Accepted Paper:

Process and effects of sedentarization among nomadic shifting cultivators: case from the Majangir, lowland Ethiopia  

Author:

Ren'ya Sato (Kyushu University)

Paper short abstract:

In this study, the process of sedentarization among shifting cultivators in lowland Ethiopia (the Majangir) is described to discuss how/why they accepted the sedentarization policy, as well as to examine how their life history/fertility, subsistence economy and worldview changed through/after sedentarization.

Paper long abstract:

In this study, the process of sedentarization among shifting cultivators in lowland Ethiopia (the Majangir) is described to discuss how/why they accepted the sedentarization policy, as well as to examine how their life history/fertility, subsistence economy and worldview changed through/after sedentarization.

The majangir live in the densely forested area of the Southwestern Ethiopia and have been engaged in shifting cultivation, honey collecting and hunting. The condition, under which the imperial regime could not keep social order in periphery and slave trade remained, constrained the Majanigr to live dispersedly in the forest and move frequently until the middle of 20th century. When the socialist regime (1974-1991) initiated sedentarization policy in the end of 1970s, however, they tied into making sedentary villages.

The younger generation in their twenties and thirties, who had become a believers of Christianity under the influence of foreign evangelical missionaries in 1960s, played an important role in the promotion of sedentarization. As a background of their positive commitment to sedentarization, their desire for peace must be noted. People had suffered from various kinds of social conflicts that often caused their nomadic settlement pattern many decades of years and welcomed stable governmental power, though the socialist regime ended a dozen of years after.

After they settled in sedentary villages, the life of them changed variously, though they continued shifting cultivation as a main subsistence. I mainly discuss their change from three dimensions: subsistence economy (including engagement in cash economy), life history (especially reproductive schedule and fertility) and worldview.

Panel P038
Sedentarization and concentration among nomadic peoples (Commission on Nomadic Peoples/NME panel)