Field and river

20th International Conference of Ethiopian Studies (ICES20)
Mekelle University, Ethiopia

"Regional and Global Ethiopia - Interconnections and Identities"
1-5 October, 2018

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MISGANAW Tadesse, PhD Candidate, University of the Western Cape, Department of History, Cape Town, South Africa

Wollo is a province in Ethiopia where Muslims and Christians live together peacefully. The religious demography of the province, which has almost equal number of Muslims and Christians living together intermingled made social interaction inevitable. As a result, the community has a unique history of tolerance, peaceful coexistenceand strong sense of togetherness. The people are intermixed and shared many customary, cultural and ritual practices. Among these customary/cultural practices, which are exercised among the Wolloyes regardless of their religion, is a prayer which issupplicated to a pregnant woman for her labor pains to be easy. Few days before the delivery of lady, a prayer which is referred to us “Fatima Qori”, is made for her in the name of Fatima, the daughter of the Prophet Mohammed. Likewise, at birth the same pray is done in the name of St. Mary for the lady who is going to give birth to deliver safely. In such away, in Wollo, Christians participate in “Fatima Qori” and Muslims pray in the name of Mary. This is a living witness of togetherness and peaceful co-existence in the province. Thus, this paper examines this customary practice, the pray for a pregnant woman, which is made in the name of Fatima and St. Mary, and also other shared practices which resulted in peaceful co-existence between Muslims and Christians in southern part of Wollo, especially in the districts of Dessie Zuria, Qallu and Tehuledere. The method applied for this research is principally qualitative. Extensive reading of relevant literature is done. Moreover, observation of the above mentioned customary practices have been made in those selected districts. The researcher also conducted individual, and group, interviews. Finally, the researcher analyzed and interpreted the information collected.