The major purpose of the study was to analyze thematic functions of oral literature used in the speeches of Oromo heroes (Haaji Adam Saddo, General Husen Bune, Colonel Aliyyi Cirri, General Waqo Gutu, and Colonel Adam Jilo) from the three selected districts (woredas) (Madda Walabu, Gobba, and Sawwena) of Bale zone, Oromia region. Qualitative research design was employed. To this effect, relevant data was collected through in-depth interview and focused group discussion from 42 purposively selected elders. Also, document analysis was used to assess related written materials. Then, the collected data were carefully transcribed and critically analyzed with their thematic aspects using functional approach. The study’s findings show that the oral literatures used by Bale’s Oromo heroes have short structures with broad contents. These are short sayings, short stories, proverbs, folktale, prophecies, blesses, curses, and songs; and they are used to promote education, development, freedom, courageousness, firmness, truthfulness against betrayed, patience, unity and hope. Thus, educators, political leaders and teachers can use these oral literature to advice, instruct, guide and motivate youths towards education, social unity, patriotism against discrepancies on common things and the culture of hard work.
Key words: Thematic functions, oral literature, speech, Heroes, Oromo, Bale.
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