KASA and KASA (Papers on the Lives, Times and Images of Tewodros II and Yohannes IV (1855-1889)

KASA and KASA (Papers on the Lives, Times and Images of Tewodros II and Yohannes IV (1855-1889)

የመጽሐፉ ርዕስ:- KASA AND KASA : Papers on the Lives, Timed and Images of Tewodros II and Yohannes IV (1855-1889)
አሰናኞች (Editors) :- Taddese Beyene, Richard Pankhrust and Shiferaw Bekele
የገፅ ብዛት:- 408
የህትመት ዘመን:- 1990 ዓ.ም.
አሳታሚ:- አዲስ አበባ ዪንቨርስቲ



The Institute of Ethiopian Studies, in 1988-89, held two public gatherings to commemorate two important historical anniversaries. The first was the Battle of Maqdala and the death of King of Kings Tewodros II which had occurred one hundred and twenty years earlier on April 13, 1968; the second was the Battle of Matamma and the death of King of Kings Y ohannes IV a century earlier on March 9, 1889. Both events are of major importance in Ethiopian history, as were the Ethiopian rulers whose ‘lives are here commemorated.

Tewodros, as apparent from the papers here published, enjoys a unique position in Ethiopian history, not only as a great patriot, but also as a pioneer of reunification, modernization and reform. To mark the anniversary of his heroic death the Institute of Ethiopian Studies organized a commemoration which was opened by University President Comrade Dr. Abiye Kifle. It consisted of a two-day Conference and a major Exhibition, both of which were remarkably well attended and received extensive media attention.

The Conference, on Tewodros and the Battle of Maqdala, which was held at Ras Makonnen Hall on April 14 and 15, 1988 was addressed by a number of distinguished scholars who dealt with many aspects of Tewodros’s life and aspirations. The event was innovative in that it comprised two separate sessions, one in Amharic and the other in English.

The Exhibition, which lasted a full week, featured traditional and modern Ethiopian paintings of Tewodros and Maqdala, as well as engravings, books and other publications on the notable Ethiopian ruler and his times. Several fine pictures and sculptures were kindly lent by the School of Fine Arts. Several reproductions of these works are included in the present volume, and, we trust, will add to its interest.

The conference on Emperor Yohannes IV and the Battle of Matamma was held in the College of Social Sciences on March 9, 1989. Also well attended it likewise attracted considerable media coverage.

The reign of Yohannes, like that of Tewodros, was shown as a time when Ethiopia fought heroically for her independence against foreign invaders, Egyptians, Mahdists and later Italian colonialists.

Y ohannes was a great Ethiopian patriot, and, though perhaps less of an innovator than his predecessor, was the first Ethiopian ruler to institute a truly national flag, the first to flPpoint a consul abroad, the first to gain access to substantial quantities of modern fire-arms, and the first to popularize the idea of modern vaccine against smallpox.

The reign of Yohannes was moreover seen as representing a direct continuation of that of Tewodros, because Yohannes tried to implement some of the more important items on Tewodros’s agenda. While Tewodros failed tragically in achieving his ends Yohannes was much more successful, particularly in restoring the territorial extent of the Ethiopian state. For all their differences the two great Ethiopian monarchs thus represent a continuum in the process of national rejuvenation. We therefore feel it appropriate to bring the papers of the two conferences together in a single volume.

Because conference participants used several systems of transliteration, which some of them wish to retain, the Editors have decided to maintain the spellings used in the original papers, but have made a few minimal changes in the interest of consistency.

The Editors wish to express their thanks to all those who made the conference and this publication possible. Special thanks are due to Ato Abdulrahman Sherif, Director of the School of Fine Arts, who most kindly lent paintings and sculpture; to Woizero Membere Wolde Georgis for photographic assistance, and to Ato Tatek Samare for typesetting these papers so expertly on the computer.

Thanks are due also to the many friends and colleagues who assisted with the Symposium and Exhibition, as well as with the publication of the present volume. They include Maitre-Artiste Afewerk Tekle who made available a study for stamps, also reproduced in this volume; Woizero Ethiopia Wubneh who lent a study by Alefelege Selam for a proposed statue of Tewodros, in Tewodros square, Addis Ababa; Ato Getachew Kebre Sellassie for making available the painting by Tibebe Terfa included in this volume and Santha Faiia for the book.

The Editors


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