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THE WALABU SCRIPT ABOUT BALES’ HEROES: SELECTED TEXT TRANSLATION AND ANALYSIS [Abstract ID: 0811-01]
In Ethiopia and Eritrea, from the early periods, the Geʻez script has been adapted to write mostly Semitic languages, particularly Amharic and Tigrinya. It is also used for other Semitic languages of Ethiopia. Moreover, other Cushitic languages of the country also used to be written using the script. Besides the Ethiopic alphabet, other scripts such as Arabic, ‘Ajemi and Sheikh Bakri’s orthography have been used to write different literary works in Ethiopian languages. This paper attempts to present Bales’ Heroes written by the new Oromo writing system (Walabu Script) invented by an Islamic and Oromo public intellectual Sheikh Kemal Adem of Bale. The study aims to show the biography and contribution of Bales’ Heroes to the national consciousness of the Oromo people in particular and Ethiopia in general. To do so, the text will be translated from the original language and selected text analysis will be employed from different perspectives. In addition to this, the paper will also discuss some philological elements of the manuscripts.