Headline Weedduu

Weedduu/Weelluu Oromoo

The Oromo weelluu/weedduu (love lyric) is a short poem in verse produced by individual composer and it serves as cultural and literary reputation for the pastoralist who composes it. It is one of the most striking examples of romantic comedy and emotional love poetry in rural Oromiyaa, especially among the young population. There are at least two related themes of the poems: first, those addressed to the beloved woman, especially a girl, in hope of marriage; and second, to a woman loved and admired from afar whom the poet has seen once and wishes to see once again. In the weedduu poetry, the verbal artist narrates the events in such a way that both the theme of hope and frustrated love create an atmosphere of sincere and profound emotion.

As pointed out in the preceding part, the poet mainly aims at creating friendly atmosphere, and he does this by evoking romantic feelings to capture the heart and mind of the woman loved. The technique of employing a variety of panegyric words shows submission, an intention to compromise and resolve love crisis through a civilized manner. He treats the beauty of a woman and her charming personality in a melodious voice by describing her physical stature in a romantic way. In the song, the poet vividly articulates his profound affections, sometimes voicing his despair stressing the heart-breaking of parting. Both plain and figurative languages are employed; and in most cases, the traditional narrator opts for enjoying the use of local colour. Weelluu is usually narrated in the form of monologue.

The analysis of the parallel constituents, especially the rhyming poems, requires the establishment of phonocentric hierarchy or forming the new patterns in which the visual text is arranged within the pre-existing structure. The generative structural approach to poetry encodes a specific sequence of creative process that differs from the casual explanation. In such a method of composition, one should try to recognize the simultaneous existence of the underlying meaning and the abstract pattern within a regular metrical structure. In the vertical and horizontal arrangement of words, segments (morphs) and phrases within a visual structure, what has become evident is the balancing of the rhyming groups and metre.

asii mitii gadii lallabanii

anaa mitii garaa dahabanii

garaa ima hiinaa sabbataan gossinee

ija attam goona tamidhoo hin obsinee

they are calling from a distance we can tighten the stomach

it is not I but my stomach [heart], which with the sabbataa (lady’s belt) refuses me but we cannot stop a rare glimpse.

The weelluu poetry reflects the style of life of the traditional man, order of the day and the emotional needs of the love makers. The folk singer takes pleasure in the songs when he is alone, though he may not fully explain the deep cultural semantics of each spoken word. The two verbal categories in the first stanza, lallabanii “calling aloud” and dadhabanii “refusing” are terminating rhyming which have similar ending segment (-abanii). They also share the same number of syllables and minimal rhythmic unit or feet. Likewise, the rhyming elements in the second stanza, gossinee “tightening” and obsinee “cannot be controlled/stopped,” consist of identical terminating unit (-sinee); and in both cases, similar phonological characteristics are observable.

The poetry is composed within a meticulous control of oral structure and poetic vocabulary. The quality of sound, the rhythmic pattern, the syllable structure (stressed and unstressed), in short, the modulations of words affect the entire feelings, meanings and messages the oral poet aspires to convey.

In the first stanza, the two verse lines constitute corresponding ideas, whereas the parallel ideas of the second stanza are uttered in contradistinction. The poet describes the way he has been debilitated by emotional feelings and internal conflict. The term gadii lallabanii, literally they are “calling from a distance,” is to refer to the powerful abstract image of love as experienced by the folk poet and how he is held in deep affection when this image casts its shadow over him. This situation has been reinforced by the second part of line two- garaa dadhabanii “it is the heart/stomach that refuses,” the term, which implies lack of inner strength. In the second line, the singer expresses two opposing views-that is, the way his outwardly feeling is inwardly negated.
In the two expressions, anaa mitii “it is not I” and garaa dadhabanii, the narrator tries to elucidate how he is torn apart because of his inability to act as one person when his heart refuses to obey him.



About the author

OPride Staff

Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


  • yaa sabako duru jirti waa wal-gaafatun
    namayyuutu gabroome booda injifatuun
    madda-bilisumma ufiin habuqachuun
    waa nurraan hin baane mirga ofi gaafachun
    billisumma dabre walabaan jiraachun
    salphina gabrumma irraan tarkaan fachuun

    gantoota bitani lammi koo fe’achuun
    gabrumaan hammayaa niqaba raawachu
    qabeenya ofi dhabe boohe gangalachuun
    biyya ormaati bahe dhoortodhaan jiraachun
    yaa sabako nurra jirti kaane tarkaafachun
    rakko teenya laalle tokkummaa uumachuun
    sirna abba gadaatin ufin wal bulfachuun

  • weelluu is a love song.secretful. who are the particepant?
    On what occasion?Do both (male female) particepate? Does
    the girls particepate or sang?speacially when?Is it open publically?