The study was undertaken in central Tigray which is the epicenter of many of the world wonders and legacies of the past civilization. It also harbors a living museum which indicates artistic excellence and innovation of the artisans. The indigenous craft knowledge system was very decisive in producing technology incubating minds and cosmic hands pivotal for the transmission of intellectual traditions and technical skills from generation to generation and for keeping the lamp of civilization burning. However, as time went on the profession lost social support and technological innovation and excellence was declined with alarming rate for the new generation became indifferent towards craft vocation and education. Therefore, this research was conducted to examine the causes for the marginalization of artisans (craftsmen and women) and its concomitant effect on the rural economy in central Tigray. The examination of the date collected from FDG, in-depth interview, observation, informal discussions with various sections of community in the environs of Axum along with secondary document analysis indicated that in spite of the high demand for the products of artisans in the rural economy, artisans are spatially segregated, politically disempowered, economically alienated, socially excluded and subordinated. The causes that produced this paradox include economic competition and the conspiracy of foreign craft workers, power preservation move of feudal technocrats, monastic orders and association of evil eyes to the profession. Hence, the realization of technological renaissance in the country at large and the transformation of the rural livelihood in central Tigray demands to be routed in resuming of the indigenous skills of the crafts men and the demystification of myths held about artisans by empowering them socially, economically and politically.


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pp. 19-36
Launched on MUSE
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