The Ambiguous Legacy of Adwa as a National Symbol
16 Pages Posted: 24 Mar 2011 Last revised: 27 Mar 2011
Date Written: March 1, 2011
The legacy that the Victory of Adwa left to the diverse cultural communities of Ethiopia as a national symbol is ambiguous. To the dismay of the diverse cultural communities of Ethiopia, who had fought back colonial rule successfully at Adwa, successive rulers embarked on a nation-building project, bent on bloody suppression of their cultural diversity to the language and religion of the particular cultural community privileged by the state, soon after their victory at Adwa. So, in what follows, I shall attempt to demonstrate that the true, lasting legacy of Adwa consists in patriotic solidarity and cultural diversity, rather than in its national symbolism, inasmuch as the country’s diverse cultural communities could be shown to have for so long been ambivalent about their collective accomplishment as a result of the bloody suppression of their particularistic identities by the central state in the wake of their triumph.
Keywords: 1st Italo-Ethiopian War, The Battle of Adwa, The Victory of Adwa, 1896, National Question, Eritrean Question, Nationalism
JEL Classification: z, zoo
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation