The Bashada of Southern Ethiopia

ISBN 978-3-89645-825-4

The Bashada of Southern Ethiopia

A Study of Age, Gender and Social Discourse

Author: Susanne Epple. Series edited by: Thomas Bierschenk, Anna-Maria Brandstetter, Raimund Kastenholz, Matthias Krings, Carola Lentz.

Series: Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrikaforschung Volume 25

2010
291 pp.
1 map, 36 b/w photos, 5 diagrams, 1 genealogy, 3 tables, glossary, index
Text language(s): English
Format: 170 x 240 mm
610 g
Paperback
€ 39.80

Among the Bashada of Southern Ethiopia, individual misdeeds and wrong-doings are expected, especially when it comes from children and adolescents, as it is believed that misbehaviour is part of human nature. To prevent them from harming themselves and others, chil­dren, adolescents and adults have to be guarded, and guided, and also sanctioned by their age-mates and seniors. As unresolved con­flicts are believed to bring about misfortune and cause disasters such as warfare, sickness or droughts, disturbed social relations are usually mended through social sanctions.

In her research Susanne Epple examines the specific social roles individuals achieve or are ascribed to during their lives. She looks at the specific modes of communication used to articulate, confirm and strengthen social relations between chil­dren, adolescents, adults and elderly people of both sexes. In this context, she shows that the existing age-set organisation has an influence on all members of Bashada society.

While the relationships between adult men as members of the different age-sets are clearly defined and interaction between them follows certain rules, the relations among children, adolescents and women follow the principle of seniority in a more general way. Besides giving a close insight into Bashada lives, the author offers a new perspective on East African age-set societies.

In the same series, further social-anthropological studies on Ethiopian cultures have been published, see the following links:


Accompanying material:

Reviews

Among the Bashada of Southern Ethiopia, individual misdeeds and wrong-doings are expected, especially when it comes to children and adolescents, as it is believed that misbehaviour is part of human nature. To prevent them from harming themselves and others, children, adolescents and adults have to be guarded, and guided, and also sanctioned by their age-mates and seniors. As unresolved conflicts are believed to bring about misfortune and cause disasters such as warfare, sickness or droughts, disturbed social relations are usually mended through social sanctions. In her research Susanne Epple examines the specific social roles individuals achieve or are ascribed to during their lives. She looks at the specific modes of communication used to articulate, confirm and strengthen social relations between children, adolescents, adults and elderly people of both sexes. In this context, she shows that the existing age-set organisation has an influence on all members of Bashada society. While the relationships between adult men as members of the different age-sets are clearly defined and interaction between them follows certain rules, the relations among children, adolescents and women follow the principle of seniority in a more general way. Besides giving a close insight into Bashada lives, Epple offers a new perspective on East African age-set societies.

Ulrich Oberdiek in Anthropological Abstracts, IX/2014, pp. 90-91

The present publication obviously follows the tradition of the renowned anthropology department situated at the Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz with its focus on the many ethnic groups of Southern Ethiopia. The research focuses on the Bashada, and, the main attention of the publication is given to the age set formation of this group. Different to former anthropological researches, the author demonstrates the implications the naming of a certain age group has on the political structure or the ritualistic background of the ethnic group, and also its implications on daily interactions. [...] In general the study is very well researched, very well written, and very well theoretically grounded. Its detailed description of structures, its many and rich examples, and its deep analysis of the interconnection of day to day life, political and social life, as well as ritual life are extremely valuable for further researches. There are amazingly few mistakes in the English text and the index is a very useful tool to work with. I can only congratulate the author to the fine work of anthropological research.

Angela M. Müller in Aethiopica, 17/2014, pp. 293-295

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