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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Creating Religious Art: The Status of Artisans in High-Land Christian Ethiopia
Author:Heldman, Marilyn E.ISNI
Periodical:Aethiopica: International Journal of Ethiopian Studies
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:Ethiopian Church
social inequality
religious art
Architecture and the Arts
Religion and Witchcraft
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
External link:https://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/aethiopica/article/view/651/706
Abstract:In highland Christian Ethiopia, weavers, potters, tanners, carpenters and metalworkers traditionally have been regarded as belonging to a low-status occupational group. Generally non-Christian, these craft workers were disdained by the Christian peasantry. This paper examines the status of artisans, i.e. those painters and metalworkers who produced religious works of art for the Ethiopian Church and for lay patrons, with an emphasis upon the period of the 14th, 15th and early 16th centuries, the early period of the so-called Solomonic dynasty. It appears that although Christian monastic artisans, like craft workers, engaged in manual labour, they were not relegated to the low-status category of craft worker. The argument is based on historical sources, mostly manuscripts written by priests. Notes, ref. [ASC Leiden abstract]