Addis Ethiopia Weblog

Ethiopia's World / የኢትዮጵያ ዓለም

  • May 2022
    M T W T F S S
  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Recent Posts

Posts Tagged ‘ፎቶ’

ታዋቂው ፎቶ አንሺ ገዳማቶቻችንን ከጎበኘ በኋላ | “እዚያ ኃይል እንዳለ ይሰማችኋል”

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on December 25, 2018

ዝነኛው ብራዚላዊ ፎቶ አንሺ ሴባስቲአዎ ሳልጋዶ እነዚያ ቅዱሳን ተራራ ላይ የሚገኙትን ገዳማት ከጎበኘ በኋላ ነበር ይህን የተናገረው። ድንቅ የሆኑት ፎቶዎቹ ይህን ይመሰክራሉ።

In every step we discovered new things,” Salgado explains. You feel the power there.

A Legendary Photographer Visits an Isolated Christian Community in Ethiopia High in the mountains of eastern Africa, an ancient way of life continues apace

We were very tired,” Sebastião Salgado recalls. He was on a 500-mile, 55-day hike though some of the most inaccessible passages in the Ethiopian highlands, a region known as the roof of Africa, where the elevations range from a few thousand feet to almost 15,000. “We had to climb, to climb, to climb,” he says in his Portuguese-accented English. Finally he and his porters and guides reached a village. “It was about 2 p.m., very hot. Very few people.”

But “slowly, slowly people start to come out,” says Salgado, one of the world’s premier photographers. Among the villagers were “two ladies with a kind of basin, wood basin, and with water. They came beside my feet, they took off my boots, my socks, and they washed my feet. Oh boy, I felt the humility of the beginning of the Christians.”

This sacred encounter, reminiscent of the biblical scene in which Jesus washes the feet of his disciples, was a highlight of the extraordinary journey that led Salgado to create the pictures on these pages. They commemorate a people’s profound connection to both the heavens and the earth.

It was 2008, and Salgado, a native of Brazil, was 64 years old. His monumental projects Workers (1993) and Migrations (2000) had established his pre-eminence as a chronicler of conflict, dislocation and environmental degradation. Then, as an antidote to despair, he embarked on an eight-year quest involving some 30 trips all over the globe to seek out places and peoples untouched by modernity, including the highlanders of Ethiopia.

Why would a man risk his 64-year-old knees on terrain so difficult that it killed five of his expedition’s rented donkeys? “In every step we discovered new things,” Salgado explains. “You feel the power there.”

The highlands hold traces of ancient Jewish communities, though most of Ethiopia’s Jews emigrated to Israel in the 1980s and ’90s to escape famine, persecution and civil war. Some of the world’s oldest Christian communities persist there, populated by the spiritual descendants of an Ethiopian court official who, according to the New Testament, was converted to the faith a few years after the death of Christ. Today, Ethiopian Orthodox Christians make up 44 percent of the country’s population; Sunni Muslims, who are concentrated in the east, make up 34 percent.

Sectarian and civil conflict still wrack other parts of Ethiopia, but not this one. Setting out from Lalibela, with its 11 renowned monolithic medieval churches, Salgado headed southeast and then turned northwest, to Simien Mountains National Park. Some people he had consulted before his trip advised him to hire armed guards, so he did. “Two guys with Kalashnikovs,” he says. “After one week we sent them back, because we felt that the people would take this as an offense. When you come to a place, everyone brings a gift to you, they are so kind.”

He, too, brought gifts—knives and tools to trade for lamb meat to supplement the food he packed in for himself and his retinue of 17 guides, porters and donkey-tenders. So few people tread the path they took that “we had no guide capable to come with us from the beginning to the end,” he says. When one guide’s knowledge of the way ahead ran out, Salgado hired someone who could pick up the trail. With local expertise, plus a GPS-equipped satellite telephone, they stayed on track. With solar panels, he kept his phone and camera batteries charged. But above all else, he says, he valued his hiking shoes.

The highland villages are so far removed from the rest of the world, Salgado says, that in most of them he was the first outsider to visit in memory. And they’re so cut off from one another that they speak different dialects. “But they are linked by the same God,” he says. “These communities are Christians from the beginning of time.” In these communities, he saw churches fashioned from caves, Bibles written on animal skins and traditions that reflect Christianity’s Judaic roots, such as forgoing milk and meat on Wednesdays and Fridays. He was especially taken with the highlanders’ terraced farms: “I looked at all this incredible, sophisticated agriculture, I said, ‘We had these 10,000 years ago.’”

For him, the villages bespeak a continuity over millennia, and the landscape—with its blazing shafts of sunlight and a river-carved canyon deeper, at points, than the Grand Canyon—inspires a connection to eons past.

That river, the Tekezé, ultimately nourished the Blue Nile Delta, hundreds of miles away. “All that fertile land energy came from there, eroded from there,” Salgado says, “and boy, me walking there, seeing this, doing my task inside the beginning of our history, was something amazing, amazing, amazing, amazing.”



Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

ክርስቲና ጋርሲያ: “ላሊበላ ለሰማይ ቅርብ ናት” | ግሩም የፎቶ ትርኢት በ ማድሪድ ከተማ

Posted by addisethiopia / አዲስ ኢትዮጵያ on July 23, 2017

ክርስቲና ጋርሲያ ሮዴሮ የተባለቸው ታዋቂ እስፓኛዊት ፎቶ አንሺ “ላሊበላ ለሰማይ ቅርብ ናት” ያሰኛትን ጉዞ ወደ ላሊበላ አድርጋ ነበር። እ..አ ከ 2000 እስከ 2009 .ም ባሉት ዓመታት ክሪስቲና ጋርሲያ ብዙ ጊዜ ወደ ኢትዮጳያ በመመላለስ፡ በተለይ ስለ ላሊበላ ያላትን አድናቆት ግሩም በሆኑት ፎቶዎቿ ለመግለጽ በቅታለች። እነዚህን ፎቶዎች የያዘ የፎቶ ኤግዚቢሽን በታዋቂው የማድሪድ ከተማ የኤግዚቢሽን ማዕከል ከሰኔ 1 እስከ ሐምሌ 31 ድረስ ለተመልካቾች ክፍት ነው።

በአናሎግ እና ዲጂታል መንገድ ጥቁርና ነጭ ቀለም ይዘው የተቀረጹት በእነዚህ 90 ውብ እና ድንቅ የፎቶ ናሙናዎች፡ ዓለቶች መካከል ሆነው ቅዱሳን መጻሕፍት በማንበብ ከዓምላካቸው ጋር ሲነጋገሩ፣ ፅኑ እምነት፣ ገርነት እና ደግነት ያላቸው ምዕመናን ነጭ ልብስ ለብሰው በየአብያተክሪስቲያናቱ ለሰዓታት ጸሎት ሲያደርሱ ይታያሉ።

እንደ ክሪስቲና አባባል፡

ምንም እንኳን መነኮሳቱ, ልጆች እና ታማኝ የሆኑት ምዕመናን ከበድ የሚል ዓለማዊ አኗኗር ያላቸው መስሎ ቢታየንም ፡ ለአምላካቸው የሚያሳዩት ፍቅር ከአንድ እጅግ ውብ የሆነ ዘር መውጣታቸውን ይጠቁመናል

Rock-Hewn Churches Mark Old ‘new Jerusalem’ In Ethiopia | Toronto Star

I’m in Lalibela, a small town cradled in the mountains of northern Ethiopia and home to 11 rock-hewn churches. Commissioned by King Gebre Mesqel Lalibela back in the 13th century, these places of worship had been created as a new Jerusalem for Ethiopian Orthodox pilgrims. Now recognized and protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, they continue to pull in people by the thousands from around the world, drawn to the biggest attraction in a country where tourism is on the rise.

I start the day at the largest of them all, Biete Medhane Alem, or House of the Saviour of the World, descending from ground level and circumnavigating the structure before we enter. Melkamu explains the basics as we go. We pass portraits of devotion — an impossibly elderly woman with a red-crossed hat reciting prayers, a man folded in behind the pillars of the church, doing the same — and Melkamu notes that Ethiopia had been one of the first countries to adopt Christianity. Actually mentioned in the biblical Book of Acts, Ethiopia adopted Christianity as its official state religion in the fourth century.

The churches here had been constructed at the direction of King Lalibela after the sultan Saladin captured Jerusalem in 1187. Carved from grey basalt and volcanic red scoria, “these were built by Ethiopians — with the help of the angels, of course,” Melkamu says.

It seems wherever we go, we see the faces of angels — Ethiopian ones —with beautiful round faces flanked by wings, staring at us from the ceiling, or from frescoes on the walls.

At Biete Maryam (House of Miriam), Melkamu pauses to kiss the doors before entering, then shows us the icons inside, which include ancient frescoes depicting the Holy Family’s flight to Egypt.

We also see priests everywhere, their heads wrapped in turbans and a wooden staff always at the ready. They gather together and walk past, reading and talking and, like everyone else, praying.

We see deacons, too, clustered and crouched against the round wall of a traditional tukul, with mud walls and a thatched roof, a mantra falling from their mouths like a sort of song, a stream of foreign words being lifted from the little scripture books held before them to the heavens above. “They’re speaking in Ge’ez, the ancient language of Ethiopian liturgy,” Melkamu explains. “These boys are considered deacons. If they pass the exams and get married, they will one day be priests in the church.”

In single day, we tour all 11 churches, clamouring up and down stone steps and crouching through tunnels and even once climbing up on a roof for a panoramic view of Biete Golgotha Mikael, which is said to contain the tomb of King Lalibela himself. We cross the Jordan River, now at the end of the dry season, just a sliver of green, filmy water. We make our way through dark tunnels and even visit Biete Lehem — literally, Bethlehem — the House of Bread, where loaves were baked for Holy Communion.

Exhausted, we make one final descent into the carved rock, the sun casting long, warm rays on top of Biete Giyorgis, the Church of St. George, the jewel in Lalibela’s crown, named for the patron saint of Ethiopia. We make our way down a small path into the crevices that surround the cross-shaped and intricately hewn church, slipping our shoes off, one last time, as we ascend the steps. We enter a church devoid of tourists, the priest’s chants cutting eerily through the silent space.

As I sit down next to him, Melkamu calls out to the man, asking him to give me a blessing. And just like that — before I expect it — his cross is on my face. I react poorly, giving a quick start, before getting hold of myself and settling down. I thank the priest and, at his encouragement, slip him a small bill for his efforts. No, it wasn’t a good blessing, but is there such thing as a bad one? Slipping my shoes back on, I decide that, either way, I’m relieved — after all, now, there’s no way I will have to go (back) to hell.

When you go

Do this trip: A boutique firm based in Addis Ababa, FKLM Tours (, provides tailor-made itineraries all over Ethiopia. Using local guides who know the lay of the land, as well as top-notch equipment that includes luxury Land Cruisers, many of its itineraries include at least two days in Lalibela.

Get there:Ethiopian Airlines ( provides the only direct air service between Canada and Africa. About 13 hours (flying east, from Toronto to Addis Ababa), the trip is undertaken in Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft, whose Cloud Nine business-class cabin includes spacious seats that fold into fully flat beds.

Stay: With both traditional rooms and large, rather luxurious tukul with patios that overlook a valley, Sora Lodge ( in Lalibela provides comfortable nights and good meals at its on-property German-themed restaurant.

Eat: In Lalibela, try excellent local or international cuisine at Ben Abeda ( Crowning a small mountain with a structure that looks straight out of The Jetsons, lunch or dinner here comes with 360-degree views of the surrounding landscape.



Posted in Ethiopia, Faith | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

%d bloggers like this: