Beer, Porridges, and Feasting in the Gamo Region of southern Ethiopia


Porridges and beer make up a majority of the household diet throughout much of rural Africa and could possibly be some of the earliest foods produced. In Africa, pottery is one of the primary culinary tools used to make both porridges and beer. This ethnoarchaeological and archaeological research explores pottery using use-alteration and morphological analyses from the Gamo of southern Ethiopia to indicate the use of pottery as a culinary tool. Beer and porridges are considered luxury foods among the Gamo and are associated with feasts. Through the combination of ethnoarchaeological and archaeological analyses of Gamo pottery, as well as interviews of living descendants, we are able to determine that large scale feasting was occurring at the original Borada Gamo settlement of Ochollo Mulato. The identification of beer and porridges could lead to deciphering social, economic, and demographic changes in the Gamo region and beyond.

Cite this Record

Beer, Porridges, and Feasting in the Gamo Region of southern Ethiopia. John Arthur, Matthew Curtis, Susan Kooiman, Kathryn Arthur. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 429554)


Africa beer Feasting

Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -18.809; min lat: -38.823 ; max long: 53.262; max lat: 38.823 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14318