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An Ethno-Historical Perspective on Me'en Territorial Organization (Southwest Ethiopia)

J. Abbink
Anthropos
Bd. 87, H. 4./6. (1992), pp. 351-364
Published by: Anthropos Institut
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40462649
Page Count: 14
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An Ethno-Historical Perspective on Me'en Territorial Organization (Southwest Ethiopia)
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Abstract

This article offers a reconstruction of the history of the formation and dispersal of Me'en territorial groups in Käfa, Southwest Ethiopia. An evaluation of the oral traditions of the Me'en on their own past cautions us in the uncritical use of terms like "clan" and "lineage" as understood in terms of descent. What determines "descent" and group membership is continuously renegotiated in the course of the ecologically and economically conditioned dispersal and growth of such groups over time. At the same time, this study offers new ethnographic information about the Me'en people and their subgroups, and about interethnic relations in this area of Omotic and Nilo-Saharan-speaking groups, illustrating past processes of migration and incorporation.

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