The Crosses of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church

We are very happy to share a new breath-taking story by our favorite online destination for armchair travel: Jungles in Paris. The story finds another extraordinary angle and examines the crosses of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Based in the country’s northern highlands, it is by far the oldest Christian tradition in sub-Saharan Africa, which dates back as far as 1700 years ago. Its rituals are more ancient than those of many other Christian denominations around the world. Crosses are, unsurprisingly, a major part of the visual and spiritual expressions of this church, and they come in a beautiful variety of wood and metallic forms. Many of the designs are found nowhere else on earth and are beautifully caught by the very talented Greek photographer Lizy Manola, as part of her newly released publication named ‘Ethiopian Highlands’, out of which, through the observation and curation of Jungles in Paris’ driving forces Oliver and Darrell Hartman, this beautiful story was created.

Across the sands of time, Ethiopia has embodied fantasy and intrigue. It is a diverse and ever-changing mosaic of culture, with a geography ranging from the lowlands of the semi-desert to the mountainous peaks of the highlands. Ethiopia’s history is rich: it has been a supporter of Christianity for the Crusaders in the Middle Ages, a symbol of resistance to European colonization in the late 19th century, and, most recently, a recipient of aid due to its extreme poverty. ‘Ethiopian Highlands’ offers a striking look into this world of contrasts. As magnificent frescoes, these vibrant, intimate images captured by Lizy Manola, whose Greek nationality connects her implicitly to Ethiopia’s past, bring us to the very heart of this ancient land.
‘Ethiopian Highlands’ unearths the myths of the country whose three-thousand-year-old civilization is seen by many as the birthplace of humanity and the home of the cultural symbols of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church which Jungles in Paris places in an extra limelight.

This story by Jungles in Paris is a collaboration with publishing house Assouline which published ‘Ethiopian Highlands’ by Lizy Manola this month.

All photographs are courtesy of Lizy Manola and Assouline.

For more information and to order the book see here.

For the whole story visit Jungles in Paris here.