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Ethiopians & Rastafari
Aster Sellassie, Millennium Ed.


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Ethiopains & Rastafari (Esther's new book)


Bulatovich
ETHIOPIA THROUGH RUSSIAN EYES consists of two books: From Entotto to the River Baro and With the Armies of Menelik II, both written by Alexander Bulatovich and translated by Richard Seltzer. This is a unique and detailed first-hand account of Ethiopia in 1896-98 -- at the change of an era -- by a Russian officer with remarkable understanding for the many varied people who lived there and keen insight into their destiny.

* "Ethiopians & Rastafari" (Paperback) by Esther Sellassie Antohin - (old) archives: gurage * Menelik end of XIX c. * Amhara young man * flickr.com/groups/sellassie *

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GLOSSARY

Aba (or Abba): father, title of a priest in the Ethiopian Coptic Church.
Abagaz
: governor, ruler of a district or region.
Abeto
: Prince. A title in use for descendants in the male line of the Solomonic line. No longer in use after the reign of Iyasu V.
Abuna
: title of the supreme chief of the Ethiopian Coptic Church, the Patriarch, and of other high church dignitaries.
Afa-Negus
: 'the breath of the King'. Originally a title conferred on Imperial spokesmen, later Lord Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.
Agafari
: Chief of Protocol.
Alaqa
: Commander.
Alga
Worrach: Crown Prince, with the style of His Imperial Highness.
Amir: prince, commander. Hereditary title of the Muslim rulers of Harrar.
Aqabe Saat
: Imperial Chaplain.
Asiraleqa: 'commander of 10'.
Ato: abbreviation for Abeto, now used as the equivalent of Mr.
Atse: 'Elect of God'.
Azazh, Azaj: Minister of the Palace.
Azmatch: Supreme Commander of the Army.
Bahr Negus: 'King of the Sea', the ancient title of the ruler of the maritime/northern provinces (Eritrea).
Bajirond: Treasurer.
Balabbat
: ruler.
Balambaras: 'Commander of the Citadel', i.e. Minister of the Court. Originally a military rank equvalent to Lieutenant-Colonel. A personal title of nobility after 1930.
Basha
: Warrant Officer.
Bejirond
: Treasurer.
Bitwoded: 'the beloved', a title of nobility conferred very rarely on the two principal councillors to the Emperor, the Bitwodad of the Right and the Bitwodad of the Left.
Blata
: Page.
Blattengeta: 'Master of the Pages', a senior courtier responsible for the administration of the palaces.
Dabtaras
: a non celibate man learned in religion.
Dejazmatch
: 'Commander of the Gate'. Originally a military rank equivalent to Lieutenant-General. A personal title of nobility after 1930.
Dengel: the Holy Virgin.
Enderasse: 'he who represents him' (the Emperor), i.e. Viceroy.
Etchege
: Lord Abbot, traditionally of Debre Libanos.
Fetha Neghast: the Law of Kings, the fundamental law of Ethiopia
Fitawrari: 'Horn of a Rhinoceros', i.e. commander of the vanguard. Originally a military rank equivalent to Major-General. A personal title of nobility after 1930.
Gabre: servant, Gabriel.
Gerazmatch: 'Commander of the left wing of the Army'. Originally a military title equivalent to Brigadier. A personal title of nobility after 1930.
Girmawi: His Majesty.
Girmawit: Her Majesty.
Gwandari: private soldier.
Haile: strength, holy, saint.
Haimanot: faith.
Hamsaleqa: 'Commander of 50', i.e. Lieutenant.
Immabet
: 'Lady', the usual title of a grand-daughter of a sovereign, in the female line.
Immabet-Hoy: 'Great Lady', a title infrequently conferred on ladies of Imperial descent and on the wives of high ranking nobles.
Itege
: "sister of the country", i.e. Empress consort.
Jantirar: the title borne by the head of the family holding the mountain fortress of Ambassel.
Kahin: clergy.
Kantiba: Mayor (of a city).
Kebra Neghast
: the Glory of the Kings, the official history of Ethiopia.
Kniazmatch: 'Commander of the right-wing of the Army'. Originally a military rank equivalent to Brigadier. A personal title of nobility after 1930.
Lebna
: incense.
Le'ul: Prince, sons and grandsons of a sovereign in the male line, with the style of  His Imperial Highness.
Le'ul Dajazmatch: Prince of the Blood, usually the son or heir of a Le'ul Ras.
Le'ul Ras: Prince of the Blood with the style of His Highness.
Le'ult: Princess, daughters and grand-daughters of a sovereign in the male line and wives of of Leul, with the style of  Her Imperial Highness. Also accorded to certain granddaughters in the female line upon marriage, and upon the wives of a Leul Ras.
Liqaba
: Commander of the Palace Guards.
Lij
: 'child', the title for a male descendant of a noble of high rank.
Liqaba
: Lord Chamberlain.
Liqa Makas: court dignitaries, traditionally two at any one time, who bear the imperial insignia and stand about the Emperor during battle.
Malik
(or Melek): Arabic term for King, often used as part of the nom-de-guerre assumed by Ethiopian Emperors at their coronation.
Mashasha: shelter.
Makwanent: higher nobility.
Matoaleqa: 'commander of 100', i.e. Captain.
Meridazmatch
: traditional title of the ruler of Showa, later restored as a title for Crown Prince Asfa Wossen (later H.I.M. Emperor Amha Selassie). Also a military rank equivalent to a Colonel on the Staff.
Masafint
: the term applied to more distant members of the Imperial lineage.
Memhir: Abbot.
Memire: priest.
Mesfin: Duke, usually of a large province. Also used as a general discription for all Le'ul, Le'ul Ras, and Meridazmatch, i.e. those entitles to the style of Highness or above.
Negadras
: 'Chief of the Merchants', i.e. Minister of Trade.
Negeste Negestate
: Queen of Kings, i.e. Empress regnant.
Negus
: King.
Negusawi Betasab
: Imperial family.
Nibure Id: 'the laying on of hands', the title of the High Priest of Axum (originally Axum Zion).
Ras: originally a military rank equivalent to Field Marshal. A title of nobilitay after 1930.
Reese Masafint: 'the first among Princes', the highest courtly or noble rank in the Empire.
Sahle
: clemency.
Seifu: sword.
Selassie: the Holy Trinity.
Shalaqa: 'commander of 1,000', i.e. battalion commander or Colonel.
Shambal: 'commander of 250', i.e. company commander or Major.
Sheikh: leader. The title used by the hereditary Muslim rulers of Bela Shangul, and by certain Muslim notables of Wollo, Tigray and Eritrea.
Shum: Lord.
Sultan
(or Seltan): ruler, prince. Hereditary title of certain Muslim rulers, including those of Ausa (the Afars) and Jimma. Also often used as part of the nom-de-guerre assumed by Ethiopian Emperors at their coronation.
Tafari: 'he who is feared'.
Takla: plant.
Tsahafi Te'ezaz: 'Scribe, by Imperial Command'. Later transformed into Minister of the Pen and Keeper of the Seal.
Wagshum
: 'Lord of Wag', the hereditary title of the head of the former Zagwe dynasty, who ruled between 1117 and 1268 AD, entitled to a seat of honour next to the Emperor, but held no political power or influence beyond the traditional Wag fiefdom.
Walatta
: 'daughter of', a common prefix attached to female baptismal names, especially those of saints.
Woizerit: courtesy title used by unmarried ladies of high rank.
Woizerit-Hoy: courtesy title used by widowed ladies of high rank.
Woizero: courtesy title used by married women, originally applied to ladies of high rank such as princesses and members of the upper nobility, now used as the equivalent of Mrs.
Worq: 'golden'
Yashalaqa: 'commander of 1,000'.
Zadik: saint.
Zauditu: Judith.
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Old Ethiopic
(thing) by Gone Jackal 3 C!s Tue Apr 23 2002 at 7:03:48

Old Ethiopic (native name, Ge'ez, etymology uncertain, but possibly related to the root g'z, "free") is the oldest attested member of the South Semitic language family. The earliest inscriptions date to the reign of the Aksumite king Ezana in the 4th century A.D., at the time of the first great Ethiopic kingdom and the christianization of Africa. The writing, a modified form of the consonantal Sabaean alphabet, was most likely imported through the African trade colonies of ancient Yemen; an early trilingual inscription of Ezana is written in the Ethiopic, Greek, and (Pseudo-)Sabaic languages. Though chiefly Semitic in structure and syntax, Ge'ez also contains Greek and Cushitic substrata, owing the former to biblical and ecclesiastical loanwords and the latter, including many terms for native flora, fauna, and technology, to continued contact with the Cushitic and Nilotic languages.

The history of Ge'ez can be divided into three major language periods. The first is the relatively early period of Aksumite inscriptions, some 42 or so in number. Although Abyssinian (nat. Habashat) peoples had already wandered into the region of modern Ethiopia in the first centuries before our era, founding the kingdom of Aksum in the 1st century A.D., the written record begins with the adoption and modification of the alphabet of the old south Arab peninsula in the 4th century. The most important of these form a core of some 12 inscriptions, dated to the reign of Ezana, and reflect the early experiments with written Ethiopic; at least half of these are written in the unmodified South Arabian alphabet, only four in the modified, vocalized Ethiopic script. During this time, too, the term Aethiopian was first used by the Abyssinians to refer to their land, kingdom, and church, preferring ,Aithiops' (found in Herodotus, Book III and in the New Testament, Acts 8.27, though most likely originally referring to the Meroitic peoples) to the Semitic ,Abyssinia'

The second period runs from the fifth century until roughly 1000 A.D., and provides the last records of spoken Ethiopic. Though no manuscripts are dated before 1200, several transmit texts significantly older in date, all ecclesiastical in nature, and most translations of Greek originals. This relatively small corpus of literature nevertheless provides the classical syntax and style of later writings.

After the political collapse of Byzantium and the spread of Islam, Ethiopia became politically and religiously isolated, even from the Coptic church which had provided the first Ethiopian missionaries. When this contact with Egypt was re-established, Ge'ez was again employed to revive the traditional literature, though it had since died as a spoken language. New translations of Christian texts were made from Greek, Coptic, Syriac, and Arabic originals. For the first time we also have larger secular writings, including numerous chronicles and the Ethiopian national epic, the Kebra Negast ("Glory of Kings"), recounting the legend of Solomon and Sheba. Popular religious and magical texts and amulets during this time begin a tradition that continued well into the 20th century.

By the 16th century, Amharic had become the dominant popular language, and Ge'ez became the official language only of the church, kingdom, and literary tradition. Scribes and clerics were trained in monasteries in Ge'ez to preserve this written tradition, but the pronunciation was systematized based on that of Amharic, the dominant Ethiopian language (if such a thing is possible in a land with 130 different languages from 4 different language groups) from the 16th century until today; written Ge'ez contains at least 4 consonants which are not differentiated in pronunciation. Study of the language by western Europeans, due largely to German and Italian colonial interests in the region, began seriously in the 19th century. The most important works to date:

F. Praetorius. Äthiopische Grammatik mit Paradigmen, Literatur, Chrestomathie und Glossar, Karlsruhe und Leipzig 1886. A standard introductory grammar, still practical even after some 110 years.
C.C. Rossini. Grammatica elementare della lingua etiopica. Roma, Istituto per l'Oriente 1941. Beautiful paradigm tables and readable.
W. Leslau. Comparative Dictionary of Ge'ez. Wiesbaden 1987. Excellent dictionary, in short and expanded editions, the latter containing also all related semitic roots.
T. Lambdin. Introduction to Classical Ethiopic, Missoula 1978. A mediocre learner's work at best, with the added disadvantage of presenting the entire language only in transcription, but readily available (and in English! gasp!). There is also a great beast of a dictionary written by August Dillmann in the 19th century, the Lexicon Aethiopicum, with Ge'ez to Latin translations.

http://everything2.com/?node=Old+Ethiopic http://everything2.com/?node_id=1289961

* Felasha : Beta Israel -- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Beta_Israel [ Falashas ]
- 85,000 living in Israel
- Most immigrated in the last 20 years
- Felasha: one in transition/in exile
- Mostly from the Gondar region in Ethiopia, some in Tigrai

1984 - Under tight military censorship, Israel brings 15,000 Ethiopians to the Jewish state in a secret airlift through Sudan known as Operation Moses.

1991 -- In May, Mengistu flees to Zimbabwe. Israel airlifts out more than 15,000 Ethiopian Jews. Over 1991/1992 around 34,000 Ethiopian Jews arrive in Israel.

2007 - The Jewish Agency says that up to the end of 2008 about 6,300 Ethiopians will immigrate. Israel has said that there are now 110,000 Israelis of Ethiopian descent.

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