Bula S Wayessa

Educational Background & Specialties

Educational Background

  • Ph.D.: Archaeology , University of Calgary , Canada, 2016.
  • Graduate Diploma : Education, Jimma University, 2008 .
  • M.A: Archaeology , Addis Ababa University , Ethiopia , 2007.
  • B.A: History , Addis Ababa University , Ethiopia , 2001.

Curriculum Vitae


  • African Archaeology
  • Ethnoarchaeology
  • Ceramic analysis
  • Social Identity
  • Ontology
  • Agricultural change
Courses Taught
  • Cities and States in Ancient Africa (AFRO 3013)
  • Topics in African Studies: Food, Agriculture, and African Connections (AFRO 3910)
  • Introduction to Africa (BLK 200)
  • Black Studies I (BLK 201)
  • Introduction to Archaeology (ARKY 201)
  • Ethnographic survey of Africa south of the Sahara (ANTH 317)
  • Ancient Civilizations (ARKY 325)
Research & Professional Activities


  • A Comparative Study of Eragrostis tef and Maize Cultivation in Gimbi, Ethiopian, The Wenner Gren Foundation.: This project explores the impact of the introduction of American maize into southwestern Ethiopian farming systems once dominated by teff, an indigenous cereal important to the region's bread-based cuisine. Although maize was introduced to the region in the 17th century, it was not adopted until the mid-20th century. Recently, a significant number of farmers have shifted to maize cultivation despite the traditionally dominant position of teff. Maize has transformed traditional farming practices and influenced pre-existing food processing technologies. Another new development is the rise of status-related categories of bread in which teff-based bread is consumed by the higher social classes, while maize-based bread consumption is more common among the lower classes. The results of this study address fundamental questions of maize's delayed adoption into farming systems in the study area and information on the social, dietary, material, and economic impact of maize in the Gimbi area., 2021
  • Traditional Pottery-making: an endangered indigenous technology in the Gimbi region of Ethiopia, The British Museum.: This project sets out to document the chaîne opératoire of Oromo pottery spanning from the learning network to the production and utilization of pottery objects. Pottery technology constitutes an integral part of the region’s indigenous knowledge systems and socio-cultural factors that frame the learning of the art of pottery-making. For instance, the potters’ engagement with their wares at each stage of production reflects active engagement in social relationships. Clay is perceived to have agency, and potters must perform certain rituals before collecting it. Despite its traditional socio-economic position in society, pottery-making is in rapid decline in the region. In the coming years, the technology may disappear. The tradition is threatened by several developments: Ethiopian land policy restricts potters’ freedom to collect clay; the influx of metals/ plastics impact the market for pottery vessels, and better economic opportunities are becoming available for younger generations. This project aims to create audio, audiovisual, documentary, and photographic data assets related to this declining technological tradition in order to preserve this heritage resource for generations to come. By documenting artisan’s technological choices at each stage of pottery production the project will contribute to the theoretical debate regarding whether the technological choices potters make in pottery production is primarily guided by social choices learned as members of a social community of artisans and consumers, or to produce objects to perform optimally for their intended functions. It also broadens our understanding of the influences of globalization and national and local policies on indigenous technology. , 2021
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2021). No One Remains Living in the Past’: the Dynamics of Pottery Technological Styles in Southwestern Ethiopia. Azania: Archaeological Research in Africa, 56, 115-139 . Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2020). Prepared in pots, served in plastics: rural Ethiopian women’s responses to the global economy. Ethnography, Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2020). Whose development? The dilemma of rural artisan women in southwestern Ethiopia. Anthropology Today , 36, 20-23. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2020). .‘They deceived us’: Narratives of Addis Ababa development-induced displaced peasants.. International Journal of Sociology and Anthropology , 12, 67-75. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). EARTH: The Dynamics of non-industrial agriculture: 8,000 years of resilience and innovation: 3 volume set, edited by Patricia C. Anderson, Leonor Pena-Chocarro and Andreas G. Heiss, Series-Landscape Archaeology, Oxbow Books: Oxford and Havertown, PA.. Journal of Ethnoarchaeology , 12, 64-66.. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2018). Anchote (Coccinia abyssinica): An ethnoarchaeological study of a tuber viewed as a relative of women in the Wallaga region of southwestern Ethiopia. . Journal of Ethnoarchaeology. , 34-55. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2017). "We are not alone”: conceptualizing people-things relationship in the Oromo community in North America. ." Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies , 4, Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika, Gangul, A., & Burka, T (2016). “I have to resemble my ancestors through modification of midline diastema”: an An ethnoarchaeological study of practice and motives of dental modification among Karrayyu Oromo, central Ethiopia. Journal of Ethnoarchaeology , 8, 57-68. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2015). “Say let it be spared from eyes for a ware cannot survive eyes:” Personification of pots among Oromo of Wallagga, Ethiopia. Journal of Social Archaeology , 15, 387-407. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika, Lyons, D. & Kooyman (2015). An Ethnoarchaeological Study of Brewing Technology in Wallaga Region of Western Oromia, Ethiopia. Journal of African Archaeology , 13, 99-114.. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2011). The technical style of Wallaga pottery making: An ethnoarchaeological study of Oromo potters in southwest highland Ethiopia. African Archaeological Review, 28, 301-326. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2011). Socialization, Symbolism, and Structures: Aspects of Traditional Pottery Making among the Jimma Oromo, Western Oromia. Journal of Oromo Studies , 17, 72-102. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2011). Buna Qalaa: A Quest for Traditional Uses of Coffee among Oromo People with Special Emphasis on Wallaga, Ethiopia. African Diaspora Archaeology Newsletter. , 43, Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2011). An ethnographic study of traditional pottery making, artisan women, and tuber crop consumption technology in Wallaga, Oromia, Ethiopia. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2009). Socio-economic Status of Handicraft Women among Macca Oromo of West Wallaga, Southwest Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Education and Sciences , 4 , 1-15. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2020). Jiruu fi Jireenya Hawaasa Suphee Dha’un Jiraatani. BBC Afaan Oromoo. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). The ‘Bittersweet’ Legacy of Sugar for Africans. Addis Fortune. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). Maekelawi becomes a museum while Kumsa Moroda Palace Museum turns into a Detention center. The Reporter. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). Why the annual ritual ceremony of Ethiopia’s Oromo is a symbol of an indigenous resurgence in Africa.. Facet 2 Face Africa. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). The Globalisation of Teff: implications for Ethiopia. Addis Fortune. Link
  • Wayessa, Bula Sirika (2019). Did the Dutch “steal” this African food?. BBC-Travel. Link
  • Post-Ph.D. Research Grant, The Wenner Gren Foundation , 2020
  • The Endangered Material Knowledge Programme Grant, The British Museum , 2020
  • National Geographic Society, 2016
  • National Geographic Society , 2012
  • Teachers Development Program, Jimma University , 2009
  • Teachers Development Program, Jimma University, 2008
  • Teachers Development Program, Jimma University , 2007