Made of crude earth colored ceramic, the simple scene was sweet and rustic. I gave it to our parents that Christmas we returned. It was a lovely gift.
|Ethiopian Clay Nativity set like mine. From seller Addisview on Ebay|
Then, as we started to try and counter Santa's team of marketers with the real story of Christmas, I decided I needed a nativity set of our own for our little girl to enjoy. Although the Grandparents offered theirs back, I didn't think ceramic was going to last long with a toddler; so I thanked them "amesegenalu," and searched the web. And searched and searched.
|"Pendant Icon [Ethiopia; Amharic] (1997.81.1)"Timeline of Art History. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art|
If you did a little search back there, you'll see that there are plenty of beautiful carved wood sets on Ebay from Africa... BUT I couldn't just buy an "African" one. . I was specific. It had to be, in some way, Ethiopian. As if there aren't enough competing distractions for the holiday season, I decided that my best chance was to make my own set.
Of what? Why, closepins, ribbons and paint... in an Ethiopian style.
|Ethiopian Closepin Doll by Barkhaus Design|
Mary, Joseph, Jesus, the three kings tilt their classic Ethiopian oval eyes and strong noses toward an angel in an Ethiopian kehmees. Crude, a bit comical, some inconsistencies in style...I can rip it apart... but the set was a hit.
|By Barkhaus Design|
Its not perfect, but I'm pleased, a little light-headed perhaps from the Krylon fumes, but we did start to make some memories with our little craft project.
|Usually just one Wise Man is Ethiopian...|