Glynn Flood's Ethnographic Estate

Glynn Flood's Ethnographic Estate

Jean Lydall and Maknun Ashami
Camel with a woqo stick, Afar, Ethiopia, 1975
Camel with a woqo stick, Afar, Ethiopia, 1975

Over 40 years ago, while engaged in ethnographic fieldwork among the Afar nomads in the Awash Valley of Ethiopia, where large scale cotton plantations were being developed, Glynn Flood wrote a very perceptive and critical essay entitled: "Nomadism and its future: The Afar". The essay was published in January 1975 in the RAINews. In a reply to A.F. Robertson's reaction to his essay, Glynn wrote: "Most of my argument was intended to convey a criticism of a certain type of development: but here my point would be that even within the terms of that type of development [neo-classical], the eradication of Afar culture is possibly undesirable." Tragically, Glynn lost his life in June 1975, when a military confrontation between the then new socialist government of Ethiopia and the Afar took place. Glynn's ethnographic estate is now archived at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale, and a corresponding volume, presenting excerpts from Glynn's journals and field notes, is being produced by Maknun Ashami, Jean Lydall and Michèle Flood for the Field Notes and Research Projects (Series) of the Department ‘Integration and Conflict’ at the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology. This volume will allow scholars to follow Glynn's scrutiny of "development" in the Afar case, as well being useful for teaching fieldwork methodology, and providing invaluable data for the analysis of Afar nomadism, an understanding of which would play a decisive role in Afar lands of the future.

 
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