Ethiopia III Returned Peace Corps Volunteers

"Return to Ethiopia" Trip

September 22 - October 7, 2012

50th Anniversary of the Peace Corps in Ethiopia


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September 26 - Wednesday

Ethnological Museum - Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian Ethnological Museum was established in 1963 with three major components: a research and publications unit, a library, and a museum. The aim of the institute is to collect documents, analyze and disseminate knowledge about languages, cultures and the history of Ethiopia. As Ethiopia is a cradle of mankind, a crossroads of cultures and civilizations, it is known as “a museum of nationalities”. This museum, therefore, shoulders the responsibility of capturing the heritage of the past and presenting it for posterity. The main focus of the museum is traditional art and material culture of nationalities. The Museum brings the many diverse ethnic groups of Ethiopia under one roof. The layout follows the story of life from birth to death, and beyond, and how the different stages of life are viewed and experienced by different ethnic groups in Ethiopia.

The museum is in the old palace, Genete Le’ul, of the late Emperor Haile Selassie, a building that welcomes all visitors with dignity and grace. The name means paradise of princes. The palace was built by emperor Haile Selassie in 1930. The emperor and his family made the palace their main residence, but the seat of government remained at the Imperial Palace. After the Second Italian-Abyssinian War and the Italian occupation, the palace became the residence of the Italian Viceroy. Emperor Haile Selassie moved back to the palace when he returned from exile after the Second World War. During a coup attempt in 1960 several government officials were massacred in the palace. In light of this, the emperor moved to the Jubilee Palace. He gave the Genete Le’ul Palace to the Haile Selassie University, which was renamed Addis Ababa University in 1974. The palace was renamed Ras Makonnen hall after the father of the emperor.

The museum is accommodated on two floors, comprising the bedroom of the late Emperor and ethnographic section on the lower floor and the art gallery on the upper floor.

The bedroom reminds us that the building was once a palace in the formative period of modern Ethiopia. It is the first modern palace imitating European style. We see here the bed, which Emperor Haile Selassie used for more than ten years, and some personal gifts received by the late Emperor.

The reception hall now hosts ethnographic items of more than 80 language groups. It is divided into two parts. The first introduces the general socio-economic conditions of the country and displays production tools and some techniques of craftsmen.

The second part provides a quick visit through Ethiopia. Here, assorted items from each region in the country are represented. Although the space is not large enough to show all the beauty and diversity of the culture of Ethiopia, it creates a strong urge to know more about it.

The second floor is a gallery where the ‘high art’ of the country is displayed. The exhibit concentrates on the history of sacred, and a few examples of the secular, art of Ethiopia. The time span of some items could go as far back as the 14th century

(Important note: All photographs, except where mentioned,  are copyrighted as of October 8, 2012, by Darrel and Betty Hagberg. Please request permission to use and please credit them).







The following photo credits to Flivckr Photo Sharing.
























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Skip to other Photo Pages of the Trip


September 22 Ethiopian Embassy Reception
September 23 Dulles Airport
September 24 Addis Ababa Airport Reception
September 24 Addis Ababa City Views
September 24 Hebir Restaurant Dinner Show - Addis Ababa
September 25 Addis Ababa City Views
September 25 Ethiopian President Welcome
September 25 Kotebe College for Teachers - Addis Ababa
September 25 US Embassy Reception
September 26 Ethnological Museum - Addis Ababa
September 26 Saint George Cathedral - Addis Ababa
September 26 Mercato Market Place - Addis Ababa
September 26 Meskel Celebrations - Addis Ababa
September 27 National Museum - Addis Ababa
September 27 Mount Entoto Overlook - Addis Ababa
September 27 Trinity Cathedral - Addis Ababa
September 27 Debre Berhan
September 28 Debre Berhan
September 28 Ankober
September 29 Lalibella and Market
September 29 Yemrehanna Kristos Church, Bilbilla
September 30 Churches of Lalibella
October 01 Stelae Field - Axum
October 01 Tombs of Kaleb and Gebre Meskel - Axum
October 01 The Enzana Stone - Axum
October 01 Queen of Sheba's Palace - Axum
October 01 Monastic Complex of Saint Mary of Zion - Axum
October 02 Mai Shum (Queen of Sheba's Swimming Pool - Axum
October 02 Fasilo Ghebbi (Royal Enclosure) - Gondar
October 02 Debre Birhan Selassie Church - Gondar
October 02 Wolieka (Falasha Village) - Gondar
October 03 Fasilidas's Pool - Gondar
October 03 Barhar Dar
October  04 Blue Nile Falls - Barhar Dar
October  04 Lake Tana - Barhar Dar
October  04 Church of Ura Kidane Mihret - Barhar Dar
October  05 Dire Dawa - Harar
October 06 Red Terror Museum - Addis Ababa
October 06 Babile - Harar - Dire Dawa
October 07 Dire Dawa
October 07 Farewell Dinner at Crown Hotel - Addis Ababa


Click below for more Ethiopia Web Site features

Map of Ethiopia and Eritrea (circa 1964)
Ethiopia III Trainees Book
In Country Assignments, 1964-1966
Photo Memories of Ethiopia
Ethiopian Art and Culture
Ethiopia III's Attending the 50th Reunion
Books on Ethiopia
Ethiopian Artifact Exhibition
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Ethiopia III Official Web Site

Copyright 2011© by Darrel & Betty Hagberg. All Rights Reserved.

Updated on September 24, 2020