Monday, July 27, 2015

Sidama (southern Ethiopia) Music & Dance Videos

Edited by Azizi Powell

This post provides information about the Sidama people of the Southern region of Ethiopia. Five videos of Sidama music and dance are also showcased in this post along with selected comments from some of those featured videos' discussion threads.

The content of this post is provided for cultural, historical, entertainment, and aesthetic purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are featured in these videos. Thanks also to all those who are quoted in this post and thanks to the publishers of these videos on YouTube.

"The Sidama people [are] agricultural and semi-pastoral Kushitic people living in the southern part of the Ethiopia, in the Horn of Africa. The majority of the Sidama people live in the Southern part of Ethiopia with notable geographical features like lake Awassa in the North and lake Abaya in the South. Sidama region of Ethiopia is home of the Sidamo Coffee. The area is characterised by lush green countryside making it known as the Garden of Ethiopia. The Sidama along with Agew and Beja were the first settlers in the northern highlands of the present day Ethiopia before the arrival of Yemeni habeshas (Abyssineans). The Sidama people and their sub-tribes ( major Sidama group, Alaba, Tambaro, Qewena and Marakoare) are estimated to be around 8 million; constituting 4.01% of the Ethiopian population and are the fifth largest ethnic group in Ethiopia...

Some people in Ethiopia and other historians refer to Sidama people as "Sidamo." There are no people in Ethiopia called "Sidamo". The misnomer was invented in 1891 by the invading Minelik’s generals and soldiers as part of a psychological war to degrade and dehumanise the newly occupied land of Sidama and other peoples living around the Sidama land....

The Sidama land is one of the most ever green and fertile lands in Africa. As a result, for centuries, the Sidama people led one of the most stable and self sufficient lives as an independent nation state in the north eastern Africa until the nation was annexed to the present day Ethiopia by king Minelik II in 1891. Before the annexation, the Sidama people lived in indigenous egalitarian and democratic social, economic, political and cultural systems...

Sidama people speak Sidaamu-afoo. Sidaamu-afoo is an Afro-Asiatic language, belonging to the Cushitic branch, part of the Highland East Cushitic group...

Fichche is the most celebrated Sidama cultural holiday which represents the Sidama New Year. The Fichche is based on the lunar system. Sidama elders (astrologists) observe the movement of the stars in the sky and decide the date for the New Year and the Fichche celebration. The Sidama New Year is therefore unique in that it does not have a fixed date. It rotates every year following the movements of the stars. Sidama has 13 months a year. And each of the months is divided equally into 28 days while the 13th month has 29 days. This is because the Sidama week has only 4 days and hence each month has 7 weeks instead of the conventional 4 weeks. The names of the 4 days in Sidama week are called: Dikko, Deela, Qawadoo and Qawalanka to be followed by Dikko completing the cycle of a 4-day week."...

These videos are presented in chronological order based on their posting dates on YouTube, with the video with the oldest date given first.

Example #1: Sidama

EthioNigist Ethiopian Music, Published on Jan 31, 2008

From the video ዜማ መስክ ኢትዮጵያ By Mega Studios...1995
The following two comments were posted to that video's discussion thread in response to a Somalian commenter who wrote that the Sidama people weren't native to Ethiopia like the Cushites and the Nilotes:
chemnerd52, 2009
in reply to Tahaarka Huruuse
Actually the sidama are originally semetic speaking group before switching to a cushitic language after a migration. semites, cushites, and niolites are all natives of east africa

language does not make an ethnicity, many peoples w/in ethio have transitioned from cushitic languages to niolitic, from niolitic to semetic, from semetic to cushitic, etc etc and vice versa."

chemnerd52, 2009
"Please educate yourself before speaking on matters you do not understand.
I am sidama oromo and tigray. I know my people and history. ok?
So either come correct w/ knowledge or just worry about somali's history.
Much love."

Example #2: Sidamo (Southern Ethiopia)

cybraddis Uploaded on May 8, 2010
From my online reading such as the blog post whose link is above, the correct name for this population is Sidama and not Sidamo.

Example #3: Sidama Belema

QAFAR XAAGU, Uploaded on Jun 30, 2010

Music from Sidama region of Ethiopia.

Song: Hawassa Belema - Kichini Ft. Mamila

Example #4: ethiopia Sidama Traditional Song

Zabatsion's channel, Uploaded on Jan 14, 2011

Example #5: Sidama Country Song Gimbii Yemo!.wmv

Sidama Hawassa, Uploaded on Feb 19, 2012

The Sidama nation of north east Africa- today's southern Ethiopian is one of Afro-Asiatic nations whose root of migration is being traced back to the north Africa perhaps- 3500-4000 years ago. The Sidama nation is one of those nation that are under continued colonial rule of Abyssinia although direct European colonialism ceased to exist since 1960s. From about 90 million Ethiopians the Sidama nation constitutes about 7.8 to 8.5% of the total population. The nation is differently and harshly treated by the successive Ethiopian rulers including the current regime that continually causes genocides for the reason of keeping the amalgamated southern Ethiopia's 56 distinct nations and nationalities for the regime to exploit the resources of the south whilst they are involuntarily imprisoned together. The nation appeals to the international community to put the necessary pressure as per international principles on humanity and human values-on the incumbent regime to respect Sidama nations' fundamental rights to regional self determination that is a constitutional -but blocked by the regime for over 2 decades; and respect for freedom of expression and assembly and stop systematically impoverishing the Sidama nation through its unjust and repressive policies.
Here are two additional comments from this video's publisher on YouTube:

Sidama Hawassa, 2012
"This is a very good Song that tells the tale of Sidama people whose language and culture is yet to be studied as it was undermined by the successive rulers for the the last 120 years!"

Sidama Hawassa, 2013
"This is Sidama Nation's country son[g] which is dedicated to the Sidama nation of North East Africa's human rights martyrs whose lives being sacrificed for the cause of Sidama of the Sidama nation's self determination. It says 'I don't accept injustices and human rights violations perpetrated by the Ethiopian regime!! I will say no!!'"

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