The Gada System
During their history, the Oromo developed their own cultural, social, and political system known as the Gada system. Uniquely democratic, political, social, egalitarian institution governed the life of every individual in the society from birth to death. Gada closely connected social and political structures. Male Oromo were organized according to age and generation for both social and political activities. The Gada was based on democratic principles. Election used to take every eight years. All Gada officials were elected for eight years by universal adult male suffrage; the main criteria for election to office included bravery, knowledge, honesty, demonstrated ability, and courage. In the life of every individual from birth to death in the Gada system, there are two well – defined ways of classifying male members of the society, that is hiriyya (members of an age-set all born within the period one Gada rule of eight years) and Gada grade. The Gada grades are stages of development through which a Gada class passes. Each Gada class proceeds overtime through a cycle of eleven named grades. The duration of each Gada grade is eight years. The transition from one grade to another is normally marked by a specific ceremony. Gada system is still active in Borena, Gujji and some parts of Oromia. Truly, the Gada system is the pillar of Oromo culture and civilization, and it helped the Oromo Society to develop democratic, political, economic, social and religious institutions for many centuries. The Oromo People speak Oromiffa language, grouped linguistically to Kushitic language group.
Relegious Institution – The original religion of Oromo people is one God (Waaqa). The Oromo Waaqa is the same one and the same for all; the creator of everything, source of all life, omnipresent, infinite, and incomprehensible. The Oromo religious institution is called the Qallu; the Qallu is the center of the Oromo religious view. Qallu leaders traditionally plays important role in Oromo society. Today the Oromo people are waqeffata, Muslim and Christian religion followers.
Siqe stick – is a stick symbolizing a socially sanctioned set of rights exercised by Oromo woman. It main aspect is:
- Signifies the honour of Oromo woman.
- Is blessing.
- Ceremonial marriage stick given to a girl.
- Used for prayer.
- Indication of woman married status.
Siqe stick is one of the core cultures of Oromo society, which have being used for many years. It is very common to see in Arsi region.