Foreign Currency at the Expense of Domestic Identity: The Effects of Mechanized Farming and Industries on Oromo Sacred Natural Sites

Dr.Sc. Lenin KUTO, MA. Ayehu BACHA, MA. Amanti BARU


This article is aimed at revealing the effects of mechanized farming and industrialization on Oromo ritual/sacred sites by focusing on Tulama and Arsi Oromo of Ethiopia. Qualitative research methodology was exploited to generate and analyze data. Data was collected through observation, interview and focus group discussion. Findings of the research indicated that, sacred sites of the Oromo are highly affected by mechanized farming and industrialization in the study areas. International and national legal frameworks guarantee people’s right to religion, self determination and property. Nonetheless, sacred/ritual sites in the area are occupied, narrowed and enclosed by mechanized farming and industries. Hence, the investments restricted activities performed in the site and denied community’s access to their land. Expropriation of landholdings does not recognize ritual sites as places with rich customs, reverence, celebration and belief systems of the local communities; this is not compatible with the basic rights enshrined in FDRE constitution. The result of this research therefore can serve as an input for policy formulation of the country concerning natural environment in an attempt to ensure communities’ right to sacred sites and ritual performances.


Sacred natural sites; Ritual sites; Tulama and Arsi Oromo; Mechanized farming; Industrialization;


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DOI: 10.21113/iir.v10i1.554

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