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The palace of the hairy king - An Ethiopian political and religious riddle
Título Revista/Livro/Outro
Jewish-Christian Relations from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean: Evidence from Material Culture. Bochum University, 26-28 March
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In this paper, I propose to follow a mysterious lead offered by Amhara and Agaw oral historical legends that refer to the building of royal palaces in the Gondar region, Northern Ethiopia, during the 17th century, and the complex political and religious tensions the region witnessed at the time. The topos of the lascivious hairy king who doubles as a apostate of the established Christian Orthodox faith has a strategic place in oral legends that propose to make sense of the internal contradictions of a territory where the presence of European Catholics precipitated splits in local Christian Orthodoxy, the arrival of Yemeni Muslims coincided with a renewed status of local Muslims in the Christian royal court, and the native Beta Israel and the Qemant, as well as the animist Oromo faced and were progressively drawn into the power struggles of the kingdom. In the ensuing analysis I also propose to revise the strict distinction between materiality and immateriality in the consideration of the intersections between archaeological evidence, written documentation and oral sources in this specific cultural context.
Ethiopia,Qemant,Beta Israel,Anthropology
  • História e Arqueologia - Humanidades
  • Antropologia - Ciências Sociais

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