Positive moral obligations to persons outside the circle of close ones are thus kept to a minimum. Following the conventions of respect toward superiors and peers is all that is enjoined. The good life for the Amhara peasant is lived within a minimal, Hobbesian order. The ideal neighbor is defined as one who does not touch others (saw aynakam). He does not touch another’s land, wife, money, or personal feelings.

  • Source: Levine, Donald Nathan. Wax & gold: tradition and innovation in Ethiopian culture. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1965.
  • Culture: Amhara
  • Location: Africa