Even though slavery-related understandings are deeply embedded in the collective Ethiopian consciousness, they are seldom explicitly discussed. In the course of oral interviews carried out in rural northwestern Ethiopia with elderly men and women who still recall the practice of slavery, a rich corpus of Amharic proverbs related to this topic was collected. Focusing on a specific segment of this corpus, I invite the reader to visit Ethiopian folkloric crossroads of slaves and salt, spiced up with some hot chili pepper. These proverbs are revealed as a powerful channel to tap into generally submerged and rarely discussed local slavery-related perceptions.

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