Indigenous Communication System of the Oromo Society: The Case of the Oromo Community of Haramaya District

  • Dehinasew Shemelis Andualem


Human beings cannot exist without communication. This paper, therefore, focused on the indigenous communication system of the Oromo community of Haramaya district, East Hararghe Zone, Oromia Regional State. The theoretical frameworks used were social learning theory and multistep flow model of communication. While the sampling technique was purposive, the data were collected through non-participant observation, focus group discussion of the elders and youths in the study area, and interview held with selected elders of the district. The finding showed that forms of indigenous communication in the study area were Og-afaanii/oral literature (folksongs, proverbs, riddles, folk stories), extramundane communication, color scheme, obejectifics, dhaamsa/messenger system, indigenous organizations like mosque and afooshaa/edir/mandandraa (traditional associations), signals, symbolic display, deliberate instruction, direct observation, and informal channels like waarii (one another‟s visiting at any time), aborade (one another‟s visiting during fasting season). In addition, the finding proved that these forms of indigenous communication had their own actors such as daminoota (clan leaders) and roles such as to entertain and socialize the community members, to express and educate stories, and cultural values and disseminate social, economic, and political concerns of the community. However, the credibility of these indigenous communication forms is decelerating though they are still in use. It is, therefore, recommended that governmental and nongovernmental organizations, educated members of the community, and families should stress on the indigenous communication system when they want to reach the community and preserve the system for future generation.

Keywords: Assessment; East Hararghe; Haramaya; Indigenous communication; Oromo community

Author Biography

Dehinasew Shemelis Andualem

Haramaya University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, School of Foreign Languages and Journalism, Mass Communication Program