In southern Ethiopia there are craft-workers and hunters who are vigorously excluded from mainstream society. As blacksmiths, potters, tanners, woodworkers, weavers and hunters of wild animals, they fulfil important roles in society, yet many of them are considered by local people to be not "real people". They are feared as purveyors of evil and supernatural powers, or despised as outcasts, and face discrimination across the whole social, political and economic spectrum. The marginalization of these groups is not new or localized, and occurs in both the towns and the countryside, in Ethiopia and across Africa. This volume has three main aims. Firstly, it provides a history and ethnography of these groups. With comparative data about 14 different ethnic groups in southern Ethiopia, it offers information about the lives of the people who "live on the edge". Secondly, it offers an understanding of these groups and the marginalization they face. It shatters some of the myths about them that have dominated scholarly approaches, and provides a framework for understanding occupational marginalization in Ethiopia and Africa generally.
Lastly, it considers how the plight of marginalized groups might be alleviated, both by their own efforts and by the intervention of governments and NGOs.
Dena Freeman is Research Fellow at Queens' College, Cambridge, and author of Initiating Change: Cultural Transformation in the Gamo Highlands of Ethiopia and Cultural Transformations in Africa (2002); Alula Pankhurst is Associate Professor of Anthropology at Addis Ababa University and author of Resettlement and Famine in Ethiopia: The Villagers' Experience (1992).
Contents: Dimensions and Conceptualisations of Marginalisation (Alula Pankhurst) - Gurage (Nahu Senay) - Yem (Getachew Fulle) - Kambata (Wolde-Selassie Abbute) - Kafa (Gezahegn Petros) - Shekacho (Mengistu Seyoum) - Dawro (Behailu Abebe and Data Dea) - Malo (Takeshi Fujimoto) - Oyda (Dereje Feyissa) - Gamo (Dena Freeman) - Wolaita (Berhanu Bebiso) - Sidama (Haileyesus Seba) - Konso (Elizabeth Watson and Lakew Regassa) - Shashemene (Mesfin Getahun) - Woliso (Ambaye Degefa) - A New Framework for Understanding Marginaliston in Ethiopia (Dena Freeman) - Change and Development: Lessons from the Twentieth Century (Alula Pankhurst and Dena Freeman).