is a natural boundary between Hadarro (Kambatta) and Ţambaaro. The ethno -geoidentity of Ţambaaro is expressed as, "Gonjora Gombissi Merero", meaning, ‘a land situated between Gonjo and Gombissa rivers’. Gonjo River also borders Ţambaaro and Sorro woredas. Gonjo Waterfall is part of Gonjo River which divides Hadya and Ţambaaro. It originates in Badde qebele Ţambaaro. Wawarsa River has also its own waterfall. This waterfall is located in Ga’echa qebele, some 15 km form Mudula. It forms this fall as part of river Wawarsa, which originates near Mudula town and finally enters river Ommo (Umma in Tambaro). Just side by side with Wawarsa, Senna Waterfall throws itself over a cliff parallel and almost few meters away from Wawarsa, flows into the valley enters the Ommo River. Senna originates in Mudula town. Just between Wawarsa and Senna waterfalls (rivers) originates Gambala River right from the top of the mountain and flows down over the cliff in to the vall ey. It doesn’t form waterfall. It is called Gamabala River because of its dark blackish color. 11.1.4. River Ommo Called Umma in Ţambaaro is a historic river which has held significant place in Ţambaaro ethno-history. It is the river which ancestors of the different ethnogenetic groups of Ţambaaro have crossed during their historic immigrations and emigrations and continue to cross for social, economic and related interactions. The River borders Ţambaaro and Dawro, Ţambaaro and Wolayta, Ţambaaro and Hadya, Ţambaaro and Oromia (Ommo Nada Woreda). Enemies from Jimma Aba Jiffar (Maçça) crossed the river to fight with Ţambaaro. Now the river is crossed every market day by Dawro and Ţambaaro. 11.1.5. Gojeb River This river meets with Ommo River, partly diffuses in to Ţambaaro land and joins with Ommo in Ga’echa qebele.
Photo 11.3. -4- A place where Ommo meets with Gojeb (Picture, right, an artist’s depiction)
11.1.6. Ajora Water shade It is interesting to note that Ajora water shade is attached a rich ethno-historical narrative among Ţambaaro. Although the waterfall that forms on the River Sanna is not located in the Tambaaro territory, the water shade that forms part of the waterfall has some historical links to the people. 11.1.7. Buhho Waterfall Buhho Waterfall is part of Buhho River. It is located about 17 km form Mudula, east side. It originates in Dunna Woreda, Hadya. It is located between Soyame and Belela qebeles; it drains in to Ommo River. This waterfall appears to be the most attractive and the longest one. We estimated the length at about 500 meter the giant valley through which it runs is very wide. It may measure up to 1 km from one side to the other. It is at a border with Hadarro Ţunţo Woreda, Manodye qebele.
Photo 11.5. Buhho Waterfall
Photo 11.6. Ajora Waterfall
11.1.8. Qazal’a Natural Forest The vast plain in lowland part of Ţambaaro, Ommo valley, contains natural forests, thickly covered; the forest houses wild animals including lion, giraffe, and tiger.
Photo 11.7 Qazal’a Natural Forest in the Ommo River Valley16
The Ommo River Valley in Tambaaro is a home for rich and diverse forms of natural resources such as mineral water, basalts, limestone, animal salty soils, etc. These and various other natural resources deserve closer investigation b concerned bodies.
11.1.9. Olido Mineral Water A renowned hot- spring located neat the Ommo valley, used for its medical values. Local people from the Woreda and even as far as from Addis Ababa come and use the hot water. It is claimed to have curing potential, many people reportedly being cured from various ailments. No organized religious or other structure are set up in the area; people just go and use it. It is said to have be named after Olido, a man who was claimed to have first discovered it some three generations ago. The water is used in the form of drinking and it is believed that it purges out various intestinal and other ailments. 11.1.10 Resin Forest Ţambaaro natural forest near Ommo valley is endowed with resin. This tree, widely distributed in vast area, is not yet put to any economic use. It is located in Ga’echa kebele.
Photo 11.8. Tambaaro resin tree 11.2. Historical, Natural Heritage 11.2.1. Malabe Gimba: (Gimba Cave) Near the Lammo river and fall, under the surface above which Malabe waterfall forms there exists a historically significant cave. The cave, (which we fortunately turned out to ‘discover’ it for the first time, at least in official sense, as the Woreda administration did not know its existence until we found it,) is a wide, well formed one. We couldn’t go deep inside as it was too deep and long as well as dark. WE did not have at our disposals appropriate cave searching tools. The cave was said to have been serving as a place of refuge during war times. According to one of our key informants, his grand father’s generation was a time of frequent war with neighboring and distant groups and the cave was a place of refuge at that time. Further, during the Italian war of occupation local people used this cave as a hiding place.
Photos 11. 9-11. Malabe Gimba beneath Malabe Waterfall
11.2.2. Sinore Mukura This is very giant, deep natural hole, beneath a water fall. It was a natural hide-out refuge for people. During the clan wars, they would hide their properties, women and children under this hole. The hole is named by a man, Sinore. Sinore Mukura, meant a ditch of Sinore, presumably deriving from the legend that the man fell to his death over the cliff into the gorge. The Sinore Mukura hole overshadowed by another waterfall called Qazame that falls over a giant escarpment. The river Qazame originates in Mudula 02 Qebele and joins Lammo River. It is a year-round river. 11.3. Cultural- Historical Heritages 11.3.1. Defense Ditches Defense ditches are now visible in the vicinities of Mudula. These were dug (exact date not known) during wars with neighboring ethnic groups, particularly Wolayta and Hadiya. Informants estimated the time at 4-5 generations ago; this might be in mid 19th c when neighboring ethnic kingdoms such as Wolayta were following territorial expansionist policies. The ditches today are visible covered with trees and filled up with siltations; they were dug by human-labor. The marching enemy soldieries and horsemen were said to have fallen into the ditches unaware. The ditches are not designated a specific name or title of a leader who organized the digging. The length of the ditches is not measured and hence unknown at the present. 11.3.2. Italian Relics in Ţambaaro In Osheto, some 22 km from Mudula, there exist relics of Italian military depot. A huge oil tank lies in the field. The site was said they used this depot as a distribution center (oil /fuels) to Jimma, Hadya, Dawro, etc. This site also houses other relics such as parts of military tanks and dozers. A mark on the tank part reads: 12:23:36 (presumably December 23 rd 1936, indicating production date). Model number read MD 70214.
Photos 11. 11-14. Italian war relics 11.3.3. Gesuba Airplane Field A vast plain field, now part of which ca 80 hectare is given for corn investment, is located at Ga’echa Qebele. This vast level, plain field was first put to use as a makeshift landing surface for airplanes by Italians, during the occupation (1936-41). From that time onwards, this vast plain field continued serving as a makeshift helicopter landing space. This field is also renowned for its being a historic site when Ţambaaro held war with raiders from Jimma Abba Jiffar’s kingdom in pre–Menlik II period. 11.3.4. Durgi Town Today a small urban settlement 5 km from Mudula, Durgi, is a settlement with great historical background. The name Durgi is one of place names in Ţambaaro that is reminiscent of Italian occupation and presence in this area. One of the strategic settlements which the Italian army used was Durgi. The present government built-road which connects Mudula with zonal and other woreda centers ends at Durgi. A worn-out road which the Italians made runs through Durgi towards shores of Ommo River. The term itself, Durgi¸ was a reminiscence of Italian language heritage. “Durgi”, according to informants means, a starting point in Italian.
11.4. Ethnohistorical Sites/ Heritages 11.4.1. Kalmana King’s Palace Site This site is located at place called Hoddo some 15 km from Mudula. The site is now transformed into farming area. According to informants, different kinds of artifacts such as stone tools are picked out when conducting farm activities. Kalmana Dynasty’s place was said to be seven fence stages so strong it was impossible for the invading Lamala Moolla to conquer, until they finally succeeded by means of political marriage. Today, this site is located at Sigazo kebele some 7 k.m from Mudula town. The topography is marvelously attractive mountainous and in between gorges dominate. According to informants and our own visit to the site the king’s site is known for its still visible earth works of defense. The king who protected by ‘seven fences’; the fences; represented the seven separate quarters; each with surrounded by deeply dug ditches and entrances; the watchmen, would stand on the doors for enemy movements. Of the seven separate quarters, one was the site for the king’s place, the other was the meeting filed. The meeting place was marked by a huge podocarpus gracilior tree (zigba), which, according to informants, existed until recently; early 1990’s when the historic place tree was cut down. We had the opportunity to take picture to mark of the tree: the stump of a parasite tree which grew on the king’s tree. It was said the invading Ţambaaro had to fight fiercely and use political tactic of marriage with the king’s daughter to finally topple this ancient dynasty. It was said the whole surrounding was covered with impregnable trees and bushes. To clear away these dense trees that surround the king’s place, it was said the Lamala Moolla dispatched a herd of goats which ate up the leave and helped clear the dark and made the place visible. It could be hypothesized that the Kalmana’s palace defense wall and gorge was built either following the arrival of the invading Lamala Moolla or even before that the Kalmana had other pre-Ţambaaro enemies probably the Wolayta kingdom or other neighboring dynasties /such as the Kambatta Oyata Dynasty. It is quite probable if what some historical sources say is valid, the Kambatta Abeto Hamelmal’s kingdom might have made attempts to include this Kalmana’s territory and hence the latter erected this marvelous defense structure. The hypotheses are yet to be verified. Artifice’s that were unearthed from this place site include pottery products, flour mill (grinding stones) and the like. We could not verify this by photographing. It was hypothesized there existed a group called Gudda Magada who lived before the Kalmana occupied the land, it was also hypothesized that Gudda –Magada was one of the coexistent vassals of the Kalmana. Informants were divided in between these two hypotheses. It seemed the Gudda-Magada were not the contemporaries, rather they were the ones dislocated by the Kalmana and either exterminated or chased out of the territory. As to the time frame and identity of the Kalmana, it could be probable that they were the contemporaries and may be part of the pre- 16th centaury smaller kingdoms and dynasties in south Ethiopia.
Photo 11.14. Kalmana ‘Palace’ Photo 11.15 The stump of the \parasite tree which grew on the ancient Kalmana’s tree 11.4.2. Hodo Untouchable Forest This is a privatively planted and maintained forest where varieties of indigenous trees are found. The protected, sacred mini-forest was a property of religiously known family that worships a deity called Yafaro (belonging to a group that is claimed as descendants of Tigra group). They practiced a spirit possession cult, using the forest as their scared temple. As a bye- product, the practice and the spiritual ecology has contributed to the conservation of forests and biodiversity. The “Hodo Ayneke Den” as it is called in official record, is located at about 6 km from the town centre.
Photo 11.16-18 Hoddo ‘Ayneke Den’ (Hoddo Sacred Site) 11.4.3. Durgi Mariam Church This is an Orthodox Christian Church which was said to have been transplanted from a locality called, Woria, Badda Qebele to the present location, ‘Durgi, in 1905. The church was initially said to have been built in (ca.) early 1890s by an Orthodox Christian–Amhara Administrator following Menilikan occupation of the arc in ca. 1891 by a man named Fitawrari Shonkoro Mariam, who was said to have brought the ark from “Kofele, Arsi”. A different version of story has it that the ark was said to have come from its original area not exactly known in 1809 to Kofele presumably in Arsi. Then the ark came to Woyra, Ţambaaro in 1914. Then from Woyera area it came to Durgi in 1941 due to the land shortage problem. The historical significance of the church vis-à-vis Ţambaaro is of its oldest Orthodox Church in Ţambaaro. The local people, particularly the potters group, resisted the planting of the church because of its location in their alleged land. The church houses various artifacts such as
religious books, holy bible donated by Queen Taitu and warfare tools used by patriots during the occupation by Italians.
Photo 11.19-20 Durgi Mariam Church 11.4.4. Boshu Odecho A sycamore tree located at Gesuba plain some 22 km from Mudula is renowned for its being an epicenter of market exchanges between Ţambaaro and Dawro. Merchants from Dawro bringing varieties of commodities first gather and trade goods at this site, before they go to other markets – Qeleţa and Mudula. This market center has existed since the two nationalities began meeting. The market is on Tuesdays. Two crossing “doors” over the Ommo River, Kolate and Dara crossing points are used to cross the river to and fro. 11.4.5. Tuppa: Lamala Moolla Ancestral Sacred Site This place, located 5 k.m from Mudula, is in Bohe qebele. This place, according to informants, is the first place held by ancestral Lamala Moolla, a place that brought to end their long years, restless itinerary since their dispersal from ‘Yemerera’, Sidama. The place is commemorated by masincco tree which is planted at the center of the Tuppa plain. The present tree at the ancestral site was replanted when the original one, “planted by the seven brothers’ ancestors,” was dead by reason of age. This tree and Tuppa has remained until quite recently, an epicenter of Ţambaaro spiritual, social, political affairs, along with Dagale sacred tree. This tree is and the sites represent and symbolize the very essence of Ţambaaro ethnohistoric identity. Ţambaaro religious philosophical system itself is embodied in this context of plant-place nexus. The plant-place embodies the very spirit of the Gambala Magano who, though lives in the “black sky”, also lives through the ancestral ghosts. Thus, traditional, Lamala Moolla people identified themselves with the masincco tree at Tuppa, which is the gathering and corporate identity expression and allegiance renewal center. (Every other masincco is also held in high esteem.) Tuppa has been a scared place where the annual celebrations and political office transfer and appointment ceremonies are held. The rituals of ox-slaughtering and ancestral adulation are carried out here. Every passersby be on mule-back or on foot, would step down, stop and pay worshipful respect to the tree and the site, invoking ancestral fathers’ name and Gambala Magano. That was in the past; now things have changed dramatically due to influences of modernization and Christianity.
Photo 11.21-22 Tuppa, ancestral site of Lamala Moolla 11.4.6. ‘Graň- Planted Stone’ Like in other parts of Ethiopia, in Ţambaaro, there are stone relics that have commonly come to be called “Graň stones”. The Ţambaaro call these stones Ayamo Kinno. According to the Woreda Information Office, there are about five such stones of which three now exist in the Woreda, the other two in Hadarro Ţunţo. The one such stone we visited was found lying at Hoddo- Bultuma kebele, some 12 km Mudula. According to Ţambaaro folktale, Graň had reached this area and he planted these stones “with his left hand.” The stone according to informants was not liked by the local people; there was a belief that it causes misfortunes in human lives. So the locals tried to take it throw away in the valley. But they were prohibited by the qebele. The laying stone structure is a stele. Its height measured about 1.50 meter. According to an informant it was too heavy that ten adult males tried to lift and carry it to throw it way. Similar oral traditions exist regarding the unique, almost supra-human strength of Amhed “Graň” in neighboring nationalities (See Tesfaye Habiso, 1992).
CHAPTER TWELVE SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION 12.1. Summary and Conclusion From the foregoing discussion of the results of the study, we may draw some useful conclusions on the Ţambaaro Nationality’s ethnohistory and culture. First and for most, it is safe to conclude that the Ţambaaro Nationality has attained its present state of ethnic identity through centuries of dynamic, ongoing and multifarious factors. This ethnic identity is a result of the long period of intra- and inter-ethnic interaction at various levels and fields of interactions. The present day Ţambaaro Nationality is an entity that is composed of different ethnogenetic elements that have managed to arrive at the land on different epochs from different geographic and ethno-social directions. From these multiple groups, who have brought each their own social, political, cultural, economic and religious experiences and institutions to the land, what might be called an all inclusive Ţambaaro ethnic identity has been forged. This supra-ethnic identity which transcends the worldviews and circles of each distinct groups, but which in its essential nature takes the elements of each group, is now well- accepted and appreciated in the present day Ţambaaro. Yet there is not to be expected that a uniform, all-encompassing understanding of such Ţambaaro ethnic identity exists among all the distinct groups. Hegemonic tendencies have to some extent been espoused among certain members of the dominant social groups. Over the long period of intra- and inter- ethnic interactions, some social and ethnogenetic groups have successfully managed to come out conspicuously as the dominant groups. These groups have played pivotal roles in setting the ideological, political, religious and socio-cultural agendas for the otter groups. The various smaller groups have over the years come to effectively embrace and internalize the socio-cultural and ideological values and institutions of the dominant groups. The present day- Ţambaaro land has been a land of opportunity for different ethnogenetic groups who have at different epochs managed to arrive at the land and tried to adapt themselves to the topography and ecology of the land. The earliest known inhabitants of the present –day Ţambaaro land were the Gudda and Magada groups. The inventory of the groups of populations that have inhabited the land before the land was dominated by the Lamala Moolla and other groups such the Çatta, etc, is not exactly known. At the current level of knowledge, the known population groups include: Hanţala -Sigga; Dodda-Wuça; DawwaDigala; Erero-Masiwa; Kalmana-Woçifina; Gondorima, Handarama and Beella groups. It is not known exactly whether these different groups, apart from the Gudda- Magada groups and the recent Kalmana- Gondorima groups, have inhabited the land contemporarily or at successive epochs. Neither is it now exactly known concerning the ethnogenetic roots, the current whereabouts and other aspects of these population groups. Of the ethnogenetic groups that now constitute the Ţambaaro ethnic entity, the Lamala Moolla groups have claimed a Sidama origin. This claim of Sidamaic origin of the group was further investigated by the research team by going to the different Sidama woredas and it may be now safely concluded that the claim is tenably true. Although the Sidama side of the story and the Ţambaaro side differ at some important levels and angles, there seem to be more or less converging views on both sides. Further, although there exist some disagreement among the Lamala Moolla local intellectuals as to the exact geographic and ethnogenetic origins of the Moolla groups, it may be concluded based on the Sidama side of the story that the Moolla groups have broken away from the Hawella clan of Sidama some, on average, 18 generations ago.
Marginalization and the resultant discrimination and exploitation of one group by another has, as a matter of fact, existed in Ţambaaro for centuries and it has now progressively been declining due to the influences of modernizations, political actions and Christian values. The dominant groups have created institutionalized means of leveling off and covering the real nature and meaning of the discrimination by offering the groups with different politico-social titles that at the surface seemed to bring them to the arena of socio-political equality with others. The case of the potters group (who called themselves, the ‘ Bete-Israel’) was particularly appealing and appalling. The group has had maintained their own versions of ethnohistorical themes concerning their origins, their ideologies, their fates and destinies. The political, legal and military history and culture of Ţambaaro Nationality was similarly shaped through the centuries of intra- and inter-ethnic iterations among the various social and ethnic groups. There now exists a distinct Ţambaaro political culture that sets it apart from other nationalities in the country. The political, legal and military history and culture of Ţambaaro has been dominated by the Lamala Moolla groups and to some extent by other groups such as the Çatta groups. The highest echelons of the political, legal hierarchy were controlled by individuals recruited through ideologically sanctioned criteria from these dominant groups. Individuals from other groups have participated as representative leaders of their clan-groups. The Lamala Moollaic traditional political and legal system was basically a form of primitive democracy whereby political offices and privileges were rotating among individuals from different dominant clans. The politico-legal officer was not a monarch and autocrat as in other kingdoms in the past. Definite terms of office, accountability and responsibility were formulated to govern the behaviors of the offices and safeguard the sacred socio-cultural institutions and the political- territorial integrity of the land. The Nationality has had an intense form of enmity with the neighbors notably the Wolayta, Hadiya and ‘Maçça” nationalities. Over the centuries, the Nationality has managed to maintain its territorial, political and economic independence through lethal warfare. Its independence was so protected until in 1891 it was incorporated into the Menilikan Empire. The religious history and culture of Ţambaaro is also forged out of the experiences, institutions and philosophies that have come and been contributed from different ethnogenetic groups over the centuries. Different religious philosophies and institutions vied for recognition and supremacy with each until all of these traditional forms were finally toppled down effectively by the introduction and domination of Christianity, notably Protestantism. Before this, the different traditional religious cults and institutions, such as the Gambala Magano (of Lamala Moolla), Wombo ( of Gondorima- Handarama ), Yejjo ( Kalmana-Woçifina), Adama (Çatta), Hawzula etc, have played key roles in organizing the peoples’ economic, social, and political activities and providing them a sense of purpose and direction in all matters of conduct. Ţambaaro economic and livelihood history and culture are a rich tapestry in themselves. Different groups have worked towards the creation of a rich economic history and culture. The land has entertained different groups that followed economic adaptations from the simplest form of hunting and gathering (that of Gudda and Magada) to today’s advanc ed form of mixed farming. Today, the Nationality comprises still diverse forms of economic and livelihood alternatives: nomaidism, craftwork, trade, land cultivation, mixed farming, etc. The luster and lush of the land’s topography, agro-ecology and resources have enabled the existence of almost all forms of plants and crops that grow in the land. Food security problem was not a common one in the past as the land was very fertile and favorable. The problem became intensified in the last few decades due to a number of problems. It has escalated in the last three years. The land of Ţambaaro teems with diverse forms of heritages: material culture, historical artifacts, and sites, archeological sites, ecofacts, natural sceneries, etc. These various forms of heritages have not been accorded due attention in terms of systematic inventorying, documentation, study, popularization and commercializing.
12.2. Recommendation Some useful recommendations may emerge from the above conclusions: The rich ethnohistory and culture of Ţambaaro is too vast to be fully addressed in this beginner study. It is, therefore, important to continue further studies to document these rich repertoires of Ţambaaro ethnohistory and culture. Areas that need urgent further research may include: the need to understand the exhaustive inventory of the pre- Ţambaaro population groups; the need for determining the ethnogenetic origins of the various know pre- Ţambaaro populations; The need for determining the whereabouts of those of these known preTambaaronites. There is a need to make specific investigation on the age of some material evidences that depict Lamala Moolla origins. The historic sacred Dagale tree for example is estimated at 350 years. There is now a need for confirming this through more scientific dating mechanisms. There exist in Ţambaaro numerous ethnogenetic groups whose close relatives also live in other nationalities. There is a need to make further investigation on these groups. Although there exist quite numerous distinct ethnogenetic groups in Ţambaaro, today all of these claim allegiance to Ţambaaro ethnic identity. All of them have worked hard and sacrificed their lives for the protection and realization of Ţambaaro ethno -geo-political identity and independence. Today, there is a beautiful sense of this Ţambaaro identity being shared among the majority of the people. This value needs to be further cultivated and protected from any other malignant ideologies which seem to create divisive elements. Some of the social groups in Ţambaaro have carried the burdens of marginalization and some still continue to carry the fresh wounds that still need to be healed. Although there is a promising level of social integration and decreasing level of marginalization in today’s socio political arena, some still contrite to be marginalized. This social evil needs to be addressed decisively and effectively, for the full participation and realization of democratic human rights that are enshrined in the FDRE constitution. The vast and beautiful natural, cultural and historical heritages of Ţambaaro need to be systematically studied further, inventoried, documented, promoted and put forward towards making use of them in economic development.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Foreign Language Sources 1. Bahru Zewdie 2002 A History of Modern Ethiopia 1855-1991 2nd AAU Press 2. Braukämper, Ulrich. 2004. Islamic History and Culture in Southern Ethiopia. Collected Essays. Gottingen Studien Zur Ethnologie LIT VERLAG Munster 3. ______________. 1973. “The Correlation of Oral Tradition and Historical Records in Southern Ethiopia: A Case Study of the Hadya- Sidama Past.” In Journal of Ethiopian Studies. Vol. XI. No. 2. HIS University , IES 4. Cerulli, Ernesta, 1956. "Peoples of Southwest Ethiopia and Its Borderlands" in Ethnographic Survey and Africa, Ed... Daryl Ford. London: Intentional Africa Institute 5. Donham, D.L. 1974. From Ritual Kings to Ethiopian Landlords: Malle, Southwest Ethiopia, c. 1894-1974. Stanford University Press. 6. Grenstedt, Stafan. 2000. Ambaricho and Shonqolla From Local Independent Church to the Evangelical Mainstream in Ethiopia: the Origins of Mekane Eyesus in Kambatta and Hadiya. Doctoral Thesis Presented to the Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University. 7. Haileyesus Seeba, 2001. In Living on the Edge: Marginalized Minorities and Hunters in Southern Ethiopia. Eds. Denna Freeman and Alula Pankhurst. AAU, Dept of SoSA. 8. Haberland, Eike, 1981. “Notes on the History of Konta, a Recent State Foundation in Southern Ethiopia.” Bibliotheque d’historie d’outre-mer. PAris 9. Haile-Mariam Desta, 1999. “The Cultural History of Tambaro 1891 -1991.” An unpublished Senior Essay in History (B.A. Degree). Kotebe College, Addis Ababa 10. Hamer, John, 1977. “The Origins of the Sidama: A Cushitic Speaking People of Southwest Ethiopia”. School of Oriental and African Studies: London 11. ____________ 1970. Sidamo Generational Clans Cycle : A Political Gerontocracy. London School of Oriental and African Studies: London. 12. Kottak, C.P. 2002. Anthropology. The Exploration of Human Diversity. 9th ed. Boston: McGraw-Hill. 13. Lapiso G. Dilebo 1996. The Italo- Ethiopian War of 1887 – 1896, From Dogali to Dowa. Addis Ababa: Artistic Printing Press 14. Mekonnen Bishaw 1990. “Current status and future directions of socio -cultural studies in Ethiopia.” In proceedings of the symposium of silver jubilee anniversary of the les. Addis Ababa AAU 15. Microsoft ® Encarta ® 2009. © 1993-2008 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved 16. Peter Hammond, Introduction to Cultural Anthropology. 1971. McGraw-Hill Co.: New York 17. Tesfaye Habiso 2008. A History of the Hadiya in South Ethiopia - From Their Origin to the Revolution of 1974. An Internet based document 18. Wolde Sellasie Abute, 2001. “Kambatta”. In Living on the Edge: Marginalized Minorities and Hunters in Southern Ethiopia. Eds. Denna Freeman and Alula Pankhurst. AAU, Dept of SoSA. 19. Zerihun Doda, 2009: Ethnohistory of Basketo Nationality. SNNPRG, ILCHS,: Hawassa 20. ____________, 2009: Ethnohistory of Me’enit Nationality. SNNPRS, ILCHS: Hawassa 21. ____________, 2007. Characteristic of Ensete Growing Peoples of Southern Ethiopia”. A Chapter Contribution to the Ensete Book Writing Project. Norwegian University of Life Sciences and Hawassa University Amharic Sources 1. Bahru Zewdie, Yeetiopia Taric k 1947- 1983. (In Amharic). Addis Ababa University Press, Addis Ababa 2. Bekele Wolde-Mariam Adelo 1996 (2004). Yekefa Hizboch ena mengistat açir tarik. Addis Ababa: Mega Printing Enterprise ( A Short History of Keffa Peoples and States) 3. Betana Hotesso 1983 (1991). Sidama: Hizbuna Bahilu. Bole PRitnig press: Addis Ababa (The Sidama: The People and Its Culture) 4. Lapiso, G. Dilebo 1993. Yeetiopia yemekera siratina ye ertira ţiyaqe sostena mesihaf. Addis Ababa: Commercial Printing Press
5. _____________, 1990. Ye itiopia Rejim yehizb ena yemengist tarik (In Amharic) the Long History of Ethiopia’s Peoples and State). Addis Ababa: Commercial Printing Press. 6. ______________ 1999. Yeitopiawinet tarikawi meseretoch ena mesariawoch (In Amharic) (The Historical Fundamentals and Instruments of Being Ethiopians). Addis Ababa: Commercial Printing Press 7. Markine Maja 2008. Autobiography and the History of Kale Hiwot Church. SIM Printing: Addis Ababa (Amharic) 8. Tesfaye Habiso and Haile Daniel Megicho. 1985 (1993). Kambatta: Yeastedader akababi ena yebihereseb tarik beitiopia qiš 1 q.2. (vol.1 No.2 Addis Ababa. Unpublished 9. _______________________________. 1984 (1992). >> >> qis 1. q.1. (Vol. 1. No.1) 10. Tekle Tesema, 2009. “Ye Çatta hizb tarik”. ( The History of the Çatta People, an unpublished manuscript) 11. Wanna Wagesho, 1994 (2002). Yewolayta hizb tarik.. Commercial Printing Press (The History of Wolayta People) 12. Ye Tambaro Woreda Bahil Profile 2008. (An Amharic document prepared by expert group in the Woreda Culture and Information Office
APPENDIX 1. List of Key Informants17 (Selected) No. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 Name Key informants Deslaegn Wanore Lamore Bifo Bassore Bardulo Gibore Gintamo Lalago Lamore Alemayeha Alamo Godewo Ulato Dodhamo Woraqo Wochore Dogiso Belachew Bardilo Bergeno Balango Simlno Awalo Girma Gobebo H/mariam Dagnew Assefa Atebu Masebo Danamo W/R Adise Darb acho ` Wolete mariam Mechere “ Ansigame Woraqo “ Orome Angule “ Ayelech Menchamo “ Sigame Godanche “ Workinesh Siwore “ Baltene Uwito “ Lalote Anshebo Youth Yohannis Bekele “ Hailu Mendino “ Tamirat Feleke “ Tadele Alamo “ Shiferaw Bogale “ Brihanu Kebede “ Berhanu Fanta “ Abebe Agule Tseganesh Yosef Mulunesh Lalange Senayit Tadese Almaz Wolore Beyenech Tadese Brihannesh Gebre Tigist Ayele Firehiwot Yosef Age 68 65 80 80 63 42 78 66 67 75 85 80 50 51 67 80 65 70 60 75 90 65 70 73 53 30 29 25 24 24 30 24 30 24 19 18 25 22 18 19 18 Address Farsuma Durgi Sigazo Farsuma Qalaxa-01 Waro Le Zambara “ Durgi Mudula Tupha « Mudula « Tupha Tupha Mudula >> Hodo Bultuma Mudula Hodo Bultuma Sigezo Mudula-02 Sigezo Mudula Hodo Bultuma Farsuma Bohe Mudula Bachira Mudula « « « “ Mudula Hodo Bultuma Mudula Bohe Mudula “
This list of key informants is limited to those whom we have contacted and interviewed either individually or in FGD sessions; many other informants whom we have interviewed briefly and informally at various occasions such in markets, on roads, heritage sites, etc. are not included here. This list includes informants across age groups (the youth, adults and older persons); sex (males and females) as well as across educational and social backgrounds. The individual and group interview sessions were carried out in two field visits from August 19 to September 25, 2009.
42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66
W/ro Worqe Abagero Ato Abera Hanamo “ Shigute Adare Simeon Sigamo Ayele Bufiso H/Mariam Beyore Basa Balushe Elias Chinesho Tekle Tesema Alemayehu Arifino Mihretu Angoye Getachew Gibore H/Mariam Desta Desalegn Somano Gaduda Gabiso Gobaro Hayeso Wolasa Wokiso Ligamo Riqiwa Bogale Bote Debiso Daphaso Mukura Bodoye Kayeso Sida Assefa Mukura Kelayu Hadero W/Micheal Menebo
75 45 55 65 71 55 80 45 51 54 30 32 32 48 72 78 80 60 65 68 85 76 50 62 54
“ “ Osheto Bultuma Sigazo Sigazo Bohe Gidanso Mudula Durgi Durame Mudula Mudula “ “ “ “ Sidama/Hawela “ “ “ “ Sidama/Gorche “ “ “ Aleta Wondo Sidama/Aleta Wondo “ Hawassa Mudula
II. Data Collection Tools A. SNNPRG, Institute of Nationalities’ Culture, History and Language Studies Ethno-history & Culture Study on the Tambaro Nationality Checklist for collecting information on the general profile of the Ţambaaro Nationality (Note to Research Assistant) Please contact relevant officers with appropriate expertise from relevant departments or localities in the Woreda Administration. Record clearly the information in a separate note book or sheets of papers (A-4 size) on the following questions. After you have interviewed, please compile a concise and legible report and submit immediately following the interview (Typewritten report is appreciable). Please, make sure also that you collect maps (current and past) of the zone, and the woreda, and other relevant documents that provide us with relevant information on the Tembaro Nationality. Note: key sectoral offices to be visited: Health Office, education Office, Agriculture and Rural Development Office, Woreda Administration, Culture and Information Office, Finance and Economic Development, etc A. Zonal Profile 1. Name of the Zone a. Current official name b. Former names, if any (since when?) 2. Location, topographic, agro-ecology, of the zone a. From Federal center b. From regional center c. Climatic conditions d. Agro-ecological zones e. Highest point and lowest point f. Major rivers. Lakes, etc within the Zone of bordering or crossing the ZOne 3. Neighbors of the Zone a. Natural boundaries (NEWS18) b. Administrative boundaries(NEWS) c. Ethno-linguistic boundaries ((NEWS) 4. Administrative divisions a. Number and names of the woredas within the Zone b. Total number of kebeles (urban and rural) c. Major urban centers/ towns 5. Socio-demographic information a. Total population size(By age and sex (I, 1984 ii, 1994 iii, 2007) b. Number and names of ethnic groups/ nationalities c. Major religions (with percentages) 6. Livelihood system a. Major economic activity b. Major crops grown c. Major cash crops 7. Infrastructure, social amenities, etc a. Road system (connecting the Zone to the regional and federal centers and neighboring zones (Describe) b. Number of educational institutions i. Elementary (GO, NGO, Private, Other ii. High school ((GO, NGO, Private, Other iii. Preparatory(GO, NGO, Private, Other) iv. Higher learning institutions (GO, NGO, Private, Other) c. Number of health facilities (GO, NGO, Private, Other)
North, East, West, South
Electric system Telecommunications (Fixed and mobile)
B. Tembaro Woreda Profile I Location, Topography, Agro-ecology, Etc 1. How far is Tambaro Woreda from Addis Ababa? Form Hawassa?? From the zonal center? 2. Longitudinal and latitudinal information 3. Describe the topographic condition of Tembaro Woreda a. Total area of the Woreda: b. Highest peak point (Names and number of mountains) c. Lowest point d. Location above sea level e. Names and number of major rivers lakes etc within the woreda and crossing the land, or making a natural boundary f. Forest coverage g. Etc 4. Describe the agro-ecological condition of the Woreda a. Names (with local terms) of seasons b. Climatic division (e.g. hot/cold, etc) c. Percent lowland d. Percent high land e. Percent mid land II. 1. 2. 3. Ethnonym, administrative names, neighbors and bordering entities of the Woreda Official ethnonym of the nationality Official woreda designation (since when?) Natural boundaries(such as river bodies, mountains, etc) if any a. To the east b. To the west c. To the north d. To the south 4. Administrative boundaries a. To the east b. To the west c. To the north d. To the south 5. Ethno-linguistic neighbors a. To the east b. To the west c. To the north d. To the south III. Socio-demographic Information 1. Total population size of the Woreda (by age and sex) [ 1984, 1994 , 2007] a. Total rural population b. Total urban population c. Average population density d. Total number of households 2. Ethnic mix with in the woreda (Any other ethnic groups in the Woreda?) 3. Major religious composition (with percentages) a. Major types of religious beliefs adhered to currently: b. Indigenous religion’s name: c. Current status of indigenous religious (if endangered?) d. What religion do the majority of the people follow? 4. Major languages spoken (Official work language and household and other general purpose language) 5. Total number of kebeles (urban and rural)
6. Major urban centers 7. Percent of population living in lowland and highland 8. Zones or places where Tembaro people live outside of the Woreda, if any? IV. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. V. 1. 2. 3. 4. Livelihood system Major economic activity Major crops grown Major cash crops Major livestock raised Any food security challenge/ famine episodes (when and why did they occur?)
State of natural resources: Major types of wild animals (with local terms: past and present) Extent of forest coverage (current and trends in deforestation: Important plant/ tree varieties (indigenous and imported): Soil/ land degradation status
VI. Natural, Historical and Cultural Heritages 1. Major natural heritage sites (names with description; e.g. Water falls, mountain peaks, lakes, etc) 2. Major cultural heritage sites (Names with description) 3. Major historical heritage sites (names with description) 4. Important archeological sites, if any VII. Infrastructure, social amenities, etc 1. Road system (connecting the Woreda center to the zonal, regional and federal centers and neighboring zones (Describe) 2. Number of educational institutions a. Elementary (GO, NGO, Private, Other) b. High school ((GO, NGO, Private, Other) c. Preparatory(GO, NGO, Private, Other) d. Higher learning institutions (GO, NGO, Private, Other) e. Total number of elementary level students: _ f. Total number of high school students: g. Number of Tambaro how have graduated from colleges levels (Degrees and diplomas) h. Participation of females in education (Across various régimes): 3. Heal services and facilities a. Number of health facilities (GO, NGO, Private, Other) b. Major health problems of and causes of death the Woreda 4. Electric system (Hydro-power/ generator/ length of hours; since when? etc) 5. Telecommunications (Fixed and mobile, since when?) VIII. Additional Information 1. How and since when has the Tambaro attained its current Administration status? 2. Administrative history of Tembaro across the various regimes (1891 to the present) 3. Names of major personalities who administered Tembaro during pre-EPRDF times 4. Total number of clans
B. SNNPRG, INSTITUTE OF NATIONALITIES’ CULTURE, HISTORY AND LANGUAGE STUDY Ethnohistory and Ethnography of Ţambaaro Nationality Outline of Key Themes for Data Collection /Guiding Questions and Analysis August 2009, Hawassa, Ethiopia Zerihun D. Doffana (Assistant Professor of Social Anthropology) I. Ethnogenesis, Questions of Identity and Formation of Ţambaaro Nationality as an Independent Entity a. Questions of ethnonyms and misnomers i. Etymology of the name Ţambaro ii. What variant of the ethnonyms exist iii. What the correct/ proper ethnonym is iv. What changes have occurred over the time in the ethnonym v. Any misnomers and derogatory names proffered or used by outsiders vi. What did the ancient Ţambaro call themselves, etc b. Who are the Ţambaro: origins, ethnogenesis and migrations i. The question of apical founding ancestors of Tambaaro nationality ii. The founding stem clans iii. When, how and how the founding ancestor/s came to the present location iv. The question of earliest/ indigenous inhabitants of the present Ţambaro land v. The new comers’ interaction with the original inhabitants: vi. What happened to the original inhabitants, etc c. The historical geography of the itinerary and settlement of ancestors of various groups in Ţambaro d. Interethnic interactions and how these shaped Ţambaro ethnohistorical identity e. Concepts of Tambaaro ethnic identity and composition among various groups II. Ţambaro Religion, Philosophy and Ideology : History and Ethnography a. Brief survey of Ţambaro religious history i. The Ahmed Grań Wars and influence of Islam? Early and mid 16 th century/ Relics/ imprints of Islam; ii. the question of Fandano, Gambala Magano and other traditional religious cults religion in Ţambaro iii. Mid 16th to end of 1880s: Religious syncritization, weakening of Orthodox Christianity iv. Religious exchanges between Ţambaro and neighboring ethnic groups v. 1891 to 1936; reintroductions of EOC; decline of indigenous religion? vi. 1920s, 1940s, 1950s to 1974: roots of evangelical Christianity; competition with and pressures from Ethiopian orthodox Christianity; Italian religious persecutions vii. 1974- 1991; era of persecution on Ţambaro evangelical Chri stian groups; state of traditional religion viii. 1991- to the present: reinvigoration of religious expressions; current and future states of traditional religion; etc b. The ethnography of Ţambaro traditional religion, ideology and belief system i. Philosophy of life; death and life after death
ii. Ţambaro ethno-anthropology (views of origins, nature and destiny of humanity) iii. Ţambaro ethno-biology (views of nature of plants, animals, etc) iv. Ţambaro ethno-cosmology: (origins, nature of the universe: the sun, moon, stars, physical world, etc) v. The spiritual world: concepts of supernatural being; how he is related to the world; good spiritual beings; malicious spiritual beings; vi. Exercise of spiritual powers: magic, witchcraft, divination, etc vii. Systems of worship in Ţambaro traditional religion viii. Types, privileges, appointment, and duties of religious officers ix. Key worship , scared sites, objects x. Elements of traditional medicine; curing, diagnosis and pharmacoepia xi. Role of women in traditional religious life xii. Religion and politics xiii. Religion and economic activity xiv. Religious festivals and calendars III. Economic Life of Ţambaro: Ethnohistory and Ethnography a. A brief survey of Ţambaro economic history i. Hunting, gathering, beekeeping; etc; Domestication of plants and animals; Origins of production; agriculture; ii. Beginning of settled agriculture? iii. Introduction of various crops, cereals, livestock iv. Origins of cash crops v. Era of economic domination and exploitation: 1891 to 1936: serfdom , slavery, etc vi. Brief respite from serfdom: Italian War of Occupation: 1936- 1941: Aspects of Ţambaro economic life during this t ime; economic development works by the Italians in Ţambaro area, if any; vii. Reinvigorated feudal system and economic exploitation: 1941 to 1974 viii. The Ţambaro, the 1974 Revolution and Land to the Tiller: Economic life during the Derg era (1974 to 1991) ix. Era of economic freedom? The post- Derg era x. History of commerce and trade relations: 1. within the ethnic group; 2. with neighboring ethnic groups; 3. Major commodities traded during the pre- Menilik era; 4. the medieval and 19th century trade routs that connect south to north and what role the Ţambaro had xi. Timeline of symbolic values attached to commodities xii. An overview of livelihood challenges(famine, etc) b. An ethnography of economic organization i. Philosophy of work ii. The social organization of work and economic production iii. Allocation of economic good/ resources (land, water, etc) iv. Production practices (land cultivation; animal husbandry; weeding; etc) v. Means/ instruments of production(types, uses, making, etc of farming tools vi. Organization of labor work vii. Meaning of poverty and wealth viii. Distribution and exchange of good and services ix. An ethnography of Ţambaro dietary and culinary practices IV. Polity, law and social Control a. A brief survey of Ţambaro political history i. Up to mid 16th century; medieval time;
ii. Ţambaro and the Adalic Islamic Ahmed Gran’s political influence? (1531 -1552 iii. Ţambaro and Kembata’s Abeto Hamelmal’s reign (1553 -1612: any relation and influence? iv. Roots and characteristics of Ţambaro indigenous democratic political system; whether this system was changed into kingship/ whether Ţambaro had its own dynasties; genealogies of know kings of Ţambaro (16th c to 1891; political relations with neighboring ethnic groups and kingdoms v. 1891 to 1936: Menilik II (1889-1913) comes to Ţambaro area; a history of administrators from the Menilik empire; origins of serfdom; characterizes of political rule; local resistance during this time; vi. 1936 – 1941: Italian war of occupation: The Ţambaro during this time; aspects of Italian rule of the time; aspects of local resistance; aspects of good governance and development of the Italian era vii. 1941 to 1974: The new. British- engineered systems of government, rules, etc and it effects on the Ţambaro; politico -cultural hegemony of the Amharic rule; Identity suppressed; aspects of serfdom; local resistance to political domination; etc viii. 1974 to 1991: Ţambaro in the Derg era; key aspects of this era vis-àvis Ţambaro ix. Post Derg era: political emancipation? x. Women’s political participation across the different eras b. An ethnography of Ţambaro law, polity and social control i. Philosophy of government, law and justice ii. Bases of authority and power iii. Privileges, regalia, etc of political officers iv. Types, hierarchies, and major duties of political officers v. Appointment of political officers and transfer of political offices vi. Political participation of citizens and clan groups vii. Law and social control 1. Philosophy of right and wrong 2. categories of crimes; punishment for crimes; types punishments 3. Means of conflict resolution viii. Politics and religion V. The Social Organization of Ţambaro Nationality a. Territorial social organization i. Which clan members live in which specific locality ii. Whether different clan members live mixed within the same area iii. How each clan dominated in the present locality they occupy; etc b. Principles of kinship/ descent i. How people trace their descent ii. Foundation of kinship iii. How a person becomes a member of a particular clan/ lineage; iv. Patrilineality; matrlineality; bi-lineality; etc c. Organization and formation of domestic groups i. Family: local term; essential members of family group; which family type dominates: nuclear or extended; trends; family authority patterns; to whom family head is accountable; etc ii. Marriage: local term; types of marriage; age at marriage; principles of mate selection; marriage rules; premarital sex rules; marriage payments; wedding: marriage breakdown(divorce), if any; local
term; reason for divorce; settlement of divorce; trends in these social institutions: change and causes for change; etc d. Principles of social relationship, grouping, friendship, etc i. Bases of personal friendships; what is a friend? ii. Ritually based friendships: friendship/ kinship created through various means (e.g. the jalla concept, if any) iii. Age based groupings: Age cycles; from infancy to old age;; criteria for joining an age group; initiation rituals; iv. Sex specific grouping; etc e. Social i. ii. iii. stratification Major divisions/ strata in Ţambaro society: past and present bases of social inequality Marginalized groups: craftsmen(potters, tanners, blacksmiths, etc): origins of this marginalization iv. Trends in tolerance, acceptance and inclusion; etc
Material Culture, Technology, and the Expressive Culture a. Architecture, building, woodwork, etc i. Living houses: design; philosophy behind designs; size; number of rooms; materials made from; how, etc; changes over time; ii. Household utensils: cooking; drinking; food serving; beds; stools; who make them; from what; changes over time iii. Funeral monuments: trends; b. Personal adornment, beautification, body painting and markings i. Philosophy of beauty; ii. hair dressing(age and sex wise); iii. body paintings and marks; if any; iv. changes over time; etc c. Costumes: i. origins of costumes; ii. raw materials costumes made from; iii. types of clothes worn by females and males; across age groups; iv. costumes as social status symbol; marital status; political status, etc); v. trends in costumes; vi. commerce in costumes between Ţambaro and neighboring / distant ethnic groups; etc
d. Music, musical instruments and dancing i. Music: Local term; who composes music; ownership of music; types of music; wedding, funeral, recreational music; ii. Musical instruments: wind blown; percussion; acoustic; etc (names; how they are made; who makes them; trends in music and musical instruments iii. Dancing: any uniquely Tambaroan dance style? Various types of dances ( by age; sex; occasions; etc) trends in dance, etc e. Games, gymnastics, recreational activities: i. Major types of games and their origins and current status ii. Major types of gymnastics, their origins ad current status iii. Etc Females, food and festivals a. Tambaaro cuisine, culinary and crockery b. Special cuisines
c. d. e. VIII.
Ordinary Cuisines Basic crockery and cutely Foods, festivals and the role of females
Ţambaro Heritages a. Historically important sites, objects, personages, etc b. Natural heritages sites, objects, etc c. Archeologically important places, sites, etc d. Cultural heritage sites, objects, etc
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