Ethiopian, Addis Ababa (city) (Ethiopian)
DimensionsWork : 31 x 5 x 5 in. (78.74 x 12.7 x 12.7 cm)
Credit LineGift of Neal and Elizabeth Sobania
LabelIncense has been used in Judeo-Christian worship for thousands of years. The most common type of incense burned in Ethiopian church ceremonies is frankincense, which is derived from the resin of trees in the genus Boswellia that grow in Ethiopia, Somalia and the Arabian peninsula. Highly valued as a symbol of holiness and righteousness, frankincense was one of the gifts offered to the baby Jesus by the three magi according to the Gospel of Luke. This censer was designed to be carried in church processions and is fitted with metal chains and bells that produce a pleasant jingling sound when it is swung back and forth.