“Holding Living Bodies in Graveyards”: The Violence of Keeping Ethiopian Manuscripts in Western Institutions
MetadataShow full item record
There are two types of Africa. The first is a place where people and cultures live. The second is the image of Africa that has been invented through colonial knowledge and power. The colonial image of Africa, as the Other of Europe, a land “enveloped in the dark mantle of night” was supported by western states as it justified their colonial practices (Hegel 91). Any evidence that challenged the myth of the Dark Continent was destroyed, removed or ignored. While the looting of African natural resources has been studied, the looting of African knowledges hasn’t received as much attention, partly based on the assumption that Africans did not produce knowledge that could be stolen. This article invalidates this myth by examining the legacy of Ethiopia’s indigenous Ge’ez literature, and its looting and abduction by powerful western agents. The article argues that this has resulted in epistemic violence, where students of the Ethiopian indigenous education system do not have access to their books, while European orientalists use them to interpret Ethiopian history and philosophy using a foreign lens. The analysis is based on interviews with teachers and students of ten Ge’ez schools in Ethiopia, and trips to the Ethiopian manuscript collections in The British Library, The Princeton Library, the Institute of Ethiopian Studies and The National Archives in Addis Ababa.
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Seasonal-to-Interannual Variability of Ethiopia/Horn of Africa Monsoon. Part I: Associations of Wavelet-Filtered Large-Scale Atmospheric Circulation and Global Sea Surface TemperatureSegele, Z.; Lamb, P.; Leslie, Lance (2009)Horn of Africa rainfall varies on multiple time scales, but the underlying climate system controls on this variability have not been examined comprehensively. This study therefore investigates the linkages between ...
Large-scale atmospheric circulation and global sea surface temperature associations with Horn of Africa June-September rainfallSegele, Z.; Lamb, P.; Leslie, Lance (2009)This study uses correlation, regression, and composite analyses for the period 1970–1999 to explore the relationships between the June–September rainfall in the Horn of Africa (especially Ethiopian) and large-scale regional ...
Blades, M.; Collins, A.; Foden, J.; Payne, J.; Xu, X.; Alemu, T.; Woldetinsae, G.; Clark, Christopher; Taylor, R. (2015)The Western Ethiopian Shield (WES) forms a vast, underexplored, region of the East African Orogen. Lying towards the west of the orogen and between the dominantly juvenile Arabian-Nubian Shield in the north and the ...