Qaalluu, among the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society, represent a ritual figurehead or a high priest of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual Institution while a Qaallitti represent the sacred wife of a Qaalluu and the mother of her only son, the hire of his father and the prospective qaalluu. Thus the Qaallitti mother’s an only child, her first-born son, who will, in due course, succeed his father as Qaalluu. Regarding the character of the power of the qaalluu, the Qaalluu has endowed divine authority and he is the holder of the sacred institution. He wears double qallaachaa, the symbol of his divine authority over the sacred spiritual realm and physical realm. The title of the qaalluu holding the office is known as qaaduree, or qaalluu duree. The domain of the Qaalluu is principally the domain of the sacred. The Qaalluus are situated in a position outside the frame of political time. Thus, the office of the Qaalluu is life-long. The descendants of the first mythical Qaalluu have succeeded to the office for many generations. Therefore, the term qaalluu stands for the spiritual and ritual authority that plays a major role in promoting high moral standards and the making of a cultured society among the waaqeffannaa spiritual society.
The term qaalluu is derived from the word qaluu and qulluu of the Oromo. The term qaluu literally refers to “to cut a throat”, ‘to slay’, or ‘to kill’. It also stands for the sacrificial killing of animals for the sake of appeasing Waaqaa. And so in this sense qaluu refers to the act of killing animal (offering lives of animal) to a higher purpose, in particular divine being in order to propitiate Waaqaa so that the twisted course of nature is restored. It also meant to give thanks to Waaqaa for His deeds in the past (curing the sick, restoring the twisted course of nature, good harvest, prosperity, peace gain over the land) and forward their wishes for the future. Qaluu is a form (, or means) of communication with Waaqaa for seeking guidance or to offer praise, address blessing, and ask for forgiveness, fertility, victory and protection. The word itself means “to make holy”. And so qaluu includes objects of value, and symbolic significance that are given to Waaqaa to earn His favor. The gifts can take many forms, becoming sacred themselves through ritual consecration or blessing. In this ritual Waaqaa is offered a portion of the food or drink the waaqeffannaa spiritual society is using in their daily life in the form of dadarbaa and dhibaayuu for the sake of appeasing Him. In the qaluu ritual, both the bull and ram are considered sacred among the waaqeffannaa spiritual society and used as an offering to WaaqaaGurraachaa-Tokkicha-Haqaa and they use these sacred animals in a qaluu ritual.
The term qulluu (intensive qulqulluu) which literally refers to “pure”, ‘clean’, ‘pristine’, ‘virginal’, ‘holy’, ‘having no faults’, ‘sinless’, ‘free from discordant qualities’, ‘chaste’, ‘harmonious’, ‘blameless’, ‘immaculate’, ‘undefiled’, ‘sacred, ‘being black’, or ‘ anointing to the color and quality of Waaqa’. And therefore, a person in charge of this qaluu ritual, the qaalluu bless and cut the throat of the sacred animal (Bull or Ram) in the congregational ritual. And so, the term Qaalluu (QaluuQulluu) is originally stands for the name given to this spiritual ritual leader of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society. And through time the concept used to represent the Holy head of the spiritual institution of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society and it is officiated by this high ranking “priest” known as Qaalluu (or Abbaa Muuda) whom he is the most senior person of the society. And so the qaalluu also approves that the animals to be offered as sacrifice for rituals are faultless, determine when and where to hold rituals. They make sure that animals to be slaughtered for festivities have nothing wrong with them. Animals that are killed for festivity must have only one color and, therefore, spotted animals are not killed for festivals. This signifies that they, the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society, come before Waaqa Gurraacha-Tokkichaa-Haqaa with full conviction in undivided mind. The animal that would be killed must be uncontested; no claim of any sort should be made about it. If it is to be bought from someone, the seller should not be a person accused or suspected of murder, theft, betrayal, rape, or any other crimes contrary to Waaqeffannaa.
He, the qaalluu, or the Abbaa Muuda (the anointing father), is the most senior Qaalluu of the sacred ayyaantuu and he is elected on the basis of his intelligence, sound judgment, honesty, and spiritual quality. The qaalluu are referred as the guardians of the Law of Waaqa on the Bishaan Godaa. The Waaqeffannaa spiritual society describes the qaalluu as ‘Makkala’, means the messenger of Waaqa. The authority of the qaalluu is divine in origin, and hereditary. The domain of Qaalluu is purely the domain of sacred and peaceful, and he is charged with ritual and spiritual affairs.
Therefore the Qaalluu is hereditary spiritual leader whom Waaqa appointed to guide the waaqeffannaa spiritual society. The Qaalluus are those people who are filled with the divine holy Ayyaanaa (of Waaqa) and who achieved the highest level of spiritual consciousness. They are the Ayyaantuus who are anointed by Waaqa to define and enlighten the Will of and Seera Waaqa. The qaalluu is a Waaqa sent prophet, a spiritual leader responsible for conducting a Muudaa or anointment ritual, and hence referred to as Abbaa Muudaa (the father of Anointment). In muudaa ceremony, the expedition is made to the sacred place where there is a ritual leader who takes offerings and in turn blesses those who made a long and arduous journey. And so for the waaqeffannaa spiritual society, the first qaalluu, a high priest, the spiritual leader was of Divine Origin, comes from the “Bishaan Gubbaa” with the first Black Bull in the primordial time.
Thus in Waaqeffannaa, the origin of the first Qaalluu is of heavenly or divine descent. This first mythical qaalluu was called Hurrati Daga which means “he who came from a cloud of mist” or “he who fell from the cloud”. The name refers to his heavenly origin. The myth describes how he, hurratti daga, the first divine qaalluu was first discovered in the outdoor forest by a person. When he was found He was founded at his younger age while he was a little boy and believed as he was descended from ‘Above’ being covered in cloud mist with all his insignia. He was wearing a double qallachaa on his forehead and a chequered turban (ruufaa) with color black, red and white around his head, the emblem of the unknown, the known and the past universe. There were also the other sacred objects and animals associated with this sacred boy, the will be anointed Qaalluu and Abbaa Muudaa, such as his scepter (termed gabaabo); bracelet (termed laaduu); a calf and a sheep (termed raada faga and hoola faga); serpents (termed leeman); a drum (dibbee) and a brass plate (saa’e). In addition he was found with a girl of his age. With this the sacred Boy and Girl was soon anointed and appropriated by the Booran- the elder as qaalluu and qaallitti. When they, the boy and the girl, came of age, they married and produced an only son, who later hired the office of the qaalluu institution after his father ‘went far way’. This first and the only son of the Qaalluu-Qaallittii was anointed as boblaa (or Ilma boblaa) – he who is blessed to hire his father and the sacred office of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society.
Afterwards the first-born son produced by the Qaallitti, her only son, is known as boblaa or ilma boblaa, a term that refers exclusively to him. The boblaa boy is also ritually distinguished from other boys in general- like the Qaalluu, he must never carry any weapons, kill or shed blood, nor must he cut wounded in any way. This is because among the waaqeffaanaa spiritual society the domain of Qaalluu is purely the domain of sacred and peaceful and he is only allowed to engage on matters related with ritual and spiritual affairs. And so as the deed of the Qaalluu is purely sacred and holy, it also applies to the boblaa too. He is not allowed to carry spears, and He is not allowed to go to war and on hunts. He is forbidden to cut trees or dig and plough the ground. He is not allowed to approach or cross springs or rivers without green grass in his right hand. He is also not allowed to drink water; instead he is given milk and milk product, farsoo, bulbula dammaa (or bookaa). When he traveled, he symbolically has to turn the water into farsoo by putting a grain into the pot, or into milk by adding a drop of milk into a pot, or bookaa by adding a drop of honey into a pot from which he drinks water. This is done because these drinks symbolize the abundance of milk, honey and sprouting plants and seeds in the country and thus manifest prosperity. In his house fire has to be continuously burning (and never to be extinguished). The gate to the compound of this sacred person and the door to his house and his sacred galmaa are always kept open. The qaalluu and the boblaa were neither allowed to laugh nor to be sad. Both are Isaan and their position is the position of Isaan, neither Isaa nor Isii. Consequently, the boblaa must not be circumcised and his hair must never be cut or shaved. Further, he must never have a guutuu, the hair tuft on the crown of the head that is an important ritual emblem of a male waaqeffannaa spiritual society. Ideally, it is the boblaa who should succeed his father as Qaalluu and, as part of the rituals of installation, marry a Qaallitti.
Subsequently every new marriage of the Qaalluu and Qaallittii of the waaqeffannaa spiritual society is seen as a sacred repetition of that original marriage of the sacred boy and girl who where descended from above in cloud mist, and married to each other and begot the only first son, the boblaa. Thus this first mythical Qaalluu is considered as Qara hayyuu, the first sagacious Qaalluu of the entire Walaabuu and thus he is therefore referred to as the Qaalluu Qarrayyu. They are Raayyaa.
The continuity in the person of Qaalluu is symbolized by his bracelet (laadau). The divine given first sacred qaalluu, Hurrati Daga, wore this sacred symbol of Qaallu-ship when he descended from the Bishaan Gubbaa in cloud mist. The laaduu of hurratii daga slid down his arm by itself and onto the arm of his successor, his only first son and his boblaa when he ‘went far away’ (died) but after him the transfer of the laaduu (bracelet) needed human intervention. The laaduu corresponds, thus, to the idea of sacred coronation of the new qaalluu. It is a symbol of the continuity of the person of Qaalluu and of the institution. The Qaallitti too, wears her own version of gorgeous laaduu. In her case, however, the term refers to the two ankle lings, anklet or ankle bracelets (koomee, qasa’a) that she receives on her wedding day. These rings are not transferred to her successor; each new Qaallitti gets her own laaduu on her wedding.
Before assuming the office of the waaqeffannaa institution, however, the prospective Qaalluu must take a wife (haadha warra) and marry a maiden. In the primordial time as Hurrati Dagaa did, the first marriage of the qaalluu family was between the boblaa and the prospective qaallittii, where the two wedded in a sacred marriage to bear their only first sacred son, the boblaa. The wedding among the qaalluu- qaallittii forms part of the installation ceremonies of the Qaalluu qaaduree. In contrast to other weddings amongst the waaqeffannaa spiritual society, it is a conspicuously lavish and elaborate event that lasts for several days. The qaalluu or qaaduree holds his office for life. And therefore, the office of qaalluu passes straight from father to son. Thus this means ideally, only an adult boblaa person can be installed as Qaalluu Qaadurree; as an infant or a young unmarried boblaa cannot assume the office of Qaalluu. This is the truth when the safuu is being kept intact and the ordering of Waaqaa is being kept in harmonious and balanced spiral (maraa) motion. In actual practical life, however, there are many exceptions to this ideal practice. When the safuu is twisted, loosened or broken or breached, this course of happening will be misdirected and in this case the congregation of qaalluu shall device the appropriate way out. One of it is holding the ritual of prayer to ask Waaqaa for reconciliation and restore the twisted, loosen and broken safuu and redirect those that went out of the sacred avenue of Waaqaa. The other is to redirect to the maximum possible sacred avenue and solicit way out to restore safuu. This act of restoring the twisted, loosened, or broken safuu is called the ritual of falannaa.
Therefore, when the qaaduree went far away (died) and the boblaa is too young to assume the office, the senior officials (hayyuu) of the institution of the Qaalluu will anoint a successor, the half-brother of the deceased qaalluu. Due to this, the waaqeffannaa spiritual society, anointed a boblaa to Wed or take a wife, haadha warraa and marry a maiden before assuming office so that he beget half-brother of the boblaa son to assume the office if in case the qaalluu went far away before his only first (a boblaa) son get matured enough to assume the office. In this case the half-brother of the boblaa qaalluu will assume the office. This qaalluu is known as qaalluu guutuu. Due to this the office of the Qaalluu seldom passes straight from father to son, but instead often goes first to a half-brother of the deceased Qaalluu.
In contrast to a qaalluu boblaa, however, qaalluu guutuu does not take a new Qaallitti when he is installed; moreover, his haadha warraa (secular) wife must never become Qaallitti. Instead the Qaallitti dowager retains her position; she must not retire until her ilma boblaa is installed as Qaalluu and marries his own Qaallitti. Thus, a Qaalluu guutuu may in a sense be said to ‘inherit’ the Qaallitti of his predecessor. Thus, a Qaalluu who is guutuu cannot have sons that are boblaa; sons born by the Qaallitti are always regarded as the sons of her first husband. Furthermore, a Qaallittii retires only when her first-born son (ideally her Only Son, the boblaa) is installed as Qaalluu. A Qaalluu, on the other hand, whether he is boblaa or guutu, stays in office until his death. He is not a regent, who hands back the laaduu and reverts to being an ordinary Waaqeffannaa. In other words, it rarely goes from a father who is boblaa to a son who is boblaa.
The Qaallitti can only bore a first born son, the boblaa, as in waaqeffannaa only a first born son from a qaallittii can be a boblaa. Therefore, the death of a qaalluu before his only first born son get mature enough to assume the office of qaalluu institution would break this sacred line of succession of the boblaa forever. The qaalluu is the only child his mother is allowed to raise.
In addition, the term Qaalluu also stands for a name given to a spiritual institution of the Waaqeffannaa spiritual society. The Qaalluu institution, which also referred to as the Daaniyaa spiritual institution or Waaqeffannaa spiritual institution, is a ritual institution which aim to promote identity feeling and brings the people together as one family of Waaqa Gurraacha-Tokkicha-HaQaa and stand as symbol of unity. It emphasis the recognition of a sacred realm from which the Supernatural force (Waaqa) operates as well as the importance of practicing rituals to establish a proper relationships with the holy and to perpetuate as sense of mutual respect in the society. For the waaqeffannaa spiritual society’s qaalluu, there are sacred act that either the qaalluu or the people would not practiced in certain circumstances. These practices are named as laguu qaalluu, for instances:
Qaalluun yoo du’e ni du’e hin jedhan, ancufa liqimse ykn ancufatu seene; ykn fagaatee deeme (swallowed his sputum, went far away)
Du’a qaalluuf hin boo’an, ni jeekaru
Du’a qaalluu hin labsan, ni himu
Qaallittiin (haati warraa qaalluu angafaa/qarreen) hin deessu/dhaltu, ilma boblaa malee