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Journal article

I am not evil': materializing identities of marginalized potters in Tigray Region, Ethiopia

English
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Taylor & Francis
Africa | Eastern Africa

This paper presents the first ethnoarchaeological study of stigmatised market pottery production in Tigray Region in northern highland Ethiopia. In Tigray the rural farm economy is based on ox-plough cereal farming, which frequently fails to produce a household's subsistence. Rural women are particularly vulnerable to extreme poverty and some turn to pottery making in order to survive. Their choice has consequences: social stigma, domestic conflict, and sometimes violence. The study presents preliminary evidence of how market potters' stigmatised identities are constituted and materialised in pottery fabrication practices, spatial contexts of production, and in the generation of rural political landscapes.

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