The Full Wiki

Menz: Map


Wikipedia article:

Map showing all locations mentioned on Wikipedia article:

Menz or Manz (Leslau transliteration: Mänz) is a province of Ethiopiamarker, located inside the boundaries of the modern Semien Shewa Zone of the Amhara Region. William Cornwallis Harris described Menz as lying "westward" of Gedem but between that former province and Marra Biete.

Donald Levine explains that Menz was divided into three parts: Mama Meder in the center; Lalo Meder in the south; and Gera Meder in the north. Further, he defines its boundaries as "the Mofar Rivermarker in the south, the Adabay and Wanchet rivers in the west, the Qechene River in the north, and in the east a long chain of mountains which pour forth the waters that drain across Manz and which divide it from the lowlands of Efrata, Gedem, and Qawat." This would roughly equate to the modern woredas of Gera Midirna Keya Gebriel and Mam Midrina Lalo Midir.

Local culture

Menz is first mentioned in the Glorious Victories of Amda Seyon (who ruled in the early 14th century), where it is called "Manzehel", and mentioned again in the Royal Chronicles of Baeda Maryam. This small province came to form the core of the autonomous Ethiopian state of Shewamarker. Negasi Krestos, a leading warlord of Menz, extended his power to the south by conquest, proclaimed himself ruler of Shewa, and defeated all of his rivals. Menz afterwards retained its identity as a subregion of Shewa. During the reign of Haile Selassie, Menz was incorporated into the province of Shewa, although it retained its conservative nature. Based on discussions with neighboring peoples, Johann Ludwig Krapf wrote that the people of Menz "have the character of being brave, quarrelsome, inhospitable, ignorant, and haughty." Krapf continues, observing

An example of Menz's conservatism is illustrated by the attempted revolt of Mesfin and Merid Biru, two brothers and the sons of one of Ethiopia's largest landowners. Following the Ethiopian Revolution, in January 1975 they slipped away from Addis Ababamarker to organize a rebellion among peasants in Menz. Although this was not the center of their family's vast landholdings, it was only in Menz that they could obtain peasant support. Because of the area's isolation they could sell to the peasants their own interpretation of the events. They told the peasants that the Derg government was dominated by Moslems who would destroy the Ethiopian Church and take away land from Christians. As proof, the brothers played tape recorded statements of alleged government declarations broadcast over Radio Ethiopia which stated as much. Despite that their effort was doomed, it wasn't until October 1975, that security forces were able to finally track down Mesfin and Merid and kill them.


  1. Cited in "Local History in Ethiopia" (pdf) The Nordic Africa Institute website (accessed 3 June 2008)
  2. Donald N. Levine, Wax and Gold: Tradition and Innovation in Ethiopia Culture (Chicago: University Press, 1972), p. 28
  3. Levine, Wax and Gold, p. 289 n. 13
  4. G.W.B. Huntingford, The Historical Geography of Ethiopia (London: The British Academy, 1989), p. 80
  5. Levine, Wax and Gold, pp. 31f
  6. Marina and David Ottaway, Ethiopia: Empire in Revolution (New York: Africana, 1978), pp. 87f

Further reading

  • Donald Levine, "On the history and Culture of Manz", Journal of Semitic Studies, 9 (Spring, 1964), 204-211.

Embed code:

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address