Initiating Change in Highland Ethiopia: Causes and by Dena Freeman

By Dena Freeman

In a rural neighborhood in Southern Ethiopia, there are different types of rituals played by way of an analogous humans. historic facts means that one has proven extraordinary balance through the years, whereas the opposite has passed through mammoth ameliorations. exterior elements are a similar, so how is that this to be defined? during this 2002 ebook, Dena Freeman makes a speciality of ethnographical and old info from the Gamo Highlands of Southern Ethiopia to take on the query of cultural swap and transformation. She makes use of a comparative viewpoint and contrasts the continuity in sacrificial rituals with the swift divergence and differentiation in initiations. Freeman argues that even though exterior swap drives inner cultural transformation, the way it does is drastically inspired by means of the structural association of the cultural platforms themselves. This perception results in a rethinking of the analytic rigidity among constitution and company that's on the middle of latest anthropological idea.

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In the early 1970s some enterprising Dorze men joined with some neftenya merchants in Chencha town and formed a transport co-operative that would bring buses and taxis right up into the highlands. By 1971 they owned a bus that travelled the Addis Abeba–Arba Minch route, another bus that went between Addis Abeba and Chencha, and two taxis that linked Chencha to Arba Minch (Olmstead 1973:232). Many men in the deres around Chencha and Dorze had taken up weaving during the early part of the century, and as transport links improved, some of them began to sell their cloth in Addis Abeba and other urban centres.

The people of Doko were not about to stop initiating halak’as, and attempts to introduce them to Protestantism at this time were singularly unsuccessful. It seems that the Protestant message did not filter much further into the highlands during these two decades. It was only in the 1960s that Protestantism began to be taken up in the Gamo Highlands. Through SIM support, a school was built in Ochollo. The local Ochollo teachers taught the basics, and then sent the students to the mission school in Chencha town to complete their secondary education.

The majority of these men maintained a house and a wife in Dorze, and returned home to settle after some years. With only a small percentage of Dorze men working the land at any one time though, agricultural labour needed to be found elsewhere, and for the most part men from other Gamo communities were hired by their wealthier Dorze neighbours. Working for room, board and a cash wage, these men farmed Dorze land, and returned to their communities with cash in their pockets (1973:232). Other men took advantage of the improved transport links to become merchants and traders.

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