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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Tying Oromo history: the manipulation of dress and adornment during the late nineteenth century
Author:Klemm, Peri M.ISNI
Periodical:The journal of Oromo studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:female dress
colonial conquest
Abstract:Identifying the markers Afran Qallo Oromo women carry, interpreting these choices, and explaining how these markers relate historically to a specific adversarial association with Abyssinians, is this focus of this article. The fiber and leather bindings which Afran Qallo Oromo women use served as markers of war and proper action during the conquest and colonization of their homeland near the city-State of Harer under Menilek, King of Shawa, in the late 1880s. Oromo women's dress and what women wore, specifically men's 'harrii', a fiber belt, in place of women's 'sabbata' (cloth waist sash), and 'maadiicha', a leather tie, signalled the displacement, enslavement, and bloodshed experienced by the Afran Qallo community and became symbols of the social, political and economic crisis brought about by the Abyssinian invasion. The tying of dress on to the body is a deliberate act intended to secure the ideology of war on the body, to prepare and protect it from danger, or to alert others to one's intent. The fact that certain dress types, like 'maadiicha', have survived the incorporation of Harer into the empire of Ethiopia suggests that a woman's decorated body serves as a vehicle through which the past can be selectively invoked, particularly at moments of crisis when identity is threatened. Bibliogr., notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]