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Showing posts from 2022

Ethiopian Chess

A Note on Ethiopian Chess By Professor Richard K. P. Pankhurst Ethiopia deserves an horourable place in the great history of chess which appears to have been traditionally popular in court circles and among the nobility. The game was known in Amharic as Sentherej , a name borrowed from the Arabs who called it Shatranj , a corruption of the Persian Chatrang , itself derived from the Sanskrit chaturanga . In the early sixteenth century the Emperor Lebna Dengel (1508-1540) is said to have played chess as well as cards with the Venetian artist Gregorio or Hieronimo Bicini, as was related by the Ethiopian ecclesiastic, Brother Thomas of Ganget, in his conversations with the Italian Alessandro Zorzi. [i] Sahle Sellassie, the early nineteenth century King of Shoa, was another notable chess player. The French travellers Comkes and Tamisier, who visited Ethiopia in 1835-37, relate that he used to play in the evening with one of his courtiers, who, they allege, always took care to allow

Summing It All Up

  Summing It All Up By Mitiku Adisu If you were to sum up in a few words the trajectory of your life, what would those words be? "Can’t drink coffee on a running horse?" "The best is yet to come?" "Life goes on" was how the octogenarian Robert Frost (d. 1963) responded to a journalist’s query. Frost is gone, but his memory lives on. What about Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin (1936-2006), Ethiopia's preeminent communitarian poet-playwright? We'll look at the quintet briefly below, even as we recall the glory days of Ethiopian theater ( እናት ዓለም ጠኑ Enat Alam Tannu, an adaptation of Brecht's Mother Courage; ሀ ሁ በስድስት ወር Ha Hu Basidst Wer, The Alphabet in Six Months), each of which was packed for months on end, with audiences poring over the playwright's perky prose like possessed monastic holy men. Not unlike the prophets of old, Tsegaye had a disposition to carry in his person the tragedies, beauty, and hopes of the Motherland. The verse