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date: 02 March 2021

Tekle Haymanot locked

  • Peter Garretson


ruler of Ethiopia’s Gojjam province, was born about 1847 in Jab-Tehnan in Damot. At birth he was named Adal Tesemma and became a dominant figure in the province of Gojjam for most of the late nineteenth century, serving three emperors, Tekle Giyorgis (1868–1871), Yohannes IV (1872–1889), and Menilek II (1889–1913). Yohannes appointed him the first and only crowned King of Gojjam when he took his regal name Tekle Haymanot. Tekle Haymanot’s family largely monopolized the office of governor of Gojjam for most of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

His family had been important in Gojjam s history for many generations and had two major branches that competed for power throughout the nineteenth century His major rival Desta Gwalu was in power when Tekle Haymanot came of age in mid century and he resorted to classic Ethiopian tactics by retreating to the lowlands becoming a bandit shifta to enlarge his band ...

A version of this article originally appeared in The Dictionary of African Biography.

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