Indigenous African knowledge of building and maintaining peace is not well known and has not been much used in the dominant modern mechanisms of conflict resolution. With the aim of addressing this limitation, this article analyzes the broader conceptualization of peace and peace building among the Guji-Oromo in southern Ethiopia. The Guji-Oromo are keenly aware that their existence as a society depends on the maintenance of peace (nagaa) among them as a community and between them and God as well as between them and their natural and human environments. They believe that peace is not a free gift, because maintaining it requires continuous and earnest negotiation, social actions, and cooperation among many stakeholders who possess political, cultural, and spiritual powers. The article further argues that the Guji-Oromo conceptualize peace beyond the conventional understandings that position it as the absence of conflict or warfare. Rather, for the Guji, peace is broadly understood as a continuous flow of relationships between the people and their human and nonhuman environments. The article shows that Guji’s conceptions of peace are not static; rather, they are subject to internal and external influences that shape how different members of the society conceptualize it and the way it is maintained.

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