GONDAR'S CHILD Songs, Honor, and Identity among Ethiopian Jews in Israel

ISBN: 9781569023280

In Ethiopia, Ethiopian Jews were attributed with dishonorable status because of their perceived dissociation from the land. Yet they derived their self-ascribed honor from their link with Israel, expressed through their name: Beta Israel (“House of Israel”).

In the Israeli context, the Beta Israel’s association with Ethiopia constitutes both a limiting factor to their honor, leading to a concern among Beta Israel with the image of their ethnic group, and constitutes also a medium for the pursuit of honor. It is in these terms, and in its concern to progress, that the Beta Israel Band of Porachat Ha Tikva (Blossoming Hope) is viewed as a microcosm of Beta Israel society in Israel. As such, the Band is portrayed as expressive of a shift taking place in Beta Israel identity in Israel in terms of gender and generational relationships, and of the discursiveness between values in tune with their traditional village identity and those they associate with the “decadent” Ethiopian town.

You have successfully subscribed!