The 1896 Battle of Adwa Victory Celebration Press ReleaseCHICAGO, ILLINOIS – On Saturday, February 28, 2015, Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia will congregate at the Ethiopian Community Association Center (1730 W. Greenleaf Ave.) at 2:00pm to celebrate the 119th Anniversary of the victory of the Battle of Adwa. In 1896, Ethiopia was the last free, never colonized nation in continental Africa. After the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopia became the first African nation to ever win a major battle over a powerful European colonizer, Italy.The Battle of Adwa, known as “The Greatest Colonial Battle in Modern Times,” took place at dawn on Sunday, March 1, 1896 near the 3,000 year old “Holy City” of Axum. It was 119 years ago that Emperor Menelik II, Empress Taitu and thousands of Ethiopian warriors (men and women) scored a brilliant victory and maintained thousands of years of Ethiopian sovereignty. The Ethiopian Victory at Adwa instilled national pride in the hearts of Ethiopians and Blacks throughout the colonized world; it also inspired dreams of liberation from oppressive European colonizers and strengthened the bond between Ethiopia and the African Diaspora.The Ethiopian Community Association of Chicago invites all people to celebrate this magnanimous victory and historic moment in Black History. The purpose of this celebration is to preserve and promote ancient and modern Ethiopian history and to inspire youth of Ethiopian and African descent to be mindful of their glorious heritage. The event program includes historical accounts about Adwa by Ethiopian scholars, educators and historians, Dr. Shumet Sishagne of Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA and Dr. Haile M. Larebo of Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA. The event will also include film clippings, poems and other entertainment. For more information, please call ECAC at 773-508-0303 ext. 110/111/115 or 116. Click here for more details.
ECAC Receives New Donations Museum Artifacts: Martha and Mike Camden learned about ECAC and its collection of cultural artifacts while searching the internet for an organization to receive items they bought when they lived in Ethiopia 30 years ago. The Camdens, who were working with the Baptist Mission of Ethiopia, report about their time in the country from 1985 to 1987:
“Most of our time was spent in Mehal Meda, Menz and Gishe Awraja where we did small water projects to improve the water sources for the community. We also assisted others who were engaged in feeding the hungry and sick during the famine that was occurring at the same time….Much of the handiwork we purchased was created by different groups who were trying to raise funds for their community work, i.e., leprosy, single mothers.
“Our time in Ethiopia was truly a wonderful experience, and upon our return to the States these items were used for many years to decorate our home and remind us of the experience and the people we had met along the way.”
After talking with ECAC about its museum plans, the Camdens sent a large box containing cultural clothing, embroidered textiles, baskets, crosses, “shekla” and more. One example from their donation is this month’s “Artifact of the Month.” Winter Clothing: ECAC has also been receiving donations of winter clothing! Thank you to Carol Deely who organized a winter clothing drive with her friends and to the Loyola Refugee Outreach, a student run club at Loyola University Chicago, who worked together to create a number “winter clothing kits.” The clothing is already helping our refugee families stay warm in this cold Chicago weather! Thank you!
Museum Artifact of the Month
Painted Pottery Bowl | ŤabaThis pottery bowl with its matching lid is beautifully hand painted with the colors of the Ethiopian flag. If it wasn’t painted, such a bowl would be used to make sauces over a fire or used to serve kitfo at the table, but the decorations make the covered bowl an object to be displayed on a shelf or perhaps to store a woman’s jewelry. The artifact pictured above was donated to ECAC this month along with over 140 other Ethiopian artifacts by Mike and Martha Camden who carefully cared for these items for 30 years. Their story can be found in the article above.