Presentations on Hadiyya history and culture | Forum

Tilahun Mishago
Tilahun Mishago Jun 2 '14

We have posted partial presentation slides and event highlights from the cultural event which took place on May 24, 2014 in the Washington DC Metro. We hope to use the same medium, this site in particular, to share other or similar items in future - anything of historical importance like cultural artifacts, research documents, and speeches.

We have attached a very high-level presentation on Hadiyya history. This presentation is for discussion only, and so as always NO claim for 100% accuracy and full coverage. The summary is based on researches and publications by renowned historical anthropologist Prof. Dr. Braukaemper and other contemporary sources. The people of Hadiyya like many other East African relatively smaller tribes, lack written accounts about their sociopolitical and economic history - their origin, ancestry, main livelihood, etc. Therefore, researchers had to rely on bits and pieces of information including oral traditions in addition to scarce written sources to come to conclusion and state events in historical terms. Yet, some oral accounts of historical events being sometimes of outright fairy tale nature, remain to be controversial. However, at least since the research publications from Dr. Braukaemper, among others, provide extensive evidence showing sources (references) with respect to every historical event stated in those publications, readers can compare and contrast such references, do more research as necessary, and make their own conclusions. Those highly disputed historical accounts can better be resolved through further research and scientific evidence as long as such accounts are not merely a fairy tale.

Some sources point to oral traditions where it can be noticed that some stories are clearly a fairy tale, which must be understood as such and should not be considered a historical fact.

However, when it comes to what a reader feels or thinks is a misstated fact in a scholarly work, I believe, this should be addressed through another scholarly work. This is the approach and position many of us have taken as any research outcome can only be refuted or disproved by solid evidence suggesting otherwise. So in this case, refutal wouldn't be counter-intuitive if there is a finding that is based on more convincing representation of historical accounts rather than a blanket denial of validity.

While fact-finding is a proper thing to do and as we suggested there is a better way to do so, simply trying to deny the accuracy of these publications with no adequate proof is without merit. We should not destroy what is currently available as the only source since whatever we find or have so far will help decipher the mystery of our identity, origin, and our historical place in the society. This will eventually help understand, for instance, where this and all other ethnic groups fit into in the society in the grand scheme of things. So it becomes counterproductive and discouraging for scholars who attempt to do more to maintain historical artifacts of the people without written history. More importantly, misinterpreting specifically publications on Haidyya history introduces division among Hadiyya despite undisputed and proven linguistic, cultural, and ethnic unity. It leads to sub-ethnic upheaval and violence which is absolutely NOT what these contributions are for or trying to achieve. We should focus on maintaining our cultural artifacts as they identify who we are even as part of the greater society while contributing to improved soci-economic equity in the society as a whole. On the other hand, when ethnic identity and culture are not only recognized, but promoted at the societal level, this contributes to peaceful coexistence.

The Forum post is edited by Tilahun Mishago Mar 24
  Summary of Hadiyya History v2.pdf (600.8Kb)