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Amborn, Hermann (1994): Rethinking one`s own culture. 12 International Conference of Ethiopian Studies, 5. - 10. September 1994, East Lansing, Mich., USA.


African people reflecting on their own situation will frequently find themselves in a dilemma to identify with western and traditional values. A case study of the Burji (Ethiopia and Kenya) examplifies this. First a description is given of the Burji actively dealing with their problems, trying among other things to keep Burjiness alive. Then in presenting a semiotic model it is shown how the phenomenon of their changing group identity (which is not grasped by theories of ethnic group or ethnicity) can be analyzed. The model presented may be useful for analyzing similar cases in the Third World.