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ABYSSINIA.

♦ .' .■ —— - '.:.-,"i As the movements o£ a party o£ Cossacks bound for Abyssinia have elioitod some interest lately, a few notes on that oountry may be found useful, Tejurah Bay, where the Cossacks have landed, "eluding the vigilanoe of both French and Italian warships, 1' is a deep bay or gulf south of the Strait of Babel Mandeb, the entrance to the Bed Sea from the gulf of Aden. The town of Tejurah is about as far from, the (trait on one aide as Aden is on the other. To reach the frontier of Abyssinia' the " mission " or whatever it is has a tramp of about 250 miles before it, and if bound to Gondar, the nominal capital, nearly 200 miles more. The following notes are from " Chambers" The people of Abyssinia belong mostly to the Semitic raoe, lips not thicker than those of Europeans, pointed noses, and straight or slightly curled hair A second raoe have thiok lips, noses blunt and somewhat ourved, and thick hair, verging on wooHiness. The third are the Gallas, a large bodied raoe, round faced, short nosed, with a depression between the nose and brow, deepset lively eyes, and thickish lips: The color of these raoPB is brown of various shades. Tibet only negroes m Abyssinia, are slaves. The oldest accounts of the Abysßufans are full of fables, but seem soffiolent to prove that they attained some -degree of civilisation even 3r 'inrr^aps9te anttqalty. .Christianity was introaacecf'about . tbe middle of the 4th century and soon prevailed extensively. Under the infiqenoo, of the Portuguese missionaries, the royal family adoped the Roman Catholic faith j and the old Coptic O bur oh was formally united to the see of Rome. The people aod eoolesiaitlcs obstinately resisted the. Innovation ; the emperor gave way; and ultimately, In 1632, the Romish prleita were expelled or put to death. In oonse> quenoe of the emotions thus exolted, the monarohlal power deolined, while that of the governors of provlnoes greatly In-* oreased, and, indeed, beoame almost, absolute. The Gallas, a savage bnt enterprising raoe effected a settlement on the> south of Abyssinia, In the 16th century. They inhabit the whole of the. half of the eastern part of troploal Africa. Several of their tribes have been modified m character ani customs by conversion to Mohammedanism, Though Christianity is still the professed religion •of the majority of Abyssinian*, It exists among them only m its lowest form, and Is little more than ceremonial. The ohuroh is national and Independent, but the vbriblo bead, or Abuna (' our father') Is ordained by the Coptic patriaroh of Alexandria* The dootriaes of tbe Abyssm on coincide with those of the Coptic Ghaehi but several rites are observed, including circumcision of both texes, and observance) of the Mosaic laws respecting food* &o; love feaßts, and adulc baptism; The oldest Abyssinian churches are hewn but of rooKB. The modern churches are mostly small, round, or conical buildings,' thatched with straw, and surrounded by pillars of ejdar. Statues and bas-reliefs- are not tolerated m churches, but paintings are numerous. The state of manners and morals m Abyssinia is as low as might be looked for m a country so long a prey to anarohy aod vio'eoce. Human life ia lightly valued, the administration of justice is barbarously negligent and corrupt, and the marriage bond is tied and loosened with extreme faoility. The land generally yields at least two crops annually; but the agriculture is miserable, and the oondition of the lower oltjßsea proportionately wretched. The manufactures of Abyssinia are rbde, but suffioleat with a few exceptions, for the Wants of the natives; cotton stuff and leather goods are the staple articles. The foreign trade is aarried on principally throagh Massowah, the chief exports being slaves, gold, butter, musk-horns, wax and ivory.

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Permanent link to this item

http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/newspapers/AG18890130.2.16

Bibliographic details

ABYSSINIA., Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2050, 30 January 1889

Word Count
632

ABYSSINIA. Ashburton Guardian, Volume VII, Issue 2050, 30 January 1889

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