Emperor Yohannis’ Campaign in Gojjam, August, 1888 to February, 1889

In late August 1888, Emperor Yohannis IV of Ethiopia (1871-1889) left for Gojjam (the whole peninsula surrounded by the Blue Nile) in an effort to break up the conspiracy of his two vassals, King Takla-Haymanot of Gojjam and King Minilik of Shewa. When Emperor Yohannis and his large army crossed the Blue Nile, many people mourned for the peasants of eastern Gojjam, on whom the emperor’s army was soon to prey. Peasants had to support thousands of idle soldiers, who were a great burden to them. Some of these peasants expressed their feelings in poems. The author of the present paper collected a number of these poems from Gojjame informants, who got the information directly from their parents, who survived the emperor’s campaign. The Amharic text of the poems and a translation in English are included in the paper. They show that the Gojjame remember Yohannis’ campaign in the region eloquently and poignantly. Their harsh descriptions of Yohannis and Takla-Haymanot suggest a rather anarchist form of opposition by the Gojjame to their lords. Notes, ref.

Title: Emperor Yohannis’ Campaign in Gojjam, August, 1888 to February, 1889
Author: Ahmad, Abdussamad H.
Year: 1991
Periodical: Northeast African Studies
Volume: 13
Issue: 1
Pages: 1-7
Language: English
Geographic term: Ethiopia
About person: Yohannes IV keizer van Ethiopi (-1889)
External link: https://www.jstor.org/stable/43660333
Abstract: In late August 1888, Emperor Yohannis IV of Ethiopia (1871-1889) left for Gojjam (the whole peninsula surrounded by the Blue Nile) in an effort to break up the conspiracy of his two vassals, King Takla-Haymanot of Gojjam and King Minilik of Shewa. When Emperor Yohannis and his large army crossed the Blue Nile, many people mourned for the peasants of eastern Gojjam, on whom the emperor’s army was soon to prey. Peasants had to support thousands of idle soldiers, who were a great burden to them. Some of these peasants expressed their feelings in poems. The author of the present paper collected a number of these poems from Gojjame informants, who got the information directly from their parents, who survived the emperor’s campaign. The Amharic text of the poems and a translation in English are included in the paper. They show that the Gojjame remember Yohannis’ campaign in the region eloquently and poignantly. Their harsh descriptions of Yohannis and Takla-Haymanot suggest a rather anarchist form of opposition by the Gojjame to their lords. Notes, ref.