Ethiopia is known as the source of the Blue Nile River, which flows from Lake Tana in the western highlands, around in a loop and joins with the White Nile in Sudan.

WEEKender and ACHA (African Caribbean Heritage Alliance) are teaming up to offer a series of in-depth looks at the continent of Africa. The fabric of St. Maarten is woven from threads of many colours and textures. Both strong and soft, the pattern is uniquely our own. Each person, each cultural group, brings its influence and contributes to the weave. But where does your thread come from? For many St. Maarteners their threads are tied to Africa.

AFRICA LOOMS large in our imaginations, and rightly so. It is the second largest continent on our planet, both by area and by population. It has the most countries of any other continent as well. Africa is home to 53 independent countries, representing more than a quarter of all the countries of the world. Not only that, but Africa is considered by anthropologists and geneticists to be the birthplace of humanity; so by rights, we are all Africans – if you go back far enough. But for the Caribbean, the journey back to Africa is not all that ancient.

We start off this series with a three-part look at the country of Ethiopia. Part 1 will present the history and geography of this important and unique land. Part 2 will share the spiritual journey to the Ethiopian roots of Rastafarianism, taken by our own Ras Bushman and his wife Raisa, last month. We will then consider the tourism aspect of the country, as experienced by two St. Maarteners this past summer.

Ethiopia: An overview

Ethiopia is the third most populated country in Africa, after Nigeria and Egypt. Rich in history, this land has more UNESCO heritage sites than any other country in Africa. And it is also the only African country to never have been colonized by European forces. The Italians tried, but the Ethiopians held their ground, literally. This fierce resistance has placed Ethiopia as the ideal of independence for black people around the world.

Continue reading this story on The Daily Herald
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