Submitted By satsuchan
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Pages: 7

The name Amhara means "pleasing, agreeable, beautiful, and gracious," The Amhara have a strongly Jewish culture.
About 50 % of the Amhara are part of Ethiopian Orthodox Church, which is an ancient Christian church. They were heavily influenced by Syrian and Coptic Christianity. Because of the distance between the western Christian church and the Ethiopian church there have been many rituals and customs that have developed which are unique to the Ethiopian church. These include some baptising rituals and fasting. Fasting is extremely important to Amhara Christians; the faithful of which should fast about 250 days per year. In order to be a good Christian you should fast 180 days at least.
Marriage is arranged by the family's and divorce and remarriage are allowed.
Difference between men and women:
While the status of women is lower than that of men, it is not as inferior as in many other Near Eastern or East African groups, especially Islamic societies. Women are barred from church offices and from entering the church, but in many ways noblewomen have roles comparable to men and are treated with equal deference. Peasant women are more restricted and have an inferior legal status, but after menopause their positions often improve. Amharic men are responsible for tillling the soil and caring for the larger animals. They grow barley, corn, millet, wheat, teff (a small grain rich in protein and iron), beans, peppers, and other vegetables. Lowland farmers are able to produce two crops a year and in the less fertile highlands, farmers are able to produce only one. Oxen are used for plowing and donkeys and mules are used for transportation. From the age of seven, boys are expected to work. Women are responsible for cooking, making beer, collecting fuel (dried animal dung and wood), gathering water from the nearest stream or well, spinning cotton, weaving mats and baskets and caring for young children. Girls are expected to help with the housework. Most Beta Israel are farmers and herders. Staple foods include dairy, millet, and fruit. Their houses are circular with thatched roofs are often built near a water supply. Beta Israel make pottery, primarily made by the women, it is admired throughout all of Ethiopia. Men are said to be the best blacksmiths in Ethiopia.

Societies are organized around their religion. Each large village has a kess to lead the community, a cahenet to conduct all religious affairs and to instruct the Torah (the first five books of the Old Testament) and a bebtara who assists the cahenet. Disputes within the village are settled by the elders of the village who are led by the cahenet.

Traditionally, Beta Israel women live in the village's "house of malediction" during their menstrual periods, during labor and for a set period after the birth of a baby. Before returning home, the female immerses herself in water to become ritually pure. However, this practice is diminishing as the population learn of different Jewish traditions.
The Jews are distinct from their neighbors mainly due to their way of life and customs, which were religious and social in origin. Some worked in certain typical crafts that non-Jews in the surrounding area avoided in the main, e.g., pottery and blacksmithing. Their communal life was highly developed, based on family hierarchy, honor codes, adults in pivotal roles, separation between men and women and religion above everything else. The leaders of the Falashas are divided into three classes, "nezirim," kohanim," and "debteras." The nezirim live together in large numbers, and eat only food prepared by one of their own. They are visited by other Falashas, and when the first born is not redeemed, he is given over to the nezirim. The kohanim live with other Falashas, they are ordained by the nezirim, they are the ritual slaughterers, and receive part of the animal sacrificed.. The debteras