Cattle Counting Ceremony among the Wolaita (Ethiopia): Exploring Socio-Economic and Environmental Roles
Yacob Hidoto*
Dilla University, Dilla, Ethiopia.
DOI: 10.4236/oje.2015.55014   PDF   HTML   XML   3,161 Downloads   4,773 Views   Citations


Livestock play significant roles in the lives of different peoples in Ethiopia. The importance of livestock and culture associated with them has got a greater impetus in the post-conflict political reform in Ethiopia. The 1990s reform provided opportunities for various ethnic groups to resuscitate aspects of their traditions that were suppressed under the previous regimes. The purpose of this study is to explore socio-economic and environmental roles of cultural based notion of cattle counting rite of the Wolaita People. The practices of cattle counting of Wolaita are called as Dala and Lika, which refers to ceremonies of public displaying of one’s own cattle wealth numbering minimum of, respectively, hundred and thousand cattle. The Dala and Lika ceremonies honor men. However, there is also Gimuwa ceremony which honors women. The ceremony of cattle counting is accompanied by the lavish feasts and series of rituals. The central figures in cattle counting rite are wealthy farmers who wish to achieve social prestige by demonstrating their cattle wealth. The practices have got a greater attention by the farmers of Wolaita since the fall of the socialist regime in 1991. Using ethnographic technique, this article tried to explore the practices of the Dala, Lika and Gimuwa, focusing on how the cattle counting rite gives economic and social status to the farmers and ensure environmental sustainability.

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Hidoto, Y. (2015) Cattle Counting Ceremony among the Wolaita (Ethiopia): Exploring Socio-Economic and Environmental Roles. Open Journal of Ecology, 5, 159-173. doi: 10.4236/oje.2015.55014.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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