Etege Taitu Betul
Empress of Ethiopia, Patriot of Adwa
On the first day of March 125 years ago, traditional warriors, farmers and pastoralists as well as women defeated a well-armed Italian army in the northern town of Adwa in Ethiopia.
One of the key leaders of the Ethiopian forces was Etege Taitu Bitul, wife of Emperor Menelik. A fearless strategist and brilliant administrator, she led 6,000 cavalry to the war front, and employed traditional music and war chants that motivated the fighting spirit of the warriors.
Adwa challenged the very concept of white dominance and served as the model for future anti-colonial efforts.
Adwa connected black people with Africa’s ancient glory and future hope, as Marcus Garvey wrote, “Look to Africa for the crowing of a black king. He shall be the redeemer.”
Adwa still stands as witness to what ordinary Africans can do when they come together. They are able to score a decisive victory against global colonialist forces.
And Ethiopia became a symbol of resistance.
(Source: www.theconversation.com and www.origins.osu.edu)
Note on the flag: the red, yellow and green pennants were flown from the 17th Century. In 1897, the green-yellow-red horizontal tricolor flag was adopted.