Thursday, September 29, 2016

Ethiopian tribes being tainted by the outside world shown in powerful images | Daily Mail Online

Breastfeeding while cradling an AK-47: Powerful images reveal how remote Ethiopian tribes are being tainted by the outside world

  • Pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by outside world
  • Neil Thomas took images of Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes in South Omo, Ethiopia
  • One young mother can be seen breastfeeding her child as she cradles an automatic weapon  
  • An elder from Hamer tribe poses covered in traditional white paint with a gun carried over his shoulders
Standing proudly carrying their AK-47s, these powerful pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by the outside world.
The images, which capture six different remote tribes living in South Omo, Ethiopia, reveal how elements of the modern world are slowly starting to be introduced into their traditional culture.
One young mother can be seen breastfeeding her child as she cradles an automatic weapon under her arm. In another compelling image, an elder from the Hamer tribe poses with a gun carried over his shoulders.
Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas captured images of members of the Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes as part of this photo series.
Perhaps the tribe with the most elaborate body decoration is the Karo - they imitate the plumage of the guinea fowl by dabbing their torsos with white chalk paint before important ceremonies.
More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people.
Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley. 
As the government has taken over more and more tribal land, competition for scarce resources has intensified and the introduction of firearms has made inter-ethnic fighting more dangerous.
Standing proudly carrying an AK-47 while breastfeeding her child, this powerful picture of a young mother shows how previously untouched tribes are being influenced by the outside world. Wearing a traditional robe and displaying a lip disc, the woman from one of the tribes in South Omo, Ethiopia, can be seen staring intently at the camera. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas captured members of the Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes as part of this photo series
Standing proudly carrying an AK-47 while breastfeeding her child, this powerful picture of a young mother shows how previously untouched tribes are being influenced by the outside world. Wearing a traditional robe and displaying a lip disc, the woman from one of the tribes in South Omo, Ethiopia, can be seen staring intently at the camera. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas captured members of the Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes as part of this photo series
In another compelling image, an elder from the Hamer tribe poses covered in traditional white paint with a gun carried over his shoulders. The  men in this African tribe  have to endure strenuous ritual ceremonies. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas said: 'The most important event in Hamer society is the men's initiation rite of the jumping of bulls. The man, who is stark naked, must jump onto, and run across the backs of about 30 bulls who have been manhandled into a row'
In another compelling image, an elder from the Hamer tribe poses covered in traditional white paint with a gun carried over his shoulders. The men in this African tribe have to endure strenuous ritual ceremonies. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas said: 'The most important event in Hamer society is the men's initiation rite of the jumping of bulls. The man, who is stark naked, must jump onto, and run across the backs of about 30 bulls who have been manhandled into a row'
An elder from the Karo tribe can also be carrying an automatic weapon. This group takes pride in their elaborate body decoration and they imitate the plumage of the guinea fowl by dabbing their torsos with white chalk paint before important ceremonies. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
An elder from the Karo tribe can also be carrying an automatic weapon. This group takes pride in their elaborate body decoration and they imitate the plumage of the guinea fowl by dabbing their torsos with white chalk paint before important ceremonies. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
Covered in white paint, this tribesman from South Omo is seen holding a weapon. These powerful pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by the outside world. The images, which capture six different remote tribes living in South Omo, Ethiopia, reveal how elements of the modern world are slowly starting to be introduced into their traditional culture
Covered in white paint, this tribesman from South Omo is seen holding a weapon. These powerful pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by the outside world. The images, which capture six different remote tribes living in South Omo, Ethiopia, reveal how elements of the modern world are slowly starting to be introduced into their traditional culture
Perhaps the tribe with the most elaborate body decoration is the Karo. This young boy can be seen covered in intricate patterns using white paint. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
Perhaps the tribe with the most elaborate body decoration is the Karo. This young boy can be seen covered in intricate patterns using white paint. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
Two young women from the Abore tribe are seen here looking after livestock in South Omo, Ethiopia. They are traditionally a pastoralist society. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
Two young women from the Abore tribe are seen here looking after livestock in South Omo, Ethiopia. They are traditionally a pastoralist society. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
This tribesman can be seen wearing an elaborate headdress as he poses with an automatic weapon. These  powerful pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by the outside world. The images, which capture six different remote tribes living in South Omo, Ethiopia, reveal how elements of the modern world are slowly starting to be introduced into their traditional culture
This tribesman can be seen wearing an elaborate headdress as he poses with an automatic weapon. These powerful pictures of indigenous tribes show how previously untouched groups are being influenced by the outside world. The images, which capture six different remote tribes living in South Omo, Ethiopia, reveal how elements of the modern world are slowly starting to be introduced into their traditional culture
A  Mursi warrior is seen here carrying a gun while on a fishing trip. The tribe has a reputation as boasting fierce warriors, due to their intimidating appearance. They are known for their enormous lip stretching plates and animal-horn headpieces. The photographer said: "On my repeat trips I feel I am beginning to understand the tribes better and have made friends with many people. This always makes the experience richer"
A Mursi warrior is seen here carrying a gun while on a fishing trip. The tribe has a reputation as boasting fierce warriors, due to their intimidating appearance. They are known for their enormous lip stretching plates and animal-horn headpieces. The photographer said: 'On my repeat trips I feel I am beginning to understand the tribes better and have made friends with many people. This always makes the experience richer'
This smiling Karo elder can be seen grinning as he poses with a gun. This group takes pride in their elaborate body decoration and they imitate the plumage of the guinea fowl by dabbing their torsos with white chalk paint before important ceremonies. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
This smiling Karo elder can be seen grinning as he poses with a gun. This group takes pride in their elaborate body decoration and they imitate the plumage of the guinea fowl by dabbing their torsos with white chalk paint before important ceremonies. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
An Abore boy can be seen being painted for a ceremony in this colourful shot. The small tribe resides in the southwest region of the Omo Valley. They have ancestral and cultural associations with Borenna and Konso peoples and perform many ritual dances while singing
An Abore boy can be seen being painted for a ceremony in this colourful shot. The small tribe resides in the southwest region of the Omo Valley. They have ancestral and cultural associations with Borenna and Konso peoples and perform many ritual dances while singing
An  Arbore elder is seen posing here in a traditional cloak. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
An Arbore elder is seen posing here in a traditional cloak. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley
This incredible shot shows a heavily painted tribeswoman with an elaborate headpiece, taken in South Omo, Ethiopia. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas captured images of members of the Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes as part of this photo series. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
This incredible shot shows a heavily painted tribeswoman with an elaborate headpiece, taken in South Omo, Ethiopia. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas captured images of members of the Arbore, Dassanech, Hamer, Karo, Mursi and Suri tribes as part of this photo series. More than 40 tribes reside within South Omo and the valley is home to about 200,000 people
A painted tribesman from South Omo, Ethiopia, is seen posing in this shot. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley. As more Western tourists begin to visit the area, the modern world is consequently being introduced into the tribe's culture
A painted tribesman from South Omo, Ethiopia, is seen posing in this shot. Due to the development of new road networks and telecommunication networks, the area has become more accessible to the outside world and globalisation has made its mark on the Omo Valley. As more Western tourists begin to visit the area, the modern world is consequently being introduced into the tribe's culture
A smiling Hamer tribeswoman can be seen cradling her child in this shot. The men in this African tribe have to endure strenuous ritual ceremonies. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas said: 'The most important event in Hamer society is the men's initiation rite of the jumping of bulls. The man, who is stark naked, must jump onto, and run across the backs of about 30 bulls who have been manhandled into a row'
A smiling Hamer tribeswoman can be seen cradling her child in this shot. The men in this African tribe have to endure strenuous ritual ceremonies. Kenyan-born photographer Neil Thomas said: 'The most important event in Hamer society is the men's initiation rite of the jumping of bulls. The man, who is stark naked, must jump onto, and run across the backs of about 30 bulls who have been manhandled into a row'

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

How Ethiopian prince scuppered Germany's WW1 plans - BBC News

  • 25 September 2016
  •  
  • From the sectionWorld


Lij IyasuImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionAt 16 years old, Iyasu took the opportunity of the death of the regent to claim personal rule


A hundred years ago, the Ethiopian prince Lij Iyasu was deposed after the Orthodox church feared he had converted to Islam. But it also scuppered Germany's plans to draw Ethiopia into World War One, writes Martin Plaut.
In January 1915 a dhow slipped quietly out of the Arabian port of Al-Wajh. On board were a group of Germans and Turks, under the guise of the Fourth German Inner-Africa Research Expedition.
Led by Leo Frobenius, adventurer, archaeologist and personal friend of the German Emperor, Kaiser Wilhelm II, its aim was nothing less than to encourage Ethiopia to enter World War One.
Germany believed that the Suez canal was Britain's "jugular vein" allowing troops and supplies to be brought from Australia, New Zealand and India.

The war plan

An assault on the canal by Turkish and German forces had been repelled in early 1915, but it was clear that this was not the final attack.
Ethiopia - an independent nation - was the major power in the region and Germany believed that if it could persuade the Ethiopians to enter the war on its side, British and allied forces would have to be withdrawn from the Canal and other fronts.
The aims of the General Staff in Berlin were: "To force the enemy to commit large forces in defending their colonies in the Horn of Africa, thus weakening their European front and relieving the German forces fighting in German East Africa."
This called for "insurrection" in Sudan with the aim of toppling British rule and attacks on French-ruled Djibouti and Italian Eritrea.


Leo Frobenius and his party on a dhow being smuggled into EritreaImage copyrightFORBENIUS INSTITUTE
Image captionLeo Frobenius and his party were smuggled into Eritrea on a dhow


"The colonial Italian and French possessions on the shore of the Red Sea were difficult even impossible to defend without [the] commitment of large forces: chances were that an Ethiopian blow against the shores of the Red Sea and Suez Canal would either succeed at once, or that Italy and France would voluntarily withdraw in view of the critical situation of the European front, where all men and rifles were badly needed after the initial military successes of the Central powers."
In Berlin's view, the "double threat" of internal insurrection in Sudan and an Ethiopian offensive would pave the way for a successful attack on the Suez Canal by Turkish forces "supported by a German expeditionary force".
The loss of the Canal would be a decisive blow against Britain and its allies, from which it would be unable to recover.

Mission failure

It was with this objective in mind that Frobenius was despatched to Ethiopia, with orders which mirrored the plans drawn up by the British for an Arab uprising against the Ottomans - plans which resulted in the Arab Revolt of 1916 and the legend of "Lawrence of Arabia".
The Frobenius expedition landed in the Italian colony of Eritrea on 15 February but the Italians, who were British allies, arrested them.
Forbenius was deported back to Berlin, but the German high command were determined that this would not be the end of the story.
A fresh expedition was despatched in June 1915, this time led by Salomon Hall, who came from a Jewish Polish family with long ties to Ethiopia.
Again he was intercepted in Eritrea. Keen-eyed police spotted that although he wore sandals, he had corns, and was clearly not the Arab he was pretending to be.
Although the Hall mission failed, copies of the documents he carried reached the German mission to Ethiopia in October.
The German envoy in Addis Ababa, Frederick Wilhelm von Syburg, was instructed to do everything possible to convince the Ethiopian government to enter the war.
Von Syburg was ordered to explain to the Ethiopians that Germany had scored "great victories" in the war and made lavish promises of what might follow.


map


"Now the time has come for Ethiopia to regain the coast of the Red Sea driving the Italians home, to restore the Empire to its ancient size...
"Germany commits herself to recognize any territory which Ethiopia may conquer or occupy in military action against the Allied powers as being her rightful and permanent property and part of the Ethiopian Empire after the war."
These plans found a ready audience with the heir to the Ethiopian throne, Lij Iyasu. The prince, who was never crowned, had become the effective ruler after his grandfather, Emperor Menelik II suffered a massive stroke in 1909, finally dying in December 1913.
On 10 April 1911 the 16-year-old Iyasu took the opportunity of the death of the regent, to claim personal rule. He was hardly ready for the position.
As historian Harold Marcus wrote: "The youth was hardly ready to govern: during his adolescence, he had mostly abandoned the classrooms for the capital's bars and brothels. He had a short attention span, and lacked political common sense, if not a grand vision."
That vision included reaching out to the Muslim peoples whom his grandfather had conquered during his expansion of Ethiopian rule from the Christian highlands into the surrounding Muslim lowlands.

Muslim empire

Lij Iyasu sent much of his time outside the capital, touring the Somali and Afar regions of his country. Iyasu was encouraged by the Ottoman envoy to Ethiopia, Ahmad Manzar.
Iyasu took a number of Muslim wives and soon rumours began spreading that the prince had adopted Islam himself.
Although his ancestors had included Muslim nobility who had converted to Christianity, the idea that Iyasu returned to Islam is contested by scholars.
What is clear is that the prince was very friendly with Muslims, including a longstanding British enemy, Sayyid, Muhammad Abd Allah al-Hassan, (known as the "Mad Mullah") of Somaliland.
Iyasu - encouraged by the Ottomans - sent weapons and ammunition to the Sayyid. Turkey went further, promising that it would land troops to back the Sayyid.
By 1916 most of the pieces were in place. Iyasu appeared to have decided to throw in his lot with the Ottoman and German cause.


Lij IyasuImage copyrightRICHARD PANKHURST
Image captionIyasu took a number of Muslim wives and soon rumours began spreading that the prince had adopted Islam himself


He was reinforced in this view by the Turkish successes in Gallipoli and Mesopotamia.
Matters came to a head in September. Reports began to circulate that Iyasu had presented an Ethiopian flag with a Red Crescent and a quotation from the Koran to Somali troops.
As historian Haggai Erlich concluded: "His steps cannot be interpreted other than leading towards a new Ethiopia, centred on Harar as the capital of an Islamic, African empire, allied with Istanbul and under his rule."

Excommunicated

The Ethiopian nobility and the church, fearing for the future of their nation as a bastion of Christianity, decided to act.
The head of the Orthodox church was persuaded - somewhat reluctantly - to excommunicate Iyasu.
On 27 September 1916, the prince was deposed. Iyasu fought back, but his troops were defeated and he fled into hiding. Iyasu was only captured in 1921, when he was finally imprisoned.
Ras Tefari - crowned Haile Selassie in 1930 - was placed on the throne.
Britain, France and Italy had encouraged the coup by lobbying the Ethiopian elite to act against Iyasu.
On 12 September, the Tripartite powers sent a formal message to the Ethiopian foreign minister complaining that Iyasu was supporting rebellion in Somaliland and demanded an immediate explanation.
With the prince out of the way, they breathed a collective sigh of relief.
As the UK ambassador to Ethiopia Wilfred Thesiger informed the Foreign Office in London: "the Government is now in the hands of those who are friendly to our cause." The threat that Ethiopia might enter the war was at an end.
The attempt to set Ethiopia on a new course as part of Kaiser Wilhelm's dream of inflaming the "whole Mohammedan world with wild revolt" had come to nought.
There had been no landing of Turkish or German troops from the Red Sea. Yet it had been a close-run thing.
If the Arab Revolt had not taken hold on the opposite side of the Red Sea and Iyasu had not played his cards quite so poorly, the outcome might have been very different, with catastrophic implications for Britain and its allies.

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Monday, December 28, 2015

Sisters Aim to Build Ethiopia's Reading Culture

Sisters Aim to Build Ethiopia's Reading Culture

FILE - A women and her children stand next to their house on the outskirts of Moyale, Ethiopia, a nation where not many books are written in local languages, and few Ethiopians read for pleasure.
FILE - A women and her children stand next to their house on the outskirts of Moyale, Ethiopia, a nation where not many books are written in local languages, and few Ethiopians read for pleasure.
Marthe van der Wolf


Despite having a population of almost 100 million, demand for books is low in Ethiopia. There are not many books written in the local languages, and few Ethiopians read for pleasure. Two sisters hope to buck the trend by publishing children's books that Ethiopian kids can easily grasp and enjoy.
Wanting to read stories to her young children, Tsion Kiros had to rely on books written in English, as there are few Amharic-language children's books available.
But the story of the tooth fairy, for example, is very different in Ethiopia than it is in the West:



“When a girl pulls a tooth, or boy, we throw it on top of the roof. And then a bird takes it, or a mouse takes it. We have this whole other culture. And this is important. Our children have to know how we do things and see our lives.”
Tsion has started a publishing house with her sister. They have published the Ethiopian version of the tooth fairy, and other stories that reflect the country's culture and environment.



Of Ethiopia's nearly 100 million people, only 49 percent are literate.
Fourteen-year-old Lidya Biset loves to read books, but said most parents do not encourage kids to read.



She said she reads on her own initiative, as most parents think going to school is more important than reading for pleasure.



That makes it difficult for Lidya to convince her mother to buy her books that are not needed for school. Her school does have a library, but there are not many books there.
The price of a newly printed book in local stores is about $1.50 — affordable for middle-class Ethiopians and less expensive than children books that previously were available.
Children's book writer Azeb Worku Sibane remembers there also was a lack of books during her childhood. Azeb wrote a book about a red fox that goes on an adventure and simultaneously teaches kids about different modes of transportation.
She said a lot needs to be done to establish a reading culture in Ethiopia:



“We need books written in Amharic and other Ethiopian languages. We need writers, who can write story for children, you need specific way of writing. And we have to encourage the cultural minister, the education minister, or the government, or parents, we have to encourage that,” said Azeb.
Tsion said her company printed 30,000 children's books in 2015 in the two most common languages in Ethiopia, Amharic and Afaan Oromifa.



She said the next step is to write and publish books in tandem with the government.



“They’ve given us a training on how to write level training books and what to include, what the theme should be, what subject we should focus on," said Tsion. "Our next step would be to use that guideline and develop storybooks.”
The publishing sisters hope to establish a reading culture by focusing on young kids first, as almost half of the Ethiopian population is under the age of 15.

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Prof. Muse Tegegne has lectured sociology Change &  Liberation  in Europe, Africa and Americas. He has obtained  Doctorat es Science from the University of Geneva.   A PhD in Developmental Studies & ND in Natural Therapies.  He wrote on the  problematic of  the Horn of  Africa extensively. He Speaks Amharic, Tigergna, Hebrew, English, French. He has a good comprehension of Arabic, Spanish and Italian.