Wolkite University (WKU) marked “Anthrosht” Guraghe nation’s unique mother’s day celebration for the first time. On the occasion, it is revealed that considering mothers extreme devotion towards their children, Guraghe society used to honor its mother’s in early times. Yet, no one knows when it began but it is believed that it was some time before immemorial days.
In early times, the day was celebrated with a great feast, preparing special dishes such as raw meat, chopped meat (kitfo), cheese and vegetable hash, drinks and with music performance as well as giving presents.
Motherhood in Guraghe society was the most respected and honorable job a woman could have in her lifetime. Nevertheless, the community abandoned the ceremony entirely before a long time; but now days there are some insights to reconstruct this positive value through a government institution, Women and Children Affairs Office in Chaha district since 2001 E.C.
Research papers were presented regarding Anthrosht, Guraghe women indigenous performing arts and guraghe’s traditional road construction system. Theatrical performance was also presented in collaboration of Theatre Arts Department and Guraghe Zone Cultural Music Group.
During the commemoration it was underlined that, as of positive value, this tradition needs to be preserved and transferred to the next generation. In addition to this, a lot of work should be done to preserve, exercise, and promote the tradition to other parts of the country and worldwide.
Ethiopia is a multi-nation country that has numerous indigenous performances which are capable enough to cross boundaries. These indigenous performances pass on among others, Ethiopian identity, culture, indignity, and thought of life through generations. Indigenous performances from every corner of the country have their own colour, way of performance and social context. They are pillars of societal continued existence. But nowadays, it is clearly seen that, these multifaceted indigenous performances are being washed away by euro centrism and other global influences. They are much abused and not being in their places especially on the current generation. As a result, many young generations are lacking awareness about their identity, culture, idiomatic expressions of themselves and they couldn’t fit in the outside world as they don’t have their own unique identity.
This study investigated some selected three indigenous performances of Guraghe people. Guraghe is a zone in the Ethiopian southern nation’s nationalities and peoples region (SNNPR), situated in the northern tip of the southern nation and south west of the capital Addis Ababa. Indigenous performances particularly chosen to this study were Kurfiwe, Gichamue, and Neque. These performances which are performed only by women survived centuries, strengthening Guraghe’s social ties and construction of their identity.
The study revealed that two of these indigenous performances (Kurfiw eand Neque) are extinct, while Gichamue is in danger of extermination because of lack of awareness and concern which comes due to the introduction of Christianity and Islam and assimilation of culture. Findings showed that there is great potential for indigenous performances in Guraghe community to make significant contribution to create favourable conditions for living, easy ways of life, enhance similar social spirit, build their identity, and be constituent of the country’s image, like it is doing elsewhere. Findings of this study also showed that Children of this time are not willing to dig out about their social capital. Parents on their part are not strong enough to educate their children about their past and indigenous knowledge. Again, Guraghe people are well known in Ethiopia by their migration and adaptation of new places. We can find Guraghes in every corner of the country creating new business and introducing hard work. Therefore, they leave home for better life and remained assimilated by other cultures. With all this, it was evident that Guraghe’s indigenous performances which are performed only by women are falling apart by the gravity of its own weight. This study contributes to an understanding of women’s indigenous performances practice and its contribution for the construction of Guraghe women’s identity.
Nowadays, sources of Guraghe women’s identity, indignity and social context is questionable. Likewise the contributions of these indigenous performances are considered to be inconsequential, even though it is crucial to understand the identity and livelihood of Guraghe women. In order to scrutinize the problem and answer the question, in this paper, I will analyse the motive behind performing the selected indigenous performances, how they are composed and its influence on the trend of Guraghe women’s living. By giving a social, political and artistic account on the performances, I will argue that these indigenous performances are among major building blocks of Guraghe women’s identity.
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- BA Degree in Theatre Arts from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
- MA in Theatre and Development from the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopia
- Advertising Announcer, English and Amharic Reporter in the then Ethiopian Radio and Television Agency from August 26/2009 to October 2/2012.
- Since October, 2012:
ü Assistant Lecturer of Theatre Arts in Wolkite University;
ü Theatre Arts Department Head, Wolkite University;
ü Website Editor, Wolkite University;
ü Public and International Relations Directorate Director, Wolkite University
Workshops and Festivals:
- Coordinator of international seminar on “India and Africa: Developmental Experiences and Bilateral Cooperation”.
- Main coordinator of the 53rd World Theatre Day when it was celebrated for the first time in higher education institution level in Ethiopia.
Paper presenter on the 53rd World Theatre Day under the title “The Effect of Medium of Instruction in Wolkite and Addis Ababa Universities, Theatre Arts Programs
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Public and International Relation Directorate Director