This book presents the life and times of Reverend Kumsa Boro and a selection of his lifetime collection of Oromo folklore and cultural songs, compiled, organized, and edited by his children. Rev. Kumsa’s life spans a tumultuous century of Oromo history in general and the reality of Sayyo Oromo in particular. As a microcosm of the broader Oromo reality, Rev. Kumsa’s story is riddled with intense moments of oppression, persecution, courage, and defiance. Others have written about his religious persecution before. What makes this book special, however, is that Rev. Kumsa presents an incredible historical depth to make it clear that his faith and his Oromo identity were never separable in his experiences of persecution. This book is also special because Rev. Kumsa narrates in impassioned prose and poetry as a subject in his own right and from his own perspective.
The book is bilingual in that it is written in Afaan Oromo (the Oromo language) with a synopsis of the whole book in English. In terms of organization, it is divided into three sections where the first section provides introduction and the English synopsis. The second section presents Rev. Kumsa’s life and times in three chapters and his wife’s story in one chapter. Chapter 3 documents Kumsa’s account of his genealogy; early childhood and Oromo spirituality; the arrival of the first malkanya (Abyssinian feudal colonial ruler); the arrival of the first American missionaries; his own schooling and ordination; as well as his marriage, family, and children. Chapter 4 is devoted to Rev. Kumsa’s evangelical work and highlights intense moments of both persecution and triumph that he and other church elders experienced during the malkanya years, the years of Italian occupation, and the Haile Sellassie years. In Chapter 5, Rev. Kumsa highlights the intertwined nature of religion and politics and how this impacted on his church and his people during the years of the Derg communist rule the new Woyyane regime. Chapter 6, the last chapter in this section, presents the stories of Rev. Kumsa’s wife, Zannabu Mammo. He insisted that she tell her stories from her own perspective.
The third section is devoted to Rev. Kumsa’s work on Oromo culture and identity. It presents Rev. Kumsa’s selected works on the Oromo culture and oral literature in four chapters. In Chapter 7, Lyrics of Love, Rev. Kumsa documents the beautiful lyrics of ancient Oromo love songs. In Chapter 8, Selected Songs, he documents a tapestry of ancient Oromo wedding songs, birth songs, nuptial songs, and songs of bravery. Here, mararo, the gut-wrenching wail of girl’s wedding songs of farewell and arrabso, girls’ songs intimidating the bridegroom, are particularly highlighted. Chapter 9, Stories and Folklore, is a collection of Sayyo Oromo folklore and humor as well as children’s games. Rev. Kumsa insisted on documenting stories of local people that normally get overlooked and disappear into the abyss as not historic. Chapter 10, Riddles and Proverbs, is a selection of Oromo riddles and proverbs that Rev. Kumsa collected until his death. This book is an incredibly rich legacy of Rev. Kumsa’s life and times, uniquely crafted and presented in passionate and evocative narratives.
Barruun kun seenaa jireenyaa fi jiruu Qees Kumsaa Boroo hima. Gaddaa fi gammachuu isaan mudatee fi amantii isaaniitiif jecha ari’atamuu mootummoota wal duraa-duuba dhufaniin isaan irratti raaw’atame tarrisa. Seenaa Qees Kumsaa ibsuun, moyxannoo Waldaa isaaniitii fi kan naannawa isaanii qofa himuu osoo hin taane, kan saba Oromoo waliigalaas Jarra 20ffaa keessa maal akka fakkaataa ture hubachiisuutti gumaacha. Ari’atamuun sababa amantii isaaniitiif Qees Kumsaa fi maatii isaanii mudatee fi dararamuun Oromummaa isaaniitiif fi ejjennaa politikaa isaaniitiif jechaa isaan irratti raaw’atame qaama tokkicha akka qaban mul’isa. Hariiroo eenyummaa sabummaa fi amantii irratti hundaawe gidduu jiru mul’isuudhaan, gumaacha addaa kenna.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Reverend KUMSA BORO was born in 1910 in Gute, near Dambi Dollo in the Sayyoo Oromo area before modern Ethiopia was born. He completed his primary education in 1929 and worked as an evangelist and church school teacher for 20 years while also continuing his own education part time. He was ordained as a pastor in 1950 after completing a pastoral training program. Refusing to retire from evangelical work, Rev. Kumsa continued his ministry until his death in 2002.
Qees KUMSAA BOROO bara 1910 itti Guutee, naannawa Dambi Dolloo, Sayyootti dhalatan. Barumsa isaanii sadarkaa jalqabaa bara 1929 keessa xumuranii hojjetaa wangeelaa fi barsiisaa tahanii waggaa 20f hojjetaa ofiis barumsa isaanii gar-tokkee guyyaa itti fufan. Sana boodas, leenjisa qeesummaa xumuratanii bara 1950tti qeesii tahanii dibaman. Hojii Waaqayyoo irraa corataa hin bahu jedhanii diduu dhaan, hamma gaafa bara 2002 keessa du’aniitti wangeela barsiisan.