1887

n African Renaissance - Re-imagining the Horn

Volume 4, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1744-2532
  • E-ISSN: 2516-5305

Abstract

Africa's history has been misread and misinterpreted both by European scholars and miseducated African scholars alike, who both reflect unto this history through Eurocentric convictions. For many decades, major African civilizations such as Egypt, Great Zimbabwe and Axum were all uncritically perceived to be the product of alien agents rather than indigenous African peoples. The Ethiopian case in particular, provides a unique opportunity to dwell unto this thesis. Ethiopian historiography largely rested on the hypothesis that the Ethiopian state and civilization were built by immigrants from South Arabia who colonized Ethiopia in the first millennium B.C.1 From here the invaluable contribution of alien factors in the making of ancient Ethiopian history was asserted and a genealogical link between these immigrants and the northern and central highlanders (the Abyssinians) was made. The latter point, the uncritical assertion of the belonging of the peoples of Ethiopia inhabiting the northern and central highlands to alien origins, held more serious and far-reaching ramifications. The seriousness of these on contemporary Ethiopian politics unraveled itself only in the past few decades, when arguments for 'indigenousness' were exploited to justify claims for a colonial occupation and reinforce the colonial thesis according to which the people of the northern highlands colonized those of the south,in particular the Oromo. In the view of Oromo nationalists, the pretext for secessionism or even 'independence' is in the argument that this history proves that the respective peoples whom the 'alien' northern highlanders (the Amhara and Tigreans) ruled were colonized peoples under an alien domination.

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/content/aa_afren/4/1/EJC10253
2007-01-01
2019-10-22

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