Frash Adash - It will come to our home as well - another poetry by Tesfahun Kebede. Ethiopian poetry is not known by many people outside of Ethiopia, except for Ethiopians living in the USA and Europe. It is popular and sells out quickly within the country itself.
Most books of African poetry do not include many (or any) poems from Ethiopia, and there are very few available to read in English or other foreign languages. A poet in Addis Ababa once said to me, "Grum, we haven't experienced the negative effects of being colonized. "
Amharic is the most commonly used language for writing, even though many poets come from different backgrounds (Ethiopia has more than 75 different ethnicities). There are two main styles of poetry.
One style is folk or praise poetry, which includes poems about cattle, warriors, funerals, and protests against things like famine or corruption. The other style is scholarly and intricate and is called Q'ene. Q'ene poems play with the double meanings of words. Usually, it brings in words from Ge'ez, which is an old language related to Amharic. Ge'ez is now only spoken in the Ethiopian Orthodox church.
Ethiopian art is deeply intertwined with spirituality and religion, particularly the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. It serves as a means of expressing and reinforcing religious beliefs, fostering a spiritual connection, and conveying moral and ethical teachings.
Cultural Identity and Heritage: Ethiopian art celebrates the cultural diversity and unique heritage of Ethiopia. It reflects the country's rich history, explores traditional practices, and highlights the resilience and creativity of its people.
Symbolism and Narrative: Ethiopian art often employs symbols, motifs, and narratives to convey stories, historical events, and moral lessons. These artistic elements communicate deeper meanings and evoke emotional responses from viewers.
Community and Communal Expression: Ethiopian art often involves collective efforts and communal participation. From the construction of rock-hewn churches to communal mural paintings, art serves as a unifying force, fostering a sense of community and shared identity.
Preservation and Continuity: Ethiopian art values the preservation of cultural traditions and the continuity of artistic practices. Artists often draw inspiration from historical art forms while incorporating contemporary perspectives, ensuring the legacy of Ethiopian art endures.
- Ethiopian Poetry