Glossary: balabat

An Amharic term originally referring to any person with a claim to rist (q.v.) land by virtue of membership in a cognatic descent group (q.v.). Commonly used since the establishment of present-day Ethiopia by Menelik II in the late nineteenth century for those local chiefs and other non-Amhara who were assigned low-level administrative positions among their own people and who were allocated substantial landholdings.

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