Socio Cultural Integration and Cultural Diffusion between Amhara Resettlers and the Host community: the Case of Zefine Menuka, Gamo Gofa zone

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Addis Ababa University


This study was conducted on the socio-cultural integration of missionary sponsored voluntary resettler Amhara people from northern Ethiopia: Gondar, Wollo, Shewa and Gojjam with the host Gamo society in Zefine-Menuka. The resettler moved to Zefine-Menuka kebele, Boreda Wereda, Gamo Gofa zone, SNNPR regional state, Ethiopia in the late 1960s in two journey of the resettlement. In this study, a qualitative research method was used. Data were collected through observations, FGD, in-depth interview with key informants, oral history interview, case study, and informal interviews. The primary as well as the secondary data was used to uncover the context of the situation in the study area. Informants were selected by purposive and snowball sampling methods and data presentation and analysis were carried out in narratives. The data showed that, although the resettler have been living in the study area for over 46 years, their socio-cultural integration with the host society is not strong as per the year they live together. The diffusion of culture from the host to the resettler and vice versa was not extensive. However, interaction and relationship in the market, work places (farm), aesthetic sport activities (such as football games, and volleyball), church, and peasant association created a favorable situation for the development of integration between the Amhara resettlers and the host Gamo and Wolayta society. The existence of intermarriage (although unidirectional and very few), proficiency in language, relationship in different religious and social ties such as God parenting, eye parenting, Zikir and etc. were possible situations that showed the existence of integration among the people. Exchange of cultural attributes such as religious beliefs, farming methods, different tools and equipment, values, and norms in different social and cultural setting were observed in their long term integration. Because of the integration and exchange (diffusion) of different material and non-material traits of culture, observable changes happened in the socio-cultural practices of the resettler society compared either with their past trend and/ or with their homeland socio-cultural practices. In conclusion, it was observed that the isolated pattern of residence settlements, large size of the resettler population, resettlers’ trend of tending to keep themselves away from the host society, and cultural differences are the barriers for the strong and deep integration and diffusion (exchange) of cultures between the resettler and host society in the study area



Social Anthropology