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The role of proverbs in the establishment of peace by the Oromo people: a case study of the bell District of Oromia

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https://www.eduzhai.net American Journal of Sociological Research 2020, 10(1): 22-28 DOI: 10.5923/j.sociology.20201001.03 The Role of Proverbs in Peace Building among Oromoo: The Case of Bale Zone of Oromia Region Obsa Mamo Kosa1,*, Ketema Tafa Biratu2 1Department of Afaan Oromo and Literature, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Madda Walabu University, Ethiopia 2Department of Civics and Ethical Studies, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Madda Walabu University, Ethiopia Abstract This paper examines the role of Oromo people Proverbs in peace building and in transmitting knowledge and Wisdom. Ethiopian particularly Oromo people appreciate the role of proverbs in establishing and maintaining peace among the community. The paper argues that proverbs are tools in maintaining peace and peaceful coexistence as well as a way of transmitting knowledge and wisdom. So, the main purpose of this study was to examine the role of Oromo people’s proverbs in peace building and transmitting knowledge and wisdom. To achieve this objective, the research applied Descriptive Survey Method because it is suitable to collect available information via interview and focused group discussion using elders as the major subjects and snow ball sampling technique. In addition, document analysis was employed. Then, the collected proverbs were assessed for their relevance and appropriateness to the purpose of this study, translated to English for analysis, grouped according to related themes; the contents of the categorized proverbs were analyzed and interpreted thematically respectively. The research reveal that Oromo people’s proverbs has the great role of peace building through unifying people, facilitating the progress of speech, tolerating and respecting different differences as well as develop knowledge and wisdom through expressing intellectual and emotional attitudes. Keywords Proverbs, Peace, Peace building, Knowledge, Wisdom, Oromo people 1. Introduction Indigenous African knowledge of building and maintaining peace is not well known and has not been much used in the dominant modern mechanisms of peace building. With the aim of addressing this limitation, this article analyzes the broader conceptualization of peace and peace building among the Oromo people using proverbs. Oromo people are intensely aware that their existence as a society depends on the maintenance of peace (naga:) among them as a community and between them and God as well as between them and their natural and human environments. According to Maiese (2003), peace building is a process that assists the creation of sustainable peace. Peace building process and conflict resolution mechanisms are the essential tools for fostering sustainable peace and prevent the reoccurrence of conflicts. The Oromo are an ancient people, often considered the indigenous people of the Horn of Africa. They are the single largest national group in Africa and speak a language called * Corresponding author: obsakosa@gmail.com(Obsa Mamo Kosa) Published online at https://www.eduzhai.net Copyright © 2020 The Author(s). Published by Scientific & Academic Publishing This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution International License (CC BY). http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/ Afaan Oromo, which is the East Cushitic language of the Afro-Asiatic language group. This language is the third largest Afro-Asiatic language in Africa after Arabic and Hausa (Megersa and Dejene, 2019). They have a rich cultural heritage and democratic political system called Gadaa. Their political, economic, social and cultural activities operate under the Gadaa system (Legesse 1974, 2002). A leader of the system come to power every eight year based on the set criterion, among others his potential of expression is a decisive factor. As to Okepwho (1992) Proverbs are among the commonly used short forms in daily expressions. Proverbs are essential in daily living; they are used in daily interpersonal/group interactions among and between peers, in families, by elders, by leaders and so on. A Proverb is a saying which expresses the simple and physical truth based on common sense and social experience of people. Proverbs are an integral part of Oromo culture, handing down and imparting norms, values, rules and the worldview of the community to guide people to live in peace ways. Proverbs and proverbial expressions have a vigorous role in managing the interaction of people. A good understanding of proverbs and their implications would help a lot in peaceful coexistence and the appreciation of disagreement as an intricate part of life (Ademowo and Balogun 2014: 39). Proverbs used as tools to persuade actors during the settlement of disputes; teach communal morals; expound American Journal of Sociological Research 2020, 10(1): 22-28 23 lessons of good and evil; provide guidance on the right actions and explicate the need for and profits of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence (Gebregeorgis, 2015). Basically, proverbs are used resourcefully in a typical traditional African society. To Mbiti (1995), proverbs have rich vocabulary of words, phrases, combination of words, symbols, pictures, allusions and comparisons hence if culture were an important tool of cohesion and development; if language were a carrier of culture and if the relationship between language and culture were like the two-edged sword, then the role of proverbs as a metaphorical coding of language could not be glossed over (Adeshina, 2015). 2. Statement of the Problems Oromo people love to live in peace and as this is only through this way that society can grow and everyone finds fulfillment. Whenever they salute, ‘Naga: ‘peace’ is the first word uttered before health, wealth, and others. They consider naga: as the son of Wa: ќa: [God]- ‘Naga;n Ilmo: Wa: ќa:ti’. Whenever something wrong deeds happen they rush to maintain, not only for their well being, but not to treat the Waќa:’s son unevenly. In that context with others, use of proverbial expressions became vital. Perhaps due to this, Oromo people are so rich with practical wisdom embedded in proverbs to bring and sustain peaceful coexistence and practical knowledge. Those practical principles and wisdom capable of enhancing the values and peace-loving frame of mind can be found in the proverbial sayings and expressions. It also presents a graphic statement that expresses a truth of experience. The establishment of a culture of peace has remained as relevant as ever, but the challenge to its achievement has been more severe in the circumstances of increasing globalization and intensifying conflicts. The existing problems are misunderstanding their roles, simplified and unable to use those golden proverbs. Different individuals consider proverbs as things of the past and that according to such people there is no point in studying proverbs. The use of proverbs is being marginalized nowadays because many people do not use them in their daily life. It is with this understanding that researchers laid emphasis on examining the role of Oromo people’s proverbs in achieving social order or peace and development. It is therefore appropriate to move on to examining and suggest that there is a need for radical restoration of use of proverbs. 3. Methods A qualitative approach was used for this research paper. Primary data were collected from the field employing interview, observation, and focus group discussion methods. ‘A partial observation took place in Ro:be: and Go:ba: area, in 2017 and 2018 while Ja:rsumma: – mediation setting took place on basically similar cases. Based that, through interview more proverbs that are related to conflict management and resolution were collected from 18 selected elders of both sexes. The selected elders are those who have involved in the mediation and have rich experience in using proverbs in their daily discourse and in encouraging peace way of live. These informants were able to jot down several proverbs which can be used in the processes of preventing conflict. The mentors of the setting from both sexes put under three categories at different times to explore and validate the data. A qualitative data analysis approach is used in which the selected proverbs were subjected to content analysis. In the content analysis emphasis was placed on the use of proverbs in the culturally determined context of peace and its meaning as well as its contribution to maintenance of a peaceful social life. The data were collected in the field in Afa:n Oromo and contextually translated into English after the fieldwork was completed. After translation the data were transcribed, assembled, ordered, and structured according to their similarity and themes in relation to peace-making principles. Descriptive research design was employed as it helps the researchers to describe and interpret the proverbs that are used to building peace and encouraging development. 4. Literature Review 4.1. Proverbs According to Word-Web Dictionary, Proverbs are condensed but memorable sayings embodying some important fact of experience that is taken as true by many people. Absence of peace among people and between nations continues to be a major global challenge along with poverty and worsening socio-economic inequity at both national and international levels. The pursuit of a culture of peace is relevant to the whole globe. Proverbs have been defined in different ways by different scholars. Ruth Finnegan (1970) has defined proverbs as, “a saying in more or less fixed form marked by shortness, sense and salt and distinguished by the popular acceptance of the truth briefly expressed in it.”Proverbs are usually short and highly condensed sayings, which are generally anonymous in their authorship and authoritative in their application. Brevity is one characteristic of proverbs and makes proverb memorable. Elders use proverbs readily retrieving from their previous memory. Because of its terseness, shortness, they can easily be recalled. Proverbs are brief sayings that usually point to a moral or express an accepted truth based on observation or experience. They are expressions of wisdom acquired through reflection and general knowledge. They are loosely related to the culture of a given society. The Oromo believe that a proverb is a core expression of any speech. It is equated with ‘salt’ to show how it spices up conversation. Arguments without proverbs are considered to be cliché and monotonous. The insertion of proverbs in an argument may influence individuals to change their attitudes 24 Obsa Mamo Kosa and Ketema Tafa Biratu: The Role of Proverbs in Peace Building among Oromoo: The Case of Bale Zone of Oromia Region towards the situation under discussion. Oromo use proverbs to encourage their children to be fruitful and knowledgeable about their culture. As the proverb goes, “Ilma yartu: ɗalču: manna: muka tokko ɗa:bbaču: wayya”– “It is better to plant a tree than to have a useless son.” According to Sumner (1995) proverbs are store house of wisdom for Oromo’s. Proverbs hold much significance for nearly all African people (Westermann 1995: 34). They help them as tools to persuade actors during the settlement of disputes; teach communal morals; expound lessons of good and evil; provide guidance on the right actions and explicate the need for and profits of mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence (Gebregeorgis 2015: 228). Proverbs reflect general truths by reference to a specific phenomenon or experience (Okpewho 1992: 227). Additionally, proverbs are meaning-governed expressions the main function of which in conversation is to give cultural depth to speakers’ thoughts (Adeeko 1998). 4.2. Concepts of Peace Peace is a dynamic process, which need modified structure and culture in sustaining peace-building process. For Martin Luther King Jr., (1967) Peace is not merely a distant goal that we seek, but a means by which we arrive at that goal. Peace is a process, not an end, which requires active follow up and keeps working all times. “There is no path to peace. Peace is the path,” as quoted by Hofsvang (2008) the speech of Mahatma Gandhi of Indian political and spiritual leader (1869-1948). Peace building is a complex system that contain manifold short, medium and long-term program that concurrently deal with both underlying as well as consequences of a conflict that needs working hand in hand with civil society, international institutions, NGOs, agencies, the private sectors and government bodies. In short term, it is to stabilizing the peace process and preventing from relapsing into violent conflict. In the long term, cumulatively and collectively, to manage the origin of a conflict and set the bases for social justice and sustainable peace. It is possible to study the value of peace in a vast dimension. The presence or absence of peace can have a generational effect. Those who know the value of peace and enjoy it are those who know what absence of peace looks like. 4.3. Sustainable Peace Building Sustainable peace building is a process of attaining peace by preserving stability through supremacies of authority with keeping interest. Thus, carry out by pointing the finger at any endeavors lead to structural and physical violence; get rid of chauvinism, and prop ups friendly inter-reliant attitudes towards each other. Peace building is a long-term process of addressing the underlying conflicts whilst violent conflicts get end. It holds reconciliation, capacity building, transformations of confrontations and violence towards peaceful connections and social synchronization, facilitates the prospects to cures injures and sways more friendly interaction along with old opponents. 4.4. Oromo People’s View of Peace The Oromo people say, “Bakka ɗ uga:n hin jirre, naga:n hin jiru.”- “Where there is no truth, there is no peace.” The Oromo people observe truth (ɗuga:) as the pillar of peace. In other words the society strongly believe that truth as the base of peace and also the input for peace building. In Oromo society telling lie is considered as spoils a good and smooth relationship among the society and also highly damages good social values. Telling lie leads to disagreement. Consequently, disagreement in turns might leads to conflict. Therefore, “Bakka ɗ uga:n hin jirre, naga:n hin jiru,” is the ideology ofthe Oromo society that rising up their children to minimize conflict. The Oromo people give a high priority to peace, viewing it as more important than any material benefit. As stated above it is a matter of having good faith with their superhuman beyond their own benefit. So, it is a matter of all share what happened, even though more concerns– ‘nama dubbi: be:kumeaning who knows how to handle (by expressing) the case. This is stated in the Oromo proverb “Arriving home in peace is greater than profit of trade”. This implies that for a trader coming back to his/her home in peace from a long journey is a greater benefit than the profit he/she acquired from the journey. 5. Analysis and Discussion Oromo people express their culture in different ways one of which is by using proverb. In spite of the vital role and multiple functions of proverbs in Oromo communication, this study focuses on proverbs that are frequently used for the purpose of maintaining peace. To do so, Afaan Oromo proverbs were collected from elders by observation while they took part in mediating, by interview and focus group discussion. Then, the collected proverbs were assessed for the irrelevance and appropriateness to the purposes of this study. In the analysis and discussion, proverbs are categorized according to the themes they convey that are relevant to peace. Additionally, the persuasive power and metaphoric meaning of proverbs also analyzed in relation to peace building strategies. Oromo people particularly Bale Oromo realize that peace is warranty for stable life. They always pray for peace at home, peace at outside home, peace for people, and peace for animals. 5.1. The Roles of Proverbs 5.1.1. Proverbs as Way of Communication Proverbs are used in different contexts of social communication; this implies that a proverb is one way of communicating an idea of any kind. Oromo proverb says “Mamma:ksi dubbi: fidas; dubbi: fiťas.”- “Proverbs open American Journal of Sociological Research 2020, 10(1): 22-28 25 a discussion as well as closing it.” Regarding this idea a well-known folklorist Dorson says, proverbs usually present a point of view and a strategy that is self-sufficient, needing nothing more than an event of communication to bring it into function (Dorson, 1972). Proverbs used for the purpose of facilitating the progress of speech, for instance, if the subject under discussion goes off target, it is possible to use a proverb to put it on the right track it. “Mamma:ksi ko:ba: dubbi:ti” - Proverb is a lubricant of an argument.” “Proverbs are the palm oil with which words are eaten” (Achebe, 1958:5). Oromo proverbs have special values in every practical communication. It spices up conversation. To express this argument Oromo people use proverbs say that “Mamma:ksi, itto: dubbi:ti” – “A proverb is a cheese of an argument.” Oromo people begin speech by using proverbs and also use proverbs to appropriately and perceptively deliver a message. For example an Oromo proverb, “Kan be:ka: ɗagahu: dide wa:man hin howwa:tu” means “If someone kept silent deliberately, he does not respond when you call out him.” This proverb is similar to the English proverb, “Let sleeping dog lie.” Proverbs is a chief mode of communication in African communities. The language of proverbs is simple but picturesque. It is figurative language marked by concise brevity. They make the language a more vivid and powerful tool of communication. Generally using them in a best possible way will make you feel more confident than others speaking normal language. According to Mieder (1993) 'By employing proverbs in our speech we wish to strengthen our arguments, express generalizations, influence or manipulate other people, rationalize our own shortcomings, question certain behavioral patterns, satirize social ills, poke fun at ridiculous situations'. Hence, proverbs are used as a spicy to make the expressions attractive, clear and to the target, and therefore they are powerful to convince the individuals to come to the agreement. 5.1.2. Proverbs to Promote Peaceful Coexistence Ethiopia particularly Oromia today require urgent and renewed efforts in arresting the violent situation. In fact, there is urgent need to look inward for lasting peace continues. There are Oromo proverbs displaying social unity and cooperation. The Oromo say, “Badu:f ka?e: wal aba:re: margu:f ka?e: wal arra:be.”-- “People advancing toward disasters curse each other; those succeeding to development bless each other”. The proverb is used to show the position of peace for conflicting parties as well as the overall community. It implies that development is a result of peaceful coexistence exemplified through love, respect and agreement. The Oromo people give a high priority to peace, viewing it as more important than any material benefit. This is stated in the Oromo proverb “Naga:n galu:n nagada ća:la”-- “Arriving home in peace is greater than profit of trade”. This implies that for a trader coming back to his/her home in peace from a long journey is a greater benefit than the profit he/she acquired from the journey. Oromo people say, “Nama mannatti wali: galetu ala: wali:n gala”-- “People who agree with each other at homecan come back home together”. This proverb indicates that people who agree with each other in their homecan obtain success when they work together on various activities. The proverb is used to show agreement is the important to become fruitful or develop in social life. The Oromo say, “Naga:n bulle:n yo: olla:n naga: bule” -- “One has a peaceful night when one’s neighbor remains peaceful”. Therefore, this proverb is used to urge individual to maintain peace for the sake of not only themselves, but also of their neighbors and the general community in which they live. The proverb also encourages people to care for their neighbors, thereby fostering peace. Oromo people believe that, in friendship mutual trust is important. If there is no trustfulness, it will be difficult to lead peaceful and successful life. To express the value of trust Oromo proverb says that, “Hiriyya:n wal hin amanne, malka: će:tutti wal kaksi:fti.” -- “Friends, who do not trust each other, dosolemn oaths on every spot.” This indicates that lack of trust will hamper the normal journey that friends took together. Oromo people realize that, the concept of peace goes beyond the human domain. The long blessings that are given daily by Oromo elders as general are prayers for peace. Oromo believe that everything must be at peace for social wellbeing. That mean Oromo pray for the peace of everything, even for such things as water, air and animals. As researchers personally heard several times, Oromo pray by saying:- In Afa;n Oromo Language O: ya:waq naga: nu: kenni Nage:ňi lafa:f sami:f ha: ta?u Nage:ňi nama:f ha: ta?u O: ya:waq si kaɗanna: nuɗagahi Naga:n nu jira:čis Wara:na irraa nu hambis Ifti ke: ifa naga: nu:f ya: ta?u Translated as O, God give us peace Let peace to the land and the sky Let peace be to human beings O, God listen to us, we pray to you Make us live in peace Save us from war Let your light be with us. The Oromo people often use proverbs to teach their children to make efforts to attain expected development. That is, Oromo people use proverbs to encourage members of the society to make effort. Through the proverb; they encourage individuals know that they should make every attempt to help themselves so that they can be considered as important and self-reliant persons in the society. The proverb “Abba:n iyyatu male: olla:n nama: hin birmatu.” -- "If one doesn’t cry, neighbors do not cooperate" used to reflect that if someone do not strive or do not make an attempt, the neighbor will not support him/her. That is, if you strive or make an attempt effort, the neighbor will support you. Additionally, making an effort is rewarded in Oromo society. 26 Obsa Mamo Kosa and Ketema Tafa Biratu: The Role of Proverbs in Peace Building among Oromoo: The Case of Bale Zone of Oromia Region 5.1.3. Proverbs on Tolerance, Unity, Respect and Patience In Oromo people tolerance unity, respect and patience is given a great value. They understand that as tools for peace and development. The Oromo people assert that for things are not constant in this world, one has to tolerate the temporary occasions. Oromo people express the value of tolerance using proverbs by saying, “Obsa:n a:nna:n goromsa: ɗugan.” -- “The one who tolerates will drink the milk of heifer”. They believe that heifer is used to indicate young cow and it takes long time for a young cow to have calf and to give milk. Thus, if one tolerates and waits for the right time, thetolerant will drink milk of heifer at the end. The proverb “Namni mana tokko ija:ru ćita: wa lhin sa:mu.” _ “People who build one house do not clash over grass covering the same house,” also talks about the need for tolerance and cooperation among people who share the same goal. Because the grass is being used to construct a house that everyone will live in, a dispute over the grass would be pointless. This shows that in order to achieve success when striving for a common goal, unity and understanding are indispensable. The proverb “Ќunće:n wal garga:rte: arba hi:ti” --“Through unity, fibers can tie an elephant” counsels the importance of social unity by emphasizing the outlook of collectivism. A single fiber or thread is very weak and can easily be broken. However, when many threads are added together, they become a strong rope that can tie even an elephant, implying that unity is strength. The other Oromo proverb “Go:nda:n wal ќabatte: laga će:ti” -- “Ants cross the river by cooperation” also advises unity and cooperation, stressing that unity is strength. This proverb implies that the same is true for human beings. Using this proverb, elders give advice to conflicting parties that they should unite to their advantage which show working together is more profitable than working alone. Unity promotes highly developed cooperative work. Such Oromo social values of cooperation are conducive for its economic development and institutional change. The effect of unity on economic and cultural development has been very effective. The Oromo people believe that it is necessary to establish a strong unity with the other members of the society and to work together to become successful in life. It is difficult to achieve an objective alone, it is essential for the members of a society to form a strong unity with the members of a society and to help each other. To elaborate this idea Oromo people say “Wali: galan ala: galan” --- “It is only possible to enter a house after an agreement.” Thus, Oromo value, respect and make peace because they believe that it positively gives values to human life. In the absence of peace, even the fulfillment of all other basic necessities cannot be adequate for the preservation and development of human life. This show that, for Oromo the value of peace is superior to any individual or collective achievement. Oromo peoples prefer friendship, cooperation, tolerance and mutual understanding with other non-Oromo communities. They belief every member of the society is responsible for the maintenance of peace. Proverb used to teach respect in Oromo community is, “Afa:n ga:ri:n afa: ga:ri: ća:la”--“Communicating through the good word is better than providing a good bedroom”. This proverb compares the “good word” and the ‘good bed’. The good word implies politeness and the good bed implies material service that someone provides to somebody else. The proverb shows that showing politeness to others is better than giving them material benefits. The proverb provides a lesson in polite communication and respect. The proverb “Arrabni lafe: hin ќabu lafe: nama: ćabsa” -- “A tongue has no bone, but breaks human bone” is also used to indicate the importance of polite communication. Therefore, the lesson of this proverb is that discouraging others through insults, etc., is not a good way of communicating. 5.1.4. Proverbs as a Way of Transmitting Knowledge and Wisdom Oromo people give special attention to knowledge and wisdom. Oromo people use proverbs to encourage their children to be fruitful and knowledgeable about their culture. As the proverb goes, “Ilma yartu: ɗalču: manna: muka tokko ɗa:bbachu: wayya” – “It is better to plant a tree than to have a useless son.” The following Oromo proverb underlines the place of knowledge in Oromo culture. “Dalla: će:ka: hin qabne ra:se ќille:nsi, lammi: be:ka:hinqabne ňa:te bine:nsi.” – "A fence without a strong će:ka: tree can easily be shaken by wind as a society without a knowledgeable person can easily be consumed by wild animals.” This proverb indicates that a society without knowledgeable persons can be easily destroyed. A knowledgeable person can advise his people how to defend their country, how to protect their culture and live peacefully with other people and nonhuman species. In short, what is conveyed through the above proverbs is that knowledge enables one to be the leader of one’s society and thereby save it from various enemies. Proverbs are the jewelry of wisdom, a mixture of wisdom & philosophy. It does not argue over a point or explain anything; it just tells us a great truth in the most significant way. They are coined in order to impart practical knowledge to mankind. It is great truth with profound thinking and tons of experience. It has a great impact on our minds. Proverbs will remain timeless and will keep on shedding light to warn us against pitfall & will show us the correct way. The following Oromo people proverb shows the role of a wise person. “Gamni dubbi: ɗufu be:ka:, gowwa:n dubbi: darbe:f bo:?a” – “A wise person knows things that would come in the future, a foolish person cry about the past.” An intelligent individual can foresee what will happen in the future, whereas a foolish individual concentrates on what happened in the past. The latter does not make any preparation for the future. In other words, knowledge based purely on experience is past oriented whereas wisdom based critical reflection on past experience is future oriented and American Journal of Sociological Research 2020, 10(1): 22-28 27 more useful than the former. Proverbs express intellectual and emotional attitudes. Proverbs provides insight to a people’s way of life, their philosophy, and criticism of life, moral truths and social values. Among others proverbs has been used as a means of preserving traditional wisdom. As the Oromo people proverb goes, “Walla:la:n ha:rri:ɗa:n, be:ka:n guduru:ɗ a:n” – “One can be ignorant with grey hair as one can be knowledgeable at youth.” This implies that grey hair does not necessarily mean knowledge and wisdom. Some elders may not have adequate knowledge of their society in spite of their grey hair. 5.1.5. Proverbs as Tools for Advising to have Good Relationship with Others Oromo proverb used to advise submission to the demand of the majority is, “Namni namatti jigu: irra ga:rri namatti jigu: wayya” which translated as: “It is better if a mountain falls onto an individual than society fall onto him/her”. In this proverb, society falling onto the individual is a reference to being under social sanction or being prohibited from receiving help from the community. No one is able to survive under such conditions because life is communal and interdependent. The proverb implies that no one can live without social cooperation. The next proverb to depict the importance of social unity is, “Olla:fi bi:ftu:tti gadi ba?u” which translated as: “In the morning, when a person leaves the house first he/she meets his /her neighbors and the sun”. This proverb shows the importance of good relationships between neighbors. When someone encounters a problem, the first people to arrive are the neighbors. A similar proverb also shows the importance of peaceful neighborly relations: “Olla:n ofi: kafana ofi:ti” which implies “To have a neighbor is to have a cloth”, implying that, in the same way that cloth covers the human body, neighbors also supports one in tackling problems. 6. Conclusions Among traditional African societies in general and the Oromo in particular, proverbs play a vital role in maintaining peace and in transmitting knowledge and wisdom. In this context, proverbs are used to bring about peaceful coexistence within the community. The analysis of the collected proverbs revealed that maintaining peace and sustaining development are reflected in Oromo people’s proverbs. For example, the analysis reveal that Communication, promoting peaceful coexistence, Promoting knowledge and Wisdom, tolerance, unity, respect and Patience are reflected as some of the roles of Oromo proverbs. Proverbs are used in many social communications, particularly in the context of peace building. Proverbs in Oromo Communities have the power to promote the habits of respect, truthfulness, honesty, tolerance, unity, patience, and peaceful co-existence among human kind. Therefore, this paper concludes that Oromo proverbs play a pivotal role in maintaining peace and Promoting knowledge and Wisdom. Thus using them in day today activities is wisdom. Accordingly, there is a need to study proverbs in detail and preserve it for the future generation. The proverbs analyzed in this paper are not inclusive as there are thousands of Oromo proverbs. Thus, other researchers can conduct further studies on the contents and implications of Afa:n Oromo proverbs. 6.1. Proverbs Collected as Source of Data from Bale Oromo Elders and Their Roles No Proverbs in Afa:n Oromo Language English Translation The Roles of Proverbs 1 Mammaksi dubbi: fidas; dubbi: fiťas Proverbs open a discussion as well as closing it Tools for communication 2 Mamma:ksi ko:ba: dubbi:ti Proverb is a lubricant of an argument Govern communication 3 Mamma:ksi, itto: dubbi:ti 4 Kan be:ka: ɗagahu: dide wa:man hin owa:tu: A proverb is a cheese of an argument if someone kept silent deliberately, he does not respond when you call out him Used as spices for conversation 5 Badu;f ka?e: wal aba:re: margu:f ka?e: People advancing toward disasters curse each other; wal arra:be those succeeding to development bless each other Indicates the value of peaceful coexistence 6 Naga:n galu:n nagada ća:la Arriving home in peace is greater than profit of trade Indicates as peace is above all things 7 Nama mannatti wali: galetu: ala: wali:n People who agree with each other at home can come gala back home together Indicates success is the result of peaceful agreement 8 Naga:n bulle:n yo: olla:n naga: bule One has a peaceful night when one’s neighbor remains encourages people to care for their peaceful neighbors, to get peace 9 Hiriyya:n wal hin amanne, malka: će:tutti wal kakisi:fiti Friends, who do not trust each other, do solemn oaths Point out the value of trust one another on every spot to lead peaceful and successful life 10 Abba:n iyyatu male: olla:n nama: hin birmatu If one doesn’t cry, neighbors do not cooperate Encouraging one to work 11 Obsa:n a:nnan goromsa: ɗugan The one who tolerates will drink the milk of heifer Teaching patience 12 Namni mana tokko ija:ru ćita: wal hin sa:mu People who build one house do not clash over grass covering the same house Indicates as tolerance and cooperation among people who share the same goal is needed 28 Obsa Mamo Kosa and Ketema Tafa Biratu: The Role of Proverbs in Peace Building among Oromoo: The Case of Bale Zone of Oromia Region No Proverbs in Afa:n Oromo Language English Translation The Roles of Proverbs 13 Ќunće:n wal garga:rte: arba hi:ti Through unity, fibers can tie an elephant counsel the importance of social unity by emphasizing the outlook of collectivism 14 Go:nda:n wal qabatte: laga ce:ti Ants cross the river by cooperation stress that unity is strength 15 Wali: galan ala: galan It is only possible to enter a house after an agreement Stress as it is difficult to achieve an objective alone so need to cooperate 16 Afa:n ga:ri:n afa: ga:ri: ća:la Communicating through the good word is better than providing a good bedroom Teacher respect one another 17 Arrabni lafe: hin qabu lafe: nama ćabsa A tongue has no bone, but breaks human bone 18 Ilma yartu: ɗalču: manna: muka tokko ɗa:baču: wayya It is better to plant a tree than to have a useless son Indicate the importance of polite communication Teach the value of knowledge 19 Bakka ɗuga:n hin jirre, naga:n hin jiru Where there is no truth, there is no peace Teach the value of truth regarding peace Dalla: će:ka: hin ќabne ra:se ќile:nsi, lammi: be:ka: hin qabne ňa:te bine:nsi: A fence without a strong će:ka: tree can easily be shaken by wind as a society without a knowledgeable person can easily be consumed by wild animals Teach the value of knowledge 20 Gamni dubbi: ɗufu be:ka, gowwa:n dubbi: darbe:f bo:’a A wise person knows things that would come in the future, a foolish person cries about the past Pointing out the value of wisdom 21 Walla:la:n a:rri:ɗa:n, be:ka:n guduru:ɗ a:n One can be ignorant with grey hair as one can be knowledgeable at youth Express the role of intellectual and emotional attitudes 22 Namni namatti jigu: irra ga:rri namatti jigu: wayya It is better if a mountain falls onto an individual than society fall onto him/her advise submission to the demand of the majority 23 Olla:fi bi:ftu:tti gadi ba?u In the morning, when a person leaves the house first he/she meets his /her neighbors and the sun shows the importance of good relationships between neighbors 24 Olla:n ofi: kafana ofi:ti To have a neighbor is to have a cloth Stress the value 0f having peaceful relation with neighbors [6] Finnegan, Ruth. 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