Handpainted vellum Ethiopian scenes
Here are two pictures hand-done in ink and pigment on vellum, depicting people against a vivid yellow background. Each vellum page measures 9-1/2" high x 13" wide and is individually set in a modern black frame with goldtone inner edge. One scene depicts a male wearing a white safari-style hat riding horseback and carrying a spear, accompanied by men in white robes carrying firearms. He is preceded by a female on horseback wearing a green broad-rimmed hat, being partially shaded by a red parasol carried by a male and preceded by barefoot males in white robes carrying firearms. Another male carrying spear stands beside her. The second vellum picture depicts many bearded barefoot males. One is wearing a black robe and is seated under a thatched canopy holding a fly whisk. To the left are four males wearing purple, blue, or green capes. A white-robed male (the only one portrayed without a beard) is reading from an open book. Seven males in white robes stand or sit in front of the canopy. Both vellum pictures are signed bottom right and also show calligraphy elsewhere in the image. We have had the calligraphy translated roughly from Ethiopian to English. Both pictures are signed "Hand done by Johani". The first picture is labeled "Wedding" in the upper yellow area. Our translator believes that the bridegroom is riding behind the bride-to-be. The second picture is labeled "legal court" in center while the judge is labeled top middle. The person standing far right is asking to introduce evidence, while the opposition seated in the upper left accepts. Our translator notes that the white items held up on sticks are envelopes containing evidence. All this information makes the two pictures most intriguing. Note the strong colors in these pictures as well as the individual personal faces depicted in a yet primitive style. The vellum is slightly rippled as can be expected.