The perils of face. Essays on cultural contact, respect and self-esteem in southern Ethiopia
(Mainzer Beiträge zur Afrika-Forschung 10)
Berlin: Lit Verlag 2006
417 pp., Euro 29.90; ISBN 3-8258-6122-8
Keywords: cultural contact, contact, respect, self-esteem, identity, name and identity, "face", kinship, humiliation, pride, Guji-Oromo, Oromo, Gamo, Hor, widows, Mursi women, women

##At the end of the 19th century, southern Ethiopia was one of the last areas to experience the "Scramble for Africa", as Emperor Menelik II sent his armies south to conquer and incorporate this territory into his empire. For almost 100 years the peoples of Ethiopia had to live under the highly centralised rule of the Emperor and later that of the Marxist Dergue regime, but this changed in 1991, when a new constitution was proclaimed and all barriers of class, gender, ethnic affiliation, religion and place of birth were officially abolished. But how can such a transformation to a new social order be achieved? What are ist obstacles and what are ist prospects? To answer this question it is indispensable to know how the culturally different peoples of Ethiopia remember their past, and what conceptions they entertain of each other. The present essays try to address this issue.##