Hallpike, C. R. (Christopher Robert). The status of craftsmen among the Konso of south-west Ethiopia

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Title: The status of craftsmen among the Konso of south-west Ethiopia

Published in: Africa -- Vol. 38, no. 3

Published By: Africa -- Vol. 38, no. 3 Oxford University Press. 1968. 258-269 p.

By line: C. R. Hallpike

HRAF Publication Information: New Haven, Conn.: HRAF, 2016. Computer File

Culture: Konso (MP17)

Subjects: Community structure (621); Occupational specialization (463); Ceramic technology (323); Smiths and their crafts (326); Work in skins (281); Clothing manufacture (294); Tillage (241); Real property (423); Social personality (156); Ethos (181); Avoidance and taboo (784); Community councils (623); Organized ceremonial (796); Social control (626); Ethics (577); Etiquette (576); Acculturation and culture contact (177);

Abstract: This article discusses the social status in traditional Konso society of a class of artisans, consisting of blacksmiths, weavers, potters, and tanners. It is proposed that the low status of these occupational groups has to do with longstanding and irreconcilable contradictions between craft-making and commodity exchange (believed to be foreign induced) and the value systems of a predominantly agricultural indigenous people. Artisans produce crafts individually and sell them at a price they want, while dominant Konso values demanded that one farms cooperatively and exchanges products among friends and family without assigning values. This has led to the marginalization of artisans into an endogamous, caste-like and landless group, subordinated to the dominant agriculturalist class.

Document Number: 1

Document ID: mp17-001

Document Type: Journal Article

Language: English

Note: Includes bibliographical references

Field Date: 1965-1967

Evaluation: Anthropologist-5

Analyst: Teferi Abate Adem

Coverage Date: 1965-1967

Coverage Place: Konso Special Woreda, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region, Ethiopia

LCSH: Konso (African people)

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