Home Institution

University of Chicago

Publication Date

Fall 2006

Program Name

Ethiopia: Sacred Traditions and Visual Culture


This study addresses many of the issues relative to the study of contemporary Oromo society and tradition. While the primary focus is the study of contemporary Oromo burial traditions and grave art, there is also insight into the ways in which Oromo history and cultural tradition have been dispossessed among the Oromo today. There is an attempt to understand Oromo burial practices and grave art within a larger African burial tradition that extends across East Africa and far into ancient and prehistoric times. Traditional Oromo burial practices have been identified and documented at the extent to which they are practiced today. Furthermore, there is an attempt at identifying common themes in Oromo memorial grave art and other forms of ancient and contemporary East African grave art. These attempts demonstrate a clear relationship between Oromo burial practices and those of greater African traditions.


African History | History | History of Art, Architecture, and Archaeology


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