Did you know that the former emperor of Ethiopia may have been a descendant of the line of David? Here’s some other cool facts about Ethiopia.
- It’s big – about the size of Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma combined.There are 80 different ethnic groups with their own languages and 85 million people in Ethiopia.
- The oldest hominid fossils were found in Ethiopia. Remember 3.2 million year-old Lucy? Now there is Ardi, discovered in 1994, but just announced this year. Ardi dates back 4.4 million years.
- The country is getting slowly torn apart by the Rift Valley, where two tectonic plates are separating into a huge valley with mountains, volcanoes, lakes and gorges.
- Ethiopia has long been a free country. It’s the only country that was not colonized by the European powers. It was only occupied by Italy from 1936-1941, until the Brits helped to kick them out. When other African countries gained independence after WWII, so many copied their flag colors from Ethiopia that they became known as the colors of Africa.
- Teff is a grain that only grows in Ethiopia, and is a key part of the country’s cuisine. Teff is made into a flat, squishy sourdough bread called injera and served with wat, a kind of stew, on top. Good stuff! Ethiopia was also the original source of the coffee bean.
- Parents often take a few weeks to name their children. They wait to see what the child will be like. Many don’t celebrate birthdays. The Oromo celebrate a child’s growth every eight years.
- One-third of the world’s frog species live only in Ethiopia. Two kinds eat snails whole – shells and all.
- In Lalibela, you can see 800-year-old churches carved from solid rock, with rooms connected by underground tunnels.
- When you think of Reggae, don’t just think of Jamaica. Think Ethiopia, the spiritual homeland of the Rastafaian religion.
- And the deal with the emperor (died 1975) is that his dynasty went back to the Queen of Sheba, who visited Solomon (I Kings 10:1-13). The belief is that Solomon tricked her into sleeping with him, and she carried his child back to Ethiopia, which began the lineage. In fact, Ethiopia is mentioned in the Bible 45 times, first in Genesis 2 and last in Acts 8.
Can’t wait to visit!