Historically, there has been little distinction between art and craft in Ethiopia culture. Although some would classify the historic paintings on monastery and church walls as craft, others would elevate the finely painted images to art. Throughout the north of Ethiopia, the interiors of ancient churches are covered in large murals depicting the life of Christ and Christian saints. Additionally, ancient manuscripts, often more than 1,000 years old, are illustrated with intricately painted scenes. Artisans decorate carved wooden crosses with paint and create complex foldable pendants, triptychs, and thin, wallet-sized boxes with scenes of Christ hidden inside. Paintings, both religious and folk, are found on stretched goat and cow hides. Traditionally, painters would use distemper, a form of tempera paint made from animal skin and natural dyes. Contemporary artisans and painters typically use oil or acrylic paints.

Visitors can see paintings in... 

Traveler's Testimonial

"A wild and beautiful place - only a few days here but really enjoyed it. Stunning scenery and wildlife."

Simone Cole - BBC

"Our visit with you was far & away the high point of the trip."

Erin Chapman - D.A.T.A., USA (experiencing community tourism in Ethiopia on a trip with Brad Pitt)

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