The Anglo-Ethiopian Society

Lecture - The Chewa Warriors, Ethiopia's Ancient Army

Tsehai Berhane-Selassie

Wednesday 10th April 2019

7:00pm, Room B202, Brunei Building, SOAS, Russell Square, London WC1H 0XG - Public lecture (all welcome)


The history, practices and principles of chewa warriors, each of whom had the crucial role of defending Ethiopia against invasion, shows a national army that persisted for more than two millennia. Since ancient times, when the Agew people established the kingdom of Axum, to the medieval period when the monarchs became peripatetic and then settled in urban areas, chewa warriors defended land, society and state. Often self-trained, the soldiers joined as individuals who were involved in protecting communities that they saw as Ethiopian. Their leaders structured them to fight in defence of the country’s independence, and the strong influence of the principles of that army still resonates with Ethiopian political identity and social infrastructure. The sociology and history of that military background is illustrated with reference to nineteenth century structure of the chewa, and its defence against the Italian invasions of 1896 and 1935-41.

The talk draws largely on the speaker's recently published book, Ethiopian Warriorhood: Defence, Land and Society 1800-1941 (James Currey/Boydell and Brewer, October, 2018).


Capacity at the venue is limited, so please reserve your place soon to avoid disappointment.

Eventbrite Tickets - The Chewa Warriors, Ethiopia's Ancient Army - Lecture by Tsehai Berhane-Selassie




First Published in News File Winter 2018

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