The Ethiopians love ornaments, design and aesthetic art and this is reflected not only in the dress of the people but also in their personal adornment. Historically this displayed in their Jewel-studded crowns and diadems, and with their daggers and shields set with rubies and emeralds. The same creative tradition is maintained also by humbler – but no less impressive – skills of the rural weavers of grass, leather and hair, and the string of colorful bead necklace and cowries shells.

Ethiopian jewelry and ornaments can be divided into the following main groups.
a. Smith-made jewelry, crafted of gold or silver or, occasionally of brass or copper.
b. Coarse metal jewelry, which is made simple and often brass, copper, iron, aluminum, nickel, etc
c. Bead jewelry (including amber) and decorative bead work, and
d. Ornaments made of natural materials, such as wood, shells, ivory, horn, nuts. Seeds. Hair, leather, grass. Etc
Examples of all these four groups of work can sometimes be seen in the same piece of jewelry. A woman might buy small silver ornaments and string them together with brass, glass and wooden beads. This personal element is apparent in much Ethiopian jewelry.

The most beautiful female adornment is often seen within the privacy of the houses of Adare families in Hara. On festive occasions, young girls are elaborately decked out in embroidered silk and gold jewelry. Their ornaments and clothing reveals the influence of designs and materials brought in for countries from Arabia and the Far East. Local craftsmen combine their own inspiration with these imports.

Neck Ornaments
At baptism an Ethiopian Christian is given a cotton baptismal cord, called a Matab, which is worn around the neck. A neck cross is often worn on this cord but other kinds of ornaments are also suspended from it. The user of cotton cord with pendants is not limited to Christian, but is used widely in varying colors, throughout the country.

Artist abounds as well. The monasteries of Ethiopia produced some of the earliest illuminated parchments. Good, modern examples of brightly colored illustrated stories drawn from Ethiopian history and the Bible are today still produced in large quantities.

Church decorations are another medium for artistic expression. Many Ethiopian masterpieces may never be known to the outside world because they are painted on the walls and ceiling of remote and inaccessible churches or monasteries.

The potter’s craft in Ethiopia is over 3000 years old. Superb traditional pottery is today produced by monks at the Sambo Tree Monastery in the north-east of the country.

Carving is another traditional craft which continues to flourish. Carved objects made of wood include combs.

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