Faculty Publications


Material entanglements: Gender, ritual, and politics among the Borada of southern Ethiopia.

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

Kathryn Weedman Arthur

Document Type


Publication Date


Date Issued

January 2013

Date Available

August 2014




Women's status, knowledge, and artisan technologies among the Borada of southern Ethiopia have transformed significantly in the last 100 years. In their indigenous religion, many Borada artisans and farmers mediated change through rites of passage to achieve different statuses in society. Subsequently, an individual's (artisan and farmer) action fields and boundaries in the community and household were dependent on their status, including gender. Furthermore, many Borada believed that as they produced material culture such as iron works, ceramics, stone tools, houses, and food, that these objects also transitioned through rites of passage stages. Like a Borada human being, the stage/status of material culture was indicated by its location in the region, community, and household. This paper will review Borada indigenous perspectives concerning gender and material culture production and how their world view transformed with the introduction of global religions and with the impact of national politics through examining women's life histories.


Abstract only. Full-text article is available only through licensed access provided by the publisher. Published in African Study Monographs Suppl., 46, 53-80.




Kyoto University, Center for African Studies

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Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.