Documentation of house construction and terrace farming in Zargulla, an endangered Omotic language


Documentation of house construction and terrace farming in Zargulla, an endangered Omotic language

Language: Zargulla (ISO639-3:zay)
Depositor: Azeb Amha
Location: Ethiopia
Deposit Id: 0447
Grant id: MDP0359
Funding body: ELDP
Level: Deposit


Summary of deposit
Zargulla (zay) is an endangered Omotic language spoken by c.a. 8000 speakers in south-west Ethiopia (62.60N 37.19E). Some Zargulla villages are characterized by terrace-farming and clusters of houses commemorating the dead in the higher parts of valleys, and residential areas in foothills and plateaus. The project will produce a linguistic and ethnographic documentation of this parallel and interactive spatial complex of farming and dwelling, which is endangered by socio-cultural changes. Its primary goal is to produce a multi-media digital corpus and a thematic dictionary on house-construction and terrace-farming, and, using these outputs, to study the grammar of space in Zargulla.

Zargulla belongs to the East Ometo branch of the Omotoc language family together with Zayse, Haro, Koorete and Kachama. Zargulla and Zayse are are the closest and they are regarded as dialects of the same language.

Zargulla is spoken in the Bonke District of the Gamo-Gofa Zone, in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Regional State of Ethiopia. Zargulla is the name by which the language is known in linguistic research and in some official documents in Ethiopia, e.g. in the 1994 national census report. The speakers identify themselves as Gamo and their language as Gamotso. They use 'Zargulla' to refer to the area where they live.

Group represented
The material in the deposit are contributions from a number of Zargulla speakers from six villages: Zaaga, Koiramukkula, Koshalle, ɗimalle, Fuuddale and Kettele.

Special characteristics
The collection has three parts:
  1. It contains children’s stories, jokes and personal histories of some individuals. These texts are collected by the principal investigator during 2004-2007 as part of an NWO funded project.
  2. It contains video and audio material on house construction and terrace-farming resulting from the ELDP-supported project Placing the dead and nurturing the living: documentation of house construction and terrace farming in Zargulla, an endangered Omotic language.
  3. The deposit also includes photos and annotated ELAN files of audio and video recordings.


Deposit history
The data was collected by Azeb Amha, linguist and principal investigator and community members.

The collection deposited include annotated audio and video documentation of activities, conversations and narratives on house construction and terrace farming. It includes annotated text in ELAN, lexical data-base and photos.

The picture at the top of this deposit page shows a hill in Fuudale kebele-adminsitration area with commemorative houses and farm-fields.

The deposit contains data that are collected in three field work visits during 2004-2007 as part of a project supported by the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO).

In the ELDP-prject multimedia material are collected in January, February and March 2016, 2017 and 2018.


Acknowledgement and citation
Users of any part of the collection should acknowledge Azeb Amha as the principal investigator and the names of community members who helped in the collection and analysis of data. Users should also acknowledge the Endangered Languages Documentation Programme as the funder of the project. For data collected during 2004 and 2007, users should acknowledge the Netherlands Science Foundation (NWO). Individual speakers whose words and/or images are used should be acknowledged by name. Any other contributor who has collected, transcribed or translated the data or was involved in any other way should be acknowledged by name. All information on contributors is available in the metadata. Please make sure to include the following when using data from this deposit:

Azeb Amha. [year]. Placing the dead and nurturing the living: documentation of house-construction and terrace farming in Zargulla, an endangered Omotic language. London: SOAS, Endangered Languages Archive. URL: [insert link here]. Accessed on [insert date here].

Status

Collection online
Resources online and curated

Depositor

Azeb Amha
Responsive image
Affiliation: African Studies Centre Leiden (ASCL), Leiden University

Deposit Statistics

Data from 2019 June 26 to 2019 June 26
Deposit hits:1
Downloaded files
Without statistics


Showing 1 - 10 of 151 Items


Abbaynesh tells about cultivation of ensete: how it is planted and the long process involved in preparing the ripe ensete plant for food material. She tells how the product is sold in the market and how much one can earn from it. She also tells how this material is used to make bread, porridge or various other dishes, some of which she says are important for children, others for women in maternity. Abboye and Asmelash raise various questions to which Abbaynesh gives elaborate answers. Half-way in the recording Abbaynesh demonstrates the way the fibre of ensete is scrapped from the bark. She shows the tools she uses for the work and tells their names. She shows 64 new off-shots (ziɗó) that sprout from an old ensete root which she planted. She tells how these tiny plants are then extracted with care and replanted one by one near the house to be rooted out again when they are strong and planted further back in the backyard. While Azeb (researcher) made the video recording, Asmelash (research assistant) made audio-recording using Zoom4H. The recordings are done in the backyard of Abbaynesh and Mr Ayyano, her husband. The latter's occasional comments, corrections etc. can be heard in the current recorded interview with Abbaynesh

Recorded on: 2017-04-06




Mrs Asalafech answers questions from Asmelash Michael about her garden and how she keeps it. She shows 7uuts (Ensete ventricosum) and shenkora (sugar cane) plants in the garde.

Recorded on: 2018-07-15




In the start of the recording Abbaynesh shows how she protects the new ensete sprouts. Then Ayyano tells about maize and kidney beans that he had planted side by side explaining that these two plants strength each other. He further talks about the drought that was ongoing during the fieldwork period (April 2017), showing his maize plants that have died and the rest that are not as strong as they should be. Video and audio recording of the session were done simultaneously: Azeb (researcher) made the video recording, while Asmelash (research assistant) made audio-recording usig Zoom4H. The audio and video files are annotated and deposited separately.

Recorded on: 2017-04-06




This short recording is interesting for examples of negative expressions. In the back-garden of Mrs. Abbaynesh and Mr Ayyano, Abbaynesh tells that there is no dolo (taro plant) to show us. Her husband makes various suggestions to try and find the plant to show to the researcher but she responds, given that the plant prefers wet-land around rivers, it cannot be cultivated in their farm. The recording is made by Azeb Amha in the compound of the hosts, Abbaynesh and Ayyano, in the presence of Abboye, Asmelash and the children of the hosts.

Recorded on: 2017-04-06




The session is a continuation the session Asnakech_V_1. The present session documents a conversation between Ms. Asnaketch Ayssa, research assistant Mr Asmelash Michael and researcher Azeb Amha about the construction of the house of Ms Asnakech where the recording is made. Ms Asnkech tells about the challenges in completing the construction. One of her daughters and two sons as well as research assistant Aynalem Tariku and his nephew were present during the recording but they did not intervene in the conversation. Also some visitors joined in at different points but did not join in the conversation. The video recording was made by Azeb using Panasonic HC-W580. A parallel audio recordings of the session was made the Olympus LS audio recorder. Research assistant Ms Wudnesh Petros and Azeb Amha transcribed and translated the audio session in Dimalle

Recorded on: 2017-03-01




The session is the third of a series of conversations with Asnakech Ayssa (see Asnakech_V_1, Asnakech_V_2). The present session documents a conversation between Ms. Asnaketch Ayssa, research assistant Mr Asmelash Michael and researcher Azeb Amha about the construction of her second house, the ‘modern’ corrugated-iron-roof-house. Asnakech tells in detail how the material was collected, labor and payment were organized. She talks about challenges and unexpected problems she and her husband Mr. Bunkula Gaido faced in completing the construction. The recording was made in the house about which Ms Asnakech talks. Two of Ms Asnakech’s children sat by but they did not intervene in the conversation. The video recording was made by Azeb Amha using Panasonic HC W580 recorder

Recorded on: 2017-03-01




The session is the fourth and last of a series of conversations with Asnakech Ayssa (see Asnakech_V_1, Asnakech_V_2, Asnakech_V_3) about the construction of her house. In the current session, Asmelash asks how she obtained the land, duration of the construction and the costs incurred. In the end Asmelash raises various questions to Amarech Bunkula (the daughter of Asnakech) about her study, the help she offers to family. The session ends with Asnakech commenting on her and her husband’s children and grandchildren.

Recorded on: 2017-03-01




This is the first session of 12 short video recordings about Mr Asmamaw Guch’alle and his family. The sessions were not planned. Asmamaw joined us while we were having a conversation with Mr Ayyano Aro (Asmamaw’s neighbor and best friend) and invited us to visit his house and garden. He and his wife Ms Assegedech Yimer’s have main farms for grains such as t’eff and sorghum that are in distant places. In the video recordings reported here, they showed us the plot of land around their house, where they cultivate small amounts of several types of plants including root crops (taro, yam, sweet potato), maize, beans, banana, mango, avocado, sugarcane, pumpkin, ensete, coffee. In the session presented here, Asmamaw first told about how he acquired the land (inheritance), about his parents and brothers. He then walked us to the garden where he showed various plants. In the background of our conversation is the ongoing severe draught in the area (most of the year 2017). Through the middle of Asmamaw’s land runs a river bed, almost dry now, but this makes his and his neighbors’ farms look more promising than other fields in the area. Research assistants Asmelash and Abboye and researcher Azeb Amha raise various questions. Two men and a woman (neighbours) have joined us in various times during the recording but unfortunately metadata information was not obtained for them. While Azeb made the video recordings, research assistent Asmelash made audio recording of the sessions; the audio and video recordings are archived separately becaue the time of the recording was not synchronized.

Recorded on: 2017-04-06




This is the second session of 12 video recordings with Mr Asmamaw Guch’alle and his family. In the session presented here, Ms Assegedech demonstrates the harvest of doló (taro species). She points out what the signs are when the plant is ripe and shows how new taro plants are planted and the care she needs for the new plants.

Recorded on: 2017-04-06




This is the third session of 12 short video recordings of Mr Asmamaw Guch’alle and his family. In the session presented here, Asmamaw and the others present talk about the use of a tree nearby (species of juniper). Then Asmamaw tells as about various garden plants which we see (yam, green pepper, calabash, guava etc) as we walk towards his house.

Recorded on: 2017-04-06