Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony.
As the top African producer of coffee, and seventh in the world, Ethiopia has a long-standing relationship with the consumption and use of coffee. Ethiopia is home to coffee arabica, a species of coffee indigenous to the country. Considered to be one of the better tasting coffees, it is believed that coffee arabica was the first coffee plant to cultivated and grown in the southwest of the country. It is said that the first instance of the effects of coffee being noticed came about when Ethiopian shepherds in the 9th observed the reaction of their herds after eating the fruit.
Today, one of the ways that Ethiopians (and Eritreans) continue to demonstrate their love of coffee and their historical relationship with the second most traded commodity in the world, after oil, is through what is known to outsiders as a traditional Ethiopian Coffee Ceremony or Buna by Ethiopians. Often, this practice takes place in peoples homes and at Ethiopian restaurants which is where I first experienced a Buna, in Addis Ababa.
Conducted entirely by women, the Buna process involves the roasting, grinding and serving of coffee. Washed coffee beans are roasted in a pan, similar to the process of making popcorn. As the aroma of the coffee begins to fill the air, the preparer takes the roasting coffee and walks around letting the fresh scent of the coffee settle around the room.
Once roasted, the coffee is then put in what is called a Mukecha - a tool used for grinding. Another tool, called a zenezena, is used to crush the coffee in a pistil and mortar fashion. Some places will use modern coffee grinders to save time as it can be a slightly laborious and time-consuming task. After the coffee has been crushed, the fresh coffee powder is put into a jebena, a clay pot. Water is added and the mixture is boiled before being ready to be served in small usually white porcelain cups called cinis.
Each serving round of coffee has a name - the first being Abol, second is Huletegna and the third and final round is called Bereka.
All Africa, All the time.
African ethnic group of the week: the Imazighen (Amazigh ) people of Niger, Tunisia, Libya, Mauritania, Mali, Algeria and Morocco)
The Maghreb or western North Africa on the whole is believed to have been inhabited by Imazighen since from at least 10,000 B.C. Northern African cave paintings, dating back twelve millennia, have been found in the Tassili n’Ajjer region, southern Algeria. Others were found in Tadrart Acacus in the Libyan desert. A Neolithic society, marked by bestial domestication and subsistence agriculture, developed in the Saharan and Mediterranean region (the Maghreb) of northern Africa between 6000 B.C and 2000 B.C. This type of life, richly depicted in the Tassili n’Ajjer cave paintings of south-eastern Algeria, predominated in the Maghreb until the classical period. Prehistorical Tifinagh scripts were also found in the Oran region. During the pre-Roman era, several successive independent states (Massylii) existed before the king Masinissa unified the people of Numidia.
They speak various Amazigh languages belonging to the Afro-Asiatic family related to Ancient Egyptian. At the turn of the 21st century, there were perhaps 14 million in Morocco, 9 million in Algeria, and much smaller numbers in Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, and Mauretania; in the Sahara of southern Algeria and of Libya, Mali and Niger, the Imazighen Tuareg number about 1 million.
The Imazighen originally lived all over the Maghreb from western Egypt to the Atlantic. The culturally distinct Imazighen communities of today survive in pockets in the mountains and in the Sahara desert, scattered over a large area from the Siwa Oasis in Egypt to the Atlantic and from the Niger river and the Sahel in the south to the Mediterranean. Their density increases from east to west, Morocco being the state with most Berbers living in it.
Before the eleventh century, most of North-West Africa was a Imazighen -speaking Muslim area. The process of Arabization only became a major factor with the arrival of the Banu Hilal, a tribe sent by the Fatimids of Egypt to punish the Imazighen Zirid dynasty for having abandoned Shiism. The Banu Hilal reduced the Zirids to a few coastal towns and took over much of the plains; their influx was a major factor in the Arabization of the region and in the spread of nomadism in areas where agriculture had previously been dominant. After the Muslim conquest, the Imazighen ethnic groups of coastal North Africa became almost fully Islamized.
Dihya or Kahina was a Amazigh queen, religious and military leader who led indigenous resistance to Arab Islamic expansion in Northwest Africa, the region then known as Numidia. She was born in the early 7th century and died around the end of the 7th century in modern-day Algeria.
Regarding the remaining populations that speak a Berber language in the Maghreb, they account for about half of the Moroccan population and a third of the Algerian, besides smaller communities in Libya and Tunisia and very small groups in Egypt and Mauritania.
Outside the Maghreb, the Tuareg in Mali, Niger and Burkina Faso number some 600,000; 400,000 and 120,000 respectively, although Tuaregs are often seen as a distinct group. They are thought to be the founder population of the Imazighen due to their high frequency of E-M81(E1b1b1b), the Imazighen genetic marker.
Prominent Imazighen groups include the Kabyles of northern Algeria, who number about six million and have kept, to a large degree, their original language and society; and the Shilha or Chleuh (French, from Arabic Shalh and Shilha ašəlḥi) in High and Anti-Atlas regions of Morocco, numbering about eight million. Other groups include the Riffians of northern Morocco, the Chaoui people of eastern Algeria, the Chenouas in western Algeria, the Imazighen of Tripolitania and the Tuaregs of the Sahara scattered through several countries.
Though stereotyped in Europe and North America as nomads, most Imazighen were in fact traditionally farmers, living in mountains relatively close to the Mediterranean coast, or oasis dwellers, such as the Siwa of Egypt; but the Tuareg and Zenaga of the southern Sahara were almost wholly nomadic. Some groups, such as the Chaouis, practiced transhumance.
The Haitian Revolution - A short Reading List (of Anglophone scholars)
"More than two hundred years after Haitian independence was declared on January 1, 1804, it remains a challenge to perceive the spirit that fueled the first abolition of slavery in the New World and gave rise to the second independent nation in the Americas. As recently as ten years ago, the Haitian Revolution (1789-1804), which created “Haiti” out of the ashes of French Saint Domingue, was the least understood of the three great democratic revolutions that transformed the Atlantic world in the last quarter of the eighteenth century. That is no longer true. In the decade since the 2004 bicentennial, a genuine explosion of scholarship on the Saint-Domingue revolution has profoundly enriched our memory of what Hannah Arendt, in her comparative study of the American and French revolutions, called “the revolutionary tradition and its lost treasure”. It is not clear to what extent this development has affected broader public understandings of the Haitian predicament, however."
By Professor Malick W. Ghachem for the John Carter Brown Library online exposition: “The Other Revolution: Haiti 1789-1804.”
- The Black Jacobins: Toussaint L’Ouverture and the San Domingo Revolution by CLR James *
- The Making Haiti: Saint Domingue Revolution From Below by Carolyn E. Fick
- Avengers of the New World: The Story of the Haitian Revolution by Laurent Dubois
- A Concise History of the Haitian Revolution by Jeremy D. Popkin
- Slave Revolution in the Caribbean, 1789-1804: A Brief History with Documents by Laurent Dubois and John D. Garrigus
- Universal Emancipation: The Haitian Revolution and the Radical Enlightenment by Nick Nesbitt
- Hegel, Haiti, and Universal History by Susan Buck-Morss
- The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution by Malick W. Ghachem
- You Are All Free: The Haitian Revolution and the Abolition of Slavery by Jeremy D. Popkin
- The World of the Haitian Revolution by David Patrick Geggus and Norman Fiering