The paper examines a special type of riddle, called ‘hibbantee’ used for census, among the Oromo in Ethiopia with particular attention to the Waliso Oromo. The practice is one of the ways of providing information on basic statistics of the population within certain geographical boundaries. It is performed as part of verbal games, specific riddles with its own peculiar formula. Primary data were generated from the area through observation, key informant interview and FGD. The findings of this work indicate that as part of oral literature in general and riddle in particular hibbantee has aesthetic, educational and entrainment values; it enhances competence skills, observational skills, normative skills, memory skills, and entertainment skills.
Key words: Riddle, Hibbantee, Oromo, Waliso, census.
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