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Luba Basa and Harma Hodha: Traditional Principles of Conflict Resolutions in Metekkel
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Luba Basa and Harma Hodha: Traditional Principles of Conflict Resolutions in Metekkel PDF Print E-mail
Ethiopia
2.15 Luba Basa and Harma Hodha: Traditional Principles of Conflict Resolutions in Metekkel

(Tesega Endalew)

Ethiopian society has been a rich conglomeration of ethnic communities who have been continually interacting among themselves for millennia. The Gumuz, Shinasha, Agew Oromo and Amhara inhabitants of Metekkel continued their interactions for their daily activities. Although they have their own respective traditional principles of conflict resolutions they gradually adopted Oromo traditional customs and various traditions including the Luba Basa, Harma Hodha and Michu mechanisms of conflict resolutions. Luba basa (lit. to set free) and Harma Hodha (lit. licking a breast) are among the most important traditional principles of conflict preventions and resolutions. Both terms are Oromo names and are used by the Gumuz and Shinasha who also speak Oromo. Luba basa is more of a preventive mechanism that gradually establishes ethnic integration through adoption. The Harma hodha, however, establishes a kind of parent-child relationships between ethnic groups, individuals as well as within groups. Although less adoptive it plays an important role in alleviating conflicts. In Metekkel region, particularly in Wanbara and Dibati districts, these mechanisms started to be effectively applied after the Oromo settlement in the eighteenth century. These institutions are intra- as well as inter-ethnic conflict resolution principles and are widely applied in many parts of Ethiopia; they can even meet demands out side Africa. If refurbished, the findings show that they can be of paramount importance to policy makers and practitioners.

The methodology used included systematic interviewing of resourceful informants from all the subject groups to supplement the available literature. Their testimonies were carefully crosschecked and they were systematically analysed using a qualitative method of research.