Ethiopian children
Ethiopian school children in Amhara
Total population
Regions with significant populations
Ethiopia Ethiopia 34,045,400
Eritrea Eritrea 3,620,500
Sudan Sudan 142,000
United States United States 127,000
Israel Israel 120,000 [2]
Somalia Somalia 58,000
Yemen Yemen 18,800

Ethiopian Semitic languages
Agaw · Arabic · Hebrew


Christianity (Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church · Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church · Catholic · P'ent'ay) Sunni Islam · Judaism

The Habesha people (Ge'ez: ሐበሻ Ḥabaśā, Amharic: (H)ābešā,Tigrinya: Ḥābešā, Arabic: الحبشة al-Ḥabašah), also known as Abyssinians or Cushites (Hebrew: כאשיטאס), are a population group inhabiting the Horn of Africa. They include various related ethnic groups in the Eritrean Highlands and Ethiopian Highlands who speak languages belonging to the South Semitic branch of the Afro-Asiatic family. Members' cultural, linguistic, and in certain cases, ancestral origins trace back to the Kingdom of Dʿmt(usually vocalized Diʿamat) and the later Kingdom of Aksum.

The peoples referred to as "Habesha" today include the Amhara, the Gurage, the Tigre and the Tigray-Tigrinya. Together, the Amhara, Tigray and Gurage peoples make up about 35.5% of Ethiopia's population (c. 24.6 million Amhara, 5.5 million Tigray, 1.8 million Gurage), while the Tigrinya and Tigre combined make up 85% (55% plus 30%, respectively) of Eritrea's population (c. 5 of 5.9 million).[lower-alpha 1] In the broadest sense, the word Habesha may refer to anyone from Ethiopia or Eritrea, although some do not identify with this association.[4]


Habesha is believed to be give rise to the term "Abyssinia" to refer to Amharic and Tigrinya speaking Christian Ethiopians. [5]The modern term derives from the vocalized (Ge'ez: ሐበሣ Ḥabaśā), first written with a script that did not mark vowels as (Ge'ez: ሐበሠ ḤBŚ) or in "pseudo-Sabaic as ḤBŠTM".[6] The earliest known use of the term dates to the 2nd or 3rd century AD South Arabian inscription recounting the defeat of the Aksumite Negūs ("king") GDRT of Aksum and ḤBŠT.[7] The term "Habashat" appears to refer to a group of peoples, rather than a specific ethnicity. A Sabaean inscription describes an alliance between the Himyarite king Shamir Yuhahmid and Aksum under King `DBH in the first quarter of the 3rd century AD. They had lived alongside the Sabaeans, who lived across the Red Sea from them for many centuries:

"Shamir of dhū Raydān and Himyar had called in the help of the clans of Habashat for war against the kings of Saba; but Ilmuqah granted... the submission of Shamir of dhū Raydān and the clans of Habashat."[8]

The term "Habesha" was formerly thought by some scholars[6] to be of Arabic origin because the English name Abyssinia comes from the Arabic form. (Arabs used the word Ḥabaš, also the name of an Ottoman province comprising parts of modern-day Eritrea and Ethiopia).[9] South Arabian expert Eduard Glaser claimed that the hieroglyphic ḫbstjw, used in reference to "a foreign people from the incense-producing regions" (i.e. Punt, located in Eritrea and northeast Ethiopia) used by Queen Hatshepsut c. 1460 BC, was the first usage of the term or somehow connected. This claim was repeated by others; however, this etymology is not at all certain, given the large time difference in the usage of the terms.[6]


Ancient PeriodEdit

Throughout history, indigenous peoples had been interacting through population movement, warfare, trade, and intermarriage in the Horn of Africa region. The predominance of peoples spoke languages of the Afro-Asiatic family. The main branches represented were the Cushitic and the Semitic.[10] As early as the 3rd millennium BCE, the pre-Aksumites had begun trading along the Red Sea. They mainly traded with Egypt. Earlier trade expeditions were taken by foot along the Nile Valley. The Egyptians' main objective in the trade from the Arabian Peninsula region was to acquire myrrh, which the northern Horn of Africa region had in abundance (the Egyptians referred to this region as the Land of Punt).

The Kingdom of Aksum may have been founded as early as 300 BCE. Very little is known of the time period between the mid-1st millennium BCE to the beginning of Aksum's rise around the 1st century CE. Aksum is thought to be a successor kingdom of DʿMT, a kingdom in the early 1st millennium BC most likely centered at nearby Yeha.[11]

The Aksumite kingdom was located in Eritrea and in the northern Ethiopian province of Tigray. Aksum remained the capital until the 7th century. Its favorable location was near the Blue Nile basin and the Afar depression. The former is rich in gold and the latter in salt: both materials having a highly important use to the Aksumites. Aksum was accessible to the port of Adulis, Eritrea on the coast of the Red Sea. The people carried on trade relations with other nations, such as Egypt, India, and Arabia. Aksum’s "fertile" and "well-watered" location produced enough food for its population. Wild animals included elephants and rhinoceros.[12]

From its capital on the Tigray Plateau, Aksum commanded the trade of ivory with Sudan. It also dominated the trade route leading south and the port of Adulis on the Gulf of Zola. Its success depended on resourceful techniques, production of coins, steady migrations of Greco-Roman merchants, and ships landing at Adulis. In exchange for Aksum’s goods, traders bid many kinds of cloth, jewelry, metals and steel for weapons.

At its peak, Aksum controlled territories as far as southern Egypt, east to the Gulf of Aden, south to the Omo River, and west to the Nubian Kingdom of Meroë. The South Arabian kingdom of the Himyarites and also a portion of western Saudi Arabia was also under the power of Aksum. Their descendants include the present-day ethnic groups known as the Amhara, Gurage and Tigray peoples, the Biher-Tigrinya, and the Tigre of Eritrea.

Medieval PeriodEdit


Fasilides' Castle in Gondar, Amhara Region.

Some time in the early Middle Ages, the Amharic, Guragigna and Tigrinya languages began to replace Ge'ez, which eventually became extinct outside of religious litrugical use. Amhara warlords often competed for dominance of the realm with Tigrayan warlords. While many branches of the Imperial dynasty were from the Amharic-speaking area, a substantial number were from Tigray. The Amharas seemed to gain the upper hand with the accession of the so-called Gondar line of the Imperial dynasty in the beginning of the 17th century.

But, competition produced the semi-anarchic era of Zemene Mesafint ("Era of the Princes"), in which rival warlords fought for power and the Yejju Oromo  enderases ("regents") had effective control. The emperors were considered to be figureheads. The Tigrayans made only a brief return to the throne in the person of Yohannes IV, whose death in 1889 resulted in the power base shifting to the Amharic-speaking province of Shewa.

Some consider the Amhara to have been Ethiopia's ruling elite for centuries, represented by the line of Emperors ending in Haile Selassie I. Marcos Lemma and other scholars dispute the accuracy of such a statement, arguing that other ethnic groups have always been active in the country's politics. One possible source of confusion for this stems from the mislabeling of all Amharic-speakers as "Amhara", and the fact that many people from other ethnic groups have Amharic names. Another is the fact that most Ethiopians can trace their ancestry to multiple ethnic groups. The last self-proclaimed emperor, Haile Selassie I, identified as one of the Gurage people and his Empress, Itege Menen Asfaw of Ambassel, was of Oromo descent.[13] The expanded use of Amharic language was associated with its being the language of the court. As unrelated ethnic groups adopted its use, they were referred to under the broad category of "Amhara," no matter what their ethnic origin.

Modern PeriodEdit

After 51 years of Italian colonial rule, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia in 1952. In 1962 Ethiopia annexed Eritrea. During the 1970s, the TPLF (Tigray People Liberation Front), representing the Tigray people, an ethnic group of Ethiopia, joined Eritreans in the war against the Derg. Eritreans achieved independence from Ethiopia on May 24, 1991 with the defeat of the Derg, and received international recognition in 1993. After the defeat of the Derg, the Tigray People's Front came to power in Ethiopia, where they continue as the dominant party in the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front.


Habesha people speak Ethiopian Semitic languages, including the classical language Ge'ez. The kingdom of DʿMT wrote proto-Ge'ez in Epigraphic South Arabian as early as the 9th century BCE; later, an independent script replaced it as early as the 5th century BCE.2

Ge'ez literature is considered to begin with the Christianization of Ethiopia and Eritrea and the civilization of Axum in the 4th century BCE during the reign of Ezana. While Ge'ez today is extinct and only used for liturgical purposes in the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church, many related Ethiopian Semitic languages continue to be spoken such as Tigre, Tigrinya, Amharic, Harari, Gurage and Argobba. Some of these languages, such as Tigre, are traditionally written in the Arabic script.



The Habesha empire centered in Axum and Adowa was part of the world in which Christianity grew. The
Ethiopian church

The Chapel of the Tablet at the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion is believed to house the original Ark of the Covenant

arrival of Christianity in Tigrayan and Eritrean lands happened about the same time that it arrived in Ireland. The Tigrayans and Eritreans, in fact, had been converted to Christianity hundreds of years before most of Europe. Many of their churches were cut into cliffs or from single blocks of stone, as they were in Turkey and in parts of Greece, where Christianity had existed from its earliest years. The church is a central feature of communities and of each family's daily life. Each community has a church with a patron saint.

Ethiopia has often been mentioned in the Bible. A well-known example of this is the story of the Ethiopian eunuch as written in Acts 8:27: "Then the angel of the Lord said to Philip, Start out and go south to the road that leads down from Jerusalem to Gaza. So he set out and was on his way when he caught sight of an Ethiopian. This man was a eunuch, a high official of the Kandake (Candace) Queen of Ethiopia(doesn't mean the present day of ethiopia) in charge of all her treasure."

The passage continues by describing how Philip helped the Ethiopian understand one passage of Isaiah that the Ethiopian was reading. After the Ethiopian received an explanation of the passage, he requested that Philip baptize him, which Philip obliged. Queen Gersamot Hendeke VII (very similar to Kandake) was the Queen of Ethiopia from the year 42 to 52. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church was founded in the 4th century by Syrian monks. Historically, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church and Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church have had strong ties with the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria, the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria appointing the archbishop for the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church. They gained independence from the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria in the 1950s, although the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church has recently reforged the link.

Ethiopian leather

This leather painting depicts Ethiopian Orthodox priests playing sistra and a drum.

A number of unique beliefs and practices distinguish Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity from other Christian groups; for example, the Ark of the Covenant is very important. Every Ethiopian church has a replica of the Ark. Also, the Ethiopian Church has a larger biblical canon than other churches.

Church services are conducted in Ge´ez, the ancient language of Ethiopia and Eritrea. Ge´ez is no longer a living language, its use now confined to religious contexts, occupying a similar place in Eritrean and Ethiopian church life to Latin in the Roman Catholic Church.

Other Ethiopian and Eritrean Orthodox practices include such things as fasting, prescribed prayers, and devotion to saints and angels. A child is never left alone until baptism and cleansing rituals are performed. Boys are baptized forty days after birth, whereas girls are baptized eighty days after birth.

Defrocked priests and deacons commonly function as diviners, who are the main healers. Spirit possession is common, affecting primarily women. Women are also the normal spirit mediums. A debtera is an itinerant lay priest figure trained by the Church as a scribe, cantor, and often as a folk healer, who may also function in roles comparable to a deacon or exorcist. Folklore and legends ascribe the role of magician to the debtera as well.

A number of Ethiopian Christians adhere to various forms of Pentecostalism or Anabaptism, collectively referred to as P'ent'ay.

Similarities to Judaism and IslamEdit

The Ethiopian church places a heavier emphasis on Old Testament teachings than one might find in the Roman Catholic or Protestant churches, and its followers adhere to certain practices that one finds in Orthodox or Conservative Judaism. [14]Ethiopian Christians, like some other Eastern Christians, traditionally follow dietary rules that are similar to Jewish Kashrut, specifically with regard to how an animal is slaughtered. Similarly, pork is prohibited, though unlike Kashrut, Ethiopian cuisine does mix dairy products with meat- which in turn makes it even closer to Islamic dietary laws (see Halal). Women are prohibited from entering the church during their menses; they are also expected to cover their hair with a large scarf (or shash) while in church, but contrary to popular belief and the actual practice of most other Christian denominations, it is not in the Old Testament that this is commanded, but rather in the New (1 Cor. 11). As with Orthodox synagogues, men and women are seated separately in the Ethiopian church, with men on the left and women on the right (when facing the altar). However, women covering their heads and separation of the sexes in the Church building officially is common to many Oriental Orthodox, Eastern Orthodox and Catholic Christians and not unique to Judaism. Ethiopian Orthodox worshippers remove their shoes when entering a church, in accordance with Exodus 3:5 (in which Moses, while viewing the burning bush, is commanded to remove his shoes while standing on holy ground). Furthermore, both the Sabbath (Saturday), and the Lord's Day (Sunday) are observed as holy, although more emphasis, because of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, is laid upon the Holy Sunday.


Harar mosque

Mosque in Harar

Islam in Ethiopia dates to 615. During that year, a group of Muslims were counseled by the Prophet Muhammad to escape persecution in Mecca and migrate to Abyssinia, which was ruled by, in Muhammad's estimation, a pious Christian king (al-najashi). Muhammad's followers crossed the Red Sea and sought refuge in the Kingdom of Aksum, possibly settling at Negash, a place in present-day Northern Ethiopia, Tigray Region. Moreover, Islamic tradition states that Bilal, one of the foremost companions of Muhammad, was from Ethiopia, as were many non-Arab Companions of Muhammad - in fact, Ethiopians were the single largest non-Arab ethnic group who were Muhammad's companions. Among these was Umm Ayman who was the care-taker of the Prophet Muhammad during his infancy, a woman that he referred to as "mother".[citation needed] Ethiopia was thus the earliest home outside of Arabia for the dispersal of the Islamic world faith. Ethiopia is almost evenly split between Orthodox Christians and Sunni Muslims.

Most of Ethiopia and Eritrea's Muslims are Sunni Muslims and much as in the rest of the Muslim world, the beliefs and practices of the Muslims of Ethiopia and Eritrea are basically the same: embodied in the Qur'an and the Sunnah. There are also Sufi orders present in Ethiopia. According to the 1994 census of Ethiopia (with similar numbers for the 1984 census), about half of its population is adherent of Islam and members of the Muslim community can be found throughout the country. Islam in Ethiopia is the predominant religion in the regions of Wollo, Ogaden, [Afar, Berta, Gurage, and the section of Oromia east of the Great Rift Valley, as well as in Jimma. Islam in Eritrea is the predominant religion of all the ethnic groups except for the Tigray-Tigrinya people, the Bilen people, and the Kunama people.

The most important Islamic religious practices, such as the daily ritual prayers (ṣalāt) and fasting (Arabic: صوم) ṣawm, (Amharic: ጾም ṣom) - used by local Christians as well) during the holy month of Ramadan, are observed both in urban centers as well as in rural areas, among both settled peoples and nomads. Numerous Ethiopian Muslims perform the pilgrimage to Mecca every year.


Judaism in Ethiopia is believed to date from very ancient times. Precisely what its early history was, however, remains obscure. The now dominant Coptic Ethiopian Church claims it originated from the visit of the Queen of Sheba to King Solomon back in the 10th century BCE. This visit is mentioned in the Hebrew Scriptures (I Kings 10:1), Sheba was a kingdom that stretched from Ethiopia to the south of the Yemen. Yemen is very close to Ethiopia across the Red Sea, and it has been recorded that modern Ethiopia has been heavily influenced by the ancient Sabean kingdom. Moreover, the details of the queen's visit, including the allege
Ethiopian jews

Ethiopian Jews

d theft of the Holy Ark as well as Solomon getting her pregnant with a child who established the "Solomonic" lineage in Ethiopia, as given in Christian Ethiopian tradition, were written in the Kebra Nagast the Ethiopian chronicle of its early history. The oldest known existing copies of the book date from as far back as 13th century. Jewish Ethiopians are mentioned in both the Torah Old Testament as well as the Christian New Testament. It is clear that the Jewish presence in Ethiopia dates back at least 2500 years.

The Jewish Pre-settlement Theory essentially states that starting around the 8th century BCE until about the 5th century BCE, there was an influx of Jewish settlers both from Egypt & Sudan in the north, and southern Arabia in the east.[citation needed] Whether these settlers arrived in great numbers is yet a matter of debate. What is certain, however, is that these settlers must have preceded the arrival of Christianity. Evidence for their presence exists not only in historical books, but also in material artifacts depicting ancient Jewish ceremonies. For instance the temple at Yeha (in Tigray province), which is said to have been erected in the 8th century BCE, is believed to be an architectural copy of other Jewish temples found in Israel and Egypt during the pre-Babylonian era (before 606 BCE).[citation needed] Another example is found on the monastery islands of Lake Tana (northern Gojjam), where several archaic stone altars, fashioned in the manner of Jewish sacrificial altars of pre-8th century BCE Israel, have been found not only preserved in good condition but also containing blood residue.[citation needed] The manner of the blood placed on the stone altars was found to be typical of a culture that strongly adhered to Mosaic Law.[citation needed]

The chief Semitic languages of Ethiopia also suggest an antiquity of Judaism in Ethiopia. "There still remains the curious circumstance that a number of Abyssinian words connected with religion -- Hell, idol, Easter, purification, alms -- are of Hebrew origin. These words must have been derived directly from a Jewish source, for the Abyssinian Church knows the scriptures only in a Ge'ez version made from the Septuagint"[15]

Beta Israel traditions claim that the Ethiopian Jews are descended from the lineage of Moses himself. Although the wife of Moses, Zipporah (Hebrew: צִפוֹרָה) is a Midianite (Arab), Numbers 12:1 gives a contrevoursial reference to her as a Cushite.  some of whose children and relatives are said to have separated from the other Children of Israel after the Exodus and gone southwards, or, alternatively or together with this, that they are descended from the tribe of Dan, which fled southwards down the Arabian coastal lands from Judaea at the time of the breakup of the Kingdom of Israel into two kingdoms in the 10th century BCE. (precipitated by the oppressive demands of Rehoboam, King Solomon's heir), or at the time of the destruction of the northern kingdom of Israel in the 8th century BCE. Certainly there was trade as early as the time of King Solomon down along the Red Sea to the Yemen and even as far as India, according to the Bible, and there would therefore have been Jewish settlements at various points along the trade routes. There is definite archaeological evidence of Jewish settlements and of their cultural influence on both sides of the Red Sea well at least 2,500 years ago, both along the Arabian coast and in the Yemen, on the eastern side, and along the southern Egyptian and Sudanese coastal regions.


Ethiopian CuisineEdit

Ethiopian cuisine, characteristically consists of vegetable and often very spicy meat dishes, usually in the form of
Habesha woman filling coffee cups

Woman coffee farmer filling cups with coffee in Ethiopia

wat (also w'et or wot), a thick stew, served atop injera, a large sourdough flatbread,[16] which is about 50 cm in diameter and made out of fermented teff flour.[16] Ethiopians eat exclusively with their right hands, using pieces of injera to pick up bites of entrées and side dishes.[16] Utensils are rarely used with Ethiopian cuisine.

The Ethiopian Orthodox Church prescribes a number of fasting periods, including Wednesdays, Fridays, and the entire Lenten season; so Ethiopian cuisine contains many dishes that are vegan.[17]

Eritrean CuisineEdit


Typical serving of wat

The main traditional food in Eritrean cuisine is

Fit-fit, or chechebsa, made with kitcha (unleavened bread), niter kibbeh (seasoned clarified butter) and berbere spice mixture is a typical breakfast food in Ethiopia and Eritrea

tsebhi (stew), served with injera, and hilbet (paste made from legumes; mainly lentil and faba beans). Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine (especially in the northern half) are very similar, given the shared history of the two countries.

Eritrean cuisine strongly resembles those of neighboring Ethiopia and Somalia, except for the fact that Eritrean and Somali cooking tend to feature more seafood than Ethiopian cuisine on account of their coastal locations. A typical dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, kid, lamb or fish. Eritrean dishes are also frequently "lighter" in texture than Ethiopian meals. They likewise tend to employ less seasoned butter and spices and more tomatoes, as in the tsebhi dorho delicacy. Additionally, owing to its colonial history, cuisine in Eritrea features more Ottoman and Italian influences than are present in Ethiopian cooking, including more pasta specials and greater use of curry powders and cumin. People in Eritrea likewise tend to drink coffee, whereas sweetened tea is preferred in Somalia. Christian Eritreans also drink sowa (a bitter fermented barley) and mies (a fermented honey beverage), while Muslim Eritreans abstain from drinking alcohol.

Notable Abyssinians or People of Abyssinian OriginEdit

Queen of Sheba
מלכת שבא
Queen of Sheba
An un-named monarch who ruled the Kingdom of Saba (Sheba according to Biblical sources) of some prominence who made the famous visit to King Solomon documented in Biblical sources. Her true ancestry is in debate between historians from Ethiopia and Yemen. Ethiopians, who call her Makeda claim that she was a native Cushite from Ethiopia while Arab and Islamic sources argue that she was a native South Arabian from Yemen. She could possibely be of mixed origin, as evidence exists for both claims.
Ezana coin

Ruler of the Axumite Kingdom (320s – c.360AD) located in present-day Ethiopia, Eritrea, Yemen, southern Saudi Arabia, northern Somalia, Djibouti, northern Sudan, and southern Egypt; he himself employed the style (official title) "king of Saba and Salhen, Himyar and Dhu-Raydan". Tradition states that Ezana succeeded his father Ella Amida (Ousanas) while still a child and his mother, Sofya served as regent.

Bilal ibn Rabah
بلال بن رباح
A companion of the Islamic prophet Muhammad who is the considered he first to call collective people to prayer. He was known for his beautiful voice and became the first muezzin. He was born a slave in Mecca of Ethiopian and Arab descent, his mother was a former Abyssinian princess who was captured in war and enslaved and his father was an Arab slave. He was considered one of the most trustable companions of Muhammad and remembered for his contribution to the religion of Islam.
Menelik II
Menelik II

Emperor of Ethiopia from 1889 to his death. At the height of his internal power and external prestige, the process of territorial expansion and creation of the modern empire-state had been completed by 1898. After defeating the Italians (which gained him his fame), he became the first black African king in modern history to engage in slavery of white European war captives held as slaves inside Ethiopia.|-

Lebna Dengel
ልብነ ድንግል

Also known by Dawit II and Wanag Segad, was nəgusä nägäst (emperor) (1508–1540) of Ethiopia. A member of the Solomonic dynasty, he was the son of Emperor Na'od and Queen Na'od Mogasa. The important victory over Adal leader Mahfuz may have given Dawit the title "Wanag Segad", which is a combination of Ge'ez and Harari terms

Haile Selassie
ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ

Ethiopia's regent from 1916 to 1930 and Emperor of Ethiopia from 1930 to 1974. He was the heir to a dynasty that traced its origins by tradition from King Solomon and Queen Makeda, Empress of Axum, known in the Abrahamic tradition as the Queen of Sheba. Haile Selassie is a defining figure in both Ethiopian and African history. Among the Rastafari movement, whose followers are estimated at between 200,000 and 800,000, Haile Selassie is revered as the returned messiah of the Bible, God incarnate

Zewditu I

Empress of Ethiopia from 1916 to 1930. The first female head of an internationally recognized state in Africa in the 19th and 20th centuries, her reign was noted for the reforms of Tafari Makonnen (later Emperor Haile Selassie I) and for her strong religious devotion.

Isaias Afwerki
ኢሳያስ ኣፍወርቂ

The first President of the State of Eritrea, a position he has held since its independence in 1993. He led the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) to victory in May 1991, thus ending the 30-year-old armed liberation struggle that the Eritrean people refer to as "Gedli".

Meles Zenawi
መለስ ዜናዊ አስረስ

Prime Minister of Ethiopia from 1995 until his death in 2012. From 1989, he was the chairman of the Tigrayan Peoples' Liberation Front (TPLF), and the head of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since its formation in 1991. Before becoming a prime minister in 1995, he had served the president of the transitional government of Ethiopia from 1991 to 1995.

Liya Kebede
ሊያ ከበደ

An Ethiopian born model, maternal health advocate, clothing designer and actress who has appeared three times on the cover of US Vogue. According to Forbes, Kebede was the eleventh-highest-paid top model in the world in 2007. Since 2005, Kebede has served as the WHO's Ambassador for Maternal, Newborn and Child Health

Tekle Haymanot
ተክለ፡ ሃይማኖት

An Ethiopian monk who founded a major monastery in his native province of Shewa. He is significant for being the only Ethiopian saint popular both amongst Ethiopians and outside that country. According to Tesfaye Gebre Mariam, Tekle Haymanot "is the only Ethiopian saint celebrated officially in foreign churches such as Rome and Egypt." His feast day is August 17, and the 24th day of every month in the Ethiopian calendar is dedicated to Tekle Haymanot.

Pnina Tamano-Shata
פנינה תמנו-שטה

An Israeli lawyer, journalist and politician. A member of Yesh Atid, she was placed fourteenth on the party's list for the 2013 Knesset elections. As the party won 19 seats, she became the first Ethiopian-born woman to hold a Knesset seat. She is from the Bete Israel, Ethiopian Jews who claim in lost lineage from the ten tribes of northern Israel.

Abram Gannibal
Абра́м Ганниба́л
Abram Gannibal

Also known by Gannibal or Abram Petrov, an Imperial Russian general, military engineer, governor of Reval and nobleman of the Russian Empire. He was brought as an African slave of Eritrean descent and gift to Peter the Great in Russia. He is perhaps best known today as the great-grandfather of Alexander Pushkin, who wrote an unfinished novel about him, Peter the Great's Negro.


  1. Compound from the Ethiopian Semitic languages speakers and Central Cushitic languages speakers
  2. Ethiopian Population In Israel
  3. Miran, Jonathan (2009). Red Sea Citizens: Cosmopolitan Society and Cultural Change in Massawa. Indiana University Press. p. 282. ISBN 9780253220790. Retrieved 2013-01-31.
  4. "About Us". Archived from the original on 2007-08-06. Retrieved 2007-08-22. "The name of this web page was chosen due to our desire to select a neutral and commonly shared term of reference for both Ethiopians and Eritreans. Since the site's inception, however, we have learned that many in Ethiopia do not associate with the term 'Habesha', as it excludes groups such as the Oromo, the Somali, and the many Southern Nationalities And Peoples. We have also learned that there are a number of Eritreans who do not refer to themselves as 'Habesha' such as Rashaidas, Kunamas and others."[better source needed]
  5. [1]
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Herausgegeben von Uhlig, Siegbert, Encyclopaedia Aethiopica: D-Ha. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2005. pp. 948.
  7. Munro-Hay, Stuart (1991). Aksum: A Civilization of Late Antiquity. Edinburgh University Press. p. 39. ISBN 0748601066.
  8. Munro-Hay, Aksum, p. 66.
  9. Munro-Hay, Aksum, p. 19.
  10. Munro-Hay, Aksum, p. 62
  11. Munro-Hay, Aksum, p. 4
  12. Pankhurst 1998, 22-3
  13. Emperor Haile Selassie I, Part 1, Official Ethiopian Monarchy Website.
  14. Kebra Negast
  15. Monroe, Elizabeth (2001). The History of Ethiopia. London: Simon Publications. p. 40. ISBN 1-931541-62-0.
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Javins, Marie. "Eating and Drinking in Ethiopia." Accessed July 2011.
  17. Paul B. Henze, Layers of Time: A history of Ethiopia (New York: Palgrove, 2000), p. 12 and note
  1. Author Jonathan Miran defines habesha as "'Abyssinian,' a common appellation of the Semitic-speaking people inhabiting the highlands of Ethiopia or Eritrea."[3]

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