African Journal of
History and Culture

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Hist. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6672
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJHC
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 197

Article in Press

The Nature and Contribution of Women’s Indigenous Knowledge of Handicraft: The Case of East Gojjam Zone, Northwestern Ethiopia

Alemu Alene Kebede and Ayenew Fenta Alem

  •  Received: 21 April 2021
  •  Accepted: 07 June 2021
Adequate research is not undertaken on women’s indigenous knowledge (IK) of handicraft. Therefore, this research is aimed at considering the nature and contribution of women’s indigenous knowledge of handicraft in the life of rural and urban community in the case of East Gojjam Zone, Northwestern Ethiopia. It was undertaken based on descriptive design and qualitative approach. Hence, purposive and snowball /non-probability/ sampling techniques were employed to select the study sites and participants of the research. In-depth interviews, focus group discussions, field observations and document analysis were used as instruments of data collection. The finding of this research revealed that women play significant role in the life of rural and urban communities by providing various types of handicraft outputs which are useful especially for household utility. Major implementation areas of women’s indigenous knowledge of handicraft in the study area are spinning, pottery making, wicker work and covering with leather, which are processed with the use of various kinds of local inputs and tools, and they also pass through various stages to produce various outputs. Women’s IK of handicraft outputs has contributions to the community in various aspects. They are contributing a lot as source of income, as means of livelihood, as sources of house utilities, and for preserving local culture. However, the processing of the outputs of women’s IK of handicraft is undertaken all in all with the use of traditional wisdom and traditional local hand tools, which has an impact on the productivity of the sector. Therefore, this women’s indigenous handicraft processing system shall be augmented by scientific knowledge (with training) and modern tools.

Keywords: Women, Indigenous knowledge, Handicraft, East Gojjam