One of such is the Gadaa system of the Oromo People. . Hallpike, C. R., “ Review: The Origins of the Borana Gada System,” Reviewed. Oromo elites, Abba Gadaa (father of Gadaa), historians most often say that it is The Gada system is largely practised by the Oromo people. Was it a system used through out Oromia or was it prevalent in one region of Oromia The Gada system spread with the migration and intermingle of the Oromo.

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It is a border between generations. Gada System of checks and balances such as respecting eight years rule, power sharing and balanced opposition of parties helps avoid subordination, exploitation, corruption and misuse of power.

The most remarkable account of Oromo military organization is to be found in the Chronicle of Emperor Sussenyos who in his youth grew up among the Oromo as war captive.??

Today the Gada institutions have been preserved among the Borana and Guji clans of the Oromo nation. Following this, the speaker of recounts the proposed agenda and the main points of discussion.

Ethiopia: Key Background Information On Gadaa System –

Legesse [2] has written that Gadaa is “one of the most astonishing and instructive turns the evolution of human society has taken”. Considering the symbolic significance of Gadaa for the Oromo, as well as its structural innovations, researchers in law, indigenous studies, and pan-Africanism are exploring how the system could be utilized in the 21st century. Then, after sons join the Gada System and collectively as a class pass through the five grades daballe, junior game, senior game, kussa, raba dori sysyem, the abbaa raagaa oral historians teach the sons argaa- dhageettii eyewitness accounts and oral traditions about history, laws, rituals, time reckoning, cosmology, myth, rules of conduct as well as the function and importance of the Gada Sstem.

The Oromo had a powerful cavalry that stood at the head of their military campaign. Views Read Edit View history. The names reflect the especial events that took place in the specified period of eight years. Thus the young men develop a new social identity that cut-across kinship ties.? The entire class progresses through eleven series grades.


This transition rite is an isolation ritual which followed by election and proclamation of young Gada leaders which is purely political.? Since, power transfer takes place elsewhere following elections, it would be interesting to see people gather and deliberate on the future of their country, not just before election but just before power transfer. Some scholars argue that the social organization of Gadaa System has something to do with the core democratic principles and gives big lesson to the world in various field of study.

The Gadaa system is an indigenous egalitarian democratic system practiced among the Oromo nation of East Africa for the last six hundred years. Comparable in its magnitude to the powerful Zulu nation of South Africa and the Fulani of West Africa the Oromo were superior in military establishment.

In the Gada System, the supremacy of the law is paramount and the equality of all before the law is sacrosanct. Within forty years, all five parties serve their nation constituting ‘One Gadaa’. The Qaallu, the religious leader, leads the ritual ceremonies, such as blessing Gada officials and operations. At forty years of the gada cycle i. Following handover of political power the outgoing Gada leaders enter the Yuba grade semi retired.

In average, from eight hundred to one thousand citizens do take part daily in the meeting that lasts for eight successive days Abdullahi ; Diribi ; Asmarom This is because the interpretation of Oromo terms, idiomatic expressions and proverbs related to the Gadaa have extra meaning other than their surface meanings.

In addition to his Harvard PhD dissertation, Legesse has published a book [3] positioning Gadaa as an African democracy that could inform constitutional syystem. Even the Abba Gada, head of the Gada executive branch, if accused of violating laws and regulations, could be impeached, tried and uprooted buqisu from office before official tenure and replaced by one of the members of his class.


GADAA – Socio-Political & Economic Structure of Oromo People

Gada Assembly is an ultimate authority. In this dancing, those who accomplish heroic deeds including the Gada officials are praised. There is deep personal identification between the members of the class and their leadership. A number of scholars have studied Gadaa. The basic rule of the Gada system is that the newly born infant child always enters the system of grades exactly forty years after his father, regardless of the age of the son or the father. Gada is a traditional system of governance used by the Oromo people in Ethiopia developed from knowledge gained by community experience over generations.

It is a term loosely used for so many varied concepts that it has not any single meaning. Analysis and Lessons Learned Time – among the Guji-Oromo the general assembly takes place once in every eight years and mostly for a week, just a week before power transfer.

The legislative and adjudicatory supremacy of the general assembly is historically conditioned and culturally deep-rooted. In general, according to Oromo’s societal perspective, Qaalluu institution act as a mediator between Waaqaa God and the Oromo society.

It is difficult to tell when exactly Gadaa system began since is seens as an intrinsic element of the indigenous Oromo’s everyday lives and not an ‘institution’. The Abbaa Gadaa head of the government in power presides over most of the general meetings. The Chronicle describes that the Oromo army was structured into regiments called Cibra Chibraa. There in lies why females and earth are considered as fertile.

They then voice their opinion on the right course of action the Oromo should take on social, political, economic and environmental issues.