Sold out

200319 - 3 Antique Geez handwritten coptic Ethiopian healing scrolls - Ethiopia

€0.00

200319 - 3 Antique Geez handwritten coptic Ethiopian healing scrolls - Ethiopia

€0.00

Very old 3 Ethiopian coptic Ge’ez Handwritten and handpainted healing scrolls
This Coptic healing scrolls are made in the 18th century.
Size are 72 cm long an 10 cm wide.
Ethiopian healing scrolls eliminate illness by purging evil spirits and demons from a sick person. Part of a larger healing ritual, the scrolls were commissioned by the illiterate to combat grave illnesses. While plant and animal medicines alleviate physical symptoms, the medicinal scrolls alleviate spiritual symptoms. A pan-religious phenomenon practiced among Jews, Christians, and Muslims in the northern regions of Amhara and Tigray, the scrolls restore health by utilizing written words and talismanic images imbued with magical protective powers.
Ethiopian medicine and talismanic art drew from Christian and Muslim traditions, including Arabic-language protective scrolls, examples of which can be found in the collection of the Metropolitan Museum. Healing scrolls likely originated during the Aksumite empire (ca. 1st–8th centuries), with several million in use by the nineteenth century. Despite their prevalence, the scrolls have drawn the ire of both political and religious leaders. In the fifteenth century, the emperor Zar’a Ya‘eqob condemned the use of magical objects and diviners, harshly punishing those who relied upon them. While the Ethiopian Orthodox Church does not condone magical objects, scrolls are tolerated because they incorporate Christian texts. Healing scrolls served the same purpose that domestic icons fulfilled in other forms of Orthodox Christianity. Healing scrolls are made by Däbtäras, unordained clerics of the Ethiopian church who also practice traditional medicine. To be most effective, each scroll is customized according to astrologically derived guidelines. The preparation of parchment begins a ritual in which the animal substitutes for the afflicted, and the finished scroll substitutes for their skin. This symbolic relationship engenders a close connection between the scroll and its owner. The patron is first rubbed with a live animal, and later bathed in its blood and stomach contents. Only then is the skin soaked, dried, and scraped, after which the finished parchment is cut and sewn into a scroll. Portable scrolls made to the length of the customer offer head-to-toe spiritual protection, while longer scrolls protect a household. In Tigrinya-speaking areas, a person-sized scroll is called ma’ero qumät (“full size”), or more generally, tälsäm (talisman). In Amharic-speaking regions, the scroll is called yä branna ketab (“written on skin”). In some cases, the astrological formulas are less closely adhered to. D&aumlbt&aumlras may rely on a repertoire of familiar prayers and talismanic images, or repurpose existing scrolls by inserting a new client’s name.

Early 18th-Century