'Negroid but detribalized' is a term used by the British colonial authorities in Sudan in the 1920s to describe a people of ex-slave stock, who traced their origin back to tribes in the south or the Nuba Mountains but had settled in the north and had lost contact with their origins. Although their presence was virtually neglected in traditional Sudanese historiography, which was dominated by dichotomy between the 'Arab' north and the 'Black' south, these people actually played a significant role in modern Sudanese history, both as a challenge to this very dichotomy between north and south, and as a 'detribalized' and hence, in a sense, modern social force. This paper analyzes the role of these 'negroid but detribalized' people in Sudanese society for the past two centuries. Since the existence of these people provides an alternative approach to issues of 'Sudanese nationalism' or 'Sudanese identity', special attention is paid to the question of their self-consciousness and self identification at successive historical stages.
The transition to socialism in Ethiopia brought a drastic change to the rural areas. The purpose of this paper is to examine the influence of the socialist policies of the Derg regime (1974-91) on a coffee-growing area where the state strongly intervened. The main focus is on the historical change of land tenure. By tracing the historical process a coffee-growing village has experienced, it becomes apparent that socialist policy such as land nationalization and agricultural socialization not only integrated rural land that the peasants had owned and used, but also tried to“nationalize”the peasants through three national organizations-the peasant association, the state farm, and the producers' cooperative. Furthermore, the analysis of land tenure dynamics reveals the fact that the influx of migrants, which had started during the first half of the twentieth century, was accelerated under the socialist policies. This enormous influx of population caused land scarcity and lengthened the duration of unstable tenancy that could have been settled by the land redistribution. Despite the state's massive intervention under the Derg regime, social change in a rural area did not go exactly as intended by the political center. It is the movement beyond the state institutions that has created the conditions for changes in rural communities.
Ethiopia is known as the major country where civet cat farming (civiculture) is practiced. Civiculture, having a history going back to the 12th century, is nowadays mainly conducted in southwestern Ethiopia solely by a group of Muslim called the Naggaadie or Naggaado respectively by the Oromo- and the Kaficho- speaking peoples. The exclusive practice by the group may be explained not only by the uniqueness of the practice itself, but also by the local belief that it was gifted to the group by a local Muslim holyman. This article discusses the local or“traditional”methods of civiculture and the effects of a governmental attempt to control and“modernize”the practice. The latter follows an accusation pointing out the“cruelty”of the practice, which was staged by the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), an international NGO working for animal protection. I argue that the description of the practice in the WSPA report one-sidedly focuses on the“cruelty”of the practice, and attempt a counterargument based on the local logic voiced by the farmers.
The sheepskin market in Ethiopia seems to have enjoyed the benefits of the economic liberalization policy since 1991, such as price deregulation and liberalization of economic activities. Close observation of the profiles and activities of the participants in the marketing channel, however, demonstrates that they have tried to complement a lack of appropriate infrastructure and legal protection, which should be provided by the government, by utilizing their social and blood ties. While these ties have implemented the role of the government, there are risks that the marketing channel might be developed on the basis of a coalition with social networks, and that the poor outside the networks would be excluded.
At the beginning of the seventeenth century, the imperial authority of the Solomonic dynasty weakened while many regions around Lake Tana, the new center of the Christian Kingdom of Northern Ethiopia, were not yet subject to the emperors' rule and the influx of the Oromo continued. Susn_??_yos (r. 1607-1632), Fasilädäs (r. 1632-1667), and Yohänn_??_s I (r. 1667-1682), however, furthered the subjection of the regions. In this paper, the author considers one of reasons these emperors were able to strengthen their rule by examining the functions of two important officers, the B_??_ht wäddäd and the Talallaq blattenoc gweta. The conclusion proposed is as follows: the emperors made the B_??_ht wäddäd maintain order in Gojam and its surrounding provinces; added military functions to the Talallaq blattenoc gweta in addition to duties as stewards to compensate for the absence of the B_??_ht wäddäd at court; and prevented these officers from having great influence on the national administration. It was one of reasons Susn_??_yos, Fasilädäs, and Yohänn_??_s I strengthened their rule that they lightened their military burden and limited the political power of these high officers.