History of Oromo Social Organization: Gadaa Grades Based Roles and Responsibilities
AbstractThe major purpose of this manuscript is to depict how membership to gadaa grades determined the social-political and economic roles and responsibilities of individuals in the Oromo society and show the viability of values of Gadaa in democratic culture. The Gadaa system is a special socio-political organization of the Oromo people that has its origin in the age-system of the Horn of Africa. In the system, male individuals were grouped into grades known as gadaa. As an age-based social organization, the Gadaa system provided the mechanism to motivate and organize members of the society into social structure. Various socio-political rights and responsibilities are associated with each group. Accordingly, the system provided a socio-political framework that institutionalized stratified relationship between seniors and juniors and egalitarian relations among members of the grade. Initiation into and promotion from one gadaa grade to the next were conducted every eight years. The fundamental quality of the Gadaa system is that it has segmentations and specified social functions for its members that helped the members to develop a consistent and stable sense of self and others.
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