The Primitive Mineliks
A friend told me a joke about someone who frequently climbed up a hill and prayed to win the lottery. One day as he was praying, an angel came gliding and stood in front of him. He screamed: ‘what’s wrong with you, how would God make you win when you haven’t even bought a lottery ticket? At least buy one and meet Him halfway!’
Therefore, praying for peace while at the same time agitating for sectarian conflicts and bloodshed cannot bring about peace. At least one must walk halfway and then pray. Otherwise, it is like wishing to win the lottery without buying a lottery ticket!
Believes say that God does not help humans in committing crimes; it is their own making. God is not expected to help in committing crimes—how could He take side when two sides pray to Him to obliterate each other! People must learn to restrain themselves and work for peace—only then, they can expect God’s support.
Religious artifacts are just symbols, not meant to intercede and convince God take side as crimes and inhumanities are committed among humans. He can only help those who help themselves by shunning injustice and disregard for life.
Pseudo-intellectuals help politicians in agitating for sectarian and ethnic strife for narrow interests. They make things worse than they are. These are the corrupt persons though we tend to think only of financial corruption like accumulating illegal wealth. But there is worse corruption like denying people peace, justice, and stability. The corrupt divert the toil and resources of the people to serve their personal ambitions and greed. And there is no better way to achieve that than by continually intoxicating the innocent people with fables and superstitions and keeping them ignorant. Thus, denying the people opportunities and access to education. Worse, they make them fight against their own interest, to kill and main each other for the benefit of a few sick minded people.
Lately someone sent me a long video presented by a known fanatic who, surprisingly, accuses those he is prejudiced against as fanatics. Though he claims to be a scholar, and doesn’t stop his continuous self-praise, his statements and conclusions, his customary stereotyping, and his easily provable lies exposes him for the medieval mentality he promotes.
It’s a common knowledge that Christian and Muslim divided into more than fifty sects each. There is no monolithic faith group at all—each has variations, some minor others major. But our scholar will not stop feeding misinformation to his gullible audience by claiming one religion is more disunited than the other. It’s appalling how he presents these facts as if he is the only informed person who knows it, and that he is sharing it with the ignorant public who would have remained oblivious to it if not for his generosity in sharing the knowledge. But these doesn’t even need flipping through books; it’s a click away, the Internet provides all this shallow knowledge presented as a work of genius. The dishonesty is mind boggling.
This man represents what ails Abyssinia—imagine such a person having political, military, and economic power! If he somehow is given the baton of authority from those in power, he will continue to wreak havoc all over the place, worse than the mayhem that already rules the region.
The above briefly explains the Abyssinian region’s ancient curse of fables and folktales, and in the middle of it all is the Kibre Negest fable and its offshoot Then Fit’he Negest, the leading damaging books.
Abyssinian kings ruled through strict theocratic systems where the church was the main entity that lent them legitimacy. As it has so much influence over the kings in the past, heocratic rule is still the core of the governing system of Abyssinia.
In 1872, king Yohannes wrote to the British foreign minister Lord Granville telling him, “There is a book called Kibre Negest which contains the Law of the whole of Ethiopia, and the names of the [chiefs], and churches, and provinces are in the book. I pray you find out who has got this book, and send it to me, for in my country my people will not obey my orders without it”.
The book was taken from King Tedros’ huts with other artifacts during the General Napier campaign. The Kebre Negest was so important and enabled the kings to append a valuable prefix to their title, “Seyoume egzabher.” It is the equivalent of “mekkenehu Allah” [enabled by God] in the Muslim rulers’ tradition. And that is how the blessing of kings by the religious institutions became vital in preserving the kings’ grip of power. And it is not unique to Abyssinia because many nations (in history or now) exploit such support that’s provided by the clergy.
One can only imagine how difficult it must have been for the generations that lived under such unjust primitive Abyssinian kings. Sadly, some fascists are appearing in the guise of scholar and working hard to revive the ancient system. They forget that evolution always wins, and no one will consciously accept the unjust rule of the brutes and the fanatics of the past or the present. .
There are regional versions of Kebre Negest fables. It’s all based on the 800-year-old fable of king Solomon and the claimed mother of Minelik 1st –she is known by many names.
According to Dr. Enno Littman Minelik’s mother was called Ettiye Azeb whose people worshipped a dragon to whom they offered, yearly, wine, milk, and their maiden daughters in turn. When it was Azeb’s turn to be offered to the dragon as a sacrifice, they tied her on top of a tree where the dragon will find her. Then, mysteriously, seven saints came and sat under the shade of the tree. Soon, they noticed liquid dripping on them from the top and looked up at the tree and discovered the maiden Azeb tied up on to. It was her tears that dropping on them. In surprise they asked if she was a spirit or a human being. She said she was a human being and narrated her story to them. The saints discussed the issue.
When the dragon came to eat Azeb, Abba TchaHma plucked his beards, Abba Gerima, said, “he frightened me”, and Abba MenTelit said, “let us seize him.”
They attacked the dragon and killed him by smiting it with a cross. In the process, the dragon’s blood spurted and landed on Etteye Azeb’s feet. Immediately, her feet became like the heel of a donkey. The saints untied her, and she returned to her village. But the villagers would not accept her back thinking she escaped from the dragon—she should have been eaten by the dragon! Helpless, the poor girl returned to the tree and slept there. By the next day she went back to the village and returned with witnesses to see the dead dragon. To the villagers’ delight, the witnesses testified the dragon was dead. The villagers changed their minds and appointed the maiden as their chieftain.
Later, Ettiye Azeb heard of the medical skills of king Solomon of Israel and decided to go to see him to help her cure her deformed heels. Solomon received her in his palace and fed her spicey and salty food. Then she was ushered to her sleeping chamber where Solomon warned her, she is not allowed to take anything from the palace without his approval. Apparently with a mischievous intent, he left a jar of water beside her bed. Azeb woke up feeling thirsty and picked the jar of water. Solomon caught her drinking his water without his permission as per the warning he already gave her. Thus, he asked to be compensated for the violation and he slept with her. She became pregnant and the so-called King Solomon 1st was the result of the blackmail or rape.
If you ever wondered when the much talked about “3000 years old Abyssinian history” started, it’s when Solomon met Azeb.
NB: This is taken from my Negarit 161 video presentation published on Feb 17, 2022.