Ethiopian Art: Traditional


Ethiopian art from the 4th century until the 20th can be divided into two broad groupings.Its history goes back almost three thousand years to the kingdom of D’mt.

Christian Art

The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church has been the predominant religion in Ethiopia for over 1500 years, for most of this period in a very close relation, or union, with the Coptic Christianity of Egypt, so that Coptic art has been the main formative influence on Ethiopian church art. The distinctive tradition of Christian art, mostly for churches, in forms including painting, crosses, icons, illuminated manuscripts, and other metalwork such as crowns.

Ethiopian Cross
Ethiopian Cross


Secondly there are popular arts and crafts such as textiles, basketry and jewellery, in which Ethiopian traditions are closer to those of other peoples in the region.

Basket weaving