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OROMO CULTURAL PRACTICES PRESERVED IN ISLAMIC SHRINES: THE CASE OF ARSII AND JIMMAA [Abstract ID: 1304-05]
The Oromo people are the numerically strongest in the Horn of Africa. Oromo people have their own indigenous religion known as Waaqeffannaa. With the introduction of Christianity and Islam into the Oromo areas, many Oromo customs and beliefs including Waaqeffannaa seems to have been overwhelmed by newly arrived ones. However, in some areas the Oromo people resisted both the new religion and their traditions. Scholars argue that foreign religion has negative impact on the indigenous cultures in many ways. The existing literature concludes that a foreign religion is hazardous for local knowledge. Indeed, this paper identifies some unnoticed roles Islamic shrines have played in preserving Oromo cultural practices. Accordingly, the paper further identifies that he Oromo customs have preserved in Shrines cultural practices of the Oromo may have been undertaken in shrines and sacred places. This illustrates that Islamic shrines are homes for different Oromo material culture. The data will be collected from Islamic shrine in Arsi and in Jimmaa. The paper will focus on the heritages of Oromo culture. Qualitative data collection techniques such as interview, observation, and FGD and document analysis will be employed.