National Geographic : 1965 Apr
Ai Hi\ 45 ° 'dah hamir +33 Ma'ba lb seared deserts into full nationhood. An ever-grow Ta'iz ing flood of travel ers is discovering Ethiopia, home of primitive peoples and un S paralleled wild game only short air hops from modern hotels. Americans in particu lar meet with warm welcomes, for Ethiopia GULF has aligned herself firmly with the non-Com S munist West. 2AN OFFICIAL NAME: Ethiopia. GOVERNMENT: Nominally constitutional monarchy; in fact, a be nevolent autocracy. AREA: About 460,000 square o4 s 8 miles; an accurate survey is now in progress. POPULATION: Perhaps 22,000,000. Ethiopia has 0 never had a national census. LANGUAES: ()ffi cially Amharic, plus English and some 70 others. RELIGION: Ethiopian Orthodox Christian, with many Moslems and pagans. CAPITAL: Addis Ababa. CLIMATE: Equatorially hot in the low lands, temperate on the heights. ar eis Gled Haji er De, . .. Taleh Eik* Kir Aio Hudun H n G i * Burao .. ' Balumbt'- . Kibir SOMA I 'Daror '"-. . 4 .Bohotleh Sareh a Aya Bentih:-o. .+.. Gori Rit R'A R u Damot ./ haot " Adaleh (Domo) : 0g den Baduen Semmade. *Mi-o Walwal Galadi randab ar air u .eira Berdale rabredr rlogubi Dudub.. - Galcaio Sor dr e (Rocca Littorio) Sor. \hei G Dabaro, Sillave , REP LIC S', Mirsale * Mare ur "Bahado Call I Habred ' usa Mareb '. sleji . 'Sinadoo .Bulhale Mustah l\Olasan l Emadle / .GoDer JF er Horio. El Hur/ 4 Chirchirri. * elet Uen El Bu Harardera / 5 S/ 0 oo0 20 \' STATUTE MILES 0 Railroads-- Roads-- Trails -- - Water Holes Places with Scheduled Air Service - Desert les Elevations in Feet s15ss Soundings in Fathoms62 Below Sea Level I1 Intermittent Lake II - - ETHIOPIA R NGED by militant Islam, Christian Ethi opia isolated herself from the outside world for nearly ten centuries. Now Em peror Haile Selassie I leads his ancient land to modernity; the pace is slow but steady. Iark-skinned, mostly non-Negroid peo ples populate this African empire the size of Texas, New Mexico, and Oklahoma com bined. The economy is agricultural, and will remain so until adequate roads weld the country's remote highlands and sun- UUDACHROME BY JAMES P. BLAIR (C, NATIONAL GEOGRAPHICSOCIETY Emperor and GEOGRAPHIC editor meet in the Society's Washington headquarters in October, 1963. Haile Selassie signs the guestbook in Am haric. The Emperor particularly asked to visit the map division. He has since been elected an honorary life member of the Society. Ar Rab' al Khali "They melted the stone and poured it into a wooden mold," said a young villager in per fect seriousness. (Like many younger Ethio pians, he spoke English, the country's second language.) I could hardly contradict him. No body really knows the truth. Pagan artisans carved this stele to resem ble a multistoried building. The model, say the experts, could only have been the adobe skyscraper of southern Arabia. We visited Aksum's Mariam (St. Mary of Zion) Cathedral. Here most of the Ethiopian emperors were crowned. Haile Selassie, how ever, ascended the throne in Addis Ababa.* Only St. Mary's foundations are ancient. A pagan Princess Judith, says the story, de stroyed the original building, and the Moslem conqueror Ahmed Gran, "the Left-handed," leveled its successor in the 16th century. Hidden from the invaders by priests, the coronation crowns of the emperors still re main in custody of the church (page 559). For us and a party of tourists, the chief priest ordered the diadems brought outdoors. White turbaned assistants carried them, shaded by acolytes bearing embroidered umbrellas. *W. Robert Moore wrote of "Coronation Days in Addis Ababa" in NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC, June, 1931.