The Contextualization of Maria Theresa Thaler Coin in Amhara Culture, Ethiopia

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Aster Mulu Tewolde (PhD.)

Abstract

The objective of this study is to examine the case of contextualization of Maria Theresa Thaler coin in Amhara culture. In order to meet the aforementioned objective, primary and secondary data sources were used. The main data collection tools used in the study are ob- servation, interview and document analysis. The study mainly draws from “performance” and “narrative” theories in order to analyze the data gathered. The findings of the study reveal that Maria Theresa Thaler coin was first used in Ethiopia for transaction purposes and only was attributed with other values, especially among the Amhara society, when it was no longer serving as international currency. The new values popularized the coin using mainly two methods. One way is through performance; using the coin to practice traditional medicine as a raw material to make jewellery. The other one is through narratives or using the coin as a means of symbolic production that guides the society on the socially accepted way of living. Generally, through its cultural process the Amhara society has contextualized the Maria Theresa Thaler to accommodate new values in to its culture.

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