An Ethiopian mahdar

An Ethiopian mahdar
Accession number: 
MS. Aeth. d. 23
Bodleian Libraries, University of Oxford

Ethiopian Orthodox Christians stored books by hanging them in mahdars (satchels prepared from stiff animal hides) from pegs embedded in the walls of their church store-houses. This late-seventeenth-century manuscript with an elaborate binding relates the lives of two Ethiopian saints (Abuna Aregawi and Gebre Kristos) and has the remains of its mahdar, though sadly without its shoulder strap and upper telescopic cover. These satchels, as well as protecting and storing manuscripts, were also used to carry them. 

Satchel: 293 x 287 x 66 mm

Satchel and manuscript: 1.65 kg
Satchel: 308 g

Donated by Bent Juel-Jensen, 2006