Territorial Defence of Wolaita and Traditional War System

The Wolaita people had their own defense force, Which was not stand by but a traditionally trained army that come forth for war on the call of the King. Daily there was an equestrian known as ”Washi Paraa” assigned on border areas to tune up and look around standing on a mountainous or high place, the kingdom’s border protection officials of the Zuma (area) kindled fire called Guuliyaa in Wolaita.

When the assigned Washi Paraa (equestrian ) saw that fire and smoke, immediately reports to the place using the traditional transferring message saying ”Guyee Guyiyawu Waasa” (run tell to the people behind you).

After the border threat news reaches the king, instantly the king who was the commander in chief of the army makes meeting with Toora Gadaawaa (የጦር ጄኔራል) and orders mobilization. Then, the mobilization order would be transferred to the people by using traditional breath and drum music instruments locally called Nigaritiya, Kambbaa, and uldduuduwa, and promptly the people would march to the war front the Wolaita women prepare provision and supply to the Army.

There were special meals prepared for wartime that can stay for several days so that the army on fighting cloud use for many days.

The Food items Such as፦

  • Unchchaa Komppuwa(oblong pan bread)፨Banggaa Shasha(roasted barley)
  • Bangga Buraatuwaa(roasted barley and grained and immersed with better and pooled)etc.
  • The Wolaita artisan also were Producing different equipment used by the people for war purposes and hunting.

The Wogachiya(Smith) produce important war tools like፦

-Tora(Spears ጦር)

-Gondolaiya(Shields and Swords ጋሻ)

-Dagalaa (tanners) mad leather strips, ropes, etc.

  • The Wolaita people had used various kinds of traditional weapons mainly spears, shields, and swords, and a traditional defense mechanism. Wolaita at the time of the Kingdom had more than twenty-four (25) types of Spears. They armed also two types of Shield, the first one was known as Paraa Gondiliya, which was relatively small and carried by cavalryarmy#territorial_defence_of_wolaita_and_traditional_war_system. Which is bigger in size than the first one and was armed by the infantry. They also hold a sword to use it at a time of hand-to-hand combat and to cut off the sexual organ of the enemy.
  • Traditional religion dignitaries served in prayers and prophecy in order to make the defense and attacking of Wolaita successful against the enemy.The Kingdom of Wolaita using the above traditional military exercise organization and strategy able to protect it’s territories and the kingdom independence for long time.

©Temesgen Wolde Mekuria Damota Kingdom 1298

Author: 21st Century Library & Information Technology Network [Information & Knowledge Dissemination Platform By Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional at Hawassa University, Ethiopia]

Mulugeta Woldetsadik, Librarian/Information Professional @ Hawassa University, , Sidama Region, Ethiopia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

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

%d bloggers like this: