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Ethiopia: a paradise for anarcheologists

We're in Axum, the land of the queen of Sheba and the emperor Menelick, her son with Solomon, who brought the ark of the alliance from Jerusalem and founded an empire around the Graal. It is Zion for the Rastafarians who flee from around the world including Babylonian Jamaica to come and celebrate Hailie Selassie, the last emperor of the Solomonic dynasty. To me, this is a paradise for anarcheology. Makes me remember Zouzi Chebbi, in Paris 8 last March commenting that the different between fact and version is blurred when once crosses southbound the Maghreb.

The Beta Israel are the descendents of the big court of Menelick (the first) who followed him from Jerusalem, maybe together with the lost tribes and some converted along the way. As for the Christians, maybe they are early converts, maybe the descendents of the hosts of Jesus, maybe the ones who went preach up north in the upper shores of the Red Sea. Ethiopia is often cleaned away from the official versions of those religious and racial stories. Much has to be invented when you see the Falasha and the Falash Mura traditions or when you smell the missing link between Kabbalah, Rasta and the black diaspora. Ethiopians could have been the monotheist influence on the Canaanites that gave rise to them breaking up with their Mesopotamian tradition. Put back one element to the official version of things, and the disruption is uncontrolled. There is no monotonic accommodation, no progressive assimilation to what passes as universal or all-inclusive account of history. It is the politics of anarcheology: the power of the fictions in friction.

Surely, there is an account of things that is Ethiopia-centered. The Menelick dynasty went on all the way through Iodit (the Jewish queen who persecuted the Christians), Menelick the second in the 19th century and Hailie Selassie is the kernel of it all. But it, again, has its own wholes and gaps and pieces of the puzzle swept under the carpet. I thought of an anarcheological definition of universal history inspired on what Levinas once said about the Yosl Rakover manuscript that was claimed by Zvi Kolitz to be his own fictional piece. Levinas said: the manuscript is too truthful not to be a piece of fiction. This is what history could be like: no more than narratives that are too truthful not to be pieces of fiction.

More on anarcheology in the book "Heraclitus, an exercise in anarcheology" by Leonel, Luciana and me coming up at some point this year (according to the publisher).

NB: This was premiered few days back in Facebook because blogger wasn't agreeing with Ethiopia.


  1. Fabi Borges escreve:

    A historia do mundo pode ser contada pela Etiopia. Lugar que o catolicismo nao triunfou, o islamismo nao triunfou, judaismo nao triunfou, mas conseguiram misturar tudo isso... conseguiram correr com quase todos os inimigos, e na pior das hipoteses, separaram a parte do pais colonizado pelo catolicismo italino, Eritrea. Eles sao muito orgulhosos da propria historia, com suas igrejas construidas nas... rochas e nas montanhas, um cristianismo com jesus negro, maria negra, pombinhas negras. Nao da pra separar muito o cristianismo ortodoxo da Etiopia do norte, da historia do povo. eles te perguntam: Onde jesus esteve dos 20 aos 30? sorriem e dizem, na etiopia, of course! rssss... Mas afora religiao, e apesar de nao usarem burcas, todos estes tecidos brancos que cobrem o corpo de homens e mulheres so tem sentido no deserto. Um branco feito de pó, de terra do deserto, com camelos e burros carregando agua e pequenas agriculturas. A maioria deles lamentam a morte do kadafi, dizendo, ele era um lider bom. Nos ajudava. Tambem suspeitam da revolucao comunista que tomou conta do pais em 1974, dizendo, mas pra que acabar com toda mitologia? com toda nossa crenca e matar nosso rei? e pra arrematar dizem, nós nunca fomos colonizados, essa é nossa pobreza e nossa honra. Mas tudo isso é a parte norte, estamos descendo pro sul, para aqueles que nunca foram submetidos nem pelo cristianismo ortodoxo, que pousam para os turistas com suas mascaras magicas e desenvolvem ainda uma outra historia, a historia dos que preferem ser indios, mesmo fakes pros viajeiros,, sem abrir mao do seu modo de vida. Por exemplo? pagar impostos. No way. Não é deslumbramento, é identificacao, acho que os etiopes do sul e os indios do norte do brasil deveriam fazer uns encontros mesmo!! mas enfim... somente aprendendo e perdendo tudo pelo caminho. O deserto dá sede, mas tambem da frio, e uma obcessao no olhar. Depois de passarem por tantas coisas me preocupa que sejam massacrados pelo turismo, com seus carros fortes, seus onibus cheios de gente, so preocupados com museus e consumo, passando por cima dessa historia nobre, que tanto encanta a gente. A china esta cuidando de tudo agora, das suas roupas e das suas estradas. Isso da medo tambem, e... Salomao e Sheba, que historia bonita. A rainha atrevida o rei galinha e esoterico. Imagino a promesssa na cama: Salomao, honra esse acasalamento, levarei o teu nome no ventre e dentro dele a historia de um povo! Honrarei rainha de sheba! Eu prometo. Essa foda não será em vao.

  2. Really , Hilian ? I didn´t known it.


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