We are not alone: conceptualizing people-things relationship in Oromo community in North America.

Bula Sirika Wayessa


This study presents that in Oromo society, objects and non-human organisms have agency that affects how human agents interact with them. The objects have representations and they store information about themselves and their human partners. For example, clay, considered to be vulnerable, is treated in a fashion similar to a human infant.  Such beliefs have direct bearing on pottery production and consumption. As well, objects are considered to be ‘family’ members, traveling with their human counterparts to various corners of the world. In North America, the diaspora Oromo’s social and family gatherings are accompanied by objects brought from their country of origin. During gatherings, people communicate with the objects to retrieve memories of the past. In the new setting, the objects serve as active agents, adding color and flair to celebrations.


Agency. Anchote. Diaspora Oromo. North America. Objects.

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/60


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