An Exploration into the Cultural, Political and Socio-economic Implications of Some Wolaita Songs: Focus on the Content

Wondimu Tegegne


Ethiopia is the home of numerous peoples who belong to different ethnic groups and speak various languages. Wolaita People is one of the peoples who live in the Southern Ethiopia. They speak their own language known as Wolaita Language and have their own distinct indigenous culture and social identities. They express their beliefs, values, norms, traditions, politics, economy etc in various ways-one of which is via songs. The songs could contain different themes and may have cultural, political and socio-economic implications. But, there is little or no study on this topic. Therefore, the main purpose of this study was to explore the cultural, political and socio-economic implications of some selected Wolaita songs.  Descriptive research design was used to conduct this study. To achive the purpose of the study Wolaita songs that were written and sang by popular song writers and singers of Wolaita were selected. That is, some of the popular Wolaita Songs that were sung the last 10 years and got the attentions of Wolaita Song listeners were the focus of the analysis. Specifically, the songs that are mainly written in Wolaita language were the selected and analyzed. Content Analysis was employed to collect necessary data for this study. Then, the contents of some selected Wolaita songs were transcribed, translated and analyzed. From the analysis of the selected Wolaita songs different thematic contents were observed. Amongst in the song of Bungie Burungie entitled “Maataa Daannay Kawo Xona” literally means the last authority was Kawo Tona, political issues revealed. Another song by the same singer “Jalaa Garangee” was used to provoke identity and territory issues of the Nation and the People, Wolaita.  Besides, the song entitled “Dichaw Dandewos” literary means let’s work together for the development of Wolaita is mainly about the socioeconomic development of Wolaita. Furthermore, “Debideboyaq” of Aberash Gaga was sung to show the socio cultural life style of Wolaita.  Moreover, “Kasa Kaldiges” of Alemayehu Zasa and “Bali Soonoriya” of Bungie Burungie disclose the cultural festivity of Gifata, the Wolaita New Year celebration, its fortune and the likes. Hence, it can be deduced that some of the selected Wolaita songs have cultural, political and socio-economic implications.

Keywords: Cultural, Economic, Social, Song, Wolaita People, Wolaita Songs, Wolaita Language

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