Picking up on tenuous and culture specific notions such as the mušo, this essay examines the nature and parameter of its artistic complexity, and its visual, aural and linguistic sophistication that play out in forms of collective expression and performance. Furthermore, this essay also attempts to uncover female agency in cultural practices such as the mušo and counteracts the absence of women’s history, identity and historical experiences of citizenship in Ethiopian history. In so doing, this essay calls for a new kind of intellectual enterprise that is intimately engaged with the archives, that brings forth the riches of interiority, and that ultimately argues for a critical body of thought. The obsession with the “modern” has razed customary cultural and social fabrics such as the mušo. The need to excavate our archives is paramount if we are to place modern Ethiopian history in proper perspective.


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pp. 101-119
Launched on MUSE
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