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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Finding the True Cross: the social-political dimensions of the Ethiopian Msql festival
Author:Kaplan, StevenISNI
Periodical:Journal of Religion in Africa
Geographic term:Ethiopia
Subjects:religious festivals
Ethiopian Church
religious history
External link:https://doi.org/10.1163/157006608X375057
Abstract:This study of the Ethiopian Orthodox Msql festival, the 'Feast of the Finding of the True Cross', focuses upon the multiple ways in which diverse and even contradictory social messages have been dramatized through this celebration throughout its more than five hundred years of recorded history. While portrayals of imperial power are perhaps the most obvious features of the festival, they are only one aspect of Msql celebrations. Other issues of rank and hierarchy are portrayed in various ways including the construction, lighting and circling of the bonfire and the distribution and division of food. However, these images of a clearly organized and broadly acknowledged social and political order were challenged, not only by 'crises' which came to the surface at the time of the ritual, but also in clearly ritualized games and battles, which dramatized and expressed the tensions that are a constant feature of any sociopolitical system. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]