Ethiopian Highlands

by Hayden C

People and Culture

The Amhara are the most populous and influential group in the Ethiopian Highlands. For approximately 1000 years, they have been the gears of Ethiopian history.
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"If the heart cannot see, the eyes cannot see." That quote is used in the Ethiopian culture. The Ethiopians were the first country to adopt Christianity as its primary religion. One legend says that the Ark of the Covenant from the Bible rests in Ethiopia. But the Covenant was supposed to be lost. This myth puzzles people still today. Ethiopians claim that it is a fact that it lies in Ethiopia, but many are not so sure.
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"Kendra Negast" is an Ethiopian folk tale about the lost Ark of the Covenant and it's supposed presence in Ethiopia. This tale is also about the biblical King Solomon of Jurusalem. King Solomon had a son, Menelik who departed with his mother, Queen of Sheba. Menelik went to back to Jurusalem to visit his father, King Solomon. There, he was shown treasures of Judah, and named king of Ethiopia. Menelik left for Ethiopia and carried the Ark of the Covenant, but King Solomon's army pursued Menelik. But God lifted Menelik over the Red Sea safely to Ethiopia with the Covenant. That's why the Ethiopian's claim possession of the Covenant.
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Most of Ethiopia's music consists of hand-clapping and drums. They also sing and play the flute. Musical instruments are primarily composed of wood, rope, animal hide and strings.