Companion to Chapter 4

Singing the Gospel: Oromo Christian Tradition of Storytelling through Song

by Samuel Deressa

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[work in progress]


  • [p. x] Galata Waaqayyoo (‘Praise God’). Mimeographed melody hymn book. Addis Ababa: Mekane Yesus Seminary, 1980.
  • [p. xx] Faarsaa fi Weedu (‘Hymns and Songs’). Edited by Onesimos Nesib. Imkullu (Massawa): Swedish Evangelical Mission, 1886. [View book]
  • [p. xx] Galata Waaqayyo Gooftaa Machaa (‘Praise God, Lord of hosts’). Edited by Martin Nordfeldt. Addis Ababa: Swedish Evangelical Mission, 1935. [View book]
  • Galata Waaqayyo Gooftaa Machaa .2nd edition. Addis Ababa, 1959/60 (1952 AM).
  • [p. xx] Sagalee Lubbuu Galata Waaqayyof (‘Words from the soul to praise God’). Mimeograph, edited by Lammeesa Bato. n.p., 1970. [View book]
  • [p. xx] Galata Waaqayyoo (‘Praise God’). 1st edition. Addis Ababa: Yemisrach Dimts, 1976/77 (1969 AM).
  • [p. xx] Galata Waaqayyoo. 2nd edition. Addis Ababa: Yemisrach Dimts, 1990/91 (1983 AM).
  • [p. xx] Macaafa Faarsa (‘Hymn Book’). Addis Ababa: Bethel Synod Mekane Yesus, 1967 [2nd ed. 1980 ??].
  • [p. xx] Macaafa Faarfannaa: Galata Waaqayyo (‘Hymn Book: Praise God’). Edited by the Ethiopian Evangelical Church Mekane Yesus. Addis Ababa: Bole Printing Enterprise, 1998. [View book]

Other Sources

  • [p. xx] Onesimoos Nasiib and Aster Gannoo, eds. Jalqaba Barsiisaa: The Galla Spelling-Book [and Reader]. Imkullu: Swedish Mission Press, 1894. [View book]
  • [p. xx] Jomard, M. (Edme-François). Notice sur les gallas de Limmou. Paris: Imprimerie de Bourgogne et Martinet, 1839. [View online version at HathiTrust; on Oromo songs, see p. 20-24]
  • [p. xx] Zenahu lägalla [The History of the Galla; probably written by the monk abba Bahrəy in 1593]. Edited and translated into German by A.W. Schleicher. Geschichte der Galla: Bericht eines abessinischen Mönches über die Invasion der Galla im 16. Jahrhundert. Berlin: Fröhlich, 1893. [View online version at HathiTrust.
    • For Oromo words, see esp. p. 38ff.
    • On the social stratification of 16th century Abessinia
      (e.g., däbtära and azmari), see p. 34ff]
  • [p. xx] Tutschek, Charles [Karl]. A Grammar of the Galla Language. [Posthumously] Transl. by M.J. Smead; edited by Lawrence Tutschek. München 1845.
    • [See esp. p. 84-91 (prayers and letters in Oromo); view online version at Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum]
  • [p. xx] Tutschek, Charles [Karl]. Dictionary of the Galla Language / Lexicon der Galla Sprache; part 1: Galla-English-German / Galla–Englisch–Deutsch. Edited by Lawrence [Lorenz] Tutschek, München 1844. [View online version at Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum]
  • [p. xx] Tutschek, Lawrence, comp. Dictionary of the Galla Language; part 2 [English–Galla]. Munich 1845. [View online version at Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum]
  • [p. xx] Krapf, Johann Ludwig. Vocabulary of the Galla Language. Tr. C.W. Isenberg. London: Church Missionary Society, 1842. [English – Galla vocabulary, based on the German – Galla list submitted by Krapf in 1841; view online version at Münchener DigitalisierungsZentrum]
  • [p. xx] Paulitschke, Philipp. Ethnographie Nordost-Afrikas. 2 vols. Berlin: Reimer, 1893, 1896. [View book excerpts]
  • [p. xx] Prätorius, Franz. Zur Grammatik der Gallasprache. Berlin: Reuther & Reichard, 1893. [View online version at HathiTrust]]
  • [p. xx] Cerulli, Enrico. “Folk-Literature of the Galla of Southern Abyssinia,” Harvard African Studies 3 (1922), 9-226. [View online version at HathiTrust]
  • [p. yy] Hylander, Fride. “Onesinus [!] Nesib, Some Remarks on Cerulli’s ‘The Folk-Literature of the Galla’,” Journal of Ethiopian Studies 7, no. 2 (1969): 79-87. [View online]
  • [p. xx] Hylander, Nils. Letter to EFS. Missions-Tidning no. 21a (1891), 162-63 [on Aster Ganno; view online]
  • Moreno, Martino Mario, ed. & tr.. Favole e rime Galla. Rome: Tip. del Senato, 1935. (Studi storici e linguistici 1) [View online]
  • Onesimos Nesib. Letter to EFS dated 28 July 1893. Missions-Tidning no. 19 (1893), 149-50 [on (Oromo) Spelling-Book; view online]

Words of Life” Audio Recordings (before 1974)

  • Oromo: Wellega
    Words of Life (about 7 songs [cf. “Galata Waaqayyoo”?]), © 1967

Profiles of gospel musicians

Additional music videos

Further readings


Andrzejewski, Bogumil Witalis. “Literature in Cushitic Languages other than Somali,” in Literatures in African Languages: Theoretical issues and sample surveys, eds. B. W. Andrzejewski, S. Piłaszewicz, and W. Tyloch, p. 408-25. Warsaw: Wiedza Powszechna; Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.

Eshete Gemeda. African Egalitarian Values and Indigeneous Genres: A Comparative Approach to the Functional and Contextual Studies of Oromo National Literature in a Contemporary Perspective. Wien, Berlin: Lit Verlag, 2012. [esp. chapter 6; view online version (Google Books)]

Griefenow-Mewis, Catherine, and Tamene Bitima (eds.). Oromo Oral Poetry Seen from Within. Wortkunst und Dokumentartexte in afrikanischen Sprachen 20. Cologne: R. Köppe Verlag, 2008.

Van de Loo, Joseph, with the collaboration of Bilow Kota. Guji Oromo Culture in Southern Ethiopia: Religious Capabilites in Rituals and Songs. Berlin: Dietrich Reimer Verlag, 1991.