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Traditional Dance & Musical

Traditional musical instruments in widespread use include the massinko, a one-stringed violin played with a bow; the krar, a six-stringed lyre, played with the fingers or a plectrum; the washint, a simple flute; and three types of drum – the negarit (kettledrum), played with sticks, the kebero, played with the hands, and the atamo, tapped with the fingers or palm. Other instruments include the begena, a huge, multi-stringed lyre often referred to as the Harp of David; the tsinatseil, or sistrum, which is used in church music; the meleket, a long trumpet without fingerholes, and the embilta, a large, simple, one-note flute used on ceremonial occasions.

Though often simply made, the massinko can, in the hands of an expert musician, produces a wide variety of melodies. It is often played by wandering minstrels,particularly near eating houses, where the musicians entertain the diners. The rousing rhythms of the negarit were used in times gone by to accompany important proclamations, and chiefs on the march would be preceded by as many as 30 men, each beating a negarit carried on a donkey.

The tiny atamo is most frequently played at weddings and festivals, setting the rhythmic beat of folk songs and dances. Modern-style bands have come into existence in recent decades, and there are noted Ethiopian jazz musicians.

The Bale Mountains National Park

Is a national park in the Oromia Region of southeast Ethiopia. Created in 1970, this park covers about 2,200 square kilometers of the Bale Mountains, Rising to a height of more than 4,000 meters, the range borders Ethiopias southern highlands, whose highest peak, Mount TulluDeemtu, stands at 4,377 meters.

The establishment of the 2,400-square-kilometre Bale mountain national park was crucial to the survival of the mountain Nyala, Meneliks bushbuck and the Simien red fox. This fox is one of the most colorful members of the dog family and more abundant here than anywhere else in Ethiopia. All three endemic animals thrive in this environment, the Nyala in particular often being seen in large numbers.

The Bale Mountains offer some fine high-altitude horse and foot trekking, and the streams of the park – which become important rivers further downstream – are well-stocked with rainbow and brown trout.

Simien Mountains National Park

Semien Mountains National park is the home of the endemic mammals of Walia Ibex, Semien Fox, Gelada Baboons and many species of birds and plants apart from its spectacular scenic beauty. And also the perfect trekking area, located in the North Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, covers 179 square kilometers of highland area at an average elevation of 3,300 meters.

RasDashen, at 4,620 meters the highest peak in Ethiopia, stands adjacent to the park.It is home to a number of extremely rare species, including the Ethiopian wolf, Gelada Baboon, and the Walia Ibex, a wild goat found nowhere else in the world.

More than 50 species of birds inhabit the park, including the impressive Bearded Vulture, or Lammergeyer, with its 10-foot (3m) wingspan.It was one of the first sites to be made a World Heritage Site by UNESCO (1978). However, due to serious population declines of the characteristic native species, in 1996 it was also added to the List of World Heritage Sites in danger. This national park is one of the best sites for those who love the adventure of trekking.

Awash National Park

Is one of the National Parks of Ethiopia. Located at the southern tip of the Afar Region, this park is 225 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, with its southern boundary along the Awash River, and covers at least 756 square kilometers of acacia woodland and grassland.
The wildlife consists mainly of East African plains animals, such as Oryx, bat-eared fox, caracal, aardvark, colobus and green monkeys, Anubis and Hamadryas baboons, klipspringer, bushbuck,Soemmerings gazelle, kudu and 450 species of bird.

HARAR

Harar, The Fortified Historic Town is an eastern city in Ethiopia, and the capital of the modern Harari ethno-political division of Ethiopia. The city is located on a hilltop, in the eastern extension of the Ethiopian highlands about five hundred kilometers from Addis Ababa with an elevation of 1885 meters. For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial centre, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.

Harar Jugol has been included in the World Heritage List in 2006 by UNESCO in recognition of its cultural heritage. According to UNESCO, it is “considered the fourth holy city of Islam” with 82 mosques, three of which date from the 10th century, and 102 shrines.

Harar was founded between the 7th and the 11th century and emerged as the center of Islamic culture and religion in the Horn of Africa. From Harar, Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi, also known as “Gragn the Left-handed,” launched a war of conquest in the sixteenth century that extended its territory and even threatened the existence of the Christian Ethiopian empire. His successor, Emir Nur ibn Mujahid, encircled the city with a wall, 4 meters high and with five gates. This wall, called “JEGOL”, is still intact, and is a symbol of the town to the inhabitants.

DEBRE DAMO

The ancient monasteries of Debre-Damo is considered to be one of the oldest monastery in the country. Unlike other monasteries and churches, Debre-Damo is built on the of the Amba. The Amba of Debre-Damo has half square kilo meter in area and it altitude rises to 3000m above sea level. In the 16th century, emperor Lebne Dengel took a refuge on the Amba during the wars of Ahmed Gragn. Currently the monastery hosts more than 300 monks and deacons. The style of construction is depicting from the earliest Axumite architecture. The accessible to the Monastery is only by way of rope and open only for men.

YEHA

Yeha, found at a distance about 25km from Northeast of modern town of Adwa and 55km east of Axum, it is believed to be Ethiopia’s first capital .the first settlers of this area ,the sabeans , were the founders of Axumite kingdom .Queen Makeda of Sabaea (Sheba) belongs to this dynasty who ruled Ethiopia and Yemen for 31years.

AXUM

Axum is one of the most important archeological sites of Ethiopia. It is well known for its ruins of the palace of the legendary Queen of Sheba who reigned about 1000 B.C. The greatest mystery of all, however, is that the son of the Queen of Sheba, Menelik I, first king from the Solomonic Dynasty brought with him the Arc of the covenant is believed still to be kept in the church of St. Mary Zion of Axum erected on the original location of the oldest church in Ethiopia. The Axumite kings conversion to Christianity in the 4th century makes Ethiopia, after Armenia and Georgia, the third oldest Christian county. The site of the country’s most ancient city, shields and shelters a great number of priceless relic. Other ancient sites are the 2000 years old stele (some are even much older), which are made from single blocks of granite carved to represent multi-storey houses.

LALIBELA

LALIBELA, Set at 2,600 m above sea level in the rugged mountains in the northern end of Wollo, is the most exciting attraction of the country, from where the Zagwe Dynasty ruled the country for more than 2 centuries. Lalibella formerly known as Roha, the town of Lalibela bears the name of its most famous king “Lalibela” (1181 – 1221A.D). There are eleven rock hewn monolithic churches, believed to have been built by king Lalibela, which are architecturally unique buildings, finely carved, some decorated with beautiful paintings. There is nothing that could be more attractive than the fascinating and impressive churches with their ancient architecture and carving. The churches of Lalibela are the eighth wonders of the world.

GONDAR

GONDAR , surrounded by the lower hills of the southern semien mountains, lies at 2,200m above sea level. “The city of the castles” is one of Ethiopia’s most fascinating cities, founded by Emperor Fasilidas in 1635 A.D. At this time, Gondar became the royal capital city of the country. In subsequent years, several castles were built, each unique in size and architecture. Gondar is a city rich in fabulous history and ancient monuments. For many centuries it was the center of fine arts, music, science, religion, commerce and administration. The most interesting church of Gondar is “Debre Berehan Selassie “Light of Mount trinity). This Trinity church is built in a rectangular shape, its ceilings are decorated with beautiful winged angles and its walls with impressive scenes depicting from biblical events.

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