Brief History of Ethiopia BY Haze88 “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it possible for evil to triumph. ” -Haile Selassie The name “Ethiopia” derives from the Greek word ethio, meaning “burned” and pta, meaning “face”: the land of burned-faced peoples or in some points also means “something divided”. Ethiopia also known as (Abyssinia) is the tenth largest country in Africa, covering 439,580 square miles almost twice the size of Texas.
Addis Ababa is the third-highest capital city in the world. The country boasts a massive population as one of the densest landlocked countries in the world with roughly 93 million inhabitants and a poverty line of 64%. Life expectancy at birth is 53 years old for males and 58 years old for females. Exports are gold, platinum, copper, livestock, sugarcane, leather products, oilseeds and the cultivation of coffee. Coffee is a staple of Ethiopia culture and its no wonder why Ethiopia is the biggest producer of coffee in the world. It is also the major constituent of the landmass known as the Horn of Africa.
It is bordered on the north and northeast by Eritrea (which use to be part of northern Ethiopia), on the east by Djibouti and Somalia, on the south by Kenya, and on the west and southwest by Sudan. The central plateau, known as the highlands, is surrounded on three sides by desert with a significantly lower elevation. The plateau is between six thousand and ten thousand feet above sea level, with the highest peak being Ras Deshan, the fourth-tallest mountain in Africa. Known to be one of the oldest independent countries dating back to at least 2,000 years old in Africa.
Despite it being very old in existence it is actually one of the only ountries of Africa to be colonized. Mussolini was the only other person, who in 1935 came close but had to relinquish his control due to losing WWII. Another anomaly of the country is the fact the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden has given a steady influx of Christian and Muslim influence, flocking diverse people and culture to what Ethiopia has become to be known. Ancient Egyptians the 2nd and 3rd dynastys referred to Ethiopia by the name of the Kingdom of Kush or in the Old Testament by the name of Punt or Yam.
Even the great epic writer himself Homer depicted Ethiopians as “pious and favored by the gods. The history of Ethiopia is very vast and rich of heritage ranging from the beginning of the link of man and evolution to the mix of many different religions and people indigenous for centuries. An example of Ethiopia’s geographic test of time is the valley in which most scientists have discovered the stem of life that the migration of humans Journeying out of to inhabit many different parts of Eurasia at that time.
The Great Rift Valley (known for discoveries of early hominids such as Lucy, whose bones reside in the Ethiopian National Museum) bisects the central plateau. The valley extends southwest through the country and ncludes the Danakil Depression, a desert containing the lowest dry point on the earth. In the highlands is Lake Tana, the source of the Blue Nile, which supplies the great majority 0T water to NIIe Rlver valley In Egypt. The people of Ethiopia are a type of diversity that you wouldn’t find in too many places in the world with the exception of the United Sates.
Ethiopia has a diverse mix of ethnic and linguistic backgrounds. It is a country with more than 80 different ethnic groups each with its own language, culture, custom and tradition. One of the most significant areas of Ethiopian culture is its literature, which is represented redominantly by translations from ancient Greek and Hebrew religious texts into the ancient language Ge’ez, modern Amharic and Tigrigna languages. Ge’ez is one of the most ancient languages in the world and is still used today by the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church.
The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has its own unique customs and traditions, which have been influenced by Judaism. It’s also worth to mention the Christian missionary saint by the name of Frumentius. Saint Frumentius is credited by the Ethiopians for the first translation of the New Testament in Ge’ez, their ancient native language. Even with the cornucopia of cultures and beliefs all embedded in to Ethiopia it does have many quarrels with religious differences. Not to say there isn’t any at all but there are the occasional terror alerts from radical minorities.
The economy in Ethiopia is mainly based on agriculture, in which 85 percent of the population participates. Ecological problems such as periodic drought, soil degradation, deforestation, and a high population density negatively affect the agricultural industry. Most agricultural producers are subsistence farmers living in the highlands, while the population in the lowland eripheries is nomadic and engages in livestock raising. Gold, marble, limestone, and small amounts of tantalum are mined throughout the region. In Ethiopia, men and women have clearly defined roles.
Traditionally men are responsible for providing for the family and for dealing with family contact outside the home whereas women are responsible for domestic work and looking after the children. Parents are stricter with their daughters than their sons; often parents give more freedom to males than females. The traditional view was men neither cook nor do shopping because housework tends to be women’s Job. This view continues to be held in many areas of the country. Although many people continue to follow these traditional roles, life is constantly evolving including the role of men and women.
This can be seen particularly true in urban areas where women are beginning to take a major role in all areas of employment and men are beginning to take a greater role in domestic life. The Ethiopian traditional costume is made of woven cotton. Ethiopian men and women wear this traditional costume called gabbi or Netella. Women often wear dresses (Kemis) and netella with borders of colored embroidered woven crosses, but ther designs are also used. Other ethnic groups and tribes in the south and west of the country wear different costumes that reflect their own traditions.
Some tribes partially cover their body with leather but others do not wear any clothes at all, merely decorating their faces and bodies with distinctive images. As Tar as nation culslne goes one 0T tne more Known Etnloplan natlonal 01snes Is called wat. It is a hot spicy stew accompanied by inJera (traditional large spongy pancake made ofteff flour and water). Teff is unique to the country and is grown on the Ethiopian highlands. There are many varieties of wat, e. g. hicken, beef, lamb, vegetables, lentils, and ground split peas stewed with hot spice called Berbere.
It’s made of dried red hot pepper, herbs, spices, dried onions, dried garlic and salt ingredients. Wat is served by placing it on top of the inJera, which is served in a mesob (large basket tray). The food is eaten with fingers by tearing Offa piece of inJera and dipping it in the wat. The favorite drink of many Ethiopians is bunna (coffee). Bunna is drunk in Ethiopia in a unique and traditional way known as a “coffee ceremony”. First the coffee is roasted, then ground and placed in a Jebena (coffee pot) with boiling water. When ready it is then served to people in little cups, up to three times per ceremony.
The Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) is the military of Ethiopia. Civil direction of the military is carried out through the Ministry of Defense, which oversees the ground forces, air force, as well as the Defense Industry Sector. The current defense minister is SiraJ Fergessa. In 2012 the IISS estimated that the ground forces had 135,000 personnel and the air force 3,000. As of 2012, the ENDF consists of two separate branches: the Ground Forces and the Ethiopian Air Force, Ethiopia has several defense sector organizations that produce nd overhaul different weapons systems.
Most of these were built under the Derg regime, which planned a large military industrial complex. The ENDF relies on voluntary military service of people above 18 years of age. Although there is no compulsory military service, armed forces may conduct call-ups when necessary and compliance is compulsory. Being a landlocked country, Ethiopia today has no navy. Ethiopia acquired a coastline on the Red Sea in 1950 and created the Ethiopian Navvy in 1955. Eritrea’s independence in 1991 left Ethiopia landlocked again, but the Ethiopian Navvy continued to operate from foreign ports until it finally was disbanded in 1996.
The government of Ethiopia is structured in the form of a Federal Parliamentary Republic (1991 -present) whereby the Prime Minister is the head of the government. The government exercises executive power, while legislative power is vested in the parliament. The Judiciary is more or less independent of the executive and the legislature. Many issues plagues Ethiopia both internally and externally, culturally and ethically. Ethiopia being primarily 80% agricultural depends much upon the fertile land they live on. Drought, deforestation and soil erosion are very detrimental to the flow of agricultural production.
Thus wreaking havoc on their economy and causing more financial stress on both the individual and all businesses both big and small. The result of this is usually poor governance and corrupted officials are the roots for a lot of the disorganization and misdeeds done to their beloved country. Even more serious issues are to be apparent such as the constant border conflicts with Somalia and an uneasy cease-fire with Eritrea (Border war 1998-2000). Other issues that concern the country even with its religious undertone. There is a rising issue of child labor, child trafficking and most recently child prostitution.
IT you ever nappen Tina yourselT vlsltlng Etnlopla as a wrlter or a Journalist, Just make sure you keep your opinions to yourself until you exit the countries borders. Severely restricted basic rights of freedom and expression, association and assembly. In 2009 30 Journalists were convicted under the countries vague anti-terrorism proclamation. This type of oppression is exactly what has caused Ethiopia to keep itself so excluded from the western world. Traditional houses found in Ethiopia are usually round wellings with cylindrical walls made of wattle and daub.
The roofs are conical and made of thatch, and the center pole has sacred significance in most ethnic groups, including the Oromo, Gurage, Amhara, and Tigreans. Variations on this design occur. In the town of Lalibella the walls of many houses are made of stone and are two- storied, while in parts of Tigre, houses are traditionally rectangular. In more urban areas, a mixture of tradition and modernity is reflected in the architecture. The thatched roofs often are replaced with tin or steel roofing. The wealthier suburbs of Addis Ababa have multistory residences made of concrete and tile that are very western in form.
Addis Ababa, which became the capital in 1887, has a variety of architectural styles. The city was not planned, resulting in a mixture of housing styles. Communities of wattle-and-daub tin-roofed houses often lie next to neighborhoods of one- and two-story gated concrete buildings. The outlook for Ethiopia in the upcoming future 10-20 years from now looks promising. There are many nutritional food aid and agricultural developments being run right now by the USA and Canada. Food shortages are a major problem for this ountry, which has a very big population that needs to be fed.
Many companies also have taken interest in Ethiopia. Starbucks for instant had Just made a national deal with regards to the countries innate talent to cultivate and produce coffee and coffee beans. For some this gives hope of ushering Ethiopia more in to the western world and taking the country out of such national debt and depravity. There is no one sure answer or correct way to determine the exact future for Ethiopia but for one thing the people of the country have a amazing ability of persevering and forging forward to a better and more conscious way of life.