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The Afar and the Twa. By Trevor Lewis. The Afar. Also Known as the Danakil, the Denakil (Arabic), and the Adal (Amharic). An Afar woman. Image 1. Geography. Mainly inhabit the Afar Triangle (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti) Pop. 800,000. Map of Ethiopia and Surrounding Area. Image 2.

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the afar and the twa

The Afar and the Twa

By Trevor Lewis

the afar

The Afar

Also Known as the Danakil, the Denakil (Arabic), and the Adal (Amharic)

An Afar woman. Image 1

geography
Geography
  • Mainly inhabit the Afar Triangle (Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti)
  • Pop. 800,000

Map of Ethiopia and Surrounding Area. Image 2

history
History
  • Language = Saho
  • Ancestors were settled farmers but became nomadic
  • Afar Liberation Front (1975)
  • Clashes between Afar and Somalis in Djibouti

Afar Region of Ethiopia. Image 3

social
Social
  • Family-based clans
  • Patrilineal
  • Asaimara (the “reds”) vs. Adoimara (the “whites”)
  • Circumcision on boys and girls

Afar nomads in Ethiopia. Image 4

way of life
Way of Life
  • Some moved to Addis and Djibouti but most are nomadic pastoralists in desert
  • Move from water hole to water hole
  • Dry season  camp along banks of River Awash
  • End of dry season  food is scarce so many go to Asayita
way of life7
Way of Life
  • House  “ari”, made of flexible sticks and mats
  • Women  look after camp, build houses and beds, keep camp clean and take care of children

Afar woman next to Ari. Image 5

economy
Economy
  • Tend goats, sheep and cattle
  • Milk and hides  vegetables and grain
  • Also sell salt
  • Main markets in Sebete and Bati (Ethiopia)

Afar Market in Asayita. Image 6

politics
Politics
  • Used to be divided into sultanates, each made up of several villages and led by a “dardar”
  • Age-set societies
  • Laws  adultery, murder
religion
Religion
  • Converted to Islam by Arabs in 10th Century
  • Modified religion to fit own culture and own religion (based on Sky-god)
  • Non-orthodox, most practice traditional religion
clothing
Clothing
  • “sanafil” – men and women, cloth tied around waist
  • “harayto” – men
  • “jile” – men, long curved dagger

Afar Men. Image 7

slide12
Art
  • Afar culture is traditionally oral-based so there are few paintings and artifacts
  • Traditional crafts include: engraving daggers and knives, copperwork, silverwork, wood-carving, and jewelry making (especially necklaces)
the twa

The Twa

Also known as Batwa

Image 8

geography14
Geography
  • Semi-nomadic group, mainly in the forests of Rwanda, Burundi, eastern DRC, and Uganda
  • Pop. 82,000 – 126,000

Rwanda, Burundi, Uganda and the DRC. Image 9

history15
History
  • Pygmy group – average height of 1.5 meters (5 feet)
  • Arrived in area around 70,000 BC (original inhabitants)
  • Hutus thought Twa were magic
  • Incorporated into Hutu and Tutsi society as storytellers, dancers, musicians, spies, executioners, and guardians of the sacred fire
  • Hurt when Germans destroyed court system

The American is 5’6”. Image 10

social16
Social
  • 2 groups – in forest and out of forest
  • Bands of 7-30 households
  • Based on cooperation, sharing, and equality
  • People move freely between groups

Twa Community. Image 11

economic
Economic
  • Work as day laborers on farms, basket makers and trackers for military and safaris
  • Famous as potters  market ruined by plastic and metal containers

Twa woman making a pot. Image 12

religion18
Religion
  • Believe that forest is a living being that should be respected
  • All groups have healers
  • Belief in charms  “ingondo”

Image 13

slide19
Art
  • Famous for songs and dance
  • Performed in Tutsi and Hutu court in pre-colonial times
  • Many form traveling dancing troupes

Twa community dancing. Image 14

politics20
Politics
  • Often use local townspeople as intermediaries with government
  • Politically marginalized and discriminated against
  • organizations to increase political powers (1990’s)
    • Association pour le Promotion des Batwa (APB)
problems
Problems
  • Genocide
  • Segregation and discrimination
  • Deforestation
  • Conservation Laws
  • Because of these, over 70% of Twa have had to resort to begging and working on others land

Twa in Eastern DRC. Image 15

image bibliography
Image Bibliography
  • “Conceptualizing Public Anthropology.” Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.publicanthropology.org/Defining/definingpa.htm>
  • “Ethiopia.” The World Factbook. 10 Jan. 2006. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.cia.gov/cia/publications/factbook/geos/et.html>
  • “Afar Region.” Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. 27 Feb. 2006. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Afar_(region)>
  • "Afar." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 8  Mar.  2006 <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9003906>.
  • “Eritrea.be.” Mar. 7, 2006 <http://home.planet.nl/~hans.mebrat/eritrea-dankalia.htm>
  • “English and Literacy.” 11 Sept. 2003. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.sln.org.uk/english/KS3,%204,%205%20pages/Elizabeth%20Laird.htm>
  • “Images from Ethiopia.” Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.africa.upenn.edu/Ethiopia_GIFS/menu_Ethio.html>
image bibliography 2
Image Bibliography 2

8. “Actiereactie.” Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.actiereactie.com/Batwa.html>

9. “MAP – DRC, BURUNDI, RWANDA and UGANDA.” IrinNews.org. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.irinnews.org/webspecials/kabila/drc_rwa_bur_uga.asp>

10. “Batwa.” Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.calacademy.org/research/herpetology/frogs/frogsimp/batwa.htm>

11. “Drum.” Mar. 7, 2006 <edirisa.org/batwa/>

12. “Working for peace in Burundi.” Mar. 7, 2006 www.mcc.org/gallery/ 05_05/photo_12.html

13. “Fotografia.” Mar. 8, 2006 <www.latarnik.pl/ read.php?id=657>

14. “Working for peace in Burundi.” Mar. 7, 2006 www.mcc.org/gallery/ 05_05/photo_12.html

15. “Photo Gallery – Projects.” The Rainforest Foundation. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.rainforestfoundationuk.org/s-Project%20Photos?page=9&photo=301&index=71>

bibliography
Bibliography
  • “Afar.” Africana. Ed. Kwame Appiah and Henry Gates, 1999.
  • “Afar.” Encyclopedia of African Peoples. London: The Diagram Group, 2000.
  • "Afar." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 5  Mar.  2006 <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9003906>.
  • “Central Africa: Nowhere to go; land loss and cultural degradation. The Twa of the Great Lakes.” Mar. 7 2006 <http://www.wrm.org.uy/bulletin/87/CentralAfrica.html>
  • Cutter, Charles. Africa 2005. 40th ed. Harpers Ferry, WV: Stryker-Post Publications, 2005.
  • “Djibuti, Republic of.” Grove Art Online. Mar. 7, 2006 <http://www.groveart.com/shared/views/article.html?from=search&session_search_id=603306567&hitnum=1&section=art.023008&authstatuscode=202>
  • “Mbuti, Twa and Mbenga.” Encyclopedia of African Peoples. London: The Diagram Group, 2000.
  • “Rwanda’s hidden tribe.” 1998. Mar. 5, 2006 <http://www.survival-international.org/pdf/twabg.pdf>
  • “The Ba’Twa.” Mar. 5, 2006. <http://www.gng.org/rwanda/hfiles/batwa.html>
  • “Twa.” Africana. Ed. Kwame Appiah and Henry Gates, 1999.
  • "Twa." Encyclopædia Britannica. 2006. Encyclopædia Britannica Online School Edition. 8  Mar.  2006 <http://school.eb.com/eb/article-9073927>.
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