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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Peasant Poetics and State Discourse in Ethiopia: Amharic Oral Poetry as a Response to the 1996-97 Land Redistribution Policy
Author:Gelaye, Getie
Year:1999
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Volume:6
Issue:1-2
Pages:171-206
Language:English
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:land reform
oral poetry
Ethiopian-Semitic languages
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Politics and Government
Agriculture, Natural Resources and the Environment
Education and Oral Traditions
External link:http://muse.jhu.edu/journals/northeast_african_studies/v006/6.1gelaye.pdf
Abstract:This article analyses the meaning of Amharic poems and songs composed, recited and sung by the peasants of East Gojjam, Ethiopia, in response to the land redistribution policy carried out in the Amhara National Regional State in 1996-1997. The reform policy categorized the peasants of the area into three groups, which resulted in suspicion, conflict and insecurity, both among the peasants themselves and between peasants and State representatives. In their poems and songs, the peasants of East Gojjam expressed their views, attitudes and feelings, either in the form of support or protest, toward the land redistribution policy and the various State policies and directives involved. The analysis shows that most of the poems were directed not only against the reform policy, but also against the local officials and State agents who supported the current government. The songs and poems were collected by the author during field research in two peasant communities in 1997-1998. The analysis of the context of the poems was supplemented by interviews and discussions on various social, cultural and religious occasions. Bibliogr., notes, ref.
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