A Virtual exhibition on a much neglected architectural and historical heritage from Ethiopia
A Virtual exhibition on a much neglected architectural and historical
heritage from Ethiopia is now available in the web <http://pwp.netcabo.pt/patrimonio.sgl/sitebuild/index.htm>.
THE INDIGENOUS & THE FOREIGN - The Jesuit Presence in 17th Century Ethiopia, and exhibition organized by Manuel joão Ramos, Isabel Boavida and Hervé Pennec (Lisbon Geographical Society).
In the rural plateaux of northern Ethiopia, one can still find scattered ruins of monumental buildings alien to the country's ancient architectural tradition. This little-known and rarely studied architectural heritage bears silent witness to a fascinating if equivocal cultural encounter that took place in the 16th-17th centuries between Orthodox Ethiopians and Catholic Europeans. The Indigenous and the Foreign explores the enduring impact of the encounter on the religious, political and artistic life of Christian Ethiopia, one not readily acknowledged, not least because the public conversion of the early 17th-century King Susenyos to Catholicism resulted in a bloody civil war enveloped in religious intolerance. The exhibition includes photographs showing the surviving architecture of a number of religious and stately buildings of early 17th-century Ethiopia, a period when a mission of Jesuits from Goa, in Western India, was most active at the Ethiopian Christian king's Court. This important heritage, known as pre-Gondarine, is scarcely known outside of Ethiopia.
The exhibition includes a number of images from illustrated Ethiopian manuscripts and texts from the period, kindly lent by The British Library, SOAS Archive and Braga District Archive, with further examples of Ethiopian art from private collections, which were displayed in the exhibition with the same name at the Brunei Gallery (SOAS - University of London), from July to September 2004, on the occasion of the launching of the book The Indigenous and the Foreign in Christian Ethiopian Art (eds. I. Boavida e M.J. Ramos).