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[PANEL] 1201 ARCHIVES AND COLLECTIONS FOR/IN ETHIOPIAN STUDIES
Sophia THUBAUVILLE, Frobenius Institute, Germany
Sayuri YOSHIDA, Nanzan University, Japan
Minako ISHIHARA; Sophia THUBAUVILLE; Aneta PAWŁOWSKA; SEMENOVA Valeria; Sayuri YOSHIDA;
Various archives and collections are consulted for diverse research questions by researches of Ethiopian Studies. Some of them are renowned and easy to access, while other collections remain mostly hidden and unknown, because of their spatial distance from Ethiopia, language barriers or other reasons. Making archives and collections in Ethiopian Studies accessible and known should be a timely objective in this time of digitization and especially as the discipline of Ethiopian Studies is growing due to the recent expansion of higher education in Ethiopia.
The panel wants to provide a platform of exchange for researchers working with archives and collections which entail various media like ethnographic objects, photos, films, sounds, pictures, documents, manuscripts etc. Presenters may introduce archives and collections, activities and projects in connection to them and/or discuss problems they face in making collections visible, accessible and safe. Finally, a setup of a sustainable platform for archives and collections in Ethiopian Studies will be discussed.
HISTORICIZING BOOKS AMONG THE MUSLIM OROMO IN SOUTHWESTERN ETHIOPIA [Abstract ID: 1201-05]
Books, either printed or handwritten, have a special meaning for Muslim intellectuals. They are not only resources for preserving and transmitting knowledge, but the possession of them is conceived of as a sign of prestige and power. Printed books are not only bought from bookshops, but are obtained through personal transmission for various reasons. For researchers, books are not only a means to gain access posthumously to the body of knowledge the possessor must have had, but also a window through which we might take a glance of the personal connections the possessor had during his lifetime. Books reveal both the academic career of the possessor and the personal networks, the latter being an integral part of the former. This article focuses on some of our recent attempts to historicize books encountered during field research among the Muslim Oromo societies in Southwestern Ethiopia.
IMAGES OF SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA IN THE ARCHIVES OF THE FROBENIUS INSTITUTE [Abstract ID: 1201-01]
When it comes to collecting activities, A.E. Jensen and E. Haberland were deeply influenced by their predecessor and institute founder Leo Frobenius. Frobenius and hence also Jensen and Haberland were deeply concerned with the visual documentation of cultures. Their first research trips to Ethiopia were attended by professional painters, who drew sketches of landscapes, settlements and people. The researchers themselves added to the visual documentation by shooting photographs and films. The presentation will discuss the research activities of the Frobenius Institute through which the rich visual documentation of southern Ethiopia emerged and show how the institute today aims at making its archives accessible and visible.
POLISH COLLECTORS OF ETHIOPIAN ART - A PRELIMINARY PRESENTATION [Abstract ID: 1201-02]
These collections are associated with three renowned Poles who were the forerunners of research concentrated on rich and diverse Ethiopian art and culture. The three researchers who I would like to discuss are Stanislaw Chojnacki, Wacław Korabiewicz and Stefan Strelcyn. Each dedicated his life and passion to the Christian culture of Ethiopia. Thanks to their works, various Polish museums, archives and libraries are enriched by their valuable Ethiopic collections. Waclaw Korabiewicz (1903-1994) was a physician who gathered a substantial collection of Ethiopian crosses while working in Ethiopia. He wrote a number of books on this subject and became an international expert in this field. At the end of his life, Dr. Korabiewicz decided to donate his entire collection of Ethiopian crosses to the National Museum in Warsaw. Professor Stefan Strelcyn (1918-1981), was involved in Semitic studies at the University of Warsaw. In the postwar years, he founded the first African Institute at the University of Warsaw and became well-known as a researcher of Ethiopian religious texts. In 1967, Emperor Haile Selassie awarded him the most honored Ethiopian cultural award. Professor Stanislaw Chojnacki (1915-2010), was a librarian, historian and horticulturalist. From 1950 until 1975, he held the position of Librarian at the University College of Addis Ababa. He spent no less than 25 years of his life in Ethiopia, the last 12 (1963-75) as a museum curator at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies. Chojnacki fell under the spell of Ethiopia. Although he was not a professional art historian with formal training, his expertise in this field was inspired and nurtured by the country itself and its ancient Christian Church. His command of the principal West-European languages, besides his native Polish, enabled him to make full use of all published work in the field, and he gained sufficient familiarity with the old liturgical language of the country Ge'ez to cope with the marginal inscriptions which usually accompany an Ethiopian painting. In one of his most important books on Ethiopian Art entitled Major Themes in Ethiopian Painting: Indigenous Developments, The Influence of Foreign Models and their Adaptation from the 13th to the 13th to the 19th Century, he described comprehensively the Ethiopian tradition of Christian religious painting.
SOME REMARKS ON THE ETHIOPIAN PHOTO COLLECTIONS OF THE PETER THE GREAT MUSEUM OF ANTHROPOLOGY AND ETHNOGRAPHY, ST. PETERSBURG, RUSSIA [Abstract ID: 1201-06]
The Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography includes the photographic collection attributed to Ethiopia which numbers more than three and a half thousand images – photos, slides, and negatives, photograph albums received by the museum from Russians who worked or just traveled in Ethiopia. The main stock of this Ethiopian photo collection was augmented by the Russian doctors send to Abyssinia by the Russian Red Cross with a medical mission to support Ethiopians during the war against Italy from 1895-1896. For example, the collection No. И-349 was obtained from Dr. M. Lebedinsky's relatives. There are 586 images. Collection no. 4028 of the Russian mission officers includes 687 items. Besides the photographs of the hospital, these collections have struck our attention as they reflect the indigenous way of life in Abyssinia around 1900. However, these collections cannot compete in a range of represented materials of Dr. A. I. Kokhanovsky who worked for many years in Ethiopia (1905-1913) and was deeply fascinated with its culture. His collection includes more than a thousand negatives (1019 units of storage) and about three hundred photographic prints (342 units of storage) and can be considered a full-fledged ethno-historical source on Ethiopian culture from the early 20th century. This collection is a resource for political culture as well, serving a perfect complement to the materials at hand, such as diaries of Europeans traveling to Ethiopia and historical chronicles. This is a presentation of these materials.
THE COLLECTIONS OF F. J. BIEBER AND KAFA SOCIETY AT THE BEGINNING OF THE 20TH CENTURY [Abstract ID: 1201-03]
This presentation is about the collections of Friedrich Julius Bieber. He visited Ethiopia, especially Kafa, at the beginning of the 20th century and is recognized as the foremost authority on ethnological research dealing with Kafa. Bieber left a great deal of property and written documents concerning both Ethiopia and his daily life. This collection included ethnological objects, instruments used on his journeys to Ethiopia, photographs, books, and unpublished written documents such as diaries, drafts, memoranda, letters and postcards to his family and friends. Today, the collections are held by the World Museum, the District Museum of Hietzing and the Austrian National Library in Vienna, Austria. The collections will help our understanding of Kafa, both historically and currently, and of Ethiopia as a whole, providing insights that would be impossible to know with present day fieldwork. Since 2014, I have been running a project which aims to establish a firm foundation for the collections of F. J. Bieber at the aforementioned institutions by ordering, recording and publishing a catalogue. In this presentation, I will introduce in more detail the collections of Friedrich Julius Bieber. Then, I will discuss the impact the collections have on today’s Kafa and the people of Ethiopia.
WACLAW KORABIEWICZ'S COLLECTION OF ETHIOPIAN CROSSES AS A REPRESENTATION OF POLISH COLLECTIONS OF ETHIOPIAN ARTIFACTS [Abstract ID: 1201-04]
Polish collections of Ethiopian artifacts are largely unknown to the world of Ethiopianists. Over the centuries, Poland has not had strong ties with Ethiopia. However, in different periods, especially in the 20th century, Ethiopia attracted much attention in Poland, which resulted in Ethiopian objects (manuscripts and books, pieces of art and handcrafts, ethnographical objects) finding their way to Polish museums and libraries. Ethiopian artifacts can now be found both in Polish institutions and private collections. This paper aims to present the collection of crosses kept in the National Museum in Warsaw (i.e. Korabiewicz's collection) and its history in the wider context of Polish collections of Ethiopian artifacts.