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|Title:||MAKING AND UNMAKING OF THE NATION-STATE AND ETHNICITY IN MODERN ETHIOPIA: A STUDY ON THE HISTORY OF THE SILTE PEOPLE|
|Publisher:||The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University|
|Journal title:||African study monographs. Supplementary issue.|
|Abstract:||This paper attempts to explain some aspects of the shifting relationship between the state system and ethnicity in modern Ethiopia through a study of the history of the Silte people. Traditionally, the Silte are a Muslim people sharing perceived genealogical ties. In the early 20th century, the people started to engage in coffee trading between Sidama and Addis Abeba. It was when their trade activity was caught up in the realm of state polity that they obtained the identity of the Gurage, an ethnic group that played a significant role in the national economy. At the turn of the century, the people engaged in the politics of identity under the federal system introduced by EPRDF, the ruling party of Ethiopia. Again, it was when the movement was captured by party ideology that Silte Nationality was firmly established. Ethnic identity is often created in the divergence between people's activities to make their own living and the state ideology. The endeavor empowering ethnicity in such a context often places the people in a dilemma – they are compelled to choose to practice the state ideology in a faithful manner or to remain in the "wilderness" of local conflict over resources and identity.|
|Appears in Collections:||29 (Environment, Livelihood and Local Praxis in Asia and Africa)|
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