This book deals with the Boorana people in southern Ethiopia who do not have a tradition of writing. However, for over 600 years, they have passed down rich and detailed historical narratives, which form a highly elaborated Oral Chronicle. Herein lies a great mystery. How did they share and pass down this history without using any writing system? The purpose of this book is to answer this question. This book documents and discusses the cultural and socio-political mechanisms of constructing and preserving historical memories, and presents a complete text of the Oral Chronicle of the Boorana, based on a rigid comparison of oral sources.
Chikage Oba-Smidt is currently a JSPS Research Fellow at Osaka Prefectural University, Japan.