The concept Muudaa refers to both the ceremony held every eight years to honor the holy person of the highest, or supreme qaalluu, and the pilgrimage to his shrine to gain (receive) his blessing and unction. The term muudaa is a derivative of the verb muuduu which literally refers to “to anoint’, ‘to duab’, ‘to smear’, to inunct’, or ‘unction’or ‘inunction’ as a noun. The verb also connotes the the meaning of the verb ‘approve’ or ‘bless’. And so muudaa literally refers to anointment and blessing, and to the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society supplication period and ceremony led by a ritual authority called Abbaa muudaa. Muudaa is a ritual ceremony held to bless the jilas (, or pilgrims) and approve and bless all that needs blessing. A pilgrimage to the center of the patriarchial head of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society is a step towards nageenyaa (peace), gaarummaa (righteousness) and dhugaa (truth).
And therefore, the muudaa pilgrimage is a journey to a shrine of Abbaa muudaa, the pontiff of waaqeffannaa spiritual society. It is a very holy and the pilgrims walk to the place of the abbaa muudaa with a sacred stick (, or Horooroo) in one hand and carrying myrrh (, or qumbii) on the other hand. Muudaa is another form of thanksgiving ritual which binds the waaqeffannaa spiritual society together. The muudaa ritual occasion plays an important role and is observed with enormous dignity in the nation because it is a period of prayer for forgiveness, for rain, for prosperity, wisdom, oneness, peace and collective success. The essential ceremony of the visit to the spiritual father consists, as the anointing of the aromatized butter with which he whitens the head of the pilgrim.
The pilgrimages to honor the muudaa sacred center are the heart, the soul, and the spirit of Waaqeffannaa Spiritual Society which centered around Waaqaa, to whom they turned in all thier moments of joy and of distress. The waaqeffannaa spiritual society knows that what comes from Waaqaa, whether it is adversity or prosperity, is the best. They do talk “hojiin Waaqaa cufti dansa”. The important thing is that one should go forth before waaqaa to do otherwise is reprehensible. The waaqeffannaa spiritual society trust Waaqaa and go forth before him in prayer. For, to trust Waaqaa is an indication of the fundamental belief that Waaqaa, who is the source and origin of all that exists, also cares for creation by protecting it and by bestowing it with fertility, abundance and peace. Thus Muudaa is the name of the ceremony that is celebrated once in every eight years 1) in honor of the patriarchal head of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society and 2) to gain the help of the Supreme Being Waaqaa for the sake of devotion or as an act of thanksgiving.
The Abbaa Muudaa, more popularly known as the Supreme Qaalluu, was the most sacred ritual figure in Waaqeffannaa spiritual society belief system, and the focus of a pilgrimage. He is a supreme qaalluu, the holy of holies, a patriarch and pontifical figure of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society. His land, the sacred land of Muudaa pilgrimage, is a place of righteousness, wisdom, harmony, and peace; and it provides the ritual and spiritual templates for the waaqeffannaa spiritual society’s spirituality based on the divine doctrine of Waaqaa Gurraachaa.
The name Abbaa Muudaa is derived from the term abbaa and muudaa. The term abbaa literally refers to ‘father’, ‘headman’, ‘patriarch’, or ‘owner’ where as the term muudaa, as describe above, refers to ‘anointing’, ‘daubing’, or ‘smearing’. And so Abbaa Muudaa literally refers to ‘the father of anointment’, ‘the owner of anointment’, or ‘the headman of anointment’. Therefore, abbaa muudaa is the patriarchial head of muudaa rituals in which he blesses, anoints, approves, and legitmaize or enact the divine law of Waaqaa tokkichaa. He is abbaa muudaa because he is a great spiritual qaalluu leader who makes the whole pilgrimage sacred and conveys Waaqaa’s blessings to the pilgrims. He carries out this by daubing or anointing the pilgrims with aromatised fresh butter on their heads. The abbaa muudaa is the supreme spiritual leader of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society. The effective center of spirituality, the pole of waaqeffannaa soul, link of the whole race and rallying point of the scattered tribes, the abbaa muudaa is vested with formidable, uncontested superhuman prestige which by virtue of the patriarchal rule, his right as the eldest son has conferred on him. In him, depository of the law and of the tradition; in him the personificatons of the national trust in the service of Waaqaa. From his hands unction, from his beak benedictions and oaths are discharge. The actual Abbaa Muudaa is a graceful father (decrepit old man), who anointed (persists to be install himself) as the father of all the waaqeffannaa spiritual society, and delight (and groans in vain for no longer seeing) to see run the innumerable crowd of his spiritual children. The residence or center of the Abbaa Muudaa, the galma, was a spiritual center which people visited both to learn and to participate in prayers for peace, rain, fertility and plenty. The Abbaa Muudaa is spiritual head of and played an important part in the workings of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society. They do believe in their abbaa muudaa as the patriarchial fugure, the righteous one, and spiritual figure. They all go to him from far and near to honor him and receive his blessings.
The abbaa muudaa is the spiritual head of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society. He is the center of waaqeffannaa spiritual society life and the rallying point of the nation, though he has no civil or executive authority. In him are personified and centralized the laws and traditions, and [Waaqaa] is said to speak through him. The Abbaa Muudaa as the prophet of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society guarded and interpreted the laws of Waaqaa gurraachaa.
There is also another important concept related to the concept muudaa pilgrimage, the concept jilaayyuu. The term jilaayyuu is derived from the Oromo words: Jila and haayyuu. The concept Jilaa literally refers to the pilgrims who made a journey to muudaa center, or people who paid visit to the patriarchial figure of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society and received his blessings and anointment and the word hayyuu refers to men of wisdom, the enlightened one, the knowledgable one, or the wisemen. And so the concept jilaayyuu literally refers to the concept ‘becoming a jila’, ‘receiving the blessing of abbaa muudaa’, or ‘getting anointment’. In literal meaning jilaayuu refers to the jila of hayyuu (pilgrims of hayyuu) which mean the pilgrimage the hayyuu attend. Therefore, jilaayyuu is a pilgrimages made to the land of the patriarchial head of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society once in a life time for blessing and anointment and earning his blessing and anointment. And so the concept muudaa in this context refers to the pilgrimages the hayyuu made to the land of the pontiff once in thier life time for unction and thanksgiving.
And so jilaayyuu refers to the steps one need to take to become Jilaa, the title given to the pilgrim who visited the pontiff and recieved his blessing and anointment. Therefore, jila refers to muudaa pilgrims. The jilaa functions as the link between the spiritual father and the waaqeffannaa spiritual society.
Innoo, one of the sacred holy headmen of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society he who once himself was the Abbaa Muudaa enacted jilaayyuu, a journey made for blessings and anointment, as:
“Every Waaqeffannaa Spiritual Society should make a journey to the patriachial head of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society (, or Ayyaantuu) to get blessings and anointement once in his life time. The journey endows the truth, peace, and righteous of Waaqaa. Those who have the resources and wellbeing shall make a pilgrimage to the Abbaa muudaa, the poniff of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society once in his life time to get blessings and anointment. Let those who slay buttaa; those who did not slay their fellow human being; those who are willing to receive the blessing and anointment of the Abbaa Muudaa shall make a journey to the ritual which held every eight years at least once in their life time. Let they gain the truth, peace and righteous of Waaqaa. Let they become jila after attending the blessing and anointment ceremony held every eught years. Let they be called by the name jilaayyuu. The new leaders may go and receive the blessing and anointment of the His Holiness”.