African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 185

Article in Press

Symbolic Representation of Material Culture in Bun Ceremony among the Tigray, Northern Ethiopia

Blen Telayneh

  •  Received: 18 August 2019
  •  Accepted: 19 August 2020
This paper deals with artistic and symbolic value of material culture of coffee or bun (ቡን) ceremony practiced in Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. Mixed research design has been used in the study. Survey, focus group discussion, interview, and observation have been employed to gather data. The findings indicate that majority of community members are performing bun ceremony in traditional manner. But, some emerging modifications are being made on the material culture of the ceremony that are assorted with modern materials. Objects such as rekebot (traditional cabinet of coffee cups), metesh itan (incense, myrrh), finjal (coffee cup) and jebena (traditional coffee boiling pot) are used in the bun ceremony. The community also uses seti (wet grass) for decoration and fragrance during the ceremony. These material aspects of culture have constitute decorative and symbolic dimensions in Tigray culture. From the data, it is revealed that at present the community is performing traditional bun ceremony with some modifications. However, material culture associated with bun ceremony has artistic and symbolic significance and has unique value in Tigray.

Keywords: Bun ceremony, material culture, symbols, Tigray, Ethiopia