Session/Séance 1j: CSTM Film Series 1 1:00 pm – 2:00 pm [EJB 216]
Singing for Justice: Ateetee, an Arsi Oromo Women’s Dispute Resolution Process (Ethiopia) (2017)
Leila Qashu, Concordia University
In the constantly changing society of the Arsi Oromo (a subgroup of the Oromo ethnic group of Ethiopia), women have a spiritual and musical ritual, called ateetee, which is used for several purposes, including: childbirth, sickness, scarcity of rain, war, disputes, and gender violence. In times of difficulty, or when women want to gather, they go near the river or under a specific tree to sing these prayers. In the case of gender abuse, when a woman has been dis- honoured by another person in any way, she can gather with other women in front of the offender’s house to perform this song- and poetry-based ritual, at the end of which the offender is expected to offer a cow and ask for forgiveness. This ethnographic film, which is based on over 16 months of working with Arsi Oromo women, documents ateetee, what ateetee means for individual participants, and how it can be used to resolve disputes. In the film, participants of these rituals will offer their views on ateetee and viewers will observe part of a sung dispute resolution process.