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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The St. Chrischona Pilgrim-Mission's private archives as a source for Eritrean history: from a romantic quest for 'Ormania' to the establishment at the Erythraean coast
Author:Smidt, Wolbert
Year:2003
Periodical:Journal of Eritrean Studies (Asmara)
Volume:2
Issue:1-2
Period:May-December
Pages:39-58
Language:English
Notes:biblio. refs.
Geographic terms:Eritrea
Northeast Africa
Subjects:missionary history
archives
Religion and Witchcraft
History and Exploration
Bibliography/Research
History, Archaeology
history
Missionaries
Abstract:Focusing on the period between the 1850s and the 1870s, this paper examines the archives of the Protestant St. Chrischona missionaries at Basel, Switzerland, in view of their value for Eritrean history. The mission started sending its workers to Ethiopia and the Sudan from 1855 and, from the 1860s, the missionaries also began to show an interest in the Red Sea borderlands. The archives show that the mission's contact with Eritreans, and the newly established Swedish mission in Eritrea, increased especially after the mission's expulsion from Ethiopia in 1868, after Tewodros II had the missionaries arrested. The documents also show how the interest of the missionaries, which first focused on Romantic ideas of 'Abyssinia' and 'Ormania', changed in favour of Muslim Egypt, following the mission's great disappointment with Tewodros II. The paper discusses this shift of European perspective, and notes the emergence of local movement in the Eritrean region at that particular time, gradually detaching parts of the population from Ethiopian influence. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract, edited]
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