Religion and Everyday Life: Negede-Woyto Muslim Community of Bahir Dar Town, Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


Religion is one of the most significant components within the discipline of anthropology. The case of the Negede-Woyto community of Bahir Dar town was taken as an example to explain the relation between religion and everyday life. The study area was selected due to the fact that this community is considered as distinct from the rest of Amhara society; and due to the fact that the case of this community could be evident for the thematic research on everyday religion. The main objective of the study was to describe and analyze the religious behaviors and practices of this community so as to understand its relation with other everyday activities. The research was also intended to examine the relationship between this community and the surrounding Amhara society. In addition, explaining the mutual relationship between religion and other socio-cultural settings was also another objective of this study. In light of this, therefore, the study attempted to address questions like the religious identity and customary practices of the Negede-Woyto community as well as the relation between members of this community and the surrounding Amhara society. The main techniques of data collection used in this study were systematic observation, case study, interviews, and informal group discussions. In-depth interviews were conducted with key informants from the Negede-Woyto community and the neighboring Amhara society. The findings of the study indicate that the past socio-cultural activities of this community play an important role for the unpleasant relations that exist between members of this community and their Amhara neighbors. In addition, the non-pious behavior of the community is also dealt with in this study in line with Islamic religious experiences. As the findings of the study indicate, poverty and the tiresome nature of their economic activities have been given as main factors behind the non- pious behaviors of the Negede-Woyto community. In general, the religious identity of the community, the change and continuity of the religious behaviors and practices of the community, the attitude of the surrounding Amhara Muslims towards this community, and the main factors behind the religious performance of this community are incorporated within the study



Social Anthropology