ArtistBerhanemeskel Fisseha (Ethiopian, b. 1947)
MediumPaint on cloth
DimensionsWork : 34 1/2 x 19 1/2 in. (87.63 x 49.53 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
Some of the saints venerated in Ethiopia belong to the general canon of Christian saints recognized by many denominations around the world; other saints are more specific to Ethiopia. Saint Aregawi was a Syrian monk who came to Ethiopia in the early 6th century CE and founded Debre Damo, an important monastery in Tigray province. Debre Damo is built atop a steep-sided mountain that can only be scaled using ropes. Legend says that Saint Aregawi first climbed the mountain with help from the archangel Michael and a large snake that carried Aregawi up the steep cliffs in its coils.