Waiting for Buna

Hosted by: Micknai Arefaine, Applied Anthropology MA Student, Oregon State University

This experience will serve to push the boundaries of the cornerstone of ethnographic methods: participant observation. Who is participant and who is observer will be questioned and possibly redefined or completely blurred during this activity. The anthropologist, played by Micknai Arefaine, will invite the subjects to an Ethiopian coffee ceremony, which she will perform. The Ethiopian coffee ceremony is mundane and sacred, ritual and random, modern and ancient. It is gendered and feminist. The title, Waiting for Buna, refers to the experience of waiting to drink buna (coffee) during the ceremony itself. The Ethiopian Coffee ceremony provides an interesting space to explore the tension at the borderlands of the ethnographers identities while at the same time asking how these tensions are experienced by the subjects invited to participate in the ceremony. Waiting for Buna is a methodology rooted in Afrocentric consciousness.