is a land of untold history
of a culture several millennia old. Much of the custom and ritual
of her past has survived a long period of economic and industrial
growth; as a result, Ethiopia today is a world between worlds
a society embracing both the tradition and the modern. Ethiopia
a rich mosaic of cultures; the Geography combines with history to
impose a sense of common purpose, which has welded a unit out of
dozens of different communities.
One of the most interesting of the Ethiopia's cultural heritage
is its handicraft industry. The fascinating and executing range
of design and pattern with which the Ethiopian people have beautified
and decorated their utensils, their clothes, themselves and the
houses they live in. The skill and the artistic creativity
of the stone carvers, the weavers, the potters, the metalworkers
and jewelers, the woodworkers and many others have been guarded
and developed over many centuries. Like the Europeans before the
Industrial Revolution, the Ethiopian people at the beginning of
their civilization evolved a handcraft industry, which met the basic,
everyday needs of the population.
Ethiopia's handicrafts however have remained a thing of the home,
a work still done by hand. The Federal Government has endorsed the
Cultural preservation Strategy that has 63 Generic strategic interventions.
When positive results are achieved there must be a shift in focus
to sustaining the emerging culture.
In Ethiopia handicraft shall mean any manufacturing activity which
predominately uses manual skills and hand tools. To our purpose
we can define handicraft by
two main categories namely Articles of Function:
and horn products (small items), basket ware, ceramics, textiles,
furniture (wood & bamboo), musicale instruments, pottery etc;
articles of souvenir interest: paintings, silk screen prints,
parchment designs, dolls, icon wood, woven pictures on frames,
jewelry and Coptic crosses etc. In case of articles of function
they can be easily described, measured and priced. Souvenirs, however,
have interests to most tourists who come to Ethiopia who buy them
to remember the Ethiopian culture and their stay in the country.
More details of Ethiopian handicraft are provided at the following