THE MAGIC OF THINGS: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON MATERIAL EXCHANGE IN A SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIAN TOURIST AREATHE MAGIC OF THINGS: AN ANTHROPOLOGICAL PERSPECTIVE ON MATERIAL EXCHANGE IN A SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIAN TOURIST AREAAA10626444
115 , 2015-06 , The Center for African Area Studies, Kyoto University
This article examines how members of the Mursi, a south Ethiopian agro–pastoral community, experience strange and alien materials and how such experiences help them to reflect on their own identity and personhood. I describe not only the "social life" of these alien objects but also discuss the meanings of these material substances in terms of local identity. As the social values of the objects were not constructed in the immediate frame of the exchange, such meanings developed and had to be monitored over time. I followed the circulation of these materials within and across groups and considered how they became personally and socially meaningful.