240243 - Extremly Rare Large Brass decoration - Benaa’u - Borana - Ethiopia.


This is a Authentic Traditional Extremly Rare Old Large Brass decoration - Benaa’u - from the Borana people in Ethiopia.
The size are 16 cm diameter and with the stand 18 cm high.

These brass decorations or disc, known as Benaa’u were sewn onto the back of ceremonial outfits of the Borana women, to display their social rank and status.
The Benaa’u recognized the achievement of motherhood of Oromo women.
There are almost 200,000 Borana confined to a homeland of considerably less than 1000 square kilometers. The Borana have no memory of where their ancestors originated. They assume they have always lived in the tiny hilly territory in the far southwest of Ethiopia. Their African ancestors, however, probably arrived there around 5,000 years ago, bringing with them the prevalent stone age culture and agricultural techniques that are still evident today.

From these beginnings their remarkable culture developed in virtual isolation. Surrounded by their neighbors, they continue to till their fields. With the exception of trading with the Konso for salt or cowrie shells, outside influence has virtually passed them by. They have always fiercely defended their territory. This is evident in the fact that each village is walled. Much of their land is terraced and planted with trees, and the fertile fields are tended, irrigated and fertilized.

There is a passionate love for work in the blood of these people. Children marry around the age of fifteen. Though the Borana are not a proud people they do not look favorably on intermarriage. Non-Christians can have three or four wives. They do not live together with extended families, and inheritance is passed down to men only.
The Borana live in south Ethiopia and mostly follow their ancient way of living. The gaddaa system is some kind of generation structure, which changes every 7-8 years, the chief of gaddaa is widely respected, even after his gaddaa is finished, he can still keep his regalia: the kalacha (fallus like ornament he is wearing on the forehead), the uroro (stick) and the licha (to whip his wives and whoever needs it according to him). The traditional believe praises a god called waqe-fata.