Nilo-Ethiopian Studies vol.11 (2007)

Nilo-Ethiopian Studies No.11 (2007)

Nilo-Ethiopian Studiesの1993年〜2003年の号については、JST(科学技術振興機構)のJournal@rchiveにても公開されています。
JST Journal@rchive


In this paper, I describe pottery making by examining fine finger movements, with a focus on both shared finger movements common among potters and on unique pot-forming procedures developed by each maker. I regard Ari pottery making as a community-based technology (CBT) that creates commodities necessary for people’s basic daily needs, and consider how pottery makers create new sizes and shapes of pots based on two-way relationships between users’ demands and makers’ trials and errors. I describe the pot-forming process by (1) analyzing the fine movement of potters’ hands and fingers, (2) identifying each maker’s pot-formation processes, and, (3) analyzing the process of creating new shapes by focusing on relationships between makers and users.
Observations and analysis revealed four main characteristics. First, I found that Ari pottery makers exhibit 20 patterns of common finger movements and follow four stages in making pots. Second, observations focused on finger movement patterns showed that each maker develops a different procedure to form pots. Variations in pottery making are related to the weight and thickness of each pot and the customer’s evaluation of the durability of the pots. Third, each potter follows her own procedure in forming pots. Fmally, potters may invent new finger movement patterns (FMPs) to create new sizes and shapes for pots to accommodate orders by preferred customers (jaala). Pottery making in the Ari area is one aspect of Ari society, and potters have developed their pottery making techniques on the basis of social relationships.

Keywords: Ari, Ethiopia, finger movement patterns, pottery making, unit of process


Since France colonized the Republic of Djibouti in the 19’11 century, nomads have formed settlements in the area, concentrated on the outskirts of Djibouti City. The Balbala District is one of the biggest such settlements, which today is largely made up of slum quarters. To stem the expansion of slums, the government has resorted mainly to “lotissement,” or the creation of land allotments for settled nomads. However, this strategy has had only limited success, because it was designed from the viewpoint of the administration and disregarded the nomadic notion of the living environment. Here, we assessed the adequacy of this method of land use and clarify its cw-rent status. We conclude that to better manage slums in this district, it is necessary to consider the settled nomads’ viewpoint of land use.

Key words: slum, land use, nomad settlement, Is sa, Afar


The aim of this paper is to highlight and analyze my anthropological filmmaking practice based on long-term participant observation of two different itinerant musical groups in northern Ethiopia: Azmari and Lalibalocc. I produced two different films on both groups: Kids got a Song to Sing (2006) and Lalibalocc-Living in the Endless Blessing (2005). These films were shown at academic seminars, conferences, lectures, and film festivals. The films I have produced take a slightly different viewpoint from that of most ethnographic films, which do not engage the subjects and are filmed in a detached manner, as if from a distance. They also differ from problem-and-solution-oriented documentary films that advocate specific social change or convey strong messages to the audience. Rather, the films attempt to capture the lives of people as they communicate and collaborate with the researcher/filmmaker. This method questions the binary opposition of researcher and informant. I consider the interactions between myself as an anthropological researcher with a video camera and the people of my films to be the fundamental aspect of the reality in an anthropological filmmaking context. The first part of this paper introduces the Azmari and Lalibalocc people, including their geographical, social, and historical background. Then I argue and clarify my position on filmmaking regarding certain key concepts of how to approach subjects.

Keywords: Gondar, Azmari and La.libalocc, anthropological filmmaking dealing with intimacy

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