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Book chapter Book chapter Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Vicious cycles: ivory, slaves, and arms on the new Maji frontier
Author:Garretson, P.P.ISNI
Book title:The Southern marches of imperial Ethiopia: essays in history and social anthropology
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:political repression
urban history
Abstract:Two major themes are united in this chapter. The first is a depiction of Maji, a fortified town in the southwestern corner of the Ethiopian empire, as an imperial subcentre, a local provincial capital. From 1898 to 1936 Maji's effective hinterland extended well beyond the international border. It's influence appear to have reached out in a series of more or less concentric circles: 1) Dizi-speaking peoples immediately around Maji were transformed into 'gebbar' or serfs to support northern soldiers; 2) peoples farther afield were subjected to regular tribute collection through local chiefs; and 3) areas still farther away were connected with Maji through trade, raids, and poaching. The fate of all these zones was intertwined, for all were integrated into a single regional politicial economy focused on Maji. That is the second major theme; to show how the 'gebbar' system in combination with the arms, ivory, and slave trade centred in Maji interacted with politics in Addis Abeba. During the early 20th century, this interaction produced a pattern of ever-widening cycles of violence. Notes, ref. (p. 281-287).