A monolithic collection of images captured by photographer Joey L. over the course of thirteen years with the support of his dedicated Ethiopian crew Kiya Tadele, Nibret Adem Mohammad, Nebiyu Bekele and Habte Mariam.
Ethiopia: A Photographic Tribute to East Africa's Diverse Cultures & Traditions is a visual ode to every region of the country and a celebration of all the diverse peoples found within.
This highly anticipated volume includes both the iconic things found exclusively within Ethiopia, as well as previously unseen regions that are lesser known. From the cosmopolitan hub of Addis Ababa famous for its Ethiopian Jazz, to the hinterlands of the Gambela region, where the Majang people climb trees over 150 feet tall to collect wild honey. From the north’s Orthodox Tewahedo history, to the Islamic influence spread across the east within Afar and Somali communities, to the Animist spiritualities of the southern nations. The book is a first of its kind—underscoring what makes each region of Ethiopia unique, yet uniting all in one cohesive visual style. Every walk of life is dignified in their own unique way.
The flow of the collection is guided by immersive environmental images, landscapes, and classic still life. Interspersed into the narrative are thoughtful portraits, all photographed within the same “nomadic studio tent” the team built and took across the country. The portraits have a familiarity that only a decade of commitment to a single project can produce. The subjects are introduced by name. One spread of the book shows the same girl, Gure, photographed nearly ten years apart. On the book cover is a rare portrait of Fentale and Woday, two Kereyu men who travel to the market once a week to trade camels and try to meet potential wives with their carefully crafted hairstyles. There is Captain Amsale, a charismatic pilot of Ethiopian Airlines—the first to fly internationally with an all- female flight crew. Deeper within the book, we meet Mories, one of the last remaining subsistence crocodile hunters of the Dassanach, whose nomadic existence is kept alive by following the legends of their ancestors.
These seemingly disconnected cultural threads are woven together masterfully in order to truly see Ethiopia—which itself is the sum of all the diverse lands and the proud people who inhabit it