The Oromos have a traditional marriage ceremony which descended from earlier times (antiquities). The great social significance is attached to the wedding ceremony. The wedding day is a very important day in the life of both the bride and the groom. It is important for the bride whose wedding celebrated once in her life. As for the man, he can celebrate his wedding if he marries second or third wives either because of the death of his first wife or whenever he wants to have more than one wife. However, even for the man, it is the first wedding ceremony which is more important than the second or the third one. These ceremonies do not take place equally in all forms of acquiring wife (marriage). The most typical is Naqataa (betrothal) form of marriage where the ceremony starts at the moment when marriage is first thought of and even continues after the marriage is concluded in such case as Ilillee, Mana Aseennaa, Minje Deebii and Torban Taa’umsa which will be discussed in this chapter.
Bethortal is a form marriage mostly arranged by the parents of the bride and groom with a great deal of negotiation. Traditionally the groom’s parents search for a bride for their son. Before they make any contact with the bride’s parents, the groom’s parents research back seven generations to make sure that the families are not related by blood. Once this has been done, the boy’s parents then make contact with the girl’s parents through a mediator. The mediator goes to the home of the girl’s parents and asks if their daughter will marry the son of the other parents. The girls’ parents often impose conditions and the mediator will take the message to the boy’s parents, and then arrange a date for both parents to meet at a mutually convenient location. When the parents have reached an agreement, the man and woman get engaged (betrothed). The parents then set a wedding date and they meet all the wedding expenses.
After the betrothal is conducted, both parents prepare food and drink for the wedding and invite guests. The families enjoy the wedding ceremonies of their children and say that yeroo cidha dhala keenyaa itti arginudha (it the time to see the wedding of our children). Both families begin to make wedding feast including Farsoo, Daadhii, Araqee and food. These preparations begin a couple of weeks before the date of wedding. Fifteen or twenty days before marriage, the young girl friends of the bride-to-be are invited to come to her house after dark to practice singing and dancing. This is called Jaala Bultii. The boys and girls of the community gather and sing by the house of the bride and the bridegroom. The singers on the side of the bridegroom praise him and his relatives while degrading the bride and her relatives by their songs. The same is true of the singers on the bride’s side.