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Archive for April, 2009



Stela 2, the ‘Rome Stela,’ North Stelae Field, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 22, 2009

Stela 2 in front of the new Maryam Tsion Church. The false-door on the Rome Stela, granting access to the palace which the stela represents. A side-view of the Rome Stela, showing the carving representing the ends of wooden poles and alternating layers of stone and wood, characteristic of Axumite building. —– Stela 2, known […]


Legumes, Old Market, Mek’ele, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 21, 2009

Bags from various places hold legumes on display in the old market area of Mek’ele, capital of Tigray. Legumes are greatly consumed during the fasting season, and an important part of the diet year-round, as people fast on vegetables at least twice a week in the Christian parts of the country.


Cats Hate Fasting Season, Mek’ele, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 20, 2009

Marigeta Birhanu’s cat was loudly letting himself be heard throughout our interview, and practically attacking the skin for parchment while stretched on the frame, before the meat was removed. It only occurred to me part-way through that the cat was subject to fasting season, just as the people are, because he eats leftovers from the […]


Palm-Frond Ring, Adigrat, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 19, 2009

For Palm Sunday, many locals have crafted rings like this out of the palm fronds for the celebration, and have been wearing them for Holy Week.


Binding, Marigeta Birhanu, Mek’ele, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 17, 2009

Marigeta Biurhanu tooling cross patterns on the leather covers he has added to a printed book. You can see the stamping tools warming in the coals behind him.


Ethiopian Manuscript Heritage Problems and Preservation Strategies

Published on April 10, 2009

I recently lectured to both the first- and second-year classes of Heritage Preservation and Paleoenvironment students at Mekele University on the problems facing manuscript (and more general) conservation and preservation in Ethiopia. While not a full workshop (which I hope to conduct in November, if I can find funding to get back to Ethiopia), it […]


Friday Link: iTunesU

Published on

I have been traveling a lot in recent years, and my iPod and laptop have become my most constant and consistent companions. Accordingly, I turn to them a great deal for entertainment, but rather than playing games or listening always to music, I follow a great number of podcasts, from the purely educational to short-fiction […]


Bet Ammanuel Maako Panoramic (mockup), Negash, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on

This is my preliminary mockup of a 20-image panoramic of Bet Ammanuel Maako church and its environs, from my recent trip to Negash. I don’t have enough memory or processing power to work on the full version out here in the field, but click through to the flickr page and select “all sizes” to see […]


Fasting Meal, Bet Ammanuel Maako, Negash, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on April 9, 2009

During the fasting season (which is two weeks longer than Lent in Ethiopia), monks and priests, in addition to abstaining from meat and animal products, do not eat until 9 o’clock (which we foreigners would call 3PM). I happened to be at the church just as services ended, and the priests invited me to share […]


Keshi Mengistu Eyesus, Mek’ele, Tigray, April 2009

Published on April 7, 2009

Keshi Mengistu Eyesu is a woodworker, scribe, and painter working in Mek’ele. He is a consummate artist, and, though he focuses on woodworking (more profitable) now, his scribal works are excellent. Though he produces them with an ink wash, to "antique" them, they need no selling as antiques, as they are excellent modern examples of […]




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