Some Aspects of Social Organization and Indigenous Resource Management Practices in Awi Zone, Amhara National Regional State (ANRS), Northwest Ethiopia

Ayenew Mammo Seyoum


The people of Awi have succeeded in preserving their age-old traditions that are handed down from generation to generation. Traditional social organizations and labor exchanging forms, aimed at mutual aid and close cooperation either in pleasure or grief are among the many traditions. In Awi farm land and soil fertility management systems employ three major types of strategies in order to manage the organic matter and chemical fertility of the cultivated soils: Mixed cropping rotational cropping and indigenous organic practices. Irrigation is the artificial application of water to soil for the purpose of crop production. The major purpose of this paper is, therefore, to bring out the traditional social organizations and labor exchanging forms that have been practiced in Awi. It also attempts to assess and analyze the indigenous soil fertility management systems as well as the indigenous managements of river waters for irrigation. In the course of the study, I have depended mainly on primary and secondary sources, as well as oral informants, and archival materials. For archives, I have used Debre Markos University Archive Center, Addis Ababa National Archives and Library Agency, Institute of Ethiopian Studies of Addis Ababa University and Awi Zone Agriculture Office. Indeed, gathering oral information from knowledgeable individuals   through interviews was another important source data for the research. The interview was effectively addressed by qualitative approach through purposive sampling method. In the interview semi structured interview questions were designed for acquiring valuable information about the study. The age and the ability to remember the past events and the level of participation in the local affairs were given emphasis for the selection of informants. The data which I collected from oral sources were crosschecked with archival and secondary sources before interpretation. Thus, the consideration of the land tenure system and the social structure as well as taxation system in Agaw Meder (presently Awi Zone) helps to study and investigate not only the study area  but also to comprehend other areas regarding the issue.

Keywords: Indigenous Resource Management, Wubiri, Wonfel, Soil-fertility, Irrigation

DOI: 10.7176/JCSD/56-04

Publication date: February 29th 2020

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