This year for Christmas I gave my children, nieces, and nephews hand-forged Christmas tree ornaments, a variation of the Ethiopian crosses that are popular gifts from these parts. A few days ago we took a field trip to an artisan neighborhood in Addis tucked away in the foothills of Entoto Mountain to find out how … More To Forge a Cross
How many lives does an Eri silk moth have? Life #1. Caterpillars cocooned, it got really cold and rainy, and they stayed put. We thought they died. After about a month too long, they hatched! Death deferred! Life #2. Moths laid eggs like crazy, and we had a huge crop of little worms. Then it … More Butterfly in the Deep Blue Sky–no it’s not, it’s a MOTH!
I’ve been teaching Rosa how to spin. And boy, have we gotten ourselves into a tangled mess. This is not how you spin. This is how you untangle your thread after you’ve gotten it looped around the bobbin because you weren’t holding it tight enough, with everything else you have to think about–keeping the wheel … More Tied Up In Knots
When we visited Jimma to see the restoration of Aba Jifar‘s palace, it happened to be over the Meskel holiday. Like Irreecha, the Oromo holiday celebrating the end of the rains and the beginning of the harvest season which took place in Addis this weekend, Meskel is the Orthodox festival that marks the turning of … More Treasures in Jimma City
He was a six-foot ten Muslim king in Oromia, Ethiopia in the 1800’s. His palace is falling apart. Bruce’s uncle, Leon Buckwalter, is fixing it. We went to check up on his work last weekend. The restoration is a joint venture of the Ethiopian government, the World Monument Fund and the US Embassy. Uncle Leon … More Aba Jifar (not the villain from Aladin)
This is probably the worst way to write a blog. Anyone who is interested in eri silk or spinning, for example, won’t want to wade through a bunch of NGO projects or Ethiopian cultural holidays or my son’s wedding. Should I drop this format? I’ve already dropped the Fourteen–it will be as many as it … More A Fortnight of aFfirmative Findings
Cheeks puffed, stomachs tight, lips bleeding. I’m not exaggerating. It takes a lot of power to blow these gourds, and lips were indeed bleeding! Why were these farmers from Western Ethiopia welcoming a bunch of visitors in gray Conservation Agriculture T-shirts with such a work-out of Zumbara music? Beneshangul-Gumez is a region near the border … More Trumpets and Ag