Buttaa- The Waaqeffannaa Concept of Ritual Rite of Passage

Buttaa is a sacred ritual rite among the waaqeffannaa spiritual society where those in the same cohort of age set hold once in their lifetimes to mark the transition from one generation to another in which a generation corresponds to forty year period known as Afurtam. The waaqeffannaa spiritual society stratified their social structure including their spiritual way of life into two distinct but interlinked structure known as Hoboo and Cooraa- a system of equilibria as ally and antagonist binary division; and into stages known as saddeetaa- a system of peer grouping structure based upon the quintuple system of classification. Thus the primeval quintuple principles known as Yayyaba Shanan Walaabuu govern the spiritual life of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society. Due to this they structured their social and spiritual life based upon these quintuple principles, the sacred fundamental principles through which the Supreme Being Creator ordained and govern Walaabuu. The expression hoboo-cooraa, the symbolic representation of primeval classification, is conceptualized based on the principle of Irroo, one of the primeval quintuple principles. The principle of Irroo classifies the waaqeffannaa spiritual society into binary division as per their order of coming into being. This system of classification dissects the waaqeffannaa spiritual society into two equal halves as senior (Hoboo) and junior (Cooraa) where the system keeps a father and son apart as an antagonist group. Thus in this system of classification every member of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society is born into either hoboo or cooraa halves where if a father is born to the Hoboo category, the son automatically born to Cooraa and vice-versa.
On the other hand saddeetaa, the symbolic representation of primeval unit of classification, is a system of temporal differentiation of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society according to their chronological age in which a saddeetaa corresponds to eight year period. In this system, real age sets are organized in such a way that people who is approximately the same age shares collective spiritual and ritual responsibility. Thus the system of peer group structure which is also known as saddeetaa, is a system in which the members of each class are recruited strictly on the basis of chronological age. It is formed every eight year and thus a set of group pass from one stage of development to the next every eight years. The term saddeetaa itself is derived from the Oromo word saddeet which literally stand for the number eight. In this context the term saddeetaa implies a period of years a stage covers. It mean the age set which covers eight year period is called saddeetaa-the cohort of the eight year period and they are considered as Hariyya. Thus the waaqeffannaa age set known as hariyyaa or saddeetaa are recruited on the basis of age. In other words, saddeetaa is the group of people who shares the same status and who perform their rites of passage together; whereas the grades (saddarkaa) are the stages of development through which the group pass. Thus the saddeetaa stand for the period each stage covers where each stage has their own designation.
Thence the waaqeffannaa spiritual society is divided into a very large number of saddeetaa stages through which the saddeetaa group passes in the eternal spiral cycle. This system of classification is based on an expected age that a person is expected to live. Amongst the waaqeffaanna spiritual society, a person is expected to live at least 80 years of age in which a person’s socio-spiritual complete life cycle last at least 80 years. Thus the normal time a person is expected to live is divided into two equal halves of 40 year period. Through this 80 year life time, a person passes through the 11 ladder spiritual path. Thence the waaqeffannaa spiritual society constructed 11 cardinal stages through which a person is expected to walk in his 80 years expected life journey where each stage occupies eight years period-the saddeetaa. These 11 ladder spiritual paths is divided into two overarching spiral cycle each lasting 40 years each in which the 40 year cycles itself composed of 5 spiral cycles of saddeetaa. These are the stage of Raabaa, Doorii, Biloo, Laboo, Lubaa, Yuubaa, Qaalluu I, Qaalluu II, Qaalluu III, QaalluuMoojii, and JaarsaQaalluu. These are classes that the waaqeffannaa spiritual society moves through their life cycle as collectivity. At each stage of development the class holds a different set of collective responsibility including the responsibility of offering spiritual and ritual leadership to the galmaa community and the waaqeffannaa spiritual society as a whole for a limited period during their careers. They have also the obligation to transmit their responsibility to another class in a formal handover ritual ceremony.
The first saddeetaa is Raabaa. They are sons of the Yuubaa Saddeetaa, that is, they are boys up to 8 years age. It is a grade occupied by a class of people sharing a common identity by virtue of the fact that they are all the sons of the Yuubaa Saddeetaa who are in ritual and spiritual leadership of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society. It is the saddeetaa that initiate to spiritual and ritual education. They, the Raabaa, attend spiritual wisdom teaching offered by their immediate senior- the Doorii. Thus boys in this stage undergo spiritual and ritual training. The waaqeffannaa spiritual society considers boys in this stage of saddeetaa as one among the principal mediators between man and Waaqaa. They are considered as such because they are innocent and pristine. The boys themselves are not an object of worship; rather due to their sacred attribute of pristineness, unfortunate men and women do come to them because they believe that through them they will find relief from their misfortune. Thus childless people and people with misfortune will approach a raabaa and placing their hands on the boy’s head, they pledges to return and anoint the raabaa if their prayers for children or misfortune are answered. This means that if they do have children and their misfortune is reversed, they will come back with gifts as per their pledge (wareegaa). As the result no one is allowed to strike with the Raabaa and people need to refrain from striking with the Raabaa. Even other children who take refuges in the home of such children will be spared by their parent. Not only the Raabaa, but also the mothers of the Raabaas are seen as a ritual intermediary. As the result childless men and women come to her to seek her blessing where in response they give her gifts. In response to these gifts she always say the antique verse of blessing: “Raaba Dhali (May you give birth to a Raabaa). Thus this saddeetaa is a stage of hijoollummaa (or childhood).
Up on reaching their 8th year, they enter the Doorii Saddeetaa. The transition ceremony by which the sons pass from the Raabaa into the Doorii Saddeetaa is performed at the shrine of galma Yuuba Qaalluu. The actual ceremony consists of two segments- the hair shaving rite and the giving of names. The hair shaving is conducted at the galma yuubaa where the yuubaa awaited for the celebrants at his shrines [Yuubaa]. At the shrine each father of the doorii son approached the yuubaa at the shrine and asked him to name his son. The name which was selected by the parents is blessed by the Yuubaa. This ritual of naming a child is known as Hammachisaa or Gubbisaa. By this the initiates are now a member of the doorii saddeetaa. At this shrine childless woman also recites prayer under the sacred tree shrine and made their pledges. With this all the celebrants then returns to their homes. The principal responsibility the doorii saddeetaa assumes after this rite of passage is the responsibility of undergoing more ritualized spiritual wisdom training including ritual matters and training the Raabaa. Therefore, at this stage they are allowed to go further away from their villages to attend spiritual and ritual training. At 16 years old, they enter the biloo. The biloo saddeetaa opens without any formal promotion ritual ceremony. The oldest boys in the saddeetaa are permitted to go on spiritual teaching and ritual exercise with older saddeetas. They usually attend spiritual rituals. They may now go long distances to learn and exercise spiritual teaching and ritual rites. Three years before the biloo ends, those in the Yuubaa grade come together and anointed the future yuubaa, qaalluu and qaaduree who eventually will constitute the presidium and thereby ritual responsibilities. They will be elected and anointed on the basis of spiritual wisdom. After anointment, the candidate tours the Galmaas to teach the waaqeffannaa congregation under the guidance of older saddeetaas.
In the laboo saddeetaa the anointed biloo are formally installed in the Galmaa, although they do not assume full responsibility except in their own saddeetaa. Therefore the transition from biloo to laboo saddeetaa is one of the most important events in the spiritual journey and/or system of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society. The transition of laboo takes place at the shrine of qaalluu. They dressed black, red and white cloth. It is also used as ceremonial flag known as Bakkalaa Faajjii or faajjii Walaabuu. This ceremonial flag is present to the Yuubaa. The flag is hoisted at the shrine. The boys recites antique verse of song known as jeekersaa and song of saddeetaa passage. The fathers and mothers then stand facing each other around the flag and the fathers recites antique verse of song of praise to their wives. The fathers go out as a group to the nearby tree shrines and came back with branches of a sacred tree (mi’eessaa). The branches are placed at the entrance of the enclosure. For the purpose of appeasing the divine provider each family sacrificed one steer/bull/uncastrated (Korbeessaa). Then the hide cut into stripes and is given to each celebrants to wear as bracelet, the meedhichaa. The boys are also given a bead (imu) which they would wear as part of a necklace for the rest of their life. This is one of the most important events in the spiritual life of the individual and the Waaqeffannaa spirituality over all.
The next age set, the luboo saddeetaa, constitutes a period of preparation for the assumption of full responsibility in the Galmaa. The luboo saddeetaa is very important stage in the life cycle of the waaqeffannaa in their long journey to attain spiritual enlightenment. At this stage, they are expected to marry. In this saddeetaa, the Luboo, members are allowed to marry. The marriage of this saddeetaa constitutes a rite of passage for all the members of the class. Thus the members of the saddeetaa must marry when they become luboo. Throughout this saddeetaa period they would not allowed to have children though they must marry. Thence although they are allowed to marry starting from the thirty second year of the saddeetaa stage, they are not allowed to have children until the fortieth year. At the end of this period, the class members enter Yuubaa, the most important age set of the whole system to attain full status, and take up their position as the full awakened Yuubaa and head of spiritual institution- the Galmaa. The yuubaa saddeetaa is the most important stage in the development of a class. The class performs critical spiritual and ritual services at this stage. The passage into the yuubaa saddeetaa is known as buttaa. This rite of passage occurs in the fortieth year of the yuubaa saddeetaa system. It is performed at the sacred shrine of Abbaa Muudaa. At this stage the system comes to stop momentarily and all men move to the proceeding class vacating the last class, luboo, which is immediately occupied by a new class of youth who thus begin their ascent of the spiritual ladder. The Yuubaa now becomes Qaalluu. The qaalluu is a large category and assumes more than one saddeetaa. The qaalluu saddeetaas covers more than 32 years and covers the part of the life cycle ranging from the 48th to the eightieth year. The qaalluus are the sacred saddeetaas of the waaqeffannaa institutions. They are the sacred men of the qaalluu institutions and are advisors to the Yuubaas and serve as sacred ritual experts. These offices can be held only by people who have already pass through all the six ladder step in the waaqeffannaa spiritual awakening path. The qaalluus after passing through three separate eight year periods are transferred to the QaalluuMoojjii. This is the terminal sacred saddeetaa in the waaqeffannaa spirituality or spiritual system. It is the final saddeetaa of the life cycle and those who achieved this sacred final stage become the Abbaa muudaa, the sacred men of unction. The transition into this final saddeetaa is formal ritual and considered as a rite involving an exchange of incense (qumbii), the symbol of sacred state. The transition rite itself is known as the right of incense exchange (, or Qumbii Walirraafuudhuu). Then they enter the final grade called Jaarsa Qaalluu and retire completely from spiritual activity and service.
As it described briefly above when the waaqeffannaa spiritual society passes from one saddeetaa to the next, their duties and way of life in the society changes. The first five saddeetaa are generally a period of training and spiritual exercise. They underwent spiritual wisdom training including ritual training over the period of 40 years. The remaining saddeettaa grades consist of spiritual service at galmaa that continues up to the eleventh stage. Thus when they enter the Yuubaa saddeetaa at the age of 40, they already acquired all the necessary spiritual knowledge and ritual rites to handle the responsibility of spiritual wisdom teaching, Galmaa administration and ritual celebration. With this it ends with partial retirement of the whole, a group of elders to an advisory capacity.
In this system of classification, the newly born infant boy always enters the system of saddeetaa exactly forty years behind the father. This mean under natural circumstances father and son are five grades apart at all times. Thus the members of waaqeffannaa spiritual society gained particular spiritual and ritual stage of Yuubaa after journeying through the period of afurtam. It is achieved after five (5) successive saddeetaa which makes up a jireenyaa (, or a generation), that is, the gaps between father and son in which it occupies forty years (afurtam) on the eternal spiral cycle. The waaqeffannaa consider a jireenyaa (, or a generation), the normal time between successive generation or the age gaps between fathers and sons, as 40 years. Thus afurtam or jireenyaa is the average period, generally considered to be about forty years, during which children are born and grow up, become adults, and begin to have children of their own. Thus five saddeetaa is considered as one generation (jireenyaa) which implies saddeetaa is one quintuple of one generation.
Therefore, the ritual of buttaa is held to mark the end of one jireenyaa period-the period of Afurtam. In this jireenyaa or afurtam ritual observance, all members of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society holds and celebrate this sacred ritual of buttaa at least once in their life time. Therefore buttaa is a jireenyaa or afurtam ritual observance that which held after a period of forty years by distinct age set in the spiral life cycle. Buttaa represent a multi meaning concept involving physical symbols and physical actions. Thus buttaa among the waaqeffannaa spiritual society represent the cyclical or spiral sacred ritual of slaying the steer/bull (buttaa qaluu), a feast ritual prepared once in a life time and hold to mark 1) the graduation (end) of forty years cycle of spiritual training in the waaqeffannaa spiritual system; 2) anointment of the Yuuba Qaalluu in the waaqeffannaa spiritual institution; and 3) transfer of responsibility to the incoming (or anointed) Yuubaa Saddeetaa, 4) installation of Qaalluu in the Galmaa and 5) handing qallachaa qaalluu to the incoming Yuubaa, literally double sacred headgear of Qaalluu, the symbol of spiritual consciousness. The term qaluu mean sacrificial slaughtering or the venerable person that slaughters on the sacred ritual ceremony.
The term buttaa itself is derived from the Oromo word butuu and taa’itaa. The term butuu literally refers to ‘snatch’, ‘grab’, ‘grasp’, ‘takeover’, ‘hold’, ‘clutch’, ‘swoop’, ‘seize’, ‘take hold of’, ‘get hold of’, ‘sweep over’….where the term taa’itaa stand for ‘possession of controlling influence of the office of qaalluu institution’, ‘position and power of an exalted person’, ‘power’, ‘throne’….. In this context, buttaa literally refers to ‘the snatch of power, the taking over of the possession of controlling influence’, ‘seizing the throne’, ‘taking the crown or garland (ruufaa)’, ‘taking qallachaa qaalluu’ or ‘take hold of the office of Yuuba Qaalluu’. Buttaa, thus, refers to the handing ritual of the office of Yuuba Qaalluu to the incoming Yuubaa. In jireenyaa ritual observance not only those who is becoming to the office, but also those who are in the same Yuuba saddeetaa will held this ritual. At galmaa level this buttaa ritual is held every eight years (saddeetaa) to bless, anoint and approve the handing of qallachaa as the emblem of divine authority and achievement of exalted spiritual consciousness whereas at personal level it is held once in life time on the age of forty. Thus buttaa is a saddeetaa as well as jireenyaa ritual observance that held to bless and anoint those who concluded their spiritual education in their forty years journey and transiting to assume responsibility as sacred persons of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual Institution. The ritual is also held to mark the end of one jireenyaa period and the beginning of new responsibility in the remaining life of the new Yuubaa. Thus the ritual of buttaa is considered as the rite of transition.
On the event of buttaa day, steer is immolated as sacrificial offering to praise the Supreme Being for helping the Yuubaa Saddeeta to achieve the status of Yuubummaa after completing a long journey of Jireenya. In this sacred ritual, there are a series of interconnected ritual including the ritual of buttaa qaluu (slaying of steer), Yuuba Muuduu (anointment of Yuubaa) and qallacha kennuu (handing of qallachaa). Thus on this sacred ritual steer is usually immolated. This act of immolated steer on this occasion is known as buttaa qaluu- the sacred ritual of immolating steer. On this event of buttaa day, shortly before the ritual of buttaa qaluu, food and drink will be prepared and the jaalaas (the sacrificial assistant) will be chosen and anointed. Thus on the buttaa day the buttaa holders, or the members of the incoming Yuuba saddeetaa, through their representative has a jaalaa whom they chooses. The jaalaa also chooses himself a waa’elaa (best man) where both the jaalaa and waa’ela must be senior Qaalluu. On the head of the chosen jaalaa and waa’elaa, the representative of the saddeetaa holding the ritual ties a ruufaa- the sacred crown usually known as Maroo Daaniyaa. The celebrants have to ask these assistant ahead of time before the actual buttaa ritual. On the ritual day, the gumaataa is brought to the ritual by the jaalaas, and food and drinks prepared for this feast ritual are placed in the booroo side of the Galmaa, the symbolic sacred center, to allow people to eat from it on the event of feast. This is due to the attendants of this sacred ritual must visit the sacred hut, the Galmaa, as the house of guutummaa (, or plenty) where all containers should be being filled to the brim. Thus everything at every time must be Mijuu or Guutuu on this sacred occasion of the sacred event.
On the ritual day, the incoming Yuuba Saddeetaa and / or the representative of the incoming Yuubaa Saddeetaa sat on a stool (seat) together with his two assistants, the Jaalaa as mata qaboo (the one who held the head of the animal during sacrifice) and the Waa’elaa as dhiiga qocoo (the one who collected the sacrificial blood). The representative of incoming Yuuba saddeetaa (the head of the holders of the ritual) sat between them, the Jaalaa at his right. The person who immolated the sacrificial offering has to put coqorsa (a sacred ceremonial grass) around his waist as sabbataa and head as headdress (, or ruufaa). He has to obtain a new ceremonial scepter (Horooroo eeboo or dhaabbata) before slaying the sacrificial offering (, or bull). He blesses holding his new dhaabbata reciting the antique sacred verse of blessing. The bull/steer is anointed with butter from mouth to tail as he recite the following antique verse of blessing prayer.
Let our eyes see good things
(Ijaan waan gaarii nu agarsiisi),
Let our ears hear good things
(Gurraan waan nagaa nu dhageesisi)
Let us have the horn of the brave
(Gaafa dhiiraa nu baasisi)
Bring food to our mouth
(Nyaata afaaniin nuu ga’i)
Keep away the enemy from us
(Irree hamaa nuttii qabi)
Protect us from harm
(Hamaa nu eeggatu nuttii qabi)
Let the blood from the throat bring good things to us
(Dhiigni mormaa ba’u, nuuf haa tolu)
Let the omentum bring good thinings to us
(Moorrii garaa ba’uu nuuf haa tolu)
Give long life to your people
(Lubbu saba keetii dheeressi)
We have slaughtered cattle,
(Qalee horii),
O God be kind to us
(Yaa Waaq nuuf toli)!
Let the back of our neck be strong
(Gateettii dhiiraa nu baasisi)
What one gives to Waaqa one anoints before killing!
(Waan Waaqayyoo kennanii ariirrachuu qalu)
What one kills for eating one does not anoint!
(Waan qoonqof qalanii hin ariirratani)
The thing one gives to Waaqa as a promised gift
(Waan Waaqayyoof dhaaban),
The thing one offers to the ayyaanaa of one’s Father,
(Waan ayyaana abbaa ofiitiif dhaban),
Is to be anointed!
(Ni ariirratu!)
O Ayyaana of our father we are offering you a gift!
(Yaa ayyaana abbaa keenyaa kennaa sii dhaabna fudhadhu!)
With this they throw down the bull and immolate it. The mata qaboo will keep [hold] it’s head and the dhiga qocoo will collect the blood. The other members of Yuubaa symbolically keep [hold] the arm of the slayer while he is killing, or may keep [hold] the eeboo. Thus they kill with the eeboo, not with a knife so that the other members of Yuubaa get involved in slaying the sacrificial steer. The sacred stick (wood) of the eeboo should be new and wet [i.e., not anointed]. It must be from the ‘ulaagaa’ or ‘ulmaaya’ tree. Then the celebrant’s forehead will be smeared one by one with the bull’s blood collected by the dhiiga qocoo, while the assistant qaalluu blesses them reciting the following antique verse.
May Waaqaa keep you in peace!
(Waaqni Si haa baatu)
May He give you strength!
(Adda siif haa kennu)
Be powerful
(Kallacha / adda goddhu)
Let the barren cow give birth
(Kan hin dhalin siif haa dhalu)
Let the cows that gave birth live longer
(Kan dhale siif haa bulu)
May your bull cover the cows!
(Kormi hari’ee siif haa dhalchu)
May what is wrong be made good for you!
(Kan dide siif haa kajeelu)
May the sterile one give birth for you!
(Kan maseene siif haa dhalu!)
After the smearing of celebrants forehead with blood of sacrificial steer and blessing of the qaalluu, all participants put a small strip of the bull’s skin (meedhicha) on their right hands and another on their heads ‘like a crown’. All the participants will be given these wrestles (meedhicha) made from the skin of the sacrificial bull. The representative of the saddeetaa holding the sacred buttaa ritual put on the longest possible meedhicha, which is cut from the back foot right up to the neck. With this the attendants sat in the boroo to enjoy the food and drink. The feast includes eating meat without pepper and drinking the mijuu. On this sacred ritual rite all food containers including containers with drink have to be kept full (guutuu) every time and all time. They do not eat the garaacha (stomach); otherwise the country will be full of buuqataa (caterpillar) which causes itching. They also do not eat the meat from the bones, because people will become all skin and bones. After the feast, they recites antique verse of prayers as:
O God,
(Yaa Waaqi),
You helped us pass the night peacefully
(Nagaan nu bulchitee)
You helped us pass the day peacefully
(Nagaan nu oolchitee
He (God) who brought the cattle to the kraal
(Gitimaa warraan geessee)
He who brought the heads to the pillows (to sleep in peace)
(Mata boraatiin geessee)
Praise be to the Lord!
(Hoqubaa fudhaddhaa!)
After feasting, as the symbolic Yuubaa passage of rite, the ritual of handing qallachaa (qallacha kennuu) is follow. This ritual of handing the sacred qallachaa represent the passage to high sacred status in the waaqeffannaa spirituality and it is, thus, considered as a symbolic sacred stuff of exalted spiritual consciousness. In this event of qallacha kennuu sacred ritual, the actual handing ritual ceremony of qallachaa, the members of the incoming Yuuba saddeetaa be seated at a place considered as a sacred center when the senior qaalluus arrived. At arrival, the incoming Yuubaa recite to the senior qaalluu the following sacred text: “Nu eebsaa, dabareen keenyaa (Bless us, it is our turn!)” and the senior saddeetaa qaalluu in turn responded: “Maal yoon isin eebse, eebbii isiniin malaa (what if I bless you, you deserve blessing)?” Then the qaalluu yuubaa recite the following antique verse:
Have a son
(Ilma argadhaa)
Be plenty
(Barakaa argadhaa)
Have a successful ritual
(Jifuu oofkalaa)
Have a successful forty year of your father
(Afurtama abbaa keessanii oofkala)
Have long life
(Umrii dheeradhaa)
Have a successful peace
(Nagana oofkala)
With this the Abbaa Muudaa, the sacred highest officiant of the Waaqeffannaa spirituality, delivers the Qallachaa to the incoming Yuubaa saddeetaa in which they receives the qallachaa with their bare hands reciting:
We will not cut udders
(Mucha hin muru)
We will not plough/dig the land
(Lafa hin qonnu)
The doors of our house will never be closed
(Balballii keenya hin cufamu)
The fire in our house will never be extinguished
(Ibiddii mana keenyaa hin dhaamu)
We will drink milk daily
(Afaan keenya yeroo hunda aanan cuuphina)
After this the Abbaa Muudaa is also remind of the duties and responsibilities, which are refrained in the couplets or songs as:
You do not shed blood
(Dhiiga hin baastu)
You do not dig the earth
(Lafa hin dhistu)
You do not carry iron [arms]
(Sibiila hin qabattu)
You dip your mouth in milk
(Afaan aanan cuuphidu)
You dip your sacred stick in milk
(Dhaaba/horooro kee aanan cuubdu)
You sit on a chair
(Barcumarra teessu)
You only gives blessing
(Eebba duwwaa kenta)
You do not go out with an empty mouth in the morning
(Ganama afaan duwwaa ala hin baatu)
Even if you do not drink [milk] you dip your mouth in it
(Utuma dhuguu baatteyyuu afaan kee aanan cuubda)
After dipping your dhaabata you say multiply and have property
(Dhaabata cuubdetu hora horamaa)
Qallacha pertains to Waaqaa
(Qallachii kan Waaqaatti)
The people of qallachaa bring good to the society
(Warrii qallachaa waan sabaaf tolu)
So that those who farm may harvest plenty
(Kan qote akka barakatu)
So that the cow may give birth again
(Dhaltiin akka dhaltu)
Therewith the incoming Yuubaa saddeetaa pray on the spot they receive the Qallachaa. After this the customary ceremonial call and response antique verse of Koottu-dhufee (‘Come-I have come’), the ritual comes to end.
Abbaa Muudaa Celebrant
Let Waaqaa bring rain
(Waaqni kan roobaa haa tahu) Let it bring
(Haa tahu)
Let the land grow grass
(Lafti kan margaa haa tahu) Let it grow
(Haa tahu)
Let he who is looking for something find
(Barbaadaan dugdaa haa labu) Let him find
(Haa labu)
Let the turbid water fill the roaming river
(Booruun laga haa labu) Let it fill
(Haa labu)
Let grass be for the cattle
(Margi kan sa’aa haa tahu) Let it be
(Haa tahu)
Let the cattle be for its owner
(Saanii kan abbaa haa tahu) Let it be
(Haa tahu)
Let Waaqaa heal the sick
(Waaqni kan dhukkubsate haa fayyisu) Let him heal
(Haa fayyisu)
Let the ignorant be wise
(Kan wallaale haa beeku) Let him be
(Haa beeku)
Let he who knows live long life
(Kan beeku haa bulu) Let him live
(Haa bulu)
Let peace be in the land
(Nagana biyyaaf haa tahu) Let it be
(Haa tahu)
Let him give us agreement
(Waliigaltee nuuf haa kennu) Let him give us
(Haa kennu)
Let all things good for us
(Waliigalee nuuf haa tolu) Let it be good
(Haa tolu)
Let war and sickness be out of this country
(Waraansi fi waraannii Biyyaa haa bahu) Let be out
(Haa bahu)
Let peace follow for all of us
(Nagaan fufaa nuuf haa tahu) Let it be
(Haa tahu)
He who made us pass the night in peace
(Nagana nu bulchee),
From darkness to light
(Dukkana keessaa ifatti),
From poverty and disease into abundance
(Rakkina keessaa bal’inatti),
And kept us well up to this moment
(Bulfatee yoonan nu gahee),
Glory to him [Waaqaa]
(Hooqubaan isaaf haa tahu) Glory to Waaqaa
(Hooqubaa jedhaa)
Again for Waaqaa
(Ammas Waaqa),
Gave us a land where peace prevail
(Biyya nagaa qabu nuuf laate),
He who made what we have farmed seedlings
(Kan qotanne nuuf biqilche)
He who made us pass the night and spend the day in peace
(Nagaan nu bulchee nagana nu oolfate)
Glory to Him[Waaqaa]
(Hooquba isaaf haa tahu) Glory to Him [Waaqaa]
(Hooqubaa kansaa)
Did he makes us pass the night in peace
(Innii nagana nu bulchee)? O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he makes us spend the day in peace
(Nagaadhaan nu oolchee) O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he give our people all it needs
(Gitimaa warraan galee)? O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he lead the head to the pillow
(Mataa boraatiin gahee) O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he lead the food to the table
(Raama gabateen gahee) O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he bring the pasture to the fence
(Kan tiksan dallaan gahee) O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
Did he bring the shepherd to the sheep
(Tiksituun abbaan gahee) O Yes! Yes!
(Ee! Ee!)
So join me in giving glory to Waaqaa
(Hooqubaa jedhaa kaa) Glory to Waaqaa
(Hooqubaa Jedhaa)
Triulzi A and Bitimab T 2005. BUTTAA RITUALS OF SAYYOO OROMO. Journal of Oromo studies. 12; 1&2:120-141
Legesse A 1973. Gadaa: Three approach to the study of African society. The free press. A Dvision of MacMillan Publishing Co.,Inc. Network.
Sabaa M. 2006. Daaniyaa. Waldaa Aadaa fi Duudhaa Oromo (WADO). Finfinnee
Bartels L.1993. Oromo Religion: myth and rites of the western Oromo of Ethiopia. An attempt to understand. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Ver,ag.
The article taken from and was published on  :
The Waaqeffannaa Spiritual society-Nile Valley