Videos May 18, 2023
Oromo Music Playlist: Historical Memory and Competing Nationalisms in Ethiopia

"I did not know how to write lyrics and melodies until I was put behind bars."

Hachalu Hundessa
Ethiopian singer in 2017

This week's episode looks at Oromo Music: Historical Memory and Competing Nationalisms in Ethiopia. Oromia has a complex history. The Oromos' first music and culture festival was held in Finfinne in 1977. They came together from all parts of Oromia for the first time since the Oromos were conquered, broken and fell under the Abyssinian colony. It was a turning point where the Oromo could come together and show off their cultural music and dances after being completely separated from gathering for more than 100 years.

Popular Oromo singers include Abitew Kebede, whose songs include accents of the traditional masinko, a single-stringed African instrument in Yaani Koo.

Traditional music includes singing with nostalgia for lost nationhood.

Contemporary Electronic Oromo Music

Umar Alii Faarah

Ali Birra

Ali Birra (born Sept. 29, 1950) is a famous Oromo singer, composer, poet and nationalist. He was born in Lagaharre village in the city of Dire Dawa, Ethiopia. This album is an introduction to classic contemporary Oromo Music.

Wegayehu Degnetu sings Arke Uumaa Uumaa

Kino Musica

Kumera Zekarias

Brand New Borana Songs

Nama Guba

Hachalu Hundessa, a musician and political activist.

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