Top > African Study Monographs > ASM Supplementary Issue Back Number > No. 48 (2014)

Livelihood, Development and Local Knowledge on the Move


Edited by Masayoshi SHIGETA, Mamo Hebo & Makoto NISHI


pp. 1-4

PREFACE

Masayoshi SHIGETA, Mamo Hebo & Makoto NISHI

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pp. 5-29

EVOLVING MARKETS, RURAL LIVELIHOODS, AND GENDER RELATIONS: THE VIEW FROM A MILK-SELLING COOPERATIVE IN THE KOFALE DISTRICT OF WEST ARSII, ETHIOPIA

Mamo Hebo
Department of Social Anthropology, Addis Ababa University

ABSTRACT
      The study area for this research was the Kofale District of West Arsii, Ethiopia. The people living in villages in this area depend on their own agricultural products for their livelihoods. This self-reliance is now being supplemented through some exposure to local food markets. Their interactions with local markets, however, are selective. They reserve some products primarily for home consumption, while others are intended partly or mainly for sale. Recently, however, people’s market interactions have become more intense, as a consequence of market-oriented government development strategies, and infrastructure improvements resulting in easier access to markets. These external influences have led to a change in the types of items made available for sale. Milk, which has been used by the Arsii Oromo primarily for home consumption, is now being commercialized in the research area. Milk has always constituted a major component of the Arsii Oromo’s diet and food culture, and it is one of their most ritually, and nutritionally important food items. Responsibility for milk has traditionally been in the women’s domain, and women largely control decisions over its distribution for consumption, transfer as gifts, and accumulation for making butter. These patterns of behavior, however, are apparently changing, owing to rural people’s exposure (or access) to emerging markets (particularly via cooperatives), and the market’s modus operandi. Based on in-depth interviews, and a number of case studies including one of a market-oriented milk cooperative, this paper explores how these evolving markets are affecting the Arsii Oromo’s traditional relationship with milk, and how they are affecting rural livelihoods and gender relations in the Kofale District.

Key Words: Development policies; Evolving markets; Gender relations; Kofale District; Rural livelihoods.

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pp. 31-47

RISK, KNOWLEDGE, AND ETHICS IN THE ERA OF GLOBAL HEALTH: HIV INTERVENTIONS AND LOCAL RESPONSES AMONG THE GURAGE

Makoto NISHI
Global Survivability Studies Unit, Kyoto University

ABSTRACT
      The global health framework is one of the technological and institutional foundations of human survival in the contemporary world. Within this framework, infectious disease epidemiology serves as the knowledge base of efforts to control epidemics. The effectiveness of such epidemiological information requires that we have a clear understanding of how certain behaviors of certain individuals present risks to others. When a particular group of people are considered a risk to others, we face an ethical dilemma concerning how to establish an affirmative relationship between the two parties.
   This paper examines knowledge, institutions, and ethical issues related to human survival in the context of the spread of pathogens. It identifies the challenges faced by households affected by HIV through examples drawn from Gurage, a provincial area in southern Ethiopia, and focuses on challenges related to the livelihood, remarriage, and childbirth of women who have lost their husbands to HIV and who, themselves, are HIV-positive. Responses of local health workers to the problems faced by such women and by households affected by HIV will also be examined.

Key Words: Farm labor; Gurage; Health workers; HIV; Risk of infection.

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pp. 49-58

VALUING “INDIGENOUS KNOWLEDGE” RELATED TO WATER USAGE AMONG GARRI PASTORALISTS OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA: WHICH / WHOSE KNOWLEDGE?

Francesco STARO
University of Paris VIII – St. Denis (AUS/LAVUE)

ABSTRACT
      Valorization of local knowledge related to natural resource management constitutes a backbone of development interventions carried out in pastoral areas of southern Ethiopia. Still, the possibility of clearly identifying “indigenous knowledge” and putting it at the disposal of development planners may be at odds with local realities. This paper focuses on a major feature of water use among Garri pastoralists inhabiting the region around Moyale and Hudet, Ethiopia, namely the spread of private water access points. These are considered among the most important water sources in the region, but they are being constructed to the detriment of communal access points. This practice brings into question the effectiveness of “participatory development” and invites acknowledgement of the social embeddedness of natural resource management and indigenous environmental knowledge. This type of private ownership of water access points, which has been adopted by the Garri, may have affected the social organization of pastoralists in the southern Ethiopian lowlands over the past decade.

Key Words: Development; Ethiopia; Indigenous knowledge; Pastoralism; Water.

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pp. 59-75

“I KNOW HOW TO MAKE POTS BY MYSELF”:
SPECIAL REFERENCE TO LOCAL KNOWLEDGE TRANSMISSION IN SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA

Morie KANEKO
Graduate School of Human and Environmental Studies, Kyoto University

ABSTRACT
      The objective of this paper is to determine the characteristics of local knowledge transmission between mothers and daughters by analyzing the learning order of pottery making, the hand and finger movements involved, the different patterns of pottery making, and the interaction between mothers and daughters in a pottery workshop. According to observations of 12 mother-daughter groups for a period of nine months, between November 1998 and March 2002, knowledge transmission between mothers and daughters has three main characteristics. First, the daughters started making pots, the mothers do not teach their daughters with verbal communication; they observe their daughters’ trials and errors when making pottery without giving any advice. Second, mothers relate the physical growth of their daughters to the number and size of pots they have made themselves. Thirdly, daughters learn pottery making techniques under various conditions and diversify and create their own pottery making procedures, which are different from their mothers. The characteristics of the learning processes of potters that are the result of the interaction of the potters with their natural environment and their social relationships keep creating new techniques in pottery making and new shapes of pots.

Key Words: Local knowledge transmission; Pottery making; Trials and errors; Ethiopia; Aari.

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pp. 77-97

LOCAL HONEY PRODUCTION ACTIVITIES AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE FOR LOCAL PEOPLE: A CASE OF MOUNTAIN FOREST AREA OF SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA

Yoshimasa ITO
Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University

ABSTRACT
      This article focuses on honey production taking place in mountain forest area of southwestern Ethiopia and discusses the roles and relevance that local people see in their way of honey production and the honey they harvest. The honey production in Ethiopia has recently been attracting attention of various agencies as a tool for revitalizing Ethiopian economy, reducing poverty, and conserving the forests. As expectations for the honey production rise, many researchers have worked all over Ethiopia to improve the productivity and efficiency of current production process. However, most of previous research emphasize too much on improving productivity and efficiency and disregard the roles and relevance that the local people see in the local method of honey production. This article first illustrates local honey production process in detail and points out local honey production serves a place of exchanging knowledge and technique regarding honey production and strengthens social relationships and honey producers value honey they harvested by the local method.

Key Words: Honey production; Non-timber forest product; Local knowledge; Oromo; Ethiopia.

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pp. 99-112

CHANGES IN LIVESTOCK MOBILITY AND GRAZING PATTERN AMONG THE HAMER IN SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA

Samuel Tefera
Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University

ABSTRACT
      Different Ethiopian regimes have encouraged pastoral people to adopt a settled way of life and to practice agriculture. Despite these efforts, pastoral people in Ethiopia have maintained their mobility in search of better pastures and water for their livestock. This paper examines changes in livestock mobility and grazing lands among the Hamer during three regimes. The data discussed in this paper were collected during ethnographic field research using a participant-observer approach, as well as focus group discussions held in different villages across the district. The Hamer have experienced several significant changes over the course of different regimes: Distance to camp herds (i.e., livestock kept at distant camps near grazing areas) has increased, leading to less frequent visits to village camps, and mobility between camp herds has increased in frequency due to livestock population growth and increased competition. Additionally, rain irregularities and shortages have led to the use of livestock enclosures, while changes in mobility patterns over the last eight decades have resulted in increased encroachment into territories beyond Hamer jurisdiction. Disruptions in rainfall and shrinkage of grazing land have also rendered preexisting alliances vulnerable to conflict. Analysis of these changes suggests that land policies favoring settled agriculture in the Hamer District promise to limit herd mobility in the service of grazing in the years ahead.

Key Words: Change; Farming; Grazing; Livestock; Mobility; Hamer.

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pp. 113-123

COMMUNITY-BASED ADAPTATION TO CLIMATE CHANGE: INTERCONNECTIONS BETWEEN ENVIRONMENT, LIVELIHOODS AND DEVELOPMENT IN ABRHA WE ATSBHA, EASTERN TIGRAY, ETHIOPIA

Aklilu Habtu Reda
Department of Anthropology, Mekelle University

ABSTRACT
      In Ethiopia, recurrent droughts and food shortages have been rampant owing to environmental degradation and declining rainfall. Analyses conducted over the past few years suggest that environmental rehabilitation has led to improvements in farmers’ livelihood in Tigray Region, in northern Ethiopia. Drawing on ethnographic interviews, focus groups and participant observations in the Abrha we Atsbha community, this study highlights some indigenous adaptation strategies and the benefits of integrating them into formal climate change adaptation strategies. By using their indigenous knowledge, the local community in Abrha we Atsbha have developed and implemented extensive adaptation strategies that have enabled them to reduce their vulnerability to climatic variability and climate change. Natural resource conservation schemes have increased general soil moisture substance and facilitated the replenishment of the underground water table. The implication is that achievements that start out as a community initiative can later be adopted and incorporated into formal adaptation strategies by government and research institutions.

Key Words: Adaptation capacities; Climate change; Natural resources; Underground water table.

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