The Political Economy of Harari-Oromo relationships. (1554-1975)

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Author : Waldron , S.

Year : 1981

Since the basic premise of this discussion is that ethnicity and ethnicrelations are variables which respond through time in accordance to a more basicpoTitical-economic infrastructure, it would be misleading of me to approach mytopic here as a study of how the Harari urban minority survived in the face ofthe overwhelming numberica l superiority of the surrounding Oromo. Rather I amconcerned with the forces and influences which shaped this relationship and—-perhaps more importantly—which shaped the experiences of these two neighboringpopulations of the southeastern periphery of the Ethiopian Empire.My earlier analyses of Harari-Oromo interrelationships were reasonablyadequate presentations of a system of ethnic stratification which I abstractedĞrduring fieldwork done from 1962-64 (Waldron. 1974:260-299; 1980:249-256). Their•purpose was to discuss the means by which the Harari townsmen had adhered tothei'" ethnic identity white engaging in daily contacts with other ethnic groups.Beyond that, my basic problem could be described as that of reporting thesocial morphology of Harari social institutions and their intricate influencesin ordering the daily life of the people of the city of Hara'r. At the timeof fieldwork, the Harari dominated the landholding in the region immediatelysurrounding the city.

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