The Repertoires and Social Roles of Oromoo Asmaarii’s Performance

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Zelealem Aberra Tesfa


This study examines the literary content of asmaarii song lyrics and determines the type of entertainment it provides. It also attempts to shed light on its impact on Oromoo oral art, and their role on social interaction. The study aspires to making available an inciting prelude for students of literature, ethnomusicology, humour studies, anthropology and other interested groups. For this purpose, a significant number of asmaarii song lyrics mainly from the Maccaa Oromoo area have been collected through different means. Some were gleaned from published and unpublished manuscripts; while others from the author’s personal recollection. Telephone conversations and written communication via the internet have also yielded some valuable data. The study indicates that the collected data contains the humorous and the non-humorous oral art material. Also revealed is the employment of four types of humour, namely: corrective,  observational, scatological, and self-deprecating humour in the entertainment provision of asmaarii. The non-humorous lyrics are mainly praise songs of secular and non-secular affairs.The study also finds homology between the Oromoo people and people of the orient’s custom of exalting their staple diets – buddeenaa and rice.

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How to Cite
Aberra Tesfa, Z. (2020). The Repertoires and Social Roles of Oromoo Asmaarii’s Performance. Gadaa Journal, 3(1), 44-69. Retrieved from
Author Biography

Zelealem Aberra Tesfa