Books used in traditional education
The tools of the traditional church education in Ethiopia that have been in use over millennia are now on the verge of extinction. With literacy obtained in modern secular education establishments, and priests educated in theological colleges, the ancient ways of transmission of knowledge become obsolete. The practices and contents, including valuable manuscripts containing the texts that have to be studied, fall out of use; manuscripts deteriorate and are replaced, when needed, by printed media. It is of high importance to preserve both tangible and intangible aspects of this cultural heritage, documenting the oral and written practices, digitizing texts, and restoring and preserving manuscripts.
Against this background, the project "Documenting an Ancient Education System in Africa: ʾAbənnat Təmhərt in Ethiopia" was called into life by Prof. Alessandro Bausi (HLCEES, Hamburg) and Prof. Ass. Mersha Alehegne Mengistie (Addis Ababa University).
In close cooperation with the Bm project, in 2021-2023 the project team conducted a series of field missions documenting, among other things, manuscripts used in traditional education and preserved in the active educational institutions. The descriptions and images are availble in the project digital environment.