By Magn Nyang*
April 27, 2006 — There was no country called Ethiopia before Minelik’s rule. In fact, the word “Ethiopia” came from Greek, meaning “burned faces.” “Ethio” means burned and “pia” means faces.
Passing through the North, the Arab part of Africa, Europeans saw people with burned faces, meaning dark face people, living below Sahara desert. There fore, they referred to every one that was living below Sahara desert as “Ethiopian.” Today’s Ethiopia inhabitants were among the “burned face” people they referred to. In this land, so called Ethiopia today, there were ethnic groups who lived independently from each other. While the Oromo people lived in the East, the central, and the West, the Anuak and the Amahara people lived in the West and the North respectively. However, when Minelik came to power, he invaded Oromo’s, Anuak’s, Gurage’s and every other non-Amhara land. After the invasion, Minelik combined what was called Abyssinia with the new territories and named them “Ethiopia.” The irony part was that a man, who had claimed to have been a descendent of king Solomon of Israel, would take upon him a name that was meant for all” dark faced people” living below Sahara desert. Any how, Minelik consolidated his power over those territories and ruled for years before passing the throne to his cousin Haile Selessie.