July 24, 2009

Friday Nights a the De Young: Celebration of Oromo Cultureof East Africa

Cultural Encounters: Friday Nights at the de Young Celebrates Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs

Docent Tours | Lectures and Symposia | For Children and Families | Artist Studio | Friday Nights at the de Young | Special Events | Music at the de Young

5:00 PM - 8:45 PM
July 24, 2009
Kimball Education Gallery, Koret Auditorium

On Friday nights the entire museum is open until 8:45 p.m. Friday Nights at the de Young offers a variety of interdisciplinary arts programs, including live music, poetry, films, dance, tours, and lectures. The cafe is open with a special Friday Nights dinner menu, and a no-host cocktail bar is serving drinks. There are art-making activities for everyone. All Friday Night programming is FREE unless otherwise noted

Photo: Abba Liban Dabassah Guyo

Join us for a celebration of the Oromo culture of East Africa. The Oromo, a tribe little known to the outside world, has a profoundly mystical tradition that continues to this day, with deep insights into the hidden workings of the universe. The people live close to nature and have a sophisticated calendar and numerology system, as well as a remarkable tradition of prophecy and star knowledge. There are many cultural parallels between the Oromo and ancient Egypt, along with links to other ancient cultures, a fact that speaks to a common global system of ancient knowledge that remains alive today.
Wilsey Court
6:30–8:30 p.m.
Live music celebrating the Oromo culture, presented by Artist Hirpha Ganfure
Ganfure was born in the Horo guduro region of Western Oromia, Ethiopia. At the age of 7, in 1982, he showed an exceptional musical talent which was noticed in his small community of Babicha Abba Tabur that led to the release of his first album four years later. This was a significant milestone in a country where recognition of art is slow coming, if it comes at all. In the same year of his first album, Hirpha joined a children’s program (Qophee Ijjoolle) which was hosted by Finfinne (Addis Ababa) City Hall. In August 1990, he released a second album, and with that, his fame skyrocketed.

Hirpha’s musical euphony and Oromo lyrics were considered a threat to the Ethiopian political establishment. He was a prisoner of conscience for three years. A relentless harassment followed his release, and consequently, he escaped to Kenya in 1999 seeking political refuge. A year later, he immigrated to Bergen, Norway where he currently lives with his family. He has a total of nine albums in his resume.
6:00–8:30 p.m.
Hands-on art-making for everyone,
led by “art diva” Kim Erickson. Make a sistrum, an ancient Egyptian musical instrument, and play a tune.

Koret Auditorium 7:00 p.m.
A special evening with Oromo spiritual elder Abba Liban Dabassah Guyo.
Guyo is a keeper of the oral histories of the Oromo/Borana people of East Africa. As a highly respected seer and mystic among his own people, and as the inheritor of a family lineage that preserves the Oromo’s knowledge, he is frequently sought out for ceremony and counsel, both at home and abroad. Originally from Ethiopia, Guyo established a school in Kenya to preserve Oromo wisdom and tradition. He continues this work in North America.

Docent Tours
6:00-7:00 p.m.
A docent will be in the African galleries to share information and answer questions about the permanent collection.

7:00 p.m. Docent tour:
Art and Power in the Central African Savanna. Meet your docent at the entrance to the exhibition, in the Textiles Galleries.

Source: Fine Arts Musum of San FRANCISCO

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