Handicrafts and Souvenirs

It has been ascertained that the gold with a platinum content used in Tutankhamen’s statue could have only come from either Ethiopia or South Africa. Indeed, the legendary King Solomon’s mines may have their origins in the Horn of Africa. The oldest traditional gold mine in the world is supposed to be in the Nejo area of Western Ethiopia. The Dorze people of the Omo Basin still carry out the ancient iron working industry by melting iron from iron ore.

Gift articles: When it comes to shopping for rare gift articles and genuine souvenirs from Ethiopia there are an amazing selection of religious icons, crosses, antique jewelry made from various metals, gold and silver jewelry, leather goods of all kinds and pure cotton textiles to choose from.

The Cross in Ethiopia and other Icons
the cross is a universal Christian symbol associated with the crucifixion of Jesus. As is evident from the prolific and triumphant representation in over 3,000 styles of dome, processional, hand and neck crosses, the Ethiopian cross has an ancient and elaborate heritage and is reminiscent of the Egyptian Ankh and the Tau cross of Tibet.

Food and Drink
Everything being so completely different from what you are used to, can sometimes be as daunting as it is fascinating. Trying Ethiopian national foods and drinks may be a case in point. On top of the effect of altitude change and jet lag, the exotic diet may initially upset your system. However, once you get over the adjustment period, you must certainly try them, and if you take a liking to them, watch out! They can be addictive!

Injera is the staple all over the highlands and in the towns elsewhere. It is soft, thin chapatti-like bread made from the grass-like grain teff (EragrostisTeff), barley or sorghum. Ethiopia is the only country in the world to use teff in this way. Injera always comes with Wott (somewhat like stew) which can be made from any kind of meat, fish, lentils, peas or chickpeas. The best of these and the national delicacy is Doro Wott (chicken stew). A variety of vegetarian types of wott are served on Wednesdays and Fridays throughout the country as part of religious custom. Tej (honey mead) is the drink with which to savour these Ethiopian dishes. In addition there are bottled Ethiopian beers, local wine and mineral water that most find to their liking. Tella, a traditional beer brewed from barley or corn and hops, is a local drink generally unavailable in modern hotels and restaurants. Fermented sorghum known as borde is a dual purpose food-drink among Ethiopia’s lowland peoples and pastoralists.

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