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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The Process of Becoming: Gabra Oromo Transition Rites (Jilla)
Author:Kassam, Aneesa
Periodical:Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa
Geographic term:Ethiopia
rites of passage
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/00672708709511381
Abstract:The Gabra are a division of the Oromo living on both sides of the Kenya-Ethiopia border. According to the 1979 census, there are some thirty-thousand Gabra in Kenya. They are composed of five phratries: the Gaara, Algana, Sharbana, Galbo and Odola. In September 1986, the Gabra celebrated one of the most important ritual ceremonies in Oromo culture: the rites of passage (Jilla) from political elderhood to religious elderhood. The Jilla, in which the Gaara phratry takes precedence, is composed of a number of events which take place over a period of several months and on different sites. The rituals consist of ten or more stages. The author was present at the latter stage of the Galbo ceremony. She starts with a description of the generation-set system of the Galbo, their politico-religious grades and their clan structure. Then she elaborates the transition rites, starting with the koollomtte ceremony which precedes the Jilla rituals and ending with the culmination ceremonies, which take place beneath the eastern flank of Mont Foroole, the most sacred place of the Galbo phratry and the last stage of the trek. Bibliogr., notes.