November 26, 2010

Ethiopian Beauty Pageant Some History Some Problems

A group of Ethiopians under the name of Ethio American Entertainment Inc. organized in 1988 the first Ethiopian Beauty Pageant in Washington DC. Herein is the events that took place in that year. A summary of the booklet distributed at the pageant identifies all the participants, the early history of pageants in the world and the Miss Addis Ababa Beauty Contest ( Amharic ; Kungena Wededer)of 1964 and 1968.

This Site is being Constantly Upgraded with New Information !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The cover photograph of the Miss Ethiopia Pageant booklet shows Wossene Hailu being crowned in 1968 as Miss Addis Ababa by Vice President Hubert Humphrey.

Emperor Haile Selassie Receiving Wossene Hailu the Miss Addis Ababa of 1968 at the palace. The Haile Selassie University students at this time refered to the vice president as Kubet Humphrey. Kubet in Amharic means dried cow dung. Most of the students were radicalized Marxist oriented protesters against the feudal government.

Congratulatory Letter from Vice President Hubert Humphrey to Wossene Hailu, the 1968 Miss Addis Ababa.

The Ethiopian Beauty Pageant contestants were listed in the booklet with their names, date of birth, education and interests. A brief account of their backgrounds was also listed. There was no uniform pattern in the photographs and it seems that either they provided whatever photos they could get hold of from the contestants or there was a photo shot taken by the organizers. Thus there seems to be two or three classes of appearances, the Western look, the traditional look and the business-like look. One contestant even appears in blue jeans. Regardless, the photos in the booklet was for information only but it could have been an influence in the selection for the winner of Miss Ethiopia by the judges.

Etenesh Wondemu (above) won the Miss Achievement catagory in the 1988 Miss Ethiopia Pageant. Her charisma, energy, confidence and looks certainly paid off!!

Sehin Belew the New Miss Ethiopia 1988 of the Washington DC Pageant at Hilton Hotel
Update Information;

Sehin Belew in 2010, more than 20 years later and still looking good! Her secret for being fabulous every day is revealed in her recent book titled Fabulous for Less!

November 17, 2010

History of Medicine in Ethiopia

CIBA SYMPOSIA describes the medical situation of Ethiopia in 1944 after the end of the Italo-Ethiopian war. It also describes the establishment of the various hospitals and clinics in Addis Ababa and Ethiopia. Click on the images for better viewing. The report continues with descriptions of the diseases commonly found in Ethiopia such as malaria, venereal diseases, tuberculosis, leprosy, typhus diseases, relapsing fever, cholera, yellow fever, smallpox, helminthic diseases, diseases of the the skin, gastrointestinal disturbances, eye diseases, framboesia and some disease terms in Amharic. These diseases are generally catagorized under Tropical Diseases as contrasted with diseases in the United States and most developed countries wherein the diseases are described as sort of Metabolic, Carcinogenic and Modern society sedentary diseases.

November 12, 2010

Native Medicine in Ethiopia 1944

Native medicine in Ethiopia is described by U.S. Technical Project in CIBA Symposia after the Italo-Ethiopian War. The findings, which is incomplete and partial, has pitfalls since many traditional herbal medicines is not described. It is interesting that Kosso is mentioned and today European companies have identified one of the active ingredients of Kosso in the lab. Sadly, they have peddled the "Kossin chemical" as their own to the Ethiopians with tragic consequences to some patients. Ethiopians, however, are able to better describe their traditional or folk medicine (a better terminology) as in this article of another expectorant by Amare Getahun.
"Some Common Medicinal And Poisonous Plants Used In Ethiopian Folk Medicine" :
Rosa abyssinica R.Br.
keqa (A)
wild Ethiopian Rose (English)
The edible fruits are good tapeworm and round worm expectorants

CIBA Pharmaceutical Report on Native Medicine in Ethiopia

November 02, 2010

Artistic Works of Adis Gebru of Ethiopia

Ethiopia has produced many artists throughout the long history of the country. The illuminated manuscripts, as an example, are some of the longest surviving works produced by selfless and patient artists in the early history of Ethiopia. Certain books in the West have shamelessly described the arts of Ethiopia as cartoon-like and childish in appearance. This is far from the truth! Shown below are the works of the artist Adis Gebru dated 2008 of traditional Ethiopians as they are without the flair of Westernizations. Their Ethiopic looks are now well known through the world and this characteristics has been carried unchanged through 4000 years of their history and independence. This is just one example of many talented Ethiopian artists.

The titles of the painting (bold) and comments by Ethiopedia

1. Long Trip. Man and child. Men nurture kids and traditionally are referred to as having given birth to a child like a women

2. Netella Wear. This is the traditional wear of the Highlander Ethiopians

3. My Coffee Maker. Coffee from Kaffa Ethiopia still grows wild in the shadows of the forests and the coffee ceremony is a favorite of many Ethiopian restaurants and homes

4. Impressionable Age. Children are very much loved and protected in Ethiopia

5. Spinning. This cotton spin tradition has not changed since the times of the Pharoahs as seen in the Persian relief below

6. Interesting Style. Ethiopian women like to adorn themselves just like their black kins in Egypt including the same cotton dress with same design

7. Reminescence. The older you are the wiser, so the Shimageles (Elders) are sought for wise advices

8. Stylish. An Oromo lady proudly posing her good looks

9. Adorned. Ethiopian women are much sought after but are good fighters too if disrespected.

October 31, 2010

Do you Have a Calling or Desire to be Somebody ?

Throughout our Formative years, as we grow and become more knowledgable to our surroundings, there is a tendency to perceive a Calling or desire to be Somebody. There are three classes to this phenomenon; Those who can plan their future successfully, those who do not have a clear idea and wait as things develop and finally those who come to this world without any idea of what to do with their lives.

In the above photograph of about 1972, the Wingate High School graduate (arrow) in Addis Abeba, Ethiopia and others are posing proudly for the photographer of the Haile Sellassie I Prize Trust. Is it possible to guess what career they will follow or What important person they will become or do they look like they have a Calling for Ethiopia? What is the opinion of most people about the person identified by the arrow? Who is he? What are his aspirations? It would also be very interesting to identify the rest of the group and what careers they pursued and deeds they accomplished after almost thirty years.

A number of searches revealed the identity of the person (arrow). Today he is the Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi. If you double click on the photo, a larger image of the person is observed with a very stronge resemblance of none other than the Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

The student that could be voted as the most friendly could be the one on the first row second from right. That is right its Meles Zenawi. Best friends in Ethiopia usually hold hands or lean on a friend's shoulder, a practice long gone away in the West where it is frowned upon.

The above student (arrow) is Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia

June 20, 2010

Origin of the Violin:the Idingiti Fiddle of Uganda, the Njarka of Mali, the Arab Rebab and the Ethiopian Massinqo or Masinko

Njarka of Mali

Arab Bedouin Rebab

Ethiopian Massinqo

Ugandan Idingiti

The Idingiti, a fiddle from Uganda, is similar in many ways to the Ethiopian fiddle called the Massinqo. In the world of Ethiopian musical instrument, the Massinqo (Messenqo) is an outstanding example of Ethiopian ingenuity. This one stringed fiddle may be the originator of the violin and the Arab one-stringed Rebab, the Chinese two-stringed fiddle called Erhu and the Ugandan one-stringed fiddle called Idingiti. From start to finish, the Masinko is built without the use of nails and glue. Indeed it is completely organic in construction by using just wood, goat skin, horse tail hair and cow gut string.

The existence of the Ugandan Masinko, called Idingiti, should not come as a surprise because Uganda is a stone’s throw away from Ethiopia. The development of the Idingiti could also have been due in part of the sphere of influence of Greater Ethiopia in the past. However, the Idingiti has been shrouded in mystery. This is not surprising! Uganda, as a former colony of Britain, was imposed with the idea that everything African, people or culture, was inferior and should be shelved away in a dingy room or alternatively at the British museum in London. In contrast, the Ethiopian Masinko thrived throughout the ages as there were no foreign colonial Masters to pass various suppressive decrees on the Ethiopians. Thus the Ugandan Idingiti is not very familiar to the many Masinko players and Azmaris of Ethiopia and musicians of the world.

The following description of the Idingiti is taken from a UNESCO vinyl record publication on the preservation of authentic African musical instrument such as the Idingiti and the Inanga; The idingiti of Uganda is a type of fiddle with a resonator made from a cross-section of a bull’s horn surmounted by a skin stretched over the sound box and nailed with wooden pegs; the neck supports a single string, a fiber of an agave plant attached to a glued knob at the lower end and to a peg inserted in the headpiece on top of the neck. Played with a fiber bow, it rests on the chest and is held by the right hand while the left produces a variety of sounds by touching the string. The Idingiti is used effectively as both a solo and accompanying instrument; in group playing, it carries the melody as does the flute. This description also applies to the Masinko of Ethiopia as described in Michael Powne’s book Ethiopian Music as well as the single-stringed Njarka of Mali which has a body made out of a gourd.

Michael Powne, in his book Ethiopian Music, indicates that the Rebab, an Arabian Masinko, was probably the musical devise that originated the Ethiopian Masinko. In the opinion of Ethiopedia, the use of the word “probably” suggests that Powne was not sure as to the origin of the Masinko. He might as well suggested that the Masinko was the inspiration for the invention of the Arabian Rebab. Indeed had the Masinko originated in Arabia, the Ethiopians would have called their beloved Masinko by the Arab name Rebab as did the Europeans who named their one two and three stringed Masinko as Rebec from the Arabic Rebab. Ofcourse the Rebec then gave rise to the European stradivarius violin.

Travelers are sometimes great observers of events and cultures they travel through in years past. One such person is Father Alvares, a Portuguese who traveled in Ethiopia in the sixteenth century. He describes the Masinko, albeit with few errors. Without any doubt, the Masinko did exist in Ethiopia even prior to that period by many thousands of years. The Ugandan Idingiti is probably as old too and is the blood brother of the Masinko.