Cover for OLMSTEAD: Woman between Two Worlds: Portrait of an Ethiopian Rural Leader

Woman between Two Worlds

Portrait of an Ethiopian Rural Leader

This unique anthropological account chronicles the uncommon experience of a woman serving as a local political leader during the turbulent period of Ethiopia's transition from kingdom to empire to socialist state. A dynamic, opinionated, and charismatic woman, Chimate Chumbalo successfully navigated male-dominated factional politics, experimenting with different strategies to create the society for her people that she wanted for herself.

Judith Olmstead conducted fieldwork in Ethiopia and lived with Chumbalo for several months, then returned several years later to gather the life story of this inspiring, self-propelled woman. Olmstead gracefully combines Chumbalo's compelling biography with accounts of Ethiopian history, the revolutionary upheavals, and poetic descriptions of life in rural Ethiopia.

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