Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls

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Lot 2393
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls

Sold for US$ 1,037 inc. premium
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Watercolor and ink on parchment;
each framed.
dimensions ranging from 23 x 6 1/2in (58.5 x 16.5cm) to 71 x 7in (180 x 18cm)

Footnotes

  • Ethiopian gospel or prayer scrolls, often referred to as 'magic scrolls', were believed to hold protective and healing powers, and were carried by the owner at all times. These were inscribed with prayers, spells and/or charms originally designed to offer protection to their specific owner. The text was often taken from sacred books such as Gospels and because of this, the scrolls were tolerated by the Ethiopian Church in spite of their connection to magical practices.

    Clients commissioned scrolls for many reasons- to undo spells, restore health, combat sterility and even ward off demons. The dabtara, or ordained cleric responsible for producing the object, specifically tailored the size and content of the scroll to the physical and spiritual characteristics of his client.

    The process would begin with the selection and sacrifice of a particular animal. The dabtara would wash the client in the animals' blood as part of the process of purification. Three strips of parchment were then made from the skin of the animal and stitched together to form a single scroll equal in length to the height of its owner.
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
Eleven Ethiopian prayer scrolls
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