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Monographic analyses of ethnic groups have always been a major concern of Cultural Anthropology. Yet, a holistic approach encompassing all spheres of culture in one volume is usually unachievable. Publications on the history and the agrarian economy of the Hadiyya, a group of about two million people in southern Ethiopia, have already been presented. This book deals with their traditional socio-religious system, which existed as a functioning body until the 1970s and was then replaced by Orthodox, Protestant and Roman-Catholic Christianity and by Islam.
After a comprehensive description of the geographical setting, the history and the culture of the Hadiyya, the characteristics of Fandaanano as a socio-religious system are outlined. Then, the patterns of their traditional socio-political organisation and the life cycle of the individual are dealt with before the ideas and practices of the meanwhile extinct religious system are depicted. Despite the recent extinction of Fandaanano by the impact of the world religions, features of its legacy are pervasive in modern Hadiyya society. Appendices present a collection of Hadiyya folktales and of photographs representing objects and positions of former socio-political status.