The Lost Clans (CFEE seminar)

SEMINAR

The Lost Clans?
Poetic and Politics of the Kunama in Northern Ethiopia

Friday 8th October, 2 PM

French Center for Ethiopian Studies, Berhanu Abebe Library

 

By Mitiku Gabrehiwot Tesfaye

The Kunama, a minority ethnic group lives in small scattered communities of the Ethio-Eritrean border. They are the northernmost Nilotic people with the earliest cultural contact with the Semitic people of northern Ethiopia. The Abyssinia rulers struggled to established dominance in the Kunama land despite occasional raids for slaves and resources (González-Ruibal, 2014, p. 60; Williams, 1884). This marginal land was ignored in major political and cultural studies; until the arrival of Italians in Eritrea in the 1870s (Reid, 2007, p. 245).

Mitiku’s Ph.D. research focuses on the Kunama people who are on the Ethiopian side of the border. The 6000 Kunama people of Ethiopia live right at the Ethiopian-Eritrean border along the Bademe corridor. The Bademe corridor is one of the most contested and insecure places in all of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border (Abbink & Studiecentrum, 2003). All of the major conflicts and wars between Ethiopia and Eritrea directly involved the Kunama.

Mitiku is an Associate Professor of Social Anthropology at Mekelle University. He is currently working on the religious and cultural identity of the Kunama of Ethiopia, specifically, the socio-cultural and political representation. The place of the Kunama people in the current social, cultural and political realities in a changing political landscape is not known.

Kunama house © Mitiku Gabrehiwot

This Anthropology seminar will be held

on Friday 8th October, 2 PM,

at French Center for Ethiopian Studies,

Berhanu Abebe Library.

 

 


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