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Archive for June, 2009



Mud-Faced Boy, Bilbala Gyorgis Church, Lasta, Ethiopia, June 2009

Published on June 17, 2009

This boy had come to Bilbala Gyorgis (rock-hewn) Church, above the town of Bilbala, outside of Lalibela, to take the cure of its holy mud. Clay dirt from inside the church is mixed with holy water, then plastered onto the afflicted part; in this case, the boy presumably has some form of skin disorder. Bilbala […]


Roof crosses, Bilbala Gyorgis Church, Lasta, Ethiopia, June 2009

Published on June 16, 2009

Carved crosses on the roof of Bilbala Gyorgis rock-hewn church, above the town of Bilbala, outside of Lalibela.


Crosses, Bilbala Q’iros Chuch, Lasta, Ethiopia, June 2009

Published on June 15, 2009

Two processional crosses rest atop a manuscript at Bilbala Q’iros Church, a rock-hewn church of the Bilbala cluster, near Lalibela.


Abba Pentalewon Monastery, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2009

Published on June 12, 2009

I am going to close out my Axum photos for now with a photo of Abba Pentalewon monastery, seen from nearby Abba Liquanos monastery’s hill. The photo leaves a lot to be desired from my conception, and I will be trying it again when I return, but I thought it a fitting cap-stone to the […]


Praying at the Ark Chapel, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2009

Published on June 11, 2009

  A nun prays facing the chapel/treasury where Ethiopian tradition claims the Ark of the Covenant is stored. According to the Kebra Negast, the Ethiopian national legend, the Queen of Sheba had a child of her rape by Solomon, named Menelik. When the child was grown, he asked of his father, so the queen told […]


Water-bearers, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, April 2009

Published on June 10, 2009

  These girls were carrying water from the “Queen of Sheba’s Bath,” a reservoir that has been in use since ancient times, to their homes. Before the advent of cheap plastic goods, local pottery would be used, and in rural areas, one can sometimes still see women and children with large ceramic jugs strapped to […]


Woman and Scroll, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2009

Published on June 9, 2009

An old woman shows her Kitab Ma’ari–a traditional magic scroll commissioned as a form of healing and worn in a scroll-case around her neck. The prayers on the scroll will be to protect from harmful magic, such as the evil eye or the magic of däbtäras (magicians) as well as to enlist the aid of […]


Double Stela, Beta Gyorgis Quarry, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2009

Published on June 8, 2009

The so-called “double stele,” which sources have identified as an incomplete two-topped stela. I somewhat wonder if it is not just the incomplete-quarrying that has led to this identification, but it is interesting to see two stelae quarried immediately adjacent to each other, in any case. The Beta Gyorgis “House of (St.) George” Quarry is […]


Stela 4, Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia, May 2009

Published on June 4, 2009

Stela 4 has the best-preserved altar of any of the stelae, its altar depressions being well-preserved, as opposed to those of stela 3, which were used by local women as mortars. The head-piece, separated from the rest of the stela during its fall, now rests in the compound of the old St. Mary of Zion […]




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