My husband feels that this post should be entitled “Lucy in the glass case without any jewellery at all”.
Today we went to the National Museum and saw (amongst other things) Lucy. Lucy is the earliest bipedal hominid that we have a record of, classified as australopithecus afarensis. She was found in northern Ethiopia in 1974, and is known as “Dinknesh” to Ethiopians, which means “wonderful” in Amharic. Her common name of Lucy, is from the Beatles’ song “Lucy in the sky with diamonds”. Not really sure why…
We saw a replica of her today, recreated to be standing as she might have done. She’s much smaller than I imagined. She’s about the same height as my nearly six year old daughter, who is about average height for her age. That was quite a surprise!
We also saw some absolutely beautiful examples of goldwork embroidery. The royalty and nobility of Ethiopia had the most amazing and sumptuous ceremonial robes, encrusted with goldwork and semi-precious stones. They were incredible. We were allowed to photograph, but without flash. Because the robes were in glass cabinets, the photos have weird reflections, but they will be a great record.
There were also some amazing pieces of headgear, made from lions’ manes. Think wild fur, sticking out in all directions, and you have the right idea. One of them also had ostrich feathers, in the Ethiopian colours (red, yellow, green) which did actually look like a patriotic feather-duster, but in a regal sort of way…!
We also did some more touristy souvenir shopping this afternoon, and got each of the girls an embroidered Ethiopian outfit (top and skirt). They look lovely in them, and the outfits will be excellent for multicultural day at school this year, when we go home!
Tomorrow we are off to the NGO bazaar. These are held once a month on the last Saturday and apparently are a great place to buy souvenirs and handmade goods. We missed the last one due to the school field days/athletics carnival, and will be home already when the next one is on, so this is our only chance!