Coffee Ceremony of the Macha Oromo in Jimma Zone, Ethiopia

Ayehu Bacha, Kamil Mohammed, Lenin Kuto, Dereje Fufa


This article deals with the coffee ceremony of the Macha Oromo in the Jimma zone aiming at investigating its cultural and social significance. Ethnographic methods like observation, focus group discussions, and interviews were used to collect data. The descriptive and interpretative approach was extensively exploited to analyze and synthesize the data. Barbara Fiese’s theoretical underpinnings, which basically focused on family mealtime, were used to frame and interpret first-hand data for coffee ceremonies in a similar context. The finding of this study reveals that coffee drinking is deeply ceremonial and serves many social and cultural purposes. It is the stage in which different social issues are discussed, information is exchanged, solidarity is strengthened, children are socialized, norms and values of the society are audited, information is exchanged, peace is lamented and discussions are held. Thus, the latent function of the coffee ceremony, bringing people and issues to one stage, is highly valued among the people of the study area. Therefore, the coffee ceremony should not be seen merely as a place at which coffee is drunk and people relax; rather, it ought to be regarded as the stage serving many social, cultural, and political purposes.


Coffee, Ceremony, Jimma, Macha, Oromo

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