|Title||Ethiopian Scroll Leather Amulet Kitabe Closed African Art|
|Type of Object||Amulet|
|Country of Origin||Ethiopia|
|Materials||Vellum or paper scroll, leather.|
|Approximate Age||Unknown-Made from 14th-Mid 19th Century.|
|Dimensions||Height: 2.25 Inches
Width: 1.25 Inches
|Overall Condition||Good. Most of our pieces have spent decades on at least two continents, and have been treasured by several owners. Small splits, scrapes and cracks are a normal part of their patina attesting to their age and extensive use. We examine each piece carefully when we receive it and report any damage we find in our listings. Please look carefully at the pictures which may also reveal condition and damage.|
Additional information: For more information, please see our comprehensive guide to African-made beads,African Beads: Jewels of a Continent , hardcover, 216 pages, 163 color photographs, available from Africa Direct.
Each kitabe was worn for a man's lifetime. It was written for one particular person. The text was in Ethiopic (Ge'ez), a Semitic language that is no longer spoken, but is still used for liturgical and other religious purposes by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. The scrolls inside are occasionally paper, but are most often vellum, usually calfskin, prepared by a lengthy exposure in lime, scraped with a rounded knife and finally rubbed smooth with pumice stone. The vellum is often scored with a pin, and they are written in black ink with titles and holy names often being in red.The subjects of these "Bibles" are always Christian, but actual content varies. It is difficult to date these pieces, which were made as early as the fourteenth century and continued through about 1850.