Borana define law as a way of life, this conception of law as a way of life makes it a concept that one can comprehend through experience and Justice is defined as part of life process.
Among the Borana the totality of Borana normative system is described by two Borana words “aadaa/custom and Serra/law which together means aadaa Serra which means Borana customary laws.
Aadaa seera refer to a sacred and profane set of laws governing behaviour and maintenance of peace and order in the borana society.
Borana elders say “booranaaf aadaan issaa jireenya isaati booranni aadaa gate jireenya gate” meaning for a borana his custom is his way of life. when a boran abandons aadaa he abandons borana why of life. As a way of life, a borana comes to know and understand asada seera through his daily experience.
The terms aadaa and seera are used interchangeably, drawing a clear line of demarcation between aadaa and seera would not be easy. aadaa seems to be more fluid and broader than seera. Aadaa refers to a way of life that can be reflected through and by one’s daily behaviour and experience. Aadaa is understood as the embodiment of borana indigenous religion, norms, custom, and practice which guide our way of life. The norms regulating social relation, family relation, natural resource management, food and dress are viewed as integral part of aadaa.
On the other hand, seera can be defined as the specific category of norms, expressed verbally. Borana elders view seera as constituting more specific norms with narrower scope and having binding character than aadaa. Seera constitutes a special category of norms that serve as a basis for deciding cases where there is a dispute, seera are authoritative rules formally madam by Gumi Gaayyo. As they are revised every eight years on Gumi Gaayyo, borana seera are discriminate against everyone.
by Nuria Malicha