Glynn Flood

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A selection of photographs from Glynn Flood’s fieldwork among Afar pastoralists

To mark the publication: In Pursuit of Afar Nomads. Glynn Flood’s Work Journal and Letters from the Field, 1973 – 1975 

Forty-four years after his death at the hands of the military government of Ethiopia, Glynn Flood’s ethnographic estate, based on fieldwork among Afar pastoralists, is now available in a publication (also online) of the Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle/Saale. Michèle Flood provided her husband’s ethnographic material, while Jean Lydall and Maknun Ashami compiled the book of Flood’s journals and letters, with a CD of indexed scans of the original journals, letters, and field notes.

The photos begin at Asaita, capital of Aussa: dusty tracks, the mosque, and the market on the main square which was taking place each Tuesday. The landscape changes according to the rainy (flooding) or dry season (cracked soil) and many stones (sort of volcanic basalt). Cotton plantations have now been replaced by sugar cane.

The photo of the bridge is meant to establish the link between this and the camps.

Fodaho is the name of the camp where Glynn had his tent; life at the camp is represented with Hassooni, Fatuma, Wassila, Ahmed (Fatuma’s husband who was later killed by an oryx).and other young Afar men and women around the main characters, who fetch water, churn milk, braid hair, build a tent, file an axe, keep goats, show a guile (Afar knife)

Gaali Faage is the name of another camp in a desert area.

Kosov is the name given to this rather violent game of football where Afar men run after a cloth ball at special times of the year.