Nilo-Ethiopian Studies No.20 (2015)

Nilo-Ethiopian Studies No.20 (2015)


This study examines behavior changes pertaining to traditional medical practices as a result of health intervention and knowledge transmission by community health promoters in rural Amhara, with a specific focus on changes in people’s treatment-seeking behavior for the traditional folk illness known as “milk teeth diarrhea.” The extraction of milk teeth is a traditional treatment for this condition, and is considered in several publications to be one of numerous “harmful traditional practices (HTPs).” Interviews with people in villages and in the medical sector reveal that changes in treatment-seeking behavior for folk illness, ranging from consultations with traditional healers to treatment in modern medical facilities, are not necessarily led by changes in the folk classification of the illness. In the current cultural context, in which the Ethiopian government is promoting the abolishment of HTPs, the main drivers of change in health-seeking behaviors can be described in terms of the recommendation of modern medical treatments and the negation of traditional customs, two different processes that act simultaneously but are not always linked to each other. Thus, health-promotion programs should be sensitive to local, cultural, and actual circumstances when providing training to community health promoters in transitional periods from traditional to modern medicine.

Key words: folk illness, harmful traditional practices (HTPs), Amhara, health promotion, milk teeth diarrhea


In Europe, the US, and Japan, language is regarded as both a way of communication and a symbol of people’s solidarity. Recent conceptualizations of a deaf identity are based on the notion that people who are deaf are a linguistic minority who share one sign language as a common language. This contention, which is consistent with ideological multilingualism or multiculturalism, is important when reconsidering “hearing-impaired” or “deaf-and-dumb” frameworks from medical and social welfare perspectives. However, the idea of deaf people as a linguistic minority is not consensually accepted. This article explores the limitations of this idea, discussing cases of deaf children and hearing people in Kenya that involve mixed communication modes.

Keywords: communication, multilingualism, deaf children, sign language, Kenya


This report introduces archives and collections from six expeditions to Ethiopia between 1950 and 1971 at the Frobenius Institute, Germany. All of these expeditions focused mainly on southern Ethiopia. More than 90,000 pictures are available on the Frobenius Institute website. Most photographs and rock paintings were digitized from 2006 to 2009 with the financial support of the German Research Partnership (DFG). The majority are available for anyone to view and download at low resolution. The high-resolution images are also available upon request by email (detailed information on the five items required in the request is provided in this report). Despite the fact that the 16 mm film materials and Dr. Haberland’s legacy materials from his five expenditures to Ethiopia have not been released on the website, this report introduces a list of these items. A total of 1,171 objects from the Ethiopia expeditions are housed at the Institute, and 900 objects from two Ethiopia expeditions, in 1934-35 and 1954, at the World Cultures Museum (Weltkulturen Museum) in Frankfurt am Main. If you have the opportunity to visit Germany and wish to learn more about Ethiopia during the past century, please contact the researchers at the Frobenius Institute; you will be rewarded with a uniquely rich collection of materials.

Keywords: The Frobenius Institute, Leo Frobenius, Eike Haberland, South Ethiopia, Image archives

Reviewer, Shigeo Kikuchi
Rivalry between Religions and the State: Conflicts and Symbiosis of Religions in Ethiopia (Semegiau Sy1iky6 to Kokka: Ethiopia Kamigami no Sokoku to Kyosei). Minako Ishihara (ed.), Tokyo: Fukyosha Publishing Inc., 2014, pp. 436 (in Japanese).

Reviewer, Yukio Miyawaki
Modes of Construction and Preservation of History an1ong People without Writing Traditions: The Oral Chronicles of the Boorana, Southern Ethiopia (Mumoji Sbakai ni Okem Rekishi no Seisei to Kioku no Gibou: Koutou Nendaishi wo Keishou suru Etiop ia Nanbu Borana Sbakai). Chikagc Oba, pp. 463, Tokyo: Shimizukobundoshobo (in Japanese, English translation for thcoming in 2015).

Reviewer, Yoshimasa Ito
Million Ficldworker’s Series, Vol. 1: Entering the Field (100man-nin no f uirudo wahkah siriiz u: Fuirudo ni hairu). Wakana Shiino & Soichiro Shiraishi (eds.), Tokyo: Kokon-Shoin Publisher, 2014, pp. 242 (in Japanese).

Reviewer, Kyoko Nakamura
Anthropology of Nomadic Pastoralism and Sedentarization (Yuboku to Teiju no j inruigaku). Sun Xiaogang, Kyoto: Showado, 2012, pp. 196+viii (in Japanese).

Reviewer, Minako Ishihara
The Reality ofDiscrimination: Ethnography of the Kafa and the Manjo in Ethiopia (Dare ga Sahetsu wo Tsukunmoka: Ethiopia ni Ikiru Kaja to Manjo no Kankeishi). Sayuri Yoshida, Yokohama: Shunpudo, 2014, pp. 372 + xl (in Japanese)