Wednesday, March 11, 2015

If we want to understand African history, we need to understand the Battle of Adwa

(Mar 11, 2015, (Quartz))--The northern Ethiopian town of Adwa is the place my grandfather called home. It’s a small market town in the Tigray region, home to several churches where Ethiopian Christians of multiple sects congregate.

My grandfather spoke of Adwa with pride and reverence, sometimes slipping into Tigrigna (one of the languages spoken in Tigray) as he recalled memories. The name “Adwa” always sounded so regal coming from his mouth, at once both strong and comforting.

For much of Ethiopia and its diaspora, Adwa’s significance is every bit as political as it is personal. In the bloodstained landscape that is Ethiopian history, Adwa is known primarily as the site at which the decisive final battle in the First Italo-Ethiopian War was fought.

The Battle of Adwa, fought Mar. 1, 1896, was a violent clash between Italian imperial forces and the army of Ethiopia (known then as Abyssinia), composed of citizens who gathered from throughout the country to defend the nation’s sovereignty.

The Abyssinian forces defeated Italy’s troops, ending the first Italo-Ethiopian War and Italy’s chances at formally colonizing what would later come to be called Ethiopia. Read more from Quartz »

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