Spices for thought: Salt, chili pepper, and slaves in Ethiopian Amharic proverbs

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Abstract

Even though slavery-related understandings are deeply embedded in the collective Ethiopian consciousness, they are seldom explicitly discussed. In the course of oral interviews carried out in rural northwestern Ethiopia with elderly men and women who still recall the practice of slavery, a rich corpus of Amharic proverbs related to this topic was collected. Focusing on a specifijic segment of this corpus, I invite the reader to visit Ethiopian folkloric crossroads of slaves and salt, spiced up with some hot chili pepper. These proverbs are revealed as a powerful channel to tap into generally submerged and rarely discussed local slavery-related perceptions.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)101-130
Number of pages30
JournalNortheast African Studies
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Cultural Studies
  • History

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