Historical, Natural, and Cultural Photos of Ethiopia and Ethiopians

Source: most of the photos are from Google and flicker image search.

© Abebe Birhanu

Detailed plan of Menelik’s military base during the battle of Adwa.


Credit Befkadu Getachew This photograph is the last known picture of Emperor Haileselasie taken after the revolution (Sep,1974).


Emperor Haile selasie I and members of U.S. Department of Reclamation looking the planed design for constructing a Dam on the Blue Nile river in the 1960th

Photo Credit Ashu Wassie

His Imperial Majesty Emperor Haile Selassie First mediating between southern Sudanese insurgents (the Anya Nya) and the Sudan government in Addis Ababa, 1972; His mediation efforts were responsible for 11 years of relative peace in the Sudan.
By Ashu Wassie


The Italian response was immediate. According to Mockler, “Italian carabinieri had fired into the crowds of beggars and poor assembled for the distribution of alms; and it is said that the Federal Secretary, Guido Cortese, even fired his revolver into the group of Ethiopian dignitaries standing around him.” Hours later, Cortese gave the fatal order:For the rest of that day, through Saturday and Sunday, Italians killed Ethiopians with daggers and truncheons to the shouts of “Duce! Duce!” and “Civiltà Italiana!” They doused native houses with gasoline and set them on fire. They broke into the homes of local Greeks and Armenians and lynched their servants. Some even posed on the corpses of their victims to have their photographs taken. In three days, the Italians had killed 30000 Ethiopians in Addis Ababa only.

The first day is commemorated as “Yekatit 12” (Ethiopian February 19) till now. There is a monument called with the same name in Addis Ababa in memory of those Ethiopian victims of Italian aggression. The attempted murder provided the Italians with the reason to implement Mussolini’s order, issued as early as 3 May 1936, to summarily execute “The Young Ethiopians”, the group of intellectuals who had received college education from American and European colleges. The same day as the assassination, a military tribunal was set up, and by nightfall 62 Ethiopians were tried and shot. “The Graziani Massacre marked the almost total liquidation of the intellectual component of the Resistance,” writes Bahru Zewde. Thousands of Ethiopians of all classes were sent to detention camps at Danan in the Ogaden and Nokra in the Dahlak Archipelago. Conditions at Danan were inhospitable, and Graziani had given orders that the prisoners would receive only the bare minimum of food and water. As Sbacchi notes, “Poor facilities, including latrines, the humid climate, malaria, stomach infections, and venereal disease took many lives, especially among those compelled to work on the irrigation canal or on the banana and sugar-cane plantations.” Between ten percent and half of the prisoners died at Danan.Conditions at Nokra were even worse than at Danan, according to Sbacchi. The detainee’s sent there joined 500 prisoners serving life sentences for serious political crimes, increasing the total number incarcerated to 1,500. These inmates at Nokra were forced to work in the island quarries, manufacturing cement. Temperatures at Nokra averaged 122 °F (50 °C); the inmates suffered from lack of fresh water, sunstroke, marsh fever, and dysentery. The final reprisal struck in May. Investigators found that Abraha and Moges had stayed a while at Debra Libanos, and slight circumstantial evidence suggested that the monks had foreknowledge of their plans. Graziani, mindful of his misadventure at Jijiga, believed they were complicit and 19 May cabled the local commander, “Therefore execute summarily all monks without distinction including the Vice-Prior.” The following day, ironically a feast day of their patron saint Tekle Haymanot, 297 monks plus 23 laymen were shot — the entire population of the monastery.


Remembering Adwa victory, Patriots day

Abay river bridge old and new

The ethnic groups of the Surma lives in southern nation nationalities and peoples regional state of Ethiopia.One of the main Surma customs is stick fighting. This ritual and sport is called Donga or Sagenai (Saginay). Donga is both the name of the sport and the stick, whereas sagenai is the name of the stick-fighting session. Stick fighting is central in Surma culture. In most cases, stick fighting is a way for warriors to find girlfriends; it can also be a way to settle conflicts. On this occasion men show their courage, their virility and their resistance to pain, to the young women.

Omo River,Ethiopia


Menz,Shewa village Ethiopia

Dire Shiekh Hussen

Anajina or the site of the Shrine of Sheikh Husein is one of Oromia’s major sites of culture tourism. It is situated on the border of West Harargé and Bale Zones at the southern edge of Web River. It is 178 kilometers far from Robe along the all weather road that passes through Jarra, and Dallo Sabro towns.

The Shrine is named after an ancient Muslim holy man (religious leader) called Sheikh Nur Husein bin Malka or bin Ibrahim who was reputed for his religious teachings, high devotion and remarkable miraculous deeds. According to oral history, the birth of Sheikh Nur Husein, or “Sheikhana Husein” is dated back to 12th century in the same site now called Anajina. Local elders say that he was born 942 years ago from his father Malka or Sheik Ibrahim and his mother Shamsiyya. According to legend Sheikh Husein had passed 250 years alive on earth out of which he spent 50 years in a place called Sakina (in Arsi) or in a state of disappearance into spiritual life or devotion, 130 years in various parts of the world and 70 years at his Dire itself. The main attraction of the site includes:
The impressive white colored and conic shaped domes of tombs/ mosques which scattered in the site;
More than 900 years old famous cultural site and its monuments built under the pious person named Sheikh Muhammad Tilmo 360 years ago. There are over ten such monuments among which the oldest one is the qubba of the Sheikh’s parents. The Sheikh’s qubba, the biggest of all, is separately fenced by stout wall around an area of more than 10,000 square. Metres;
Pilgrimage visiting to the Dirré made twice a year by tens of thousands of people (pilgrim from all over Eastern, southern and western Oromia and various parts of Ethiopia).
Not all of the legends and their consequential practices which may be heard of or seen being practiced at the ‘Anajina’ are Islamic from the view point of the Shari’ah and the Islamic Monotheistic.
However, there are two annual celebration occasions at the Dire. The days are counted according to the Islamic calendar Hijirah. Thus one of the occasions is known as “Hajji”. It is in the month “Zul-Hijjah”. The peak days of this celebration are the 9th and the 10th Zul-Hijjah, or the worldwide Islamic holiday “Arafah”. The other occasion, which is known as “Zahra” is in the month “Jimadul-Thani” of the same calendar, the peak celebration days being the 14th and the 15th.
In both occasions visitors can arrive at the Dire in the afternoon of the first day to enjoy the evening /the night celebration which is the beginning of the celebration of the second peak day.

Ert Ale is a very remote and rarely visited shield volcano in Ethiopia. It is notable for being the longest –existing lava lake, present since early years of the twentieth century. This active volcano is in a continuous Eruption since 1967.The name Ert Ale means “Smoking Mountain” in the local Afar, language and its southern most pits is known as “the gate way to hell”.

Church of Debra Berhan Selassie, Gondar, Ethiopia

The Debre Birhan Selassie (Trinity and Mountain of Light) Church in Gondar is famed for its beautiful examples of Ethiopian church art. Built by an emperor and preserved by an archangel, it is also among the most important churches of Ethiopia.


Debre Birhan Selassie was built by Emperor Eyasu II (also known as Birhan Seged, “He to Whom the Light Bows”) in the 17th Century. It was named Debre Birhan, “Mountain of Light,” after the Emperor’s nickname as well as in honor of the church of the same name in Shewa.
At the Debre Birhan Church in Shewa, a miraculous apparition of the Holy Light of God is said to have occured in the Middle Ages during the reign of Emperor Zera Yacob the Great. In exchange for the right of using its name, the Gondar church paid the Shewan church an annual tribute.
When the Mahdist Dervishes of the Sudan sacked the city of Gondar in 1888, they burned down every church in the city except Debre Birhan Selassie. According to local legend, when the Mahdist soldiers approached the church, a swarm of bees decended on the compound of the church and kept the soldiers back, and the Archangel Michael himself stood before the large wooden gates with a flaming sword drawn.

What to See

The outside of Debre Birhan Selassie is rather plain, but its interior has made it one of Ethiopia’s top tourist attractions.
The walls depict biblical scenes and saints and the ceiling is covered with the faces of hundreds of angels. Icons of the Holy Trinity (three identical men with halos) and the Crucifixion have pride of place above the entrance to the Holy of Holies.
Above the floor of the church are the curtained windows of the second story stall from which Emperor Eyasu II and his mother Empress Mentewab would look down on the ceremonies.

Axum, Tigray, Ethiopia

Ethiopian traditional cotton making for clothes

The Yeha Temple
Yeha, the country’s pre-Aksumite foundation of Ethiopian civilization, is situated between Aksum and Adwa in Tigray, Ethiopia.
The Yeha Temple, also known as the Great Temple of Yeha, is possibly the oldest standing building in Ethiopia, dating back to around 700 BC. It harks back to the earliest religions of the area and contains some Judaic artefacts, perhaps giving credence to the claim of the early dynasty of their descent from King Solomon of Israel and the Queen of Sheba.


A historic moment on Blue Nile Falls Queen Elizabeth II OF Great Britain with Emperor Haile Selassie I of Ethiopia in 1965

The monastery of Ura Kidane Mihret is one of the most-visited churches of the zege peninsula, Lake Tana ,Ethiopia. The round building consists of three concentric circles, the innermost of which is the Holy of Holies containing the monastery’s replica of the Ark of the Covenant. The walls are covered in bright paintings, many of which depict violent martyrdom’s.


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