December 12, 2013

On the day December 12th...

DARC Ethiophile Chronicles 

One hundred years ago today on the December 12,1913 Emperor Menelik II, of Ethiopia made His transition into the realm of ancestry. 

With major assistance from Ras Makonnen the father of Emperor Haile Sellassie 1st and his third wife Empress Taytu Betul, who for all intents and purposes, ruled in Menelik's stead during his infirmity from 1906 onwards.

Emperor Menelik II, baptized as Sahle Maryam, was Negus of Shewa, then Nəgusä Nägäst of Ethiopia from 1889 until his transition on December 12, 1913. Emperor Menelik 2nd gained great fame and respect for defeating the Italian colonizers. He was also the first black African King to engage in slavery of white European war captives held as slaves inside Ethiopia.

After defeating the Italians, Emperor Menelik II also expanded his kingdom to include areas that were previously not a part of his kingdom. He was also passionate about modernizing Ethiopia and introduced several western technologies to the country. After his transition, he was succeeded by his eldest daughter Empress Zewditu I.

Notice Emperor Menelik’s “Du-Rag” head wrap underneath His crown. The Du-Rag was created by Ancient Ithiopia to protect their hair and neck from the harsh desert sun. The word is a composite of the Ancient word for hair (du) and the ancient God (Rah) thus the name DU-RAH. The Americanized version of the name was shortened to du-rag in the mid 20th century.

Given the sacred nature of the original Du-Rahs, desecration of the Du-Rah or Nemes was punishable by death in some cases. It was thought to give special powers to ones hair in the afterlife.

The common citizen normally wore the Du-Rah-God, however you may be more familiar with the dress version worn by Egyptian Royalty called Nemes.

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