The early Coptic Christianity left clear traces in Ethiopian art and culture. Remains of ancient civilizations can be found scattered across the country, such as the stone stelae in the ruins of the ancient empire of Aksum, the rock churches of Lalibela that were built in the 13th century and the palace and church buildings from the 17th to 19th centuries in Gonder. The old town of Harar, one of the holy cities of Islam, dates back to a Muslim city founded in the 7th century.
The introduction of Christianity in AD 327 ushered in a rich set of icons and book illumination. The oldest surviving illuminated manuscript in Ethiopia is the Tetra Gospels of the Abba Garima monastery (10th / 11th centuries). From the early 20th century on, secular painting developed with depictions of emperors, battle pictures, everyday scenes and legends as the main motifs. Traditional handicrafts include silver and brass, leather, wicker and pottery. Visual artists such as Afewerk Tekle (* 1932), A. Boghossian , GK Desta and Abdel-Rahman M. Sherif (* 1939) either chose new means of expression for well-known topics or embarked on completely new paths in terms of content and form. B. opted for abstract forms or the collage technique (Ethiopian art).
The Ethiopian music that builds on African Urbestand is usually played in Fünftonskalen. An important element is the singing, which is accompanied by the krar, a small vial with six strings, the masenqo, a single-stringed spit violin with a diamond-shaped body, or the beganna, a large cased lyre with 8-10 strings. In the second half of the 20th century, Ethiopian pop music emerged that went alongside the traditional forms. This took up influences from blues, jazz and soul, but also elements of military music. The most important representative of the so-called Ethiojazz is Mulatu Astatke (* 1943). The soul and jazz singer Tilahun Gesesse (* 1940, † 2009 ) is revered as “the voice of Ethiopia”.
The early writings, mostly theological-Christian treatises, used the Geez, the liturgical language of the Ethiopian Church. In the 16th century, Amharic established itself as a literary language, but the topics remained religious.
After the end of the Italian occupation (1935-41), secular issues such as ethics and patriotism were also given attention. Well-known representatives of modern literature beyond Ethiopia include the playwright and poet Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (* 1936, † 2006; “Oda Oak Oracle”, 1965) and the satirist Hama Tuma (* 1949; “Habeshigna 1”), who lives in France, 1999) (Ethiopian Literature).
Football, boxing, wrestling and cycling are among the most popular sports. Ethiopia is known for its world-class long-distance runners Abebe Bikila (* 1932, † 1973) and Haile Gebreselassie (* 1973), who made marathon history with their records.
Ethiopia World Heritage Sites (K) and World Natural Heritage (N)
- Rock-hewn churches of Lalibela (K; 1978)
- Semien National Park (N; 1978)
- Fasil Ghebbi in the Gonder region (K; 1979)
- Ruins of Aksum (K; 1980)
- Valley on the lower reaches of the Awash River (K; 1980)
- Valley on the lower reaches of the Omo River (K; 1980)
- Obelisk-like monoliths by Tiya (K; 1980)
- Fortified old town of Harar (K; 2006)
- Cultural landscape of the Konso (K; 2011)
Preservation of independence
In the 16th century, the Islamic emir of Harar, Ahmed Granj (actually Ahmed B. Ibrahim al-Ghazi), and after the collapse of his rule, the non-Christian Oromo invaded Ethiopia. With the help of the Portuguese under C. da Gama (a son of V. da Gamas ), the Ethiopian ruler succeeded in defeating the Muslims in 1541–43. A heyday followed, in which Gonder developed into the capital of western Ethiopia. Visit fashionissupreme.com for safari and nature trips in Africa.
In the 18th century the governors of the provinces (mostly Ras, German duke) made themselves independent; the “King of Kings” only led a shadowy existence. In 1855 Ras Kasa von Qwara, who later became Emperor Tewodros II (1855–68), restored central power. John IV of Tigray (1872–89), who had ousted him from the throne with British help, successfully defended Ethiopia against attacks by Egypt in 1875/76; inside the empire he asserted his rule against Negus Menelik of Shoah, who in 1878 accepted the sovereignty of John.
After the death of John IV. In 1889 to win the fight against the invading the land army of the Mahdi ascended Menelik of Shoa (from the Solomonic dynasty) and Menelik II. (1889 to 1909/10) the throne. He created the foundations of a modern state and expanded his empire by annexing neighboring states (such as Kaffa) v. a. to the south. With the victory of Adua (March 1896), Menelik II prevented Italy’s attempt to establish protectorate rule from Eritrea (citing the Ethiopian-Italian Treaty of Uccialli, 1889). The peace of Addis Ababa (October 1896) secured the independence of Ethiopia. Thereupon Menelik II concluded. Treaties with the European states that established embassies in Addis Ababa, the new capital of Ethiopia. The young Emperor’s grandson Lij (“Prince”) Iyasu took over the government in 1910/11 and began to reorganize the internal balance of power in favor of previously marginalized, partly Muslim peoples, until he was overthrown due to an alleged conversion to Islam. With British help, his relative Ras Teferi Makonnen took power in Ethiopia as heir to the throne in 1916, later became regent and was crowned king in 1928. Ethiopia was admitted to the League of Nations as early as 1923 and received its first constitution in 1931.