Publisher: African Studies Association

Rethinking Property and Society In GondäRine Ethiopia

Habtamu Mengistie Tegegne
KEYWORDS: Rethinking Property and Society in Gondärine Ethiopia

ABSTRACT:

The historiographic question that this article asks is: How can historians uncover actual social and economic practices without imposing anachronistic standards and terminologies on the available evidence? The analysis focuses on the relationship between landlords and zégoch—a hitherto unrecognized and socially subservient class of peasants—in the context of social, economic, and cultural realities in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Ethiopia. The thesis is that during this period the Ethiopian ruling classes gained their power and income primarily from ownership of rim land—a form of private property—and the labor of zégoch.




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