Faarsuu Dache: In Praise of Mother Earth

This traditional Oromo poem for Mother Earth has passed from generation to generation since time immemorial. It was translated into English by Obbo Zalaalam Abarra and first published by Oromia Support Group (OSG) in Sagalee Haaraa. Obbo Zalaalam has noted that no translation can possibly do justice to the subtlety, nuance or beauty of the original.

    Afaan Oromoo                                                                English

Dache nagaan ooltee?
Yaa ishee niitii Waaqa;
Irri kee midhaanii
Jalli kee bishaanii
Du’aan sirra ciisaa
Jiraan sirra fiigaa
Yoo sitti awwaalani
Nan ajaaye hinjettu
Sirra yoo qotani
Nan madaaye hinjettu
Gara-baldheetti koo
Ati nagaan bultee?
Ati nagaan ooltee?Dache yaa dinqitu!
Jaartii garaa meetii
Sirra qonnee nyaanna
Jiraa keenya baatta
Yaa sugeessituu koo
Sirra horree yaasnaa
Du’aa keenya nyaatta
Yaa gumeessituu koo.
Sooressa abbaa shittoo
Natti urgaaye jettee
Ofitti fudhattee
Iyeessa abbaa cittoo
Natti ajaaye jettee
Deebiftee hingalshitu
Yaa wal qixxeessituu koo!


Greetings mother earth
Thou wife of Waaqa;
Above thee is grain
Beneath thee is water
The dead rest on thee
The living run on thee
If we bury in thee
Thou never complaineth of stench
If we plough thee
Thou never complaineth of wound
Our all-embracing mother
How didst thou spend thy night?
How didst thou spend thy day?O thou wondrous earth!
Mother full of treasures
We farm and feed from thee
Alive, thou carry us
O thou gratifier of our needs
We reproduce on thee
Deceased, thou devour us
O thou the accomodator
Be it the perfume-soaked rich
With aroma and scent
Thou doth take him unto thee
Be it the scabies-infested poor
With his bad odour
Thou does not reject him
O thou the leveler!


Afaan Oromootiin

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