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Ethiopians by choice

May 11, 2012

ARGUABLY, there’s no individual who tirelessly toils studying Ethiopian Philosophy as the late Canadian philosopher Claude Sumner. Sumner penned five volumes of monographic works on Classical Ethiopian Philosophy and collected and later published three volumes of folktales and wisdom of the Oromo of Ethiopia. Musing on his attachment to Ethiopia, Sumner calls himself as ‘Canadian by birth, Ethiopian by choice’.

Sumner is not a lone case. Aplenty of foreigners — scholars and observers alike — immerse themselves in the Ethiopian Studies that stretched from history to philosophy to literature to anthropology to politics and law. Among others, Francisco Álvares, James Bruce, Jon Abbink, John Markakis, Donald Levin, Richard Pankhurst,  Claude Sumner, and Christopher Clapham are some of the notable ones.

Reading their works written from an outsider perspective flashed a different viewpoint that we regard for the country that we know.  When the ‘Abyssinian Liar’ James Bruce, hyperbolically, told Europe that he witnessed the horror of raw meat consumption in Ethiopia it was one of the biggest stories that hits his homeland though it was just part of Ethiopians daily cuisine. In other words, what’s cherished as a honorable act could be a horrifying spectacle from an outsiders standpoint. Hence, a mirrored perspective is priceless.

For a starter, regardless of their motive behind, herein, I share some of the works of foreign akin-observers of Ethiopia.

A History of Ethiopia, Harold G. Marcus  or buy a copy on Amazon

Ethiopia and  The Red Sea, Mordichi Abir or buy a copy on Amazon 

Ethiopia and the Middle East, Haggai Erlich or buy a copy on Amazon

Ethiopia, Traditions of Creativity, Raymond A. Silverman or buy a copy on Amazon

Travels And Adventures In Abyssinia, James Bruce or buy a copy on Amazon

 Imagining Ethiopia: Struggles for History and Identity in the Horn of Africa, John Sorensen or buy a copy on Amazon

Islam in Ethiopia, J. Spencer Trimingham or buy a copy on Amazon

Remapping Ethiopia, Socialism and After, Numerous Authors or buy it on Amazon

Southern Ethiopia, Abbink et al in North-East African Studies


From → Random resources

  1. Lelisa jemal permalink

    U R young by age, but incomparable by knowledge . I love all of your…. 10 Q u dear

  2. This has been so helpful… awaiting your next collection of the writings about Ethiopia by foreigners.

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