All Man Created Equally

Human rights are basci needs that every person is entitled just to being human, to detrmine one’s self-destine. ‘All men are created equally’ is the concept, which can be associated with the Biblical notion man created in image of God. In the 18th century it was popular political philosophy in American politics in struggle for independence. However, until the revolution against slavery at the time Abraham Lincon, the idea was in short of reality because the constitute of the United Sates didn’t treat equally the black minorities, but at the end abolishment of slavery made the idea coherent with the values of America more or less. Is constitute of Ethiopia treating the Kemant Nationality equally? If so, why they have been deprived basic rights, like self-rule other nationalities are enjoying?

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13 Responses to All Man Created Equally

  1. Beshaw Alemie says:

    I firmly believe the Kemant people should be recognized and entitled to self-rule. Such rights are not only constitutional but also natural rights. Denying these rights may cause serious and damaging consequences whatever time it may take. I also stubornly believe, and it is true, Kemant is Kemant, not Amhara or Agew. I strongly hate two things in these issue: the claim that Kemant is Amhara and the claim that Kemant is Agew.
    Unless politically motivated, ordinary Kemants do not claim that they are Kemant though they may have knowledge of the existence of a people called Agew. Please, You Amharas, do not say Kemant are Amhara! Please, You the so-called leaders of the Kemant, do not claim the Kemant is Agew!
    If Kemant has an ethnic or genelogical association, it is the Falasha! So, please do not create false association to deny or acquire Kemant recognition.

    • Reply to Beshaw Alemie’s Comment from gion d.
      You commented Kemants are neither Agews nor Amharas. As an opinion, I respect your views, but in the reality Kemants, Felashes and Amharas are Agews. Please refer Professor Lapiso Dilebo and others’ works. In addition to that, DNA samples taken from Wag Lata, North Gondar, Kemant area, South Gondar, Damot (Daga Damot), East Gojjam (Dejen) and Awi has proven the latter. I hope the experts may publish the report on the same study. The difference is on self awareness. Kemants and other Agew groups have accepted their true natural identity, those who claim themselves Amhara may lack self-awareness on their true nature. I cannot blame them because the Agew people’s history was deliberately kept in secret for 800-years. On the other hand, some of them deny their true self on the religious context. Despite continuous Amharazation propaganda day and night, the curiosity about the true identity is growing. Some of Amhara individuals have begun asking questions about their true natural identity. As one senior government official from South Gondar put it, “for how long we can mask ourselves, for sure, we are not Amharas.” It is up to the Amaharas to recognize their natural root, but that not Agew’s business. Rehabilitation of Amhara is not the critical issue. In contrary, the state of urgency is deserved in order to preserve Agew groups who have recognized themselves before their disappearance from the planet. I’m not a Kemant leadership member, yet Assertion; Kemants are Agews is not just political statement, the historical fact as stated above.
      In your comment, you stated also, the ordinary people do not claim they are Agews. For your surprise they do. I had an opportunity to watch a video recorded on December 7, 2010, while the Kemant community members demanding the government officials on the same issue after the worship service. Especially, one of the farmer speakers, who made about 15-minutes speech (on video #2) put it clearly regard to the identity association. Since he is not historian his statement is based on the oral legend. Yes, this argument is not without divergence; Graham Hancock (1992) quoted Wanbar, the traditional Qemant (Kemant) High Priest, as saying the origin of Qemant was Canaan. However, the homeland of Abraham in effect the location of Canaan is currently under debate. Some individuals claim the home of Abraham was at the source of Ghion and others map it into the Middle East. We must wait and see archeological evidence in the future.

      • Beshaw says:

        I truely respect your views. But, I disagree with on correctness of the facts that ordinary Kemant believe that they are Agews. I myself am a Kemant. I have never ever heard the Kemant/the common people/ say they are Agew! It is the assertions of Kemant leaders and those historians or/and anthropologists who catagorize peoples by the language they speak. Even if language helps to determine ethnicity in some situations, it is not conclusive. Of course, the historic central and northern Ethiopia people may have same genological origin, no doubt.
        But, we should respect the myth of the peope: Kemant say they are Kemant; no other ethnicity-Amhara or Agew. You cited Prof. Lapiso. I think, for me, he is “not a genuine historian!” A genuine historian records historical facts as they are or as they ought to be! He is “coward.” Let me tell you but one genuine writer, although I can not say he is /was/ a historian. The late legendary laurate Tsegaye G/Medhin. I can say he was the father of Ethiopian nations/nationalities. His works tell us the plights and sufferings of many Ethiopian ethnic groups except the Amhara and Tigre more than Article 39 of the FDRE Constitution.
        With respect to DNA finding, I accept it if it is officially published without politicization as a scientific fact!
        Last point, please come Kemant areas and ask them whether they say they are Agews. Realy, they claim their origin Cannan or ‘Gebaon’- just read the Bible, Joshua 9 as to what does mean Gebaon and Aleka Taye.

  2. I Read Both says:

    From Debas
    I read both Beshaw’s and Gion’s comments. It is good to have such debating forum. My message is let us leave the historical issues for historians and refocus our full efforts on the current burning issues, recognition and self-rule. I strongly believe these should be our common agenda in order to make the dreams of the Kemant people come true.

  3. Reply-2: Beshaw says:

    by Gion D.
    It is the interesting forum on the issue, as usual, I respect opinions of others. However, I stand for the truth to the best of my knowledge. Your saying in the latest comment can be summarized as flows:
    1. Claim of ordinary people their collective identity as Agews is due to persuasion by the leadership, historians and anthropologists.
    2. Question on “authenticity” Prof Lapiso.
    3. Acceptance of DNA evidence, as far as, it is published.
    Agew people are not with a single clan/tribe, they are collections of clans. One of them is Kemant (actually Kemanti meaning in Agew language the one who appointed to govern). Your reference Jasua, 9 is associated with the origin, but that does not contradict to the identity of Agewness. As I stated in my previous reply, the location of Canaan, particularly the home of Abraham is currently under debate, the Bible does not specified it. Moreover, Ethiopia is considered as the country with 3,000 years of the history. If that is the case, the history of Agew groups and Cushitic people in general are with older history, which traces back to 4,000 B.C. Regardless of origin, the Agews are indigenous people of the country, but being treated as a second class citizen, they have no political and economic powers to decide on their destine, the case of the Kemant people is the valid example for justification of the same argument. Regard to persuasion by the leadership, I don’t see significance. In some areas, like Wogera, the people will laugh at you if you try to teach them about their identity. They say, “we know our forefather s, Agews, go and teach your friends askola tmaris or urban people who have lost themselves.” The situation may be the other way around in some rural areas, in where self-consciences is low and internalization of stigma is widespread, in that context the leadership point of views might have impact.
    To the best of my knowledge, Professor Lapiso is respected scholar/ historian. Researcher’s competency is appraised against volumes of publications and coherence between theoretical assumptions and data collection procedures as well as, actual realities. Prof. Lapiso’s assessment methodology appear to be comprehensive that includes information/scripts written on stones. In reference to the reality, his works are consistent with other scholars’ findings, like Fage, Roland Anthony Oliver (1986) and Edward Ullendorff (1920). These authors center the Agew history around central Ethiopia platuea, the present shewa. You can also find literature consists of the similar passages in the previous 9th Grade textbook published after the popular Ethiopian revolution. I myself learned this text book in 1969 E.C. It is my understanding that I don’t see divergence among these elements, unless experts in the field have to disprove the scholar’s work with hard evidence. Otherwise, the phrase “ not genuine” in this context is nothing, more than dissatisfaction with the outcome.
    I agree with your statement, the characteristic of identity is more than language. DNA association is important evidence even to identify a died organism. I think we have common understanding in this aspect and eventually will resolve our difference. Laurate Tsegaye G/Medhin’s contribution is okay, yet I don’t consider him as a historian either. I have little knowledge about inland writers, like Aleqa Taye. Let me ask one thing about the Aleqa, if he was ideologically associated with the ruling class monarch and if he was in an interest conflict, how he could be a neutral historian?

    • Beshaw says:

      I did not say Aleka Taye is/was/ a nuetral; I just said mentioned his work to substantiate my claim that the Kemants myth regarding their origin is Cannan or Gebaon. In deed, he might be one of the then scribes who used to exhault the ruling monarchy and his tribes at the expense of the truth. One thing is true; he claims that in most cases history is distorted!
      But you did not answer my question. Go to the rural areas of Kemant and ask any elderly people who are not manipulated by the Kemant leadership as to their origin and whether they are Agaws. They will be surprised if told they are of Agaw. The truth is not in the historians pen; it is within the people and as you said in archeological remainants, such as ingraves on the stone and materials. If common sense and logic can dictate to reach a certain conclusion, Kemant may be more related to Tigres than to the Agaws. You can find many common characteristics excepting language difference. Of course, language in many cases may not indicate blood affinity. In other words, it can be acquired by different meanses. Thus, please do not rely on language as such. For instance, Falashas who were in Tigray used to speak Tigrigna, those in Amhara region Amharic , those Agaw areas Agawigna. Stick to other factors like popular myths and artifacts and do further study and analysis! Only then may you reach a genuine conclusion.

  4. Thomas says:

    I have just come accros this website accidentally and to my surprise the discussion focuses on Kemantes. I myself as told by my parents Kemantes. The very first question I posed to my parents was “What does it mean and how can I relate myself to it”. At that time I was not older than six years. My parents were not comfortable in asmwering my questions. The advised me to get in touch with my grandfather. Thanks to my late grandfather he gave me a very mesmerised explanation where the word Kemantes came from. It was a legendary. Please bear me guys I will try to put it in a nutsheell. The story goes; once upon a time there was a natural disaster that wipe out the whole population of Gondar and its surroinding area. It was believed no single life was spared due to the severity of the horrifiying disaster. Only the jungle survived the ordeal. After years went by explorers from other region came to settle in Gondar and its vicinity. That is when they noticed the emergence of people from the jungle believed to have survivded the disaster. They exchanged conversation in a strange fashion understandbly. The people from the jungle asked the explorers ” kema ntes” which literaly means ‘where you guys from’ in the jungles people language. The explorers misheard the question and made up the word out of the question which was Kemantes. As the most part of the jungle were from olive trees the explorers even believed that these Kemantes poeple origin was Olive (ke weyra new yetefeterut eskemalet derisewal). One other distinctive fact to Kemantes is that they may not be similar to the Amahras when it comes to face however as far as the other body parts are concerned Kemantes are notable. Exmaples; a sreamline leg, a well balanced soulder, a curvy behind, a firm body,etc..that is one thing we can cherish about I guess. The bottom line is I am proud human being who do not have a distorted point of view when it comes to ‘All human beings are equal regardless of anything I say again aything.

  5. tigist says:

    i never heard there are a group called Kemants in Ethiopia and i,m very surprised .but my concern is why the need of all this debate .whats wrong if the kemants co-exist with the other nationalities of the regin .i always think its good to strive toward unity rather than blaming other nationalities for what happend in the past . Asasking long as they are treated equal befor the law there is no need of demanding autonomy.

    • To the surprise Amahra and Tigrie are our brothers in blood. They are all Agaw by nature. It is important to investigate the origin of Amharic and tigirigna languages. The two languages originated from Geeze. The Geeze language was spoken in the modern Eritrea by the Beja(Agaw) people in the ancient (Abow) time. To the surprise the Bejas were the Pharoan of ancient Egypt. There is no need to quarrel, but discuss about ourselves.There are a lot to say, but is enough as hint

  6. Mizigena says:

    First I would like to comment on Beshaw’s bold saying about Pro. Lapiso. No matter who the guy is, please, we have to be very careful when we say something towards someone. What so ever the case we should use respectful words to talk about someone. Let us respect others what so ever they say and write. I wonder if every one including Beshaw use very disciplined word to say about someone. Rather than saying hard words let’s come with tangible evidences that disprove the historical findings of others. Otherwise we will be judged who we are by our own words

    Coming back to the Qemant Agawness, I totally disagree’ with Beshaw’s idea. In the first place there is no any Qemant leader, politically motivated and want to relate Qemant with Agaw. There no any gain in doing that to the entire Qemant nor to Qemant leaders.
    For me Agaw is the root for the different enclave tribes (Qementy, Himta, Awi, Blen and others). If it has to be corrected we should not call only Awi and Himta people Agaw. They are only the sub groups of Agaw root. Otherwise, Qemant is one part of Agaw peoples.

    How one talk that Qemant is different from the rest of the Agaw tribes? Qemnat’s language and Himtana of Himta agaw in particular are almost similar. I have got some words of Blen’s people language, it is similar to that of Qemant and Himta. Take for example words that start with “jan and words end in “Diba”. Example Jan-meda, Jan tekel, Janikaw, Jan-wara, Walidiba, koladiba etc. All these are the pure evidence that the different Agaw tribe belongs to one Agaw root. People from Himta and Qemant were used to speak and communicate in one language when Himta people came to Gondar for different purpose to the recent time.

    The other evidence is that the three Agaw tribes (Awi, Qementy and Himra) were met in an event hosted by Awi Zone in 2011. During that event those three families were using the same language and proved that they are one and same.
    I’m not clear what has motivate Beshaw to say that Qemant is different from Agaw. Beshaw can read Gumst’s study on Qemant that proves all Agaw people are from the same root though it still needs some tangible evidences.

    My other comment goes to Thomas. The Amhara and Tigre (particularly the North West Amhara) are the converted Agaw people. How then you put the anatomical difference between those called themselves Amhara and Qemant? I wonder to find one who can exactly distinguish between Qemant and those of Amhara. It is totally unthinkable to do so. The near by Dembia and Alefa people are converted Qemant to Amhar. How one could distinguish between who call him/herself Dembia Amhara and from Chilga Qemant?

    Last but least I would like to say something on Tigist’s opinion. The fact that one calls him/herself Qemant or Agaw doesn’t have any effect upon Ethiopian unity. What is wrong if I call myself Qemant and you call whatever you are and leave as an Ethiopian being united? The problem is not calling my true identity rather the actions that try to assimilate and annex in one nationality name. What makes you afraid if Qemant calls by its true identity rather than by the name Amhara where it does not belong to? Why you dare to call me by the name that is not mine. Would you respond to the name Chalitu to mean Tigist?

    I wonder to hear from you all

    • Thomas says:

      Dehina sembtehal Ato Mizigena,
      Just curious… What does Mizigena mean, apology for my lack of deep knowledge in Amharic.
      Forgive me if I sound harsh.While everyone else is making an opinion you are trying to make an arguement that resonates the attitude of a tyranny who would want to impose thier will regardless of the consquence and it seems your argument is a bit drift apart from the point everyone is making. I do not wish to make any distinction between Amhara and Kimante because I believe they are two sides of a coin who cannot live without one another. Even though I was given a perfect explanation what Kimante stand for from my late grandfather (RIP) I still believe I am Amhara and most of all proud Ethiopian…that is what matter recently.
      By the way Thomas is my real name and hope you wont have difficulty understanding what it means.

      Looking forward to hear.

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