Monday, August 3, 2009

My first cover from Ethiopia!

What a great start to this new week! Today, I received my first cover from Ethiopia! Many thanks to Chitra Mohan Nair! The 2 lovely stamps franked on both corners of this cover belong to a set of 23 definitive stamps entitled "Menelik's Bushbuck". They were issued in 2000.
The stamp in the middle belongs to the "Konso Waka" series, issued in 2002.
The Konso or Konzo people are an ethnic group in south-central Ethiopia. According to the 2007 national census, they numbered 250,430 of whom 10,470 or 4.18% are urban dwellers. Over 87% live in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People's Region.

When a hero or important man dies, waka figures are carved in his honor. They are placed in and around the fields where the man has been buried. The dead is usually represented in the center of the waka group and flanked by his wives. On the surroundings stand any enemies he may have killed , carved in an abstract and phallic fashion. Fierce animals he has slain , such as a leopard , a lion, or crocodile , will also be depicted and placed at his feet. Usually on the forehead of the wooden waka a phallic symbol is carved. This is similar to the one made of iron or aluminium and worn on the foreheads of elders during ceremonies.

This cover was postmarked on 22 July 2009 in Dire Dawa, Ethiopia and took 12 days to travel an estimated distance of 6,907kms to reach Singapore.

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