Nilo-Ethiopian Studies No.17 (2012)
- Open Firing Techniques as Community-based Technology: The Case of the Ari Pottery Making in Southwestern Ethiopia
The objective is to redefine the overall practice of pottery making by Ari potters as one of their community-based technologies. In comparison with the firing method of Japanese kiln firing, Ari’s open firing was at first expected to cause an explosion or cracking of pots due to its abrupt rise of temperature. However, experiments on the ratio of contraction and water absorption of clay showed that they prevent the pots from exploding, even when the temperature of open-firing drastically goes up, by mixing plenty of ground-up broken pots with clay. They have achieved an effective way of making durable pots with minimum time and resources. In the analysis of Ari vocabularies for evaluating the traits of pots all through the process, specific folk categories, which were malki and aani, in evaluating the durability and quality were common to both makers and users. In addition, Ari potters explain the situation when pots are broken during open firing by using aani expression. Ari pottery making as a community-based technology was redefined that was influenced by the evaluation and social behavior are based on the various relationships, which are human-material relationships for making and classifying pots and human-human relationships for exchanging pots.
Keywords: Open firing, community-based technology, pots, Ari, southwestern Ethiopia
The Karimojong have two genres of songs: eete and emong. Emong is a kind of song that individuals other than the composer refrain from singing in public; these songs mention specific castrated animals owned and herded by the composer/singer. A consciousness grounded in the ideology ofidentification with a castrated animal has had a profound effect on the structural features of this creative endeavor. Nevertheless, references to oxen constitute only a small portion of the lyrics of these songs, which describe the life-worlds of singers as they engage in the daily subsistence activities of pastoralism. This paper describes gender divisions of the singing situation characterizing emong and eete songs as well as the ‘empirical’ features of emong and examines: (1) how singing emong enables the singer to satisfy personal needs; (2) how visual images of animal coats function as a metaphoric source; and (3) how visual experiences, the sources of the poetic imagination, are transformed into auditory illusions through the manipulation of color and visual perception.
Keywords: Eastern Nilotic pastoral people, imagination, memory, ox songs, visual perception
- Selection of Principal Starchy Food in a Livelihood System Based on Bananas: The Formation of Food Culture in Buganda, Central Uganda
In part of the Great Lakes Region of East Mrica, people make their livelihoods by intensively using bananas as a principal starchy food (PSF) as well as a wide variety of other crops. This study examines the selection of the PSF in terms of the cropping patterns and the food-use system among the Ganda people of Central Uganda. Data on their crops suggest that combining production of bananas and other crops is essential for a stable food supply. The ecological characteristics of bananas and the decisions of each household have great influence on cropping patterns. Regarding food use, descriptions reveal that delicate techniques and sensibilities in preparing banana meals are remarkably developed and are also applied to other crops. In this way, an analysis of neither a framework of people’s adaptations to external conditions nor one of food preferences is adequate to understand the complex people-nature relation in a study of food culture. Rather, it is crucial to use both frameworks in understanding the formation of food culture.
Keywords: agriculture, banana, food culture, Ganda, principal starchy food (PSF), Uganda