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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All activities and life of each and every member of the Oromo was guided by an egalitarian socio- economic and political structure of the society called the Gada system.

The Gada system is a class system that succeeds each other every eight years in assuming politico- military administration, economic orimo and other social activities. It was the central institution of the Oromo people that contains complex and extra-ordinary features. It was purely invented sstem the Oromo and it is one of the most remarkable political systems which was highly democratic with effective legislative and judicial institutions.

Oromo society was structured in accordance with this Gada system.

The Oromo society was structured into two distinct but cross-cutting system of pear group.? One is the system in which the members of each class are recruited strictly on the basis of chronological age which the anthropologists call Age Sets. The second is a system in which the members are recruited on the bases of genealogical generation. This second one has little to do with age where as the first has nothing to do with genealogical ties. Both social groups pass from one stage of development to the next every eight years.

The chronological age group is called Hiriya age sets while the genealogical generation group is called Luba Gada class. The members of the class maintain their identity as a pear group throughout the life cycle. At each level of the development or Gada grade the classes hold corporate responsibilities. The transition oroml by which the genealogical social group the sons passes from one grade to the next is performed every eight years during the life cycle.

Every transition ritual at different levels has its own unique character, name and procedure. The principal responsibilities of the initiates or the? And they begin to grow a new hairstyle to represent xystem new status. The transition from the third tada the fourth grade is one of the most important events of the Gada institution.

This transition rite is an isolation ritual which followed by election and proclamation of young Gada leaders which is purely political.? The future political leaders of the Oromo are elected at this stage. All the boys gwda grade IV formally become members of Gada class at this stage and, with the induction of their leaders, the group becomes institutionalized as a corporate body.

There is deep personal identification between the members of the class and their leadership.

Thus the young men develop a new social identity that cut-across kinship ties.? The election of Gadaa councilors at this stage also serves as transition from grade three to grade four.

Transition from grade IV to grade V at 32 year of the life cycle is marked by marriage of the whole class. Those elected young Gada councilors and other members of the class in their twenties and early thirties marry at this stage. The fifth grade is collectively called the warrior class. The main duty of this class is military service.


Before they enter the Gada period or before they come to power they have to prove their capacity in military activities. At forty years of the gada cycle i. This is the turning point in the Gada cycle.

It is a border between generations. That is forty years long. The sixth grade is called the Gada grade.

Here the term Gada is the stage and a period of eight years during which the elected government stay in power, not the whole Gada system.? The symbol of authority is? They also exchange these symbols. It is the stage of the incoming of Gada leaders who were elected during transition to dystem IV, 16 years ago. On the whole this stage is the stage of political and military leadership.

The investiture of Gada leaders at this stage is distinguished from the induction of Gada councilors during proclamation ceremony in the systrm th? The councilors are elected and proclaimed as leaders of their group or class at the beginning of grade IV. When they reach Gada Grade VI after sixteen years they become leaders of all the classes and the whole nation. In the Gada political system leaders who are unable to accomplish their duties are uprooted. The distribution of power among the various offices in Gada council is based on equality.

They are also fair in recruitment. There is little internal differentiation of functions except the separation of spiritual and political domains. There is little to do with? There are minimal ranking between senior and junior councilors. The existing differentiation of functions and minimal ranking does not imply inequality or hierarchy. Should a member of a council is absent when an important activity is in progress or important issue is discussed the activity oromi the meeting must be postponed until the missing councilor is summoned.

However there is penalty for his absence. The Gada Assembly Yaa? What the Gada Assembly decides cannot be revised by any other authority. Gada Assembly is an ultimate authority. The assembly eystem cases of high degree, making law legislationreviewing the existing laws, assesses if there is decline in law and careless violation of the law. The major activity of the Gada Assembly can be described as legislative.

It takes place during the fourth year of the eight years of the Gada period following the investiture of Gada leaders.? Participants of Gada Assembly are Gada leaders, orlmo councilors, assistant officials in the administration, Yuba semi-retired Gada leadersmany age sets councilors and a large number of clan elders. The Abbaa Gadaa head of the government in power presides over most of the general meetings.

However, whenever conflict which concerns the presiding Abba Gada promo discussed he is replaced by any other Gada councilor or semi retired Gada leader. There are also abundant ethnographic and historic evidences indicating that the Oromo had an effective military organization, not only in the sixteenth century systdm also in the subsequent centuries until the conquest of Emperor Menilik of Sytsem in the late 19 xystem In fact by African standard the Oromo had effective military organization headed by military officer titled as Abba Dula War chief.

The Oromo had all that in the 16 th? The Oromo had a powerful cavalry that stood at the head of their military campaign.

Oromo horsemanship is a highly prized aspect of their culture and it had a great deal to do with gads military success over the centuries. 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. The Oormo and the Fulani though they had military strength they had no horses and cavalry forces. The most remarkable account of Oromo military organization is to be found in the Orojo of Emperor Sussenyos who in his youth grew up among the Oromo as war captive.??



Later he used Oromo warriors and military strategy to take the imperial throne.? The Chronicle describes that the Oromo army was structured into regiments called Cibra Chibraa. These were age regiments consisting of the married Gada class members, Qeerroo bachelors and qondala youth. The three age regiments in other words are age-sets belonging to grade IV, V and grade VI of the Gada gqda of development. There were many age sets under each grade and many Cibras under one age set.

Heads of each Cibra are called Abba Cibra. There are also different units in sywtem cases nine units under one Cibra. It was the introduction of fire arms into the region by Bada that changed the balance. The Europeans provided the Abysinian chieftains with then modern fire arms and military advisors that put the Oromo at a great dis-advantage. Following handover of political power the outgoing Gada leaders enter the Yuba grade semi retired.

The Yuba or semi-retired covers 32 of the life cycle years of the life oeomo. Their positions are linked with those of their sons. Their position is determined by the position of their sons.

One of the roles of the Yuba semi-retired classes are that they are main protagonists in the election campaigns. They campaign on behalf of their sons.

The Yuba take part in Ogomo Assembly and indeed have some residual political power in the Assembly. They may be required to serve as assistances unless Gada leaders announce him completely retired a man remain liable for political and social service of the nation. After eighty years of the Gada cycle the Yuba enter the stage of Gadamojji complete retirement Gadamoji is the eleventh and final stage of the gada grades.

The Gadamoji are similar to the? The transition into this final grade is formally take place by rite of incense exchange Qumbi wal irraa fuudhuu. One generation in Oromo covers 40 years of the life cycle. Wystem first forty years of the total life cycle of eighty years is an active generation which is divided into five segments each having a time spam of eight years.

Gadaa – Wikipedia

oroko 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. Father and son are five grades apart at all times.

Consequently, the Gada class incorporates within its ranks people varying in ages. The infant joins, sometimes, very old men who are members of the genealogical generation. Extremely young children can be witnessed dressed in adult ceremonial costumes, taking part in rituals and being treated as equals by adults. There are several inter-generational rules of the Oromo society under the Gada system of which the basic rule is the position of a man on the Gada cycle is gaa five grades forty years ahead of the grade of his son.

Today the Gada institutions have been preserved among the Borana and Guji clans of the Oromo nation. There is some historical evidence that in the 16 th? Between the 17 th?