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TERRITORIAL EXPANSION AND RESISTANCE IN THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD: THE CONFRONTATION BETWEEN KING AMDE TSION AND THE WARJIH MUSLIM COMMUNITY IN THE KINGDOM OF SHAWA [Abstract ID: 0510-01]
This article deals with a struggle between the Christian Highland kingdom, led by kings like Amde Tsion, and the Warjih Muslim community in Shewa during the Medieval period. The confrontation occurred between two groups which had unequal power, various religious backgrounds and different motives of struggle. In this struggle, for the former group, adding enclaves to its kingdom in central Ethiopia through territorial expansion was its major target. However, for the latter group, defending its enclaves - which eventually secured its Islamic identity - was the primary motive of its resistance. Thus, the article tells a story about how the Warjih as a small group continued to exist in Shewa by overcoming the powerful forces of Amde Tsion. In this article it is argued that from the twelfth to the fourteenth century the Warjih people engaged in herdsmen and commercial group type of resistance against the powerful Christian Highland kingdom, a prototype of agricultural society. Moreover, the Warjih swore their allegiance to Muslim principalities such as Ifat in resisting their competitors during the Medieval period. The ideas and arguments of this article are mainly reconstructed by re-examining secondary sources such as books, articles and unpublished works, and a few existing primary sources. Oral sources are slightly used to narrate the recent historical development of this people. Data analysis and interpretation which consider the historical setting of the period are used to reconstruct this account. In its finding, this article suggests that the confrontation between the Christian Highland kingdom and the Warjih people was an example of the struggle between agricultural, and herdsmen and commercial groups during the Medieval period. In this struggle the Warjih became an actual threat to King Amde Tsion until their resistance failed. Meanwhile, the Warjih were not totally evicted from their enclaves in Shewa. The strength to resist their contenders for along time must have made a contribution to the survival strategy of these people.