Exploring Challenges and Opportunities in Revitalizing Gadaa at Odaa Doggii, Iluu Abbaa Boor Zone of Oromiyaa Regional State, Ethiopia
This ethnographic research aims to explore problems and prospects in Iluu Gadaa revitalization. Interviews, focus group discussions, case studies and observations are employed to obtain the data from the society. Secondary data have also been added on these. These were analysed qualitatively in line with the societies’ perspective as the science of ethnographic study permits. The data show Iluu Gadaa that had been weakened for more than 133 years is in the process of revitalization. In line with this, five Gadaa parties were established in 2015. However, the revitalization process is facing several challenges such as electing Gadaa leadership that overlooks Gadaa laws; the institution depends on government fund due to lack of budget; globalization and modernization, particularly dominant religions (Christian and Islam) are threatening; limited knowledge of the people about Gadaa system; and the aforementioned factors affect its originality. Contrarily, the reviving Iluu Gadaa contributed for inscription of Gadaa by United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 2016. This is because Iluu Gadaa is considered as active Gadaa among the western Oromoo groups. Thus, it is recommended that various stakeholders including government, NGO’s and educational institutions need to support the revitalization process being undertaken; researchers need to engage in further investigations and documentation of the Gadaa practices. Moreover, the Iluu, especially the elected leaders, should practice more on Gadaa.
Keywords: Gadaa; Iluu Abbaa Boor; Odaa Doggii; Oromiyaa; Revitalization