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A HOLISTIC ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF IROB PEOPLE IN NORTH EASTERN ETHIOPIA: EMPHASIS ON CONTINUITY AND TRANSFORMATIONS [Abstract ID: 1213-02]
The Irob people comprise 0.03 per cent of the Ethiopian population and come from the Tigray region of Ethiopia. The total Irob population is 33,372, according to the Central Statistics Agency (CSA, 1994; 2007) of Ethiopia. The census shows 5,363 households with an average of 4.75 people to a single household, within 5,165 housing units. Between the population and housing census is of 1994 and 2007, the Irob population increased by 43.29%. According to Tesfay (2006), there have been no comprehensive studies conducted in Irob focusing on the socio-cultural and historical background of the people, including religion and language. Rapid changes have been seen in population growth and religion. In the 1994 census the majority of the inhabitants were Catholic, followed by Orthodox and and finally Muslims. In 2007, the majority were Orthodox, while the numbers of Catholics and Muslims have both fallen. The general objective of the study is to explore and describe the socio-cultural dynamics of the Irob people, focusing on socio-cultural continuity and transformations. This paper concentrates mainly on organization, landownership, local authority, income and livelihood, education, reproduction and health facilities. The design of the research uses an exploratory sequential mixed approach. The qualitative data are collected through qualitative instruments and then through questionnaires, after intensive qualitative data collection. Secondary data sources will be used for triangulation. To ensure data reliability Denzin’s (1970) data validity assurance elements – data, investigator, theoretical, and methodological triangulation – are used.