3694 – Ethiopian Leather Amulet or Kitabe Scroll

Physical description:
Leather amulet holder with written scroll inside
Museum classification:
Amulets and Talismans
7 cm x 2 cm

The vendor provides the following contextual information:

"Each kitabe was worn for a man's lifetime. It was written for one particular person. The text was in Ethiopic (Ge'ez), a Semitic language that is no longer spoken, but is still used for liturgical and other religious purposes by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The scrolls inside are occasionally paper, but are most often vellum, usually calfskin, prepared by a lengthy exposure in lime, scraped with a rounded knife and finally rubbed smooth with pumice stone. The vellum is often scored with a pin, and they are written in black ink with titles and holy names often being in red.The subjects of these "Bibles" are always Christian, but actual content varies. It is difficult to date these pieces, which were made as early as the fourteenth century and continued through about 1850."

Leather, paper
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