Stories were collected from Addis Ababa, Assassa in Goba, and Gebre Geracha in Shoa in September 1997. The collection was facilitated by Merga Debelo of the Oromia Education Bureau and the stories were translated from Oromiffaa by Merga Debelo and Beker Hadji. Michael Ambatchew of the British Council translated them from Amharic into English.
Merga Debelo and Bonsamo Miesso at Assassa in Goba
There are universal themes in this rich collection of stories, such as the wicked stepmother, the difficult mother-in-law, the wisdom of the aged father and so on. Some stories (eg The Jackal and the Rabbit) are versions of universal tales of great antiquity. It is striking how many centre round the resolution of conflict and the administering of justice through the gentle wisdom of elders in ways that reflect traditional Oromo practices.