Ebbaa: The solemn benediction of the Abbaa Muudaa

Next day, early in the morning the pilgrims passed before his holiness the Abbaa muudaa who, after communal prayers, give them the gifts of myrrh (qumbii) and showered blessings upon them which they value highly. One of the important blessings is anointment with aromatized fresh butter. And so after communal prayers the Abbaa Muuda anoints the jilaas and gives them myrrh. In his blessing, his holiness the Abbaa Muudaa commands them not to cut their hair and to be righteous, not to recognize any leader who tries to get absolute power, and not to fight each. He commands also the jilaa to teach the people to live according to the divine laws of Waaqaa, the Safuu. And so the Abbaa Muudaa is a ritual leader who inspired waaqeffannaa spiritual society on resistance to Alien force occupation of their land and their spirituality.

The spiritual father, the Abbaa Muudaa, questions and harangues the pilgrims over the law of Waaqaa and the customs of the son of waaqeffannaa spiritual society. He questions if any alien thing (religion) infect their land. An affirmative response to this question will denounce the danger or the beginning of apostasy. He, the abbaa muudaa, exhorts them to the simplicity of shepherdhood, guarantee of ancestral traditions as the ancient patriarchs were shepherds and because the watching of the herds was an honorable occupation and compatible with royalty. The prayers and blessing that he showered on the pilgrims demonstrate the ideal type of prosperity that he envisaged and he goes to say:

O son of horoom
(Yaa ilmaan horoom yaayyaa)
Welcome to this holy land
(Baga nagaan dhuftan, anaa dhufu)
Return home to your family and Abba Boku [in peace]
(Nagaanis warra keessanitti isin haa deebisu)!
May the milk of your herd flow in abundance
(Aannaan sawwan keessanii guutee haa dhangala’u)!
May the whole village drink of your superfluity
(Kan ollaan dhugee quufuu)!
May your favourite cow’s udder be full of milk
(Gurr’uun sa’aa keessannii haa guutuu)!
From which none drinks but the father of the family
(Kan abbaan warraa dhugu),
From which none drinks but the mother of the family
(Kan haatii warraa dhugdee quuftuu),
From which none drinks but he who has received Unction
(Kan warrii muudame dhugu)!
It is the wish of my heart that you should prosper
(Hawwiin kankoo kan isiin hortan).
May your stay with us be righteous
(Turtiin keessan gaarii haa tahu)!
May Waqa [Waaqa] be with you
(Waaqi isin waliin haa tahuu)!

The abundant benedications of the Abbaa Muudaa overwhelm the pilgrims. The prayer and blessing of the Abbaa Muudaa, emphasizes development, peace, abundance. His holiness repeatedly uses the phrase…..‘none drinks but’…..is to refer to the continuity of abundance from generation to generation for those who are blessed. Because the pilgrims who received the blessing and anointment of the Abbaa Muudaa are regarded as holy people who, whilst on pilgrimage, could pass between warring groups of people, no one maltreats them for they are identifiable. And so similarly, on their return to their homelands they are received with pomp and ceremony. And hence, pilgrims are accorded the title of Jilaa and called jilaayyuu. Jilaa are considered to be men of Waaqaa and imbued with a sacred quality as men without Cubbuu. As a jilaa is inviolable and are considered brothers to all people of the nation or the land, no one touch his belonging (, or cattle and other assest) in war or in raids and their herders went unarmed as a sign of their peacefulness; and so the jilaa are considered as a peacemakers (or mediators) among rivalry groups. The Abbaa Muudaa not only blessed the stock of the pilgrims by saying multiply, may Waaqaa maximize the fruit of your labours …… but also wished them victory over their enemies and booty in war.

Usually the pilgrims, after receiving his holiness’s blessing and unction, forward their petition to His Holiness Abbaa Muudaa as a signal to their intention to return back to their homestead. And so before leaving the land of Abbaa Muudaa, the pilgrims forward thier petition as:

I have come to you to receive the unction
(Eebbaa fi muuda argachuuf dhufnee);
Now I want to return to my hearth
(Ammaa qe’ee keenyatti deebinee gala feenaa);
Bless me (nu eebisi),
O my pontiff
(Yaa ulfoo tiyya);
Fill me up with your benediction
(Eebba keen nu guuti);
Say your words over me
(Jecha keen nu guutii);
That your flocks multiply
(Akka tuuti kee baayyattu)!
That a long line of offspring comes out of you
(Akka dhalloon heddu si keessan ba’u)!
May you see your descendents and the increase of your fold
(dhallii kee akka heddummaatu)!
Enjoy happy days and happy nights
(Halkan fi guyyaa gammaachuu isiin haa tahu)!
May Waaqa be with you
(Waaqni isin waliin haa tahu)!
May he accept your sacrifices
(Kennaa keessan waaqayyoon isinirraa haa fudhatu)!
We sons of Horoom Yaayyaa, children of the race
(Nuti ilmaan Horoom Yaayyaa);
Bless the sons of Horoom
(Ilmaan horoom yaayyaa eebsii geggeessi),
O my pontiff
(Yaa urgoo tiyya)!
O pontiff
(Yaa qulqullicha koo),
My benediction and my support
(Eebisaa fi gargaaraa koo);
I heap on your wishes (;
Receive my vows,
I congadulate you,
O my pontiff!
O pontiff my Healer!
Thanks to you
Our race has prospered
(Nu babaldhannee);
Our ancient patriarchs have prospered
(Ulfoon keenya babaldhattee);
Our forefathers have prospered
(Abbaa akkaakayyuun keenya hortee);
Our fathers have prospered
(Abbootiin keenyaa hortee)!
I pay you my homage vows
O my pontiff
(Yaa qulqullicha koo)!
Enjoy happy days and happy nights
(Guyyaa fi halkan gammachuu isiniif haa tahu)!
May Waaqa be with you
(Waaqayyo isin waliin haa tahu),
O Waayyuu
(Yaa waayyuu),
O pontiff of Waaqa
(Yaa qulqullicha akka Waaqaa),
O my benediction
(Yaa eebisaa koo)!

In response his holiness, the Abbaa Muudaa, showere them with blessing as:
O sons of horoom yaayyaa
(Ilmaan Horoom Yaayyaa);
O sons of the race
(Ilmaan gosaa),
Prosper (hori)!
See again the threshold of your house
(Qe’ee keessanitti nagaan gala);
Return to the midst of your own
(Waan hortanii horattanitti nagaan gala);
Return to the bosom of your tribe
(Jaalala warra keesanitti nagaan gala);
Arrive in the territory of your Abba Muudaa
(Daangaa abbaa muudaa keessanitti nagaan deebi’aa)!
May the milk of your herds flow abundant
(Aanan loon keessanii haa guutu guutee haa dhangala’u)!
May it overflow your vases (okotee, cuggee) very full
(Okkoleen haa guutuu guutee haa dhangala’uu)!
May every village drink from your superfluity
(Kan ollaan hundi dhugee quufu, dhugee hin fixinne)!
May all be filled with wealth
(Qabeenyii haa guutu)!
May the udders (muchi) of your favorite cows be puffed up (Gur’uun (, or muchi) saawwan kee haa guutu),
Whose milk only the father of the family drinks,
Whose milk only the mother of the family drinks,
Whose milk only those who have received the Unction drink!
This is the will of my heart
(Kun hawwii garaa kooti),
The will that I make for the pilgrims
(Hawwiin ani jila hundaaf qabu);
Enjoy happy days and happy nights
(Guyyaa fi halkan gammachuu isiniif haa tahu)!
May Waaqa be with you
(Waaqayyo isin waliin haa tahu)!
May He accept your sacrifices and your wadaja
(Wareegaa fi kenna keessan waaqayyoon isinirraa haa fudhatu)!
Prosperity to all
(Hundi keessan horaa badhaadhaa):
Such is the will of my soul
(Kun hawwii garaa koo)!

And so they, the pilgrims thank the Abbaa muudaa and the hosting community through their chant as:

We have received the unction
(Muuda argannee);
We hurry to return
(Deebinee galuuf baayyee hariifannee);
The distance is frightful
(Karichis baayyee sodaachisadhaa);
The dry seasons lasts five months
(Bonnis jia shan darbee);
I have suffered in open air
(Qabbanis nu hiraarse);
It will soon be six months that I slept outside
(Kunoo ergan manaa bahee ji’a jaha gahuufii)
We will finally return anointed
(Garuu dhuma irratti muuda argannee deebinaa)
The wole crowd has received the Unction
(Tuutni cufti muuda argatee),
Yes, yes
(Eeyee eeyee),
The Unction
We have received the Unction
(Muuda argannee);
The vase of the pontiff has poured the benediction
(Okoleen qulqullichaa eebba dhibaafattee)
I have aged during the going
(Karaarratti dulloomnee);
I am exhausted on the return
(Imallii nu dadhabsiissee);
Yes, yes,
(Eeyyee eeyyee)
The Unction