The Gadaa Research Centre is an interdisciplinary research and advocacy program, hosted by the Advocacy for Oromia within the club of research and knowledge advancement. It is created to organise and coordinate research activity of the organisation.
The Two Historic Events of Gada System: Dismemberment and Renaissance
According to Gadaa chronology, there are two major historic events. These are: the decentralisation or dismemberment of Gadaa (Chinna Gadaa) and the renaissance of Gadaa (Haromsa Gadaa). The former designates the condition when the centralised sytem of Gadaa under Oda Nabe was decentralised to the extent that each Oromo clan
were left to be administered by clan assemblies traditionally known as Chaﬀe (general assembly).
It would be appropriate to question the factor(s) for the dismemberment of Gadaa. In this regard, the argument is that the Gadaa System was under threat from external forces from the pre-medieval period. The ﬁrst potential threat, which the oral tradition maintains up to date, was the case of the expansion of Islam and Christian kingdom in
Ethiopia. Though it is not crystal clear as to the eﬀect of this threat, some argue that the long conﬂict between the Christian kingdom and Muslim sultanates (from 14th century) on the land of the Oromo people had created instability in the region and necessitated for the dismemberment of the Gadaa system that ultimately resulted in dismemberment (Chinna) Gadaa. Moreover, the oral tradition maintains that the assassination of the religious leader (Qallu) known as Oditu Qallu had also accelerated the problem (ibid:56).
PDF Gadaa thesis
GUDDIFACHAA PRACTICE IN OROMO SOCIETY
In Oromo society, guddifachaa practice has a long history and started during the time of Gada1 system commencement. According to four informants (Abbaa gadaas or gada experts, leaders), they celebrated the 70th gada with their gadaa grades in 2000 which is estimated to be 560 years. Six of the informants (five Abbaa gadaas and one community member) claimed that the gada system and the guddifachaa practices as an institution started together 2000 years ago. They report 360 gada stages or 2880 years in Oromo. There are no anthropological and historical research accounts that confirm this notion in the country and for the Oromo society in specific.
In Ethiopia, the term guddifachaa as a form of adoption was inherited from the Oromo language. It means adopting a child by fulfilling all the economic, psychological and social rights of a family member. The term was unanimously approved and incorporated in to the civil law at the parliament session that convened to promulgate the civil code as part of the modern legal system of Ethiopian empire in 1960 (Civil code, 1965; MOLSA, 1991).
In Oromo customary law, guddifachaa is a system of moving a child from his/her biological parents to another of the community’s social family members through ceremonial rituals of the guddifachaa institution. The systems created with such
customary procedures are irrevocable by the parties concerned or any other third party. The guddifachaa child has all the rights with regard to status, marriage, inheritances, and maintenance (Taka, 1983).
For more reading: Guddifachaa-Oromo
Sirna Gadaa Oromoo Karrayyu- Gadaa System Among The Karrayyu Oromos
Japanese Dr Lookoo Duuba Her Adopted Oromo Name on the Gadaa System Bushooftuu, Oromiyaa 2013
Sirna Gadaa Oromoo Arsii