Genealogies of craftmanship


CFEE Seminar Past and Present: History, Memory and Heritage

5ème séance / 5th session: Genealogies of craftmanship, par / by CHALACHEW  YEGIFNEH (Debre Berhan University) & Anne-Lise GOUJON (Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense)

Vendredi 25 mars 2016, 10h-12h, Université de Debre Berhan – Département d’histoire et de gestion du patrimoine / Friday 25 March 2016, 10 AM-12 PM, Debre Berhan University – Department of History and Heritage Management

Handicraft in Ethiopia with particular emphasis on the kingdom of Šäwa (17th-19thc), par / by CHALACHEW  YEGIFNEH

This presentation explores the history of handicraft and craftmanship technology in Ethiopia with particular emphasis on the kingdom of Šäwa (17th-19thc), where studies notably reveal the exceptional engagement of King Shale Selasse (r. 1813-1847) to create pre-industrial workshops in his kingdom. The presentation  attempts to answer the following questions: Why the kings of Šäwa favored craftsmanship despite the prejudice towards craftmen which was prevailing in Ethiopia in this period? What was the relation between this policy and the dynamics of agriculture and territorial expansion? This study is based on literature survey and fieldwork among craftmen – including observation and interviews.

Learning and transmission of ceramic skill:
Common process and variability among Woloyta, Oromo and Mbere, par / by Anne-Lise GOUJON

The mastery of skill implies a learning curve that falls within a
process both universal and individual, as it involves common motor
control parameters implemented within particular cultural contexts.
This will be discussed regarding the description of similarity and
variability of pottery learning and teaching process in three distinct
cultural groups: Oromo and Woloyta from Ethiopia, and Mbere from
Kenya, which aims at questioning upholding traditions and the definition of “being skilled”.
The two research projects in which this data has been collected will be introduced: “Diffceram” directed by Valentine Roux, and “Ceramics techniques and style transmission in the Ethiopian Rift Valley: An evolution vector” directed by Jessie Cauliez.

Les intervenants / The speakers

Chalachew Yegifneh est lecturer en histoire à l’Université de Debre Berhan, Département d’histoire et de gestion du patrimoine. Cette présentation est issue d’un mémoire de master consacré à l’histoire de l’artisanat au Šäwa. / Chalachew Yegifneh is a lecturer in history at Debre Berhan University, Department of History and Heritage Management. This presentation follows a Master’s thesis dedicated to the history of cratmanship.

Anne-Lise Goujon est doctorante en archéologie à l’Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense et chercheuse associée à l’Institut des études éthiopiennes de l’Université d’Addis-Abeba. Elle collabore à plusieurs projets en archéologie (mission Lalibela dirigée par Marie-Laure Derat, CNRS/IMAF, mission à Djibouti dirigée par Jessie Cauliez, CNRS/TRACES) et ethno-archéologie (mission en Ethiopie dirigée par Jessie Cauliez). / Anne-Lise Goujon is a PhD candidate in archaeology at Université Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense and an associate researcher at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University. She is involved in several research projects in archaeology (in Lalibela, a project coordinated by Marie-Laure Derat, CNRS/IMAF; in Djibouti, a project coordinated by Jessie Cauliez, CNRS/TRACES) and in ethnoarchaeology (in Ethiopia, a project coordinated by Jessie Cauliez).

Organisateurs du séminaire 2015-2016 / Convenors of the seminar series 2015-2016: Belete Bizuneh (AAU, History Dept.), Deresse Ayenachew (Debre Berhan University, History and Heritage Management Dept.), Thomas Guindeuil (CFEE), Margaux Herman (CFEE/IMAF), Kindeneh Endeg (AAU, IES), Shiferaw Bekele (AAU, History Dept.).

Photo: © T. Guindeuil

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