The Gamo hideworkers of southwestern Ethiopia and cross-cultural comparisons


en Anthropozoologica 43 (1) - Pages 67-98

Published on 27 June 2008

This article is a part of the thematic issue Hide processing: ethnoarcheological approaches

Hideworking was practiced prehistorically and historically in nearly every region of the world. Today hideworking is practiced using stone tools only in parts of North America, Siberia, and Ethiopia. This article reviews and explains the diversity in hideworking practices among the Gamo of southern Ethiopia, in particular focusing on the variation of the stone scrapers, handles, and use of space. The Gamo hideworking practices and materials are then compared to customs in other parts of the world. It is concluded that intra-cultural and cross-cultural material and practical homogeneity and diversity can only be explained through an understanding of localized histories in the their global contexts.


Hide production, scraper, handle, stone tools, Ethiopia.

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