Land Politics in the Ethiopian-Eritrean Border Area between Emperor Yoḥannǝs IV and Mǝnilǝk II

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Taddia, Irma (2012)
  • Publisher: Universität Hamburg, Hiob Ludolf Centre for Ethiopian Studies
  • Journal: Aethiopica (issn: 2194-4024)
  • Related identifiers: doi: 10.15460/aethiopica.12.1.94
  • Subject: Ethiopian Studies | History; Land Tenure; Colonialism; Imperial Ethiopia; Yohannes IV; Menilek II; Oral History; Manuscripts; Colonial Reports | ddc:960 | ddc:090 | ddc:630 | ddc:900

The complex issue of the land tenure system in 19th and 20th century Ethiopia–Eritrea has a tridimensional aspect that constitutes the basis of my reflection here: the native conception of land, the imperial Ethiopian policy and the colonial intervention. A correct evaluation of this interrelation can be properly understood by focusing on a corpus of integrated sources related to local written documentation, oral records and colonial reports. The control of the northern border by Emperors Yoḥannǝs and Mǝnilǝk created various historical problems and a debate focusing on independence and the maintenance of a political autonomy of the Märäb Mǝllaš. Land tenure system is the key factor for understanding the dynamic of power relations in the area at the eve of colonial rule.