Photo by Kimberly Kamborian
On the evening of February 16, 2017, Dr. Boris Adjemian, (Director of the AGBU Nubarian Library in Paris) gave a talk entitled “The King and the Forty Orphans: The Invention of an Armenian Homeland in Ethiopia,” at the National Association for Armenian Studies and Research (NAASR) Center in Belmont, Massachusetts. A personable and engaging speaker, Dr. Adjemian told his audience of well over 100 people that, in 1977, he began to write about the history of foreigners in Ethiopia. He began by noting that Ethiopia is a nation made up of 90 ethnic groups, Armenians being the 91st. They were known as Farunj" = "Foreigners?"
A fascinating look at a question that has long plagued the community . . . Are there black Armenians? Although he did not address that question directly, he made clear that the Armenians (who came as musicians --40 young boys) and tradesmen, (male, of course,) stayed and intermarried with the local population.