Thursday, 16 November 2017

Harar Jugol, the Fortified Historic Town

The night show for Harar tourists that consists in feeding meat to spotted hyenas, reminded me my first year in Switzerland when I used to go out at night hoping to see foxes, but without feeding them

Tomb of Emir ibn Mujahid in Harar
This postcard was sent by Manú

Harar , and known to its inhabitants as Gēy, is a walled city in eastern Ethiopia. It was formerly the capital of Hararghe and now the capital of the modern Harari Region of Ethiopia.
For centuries, Harar has been a major commercial center, linked by the trade routes with the rest of Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, and, through its ports, the outside world.

Considered a saint from Harar, Mujahid was called the Sahib al-Fath al-Thani, or "Master of the Second Conquest". His tomb stands on a hill surrounded by houses and courtyards, and is a popular place of pilgrimage in Harar. - in: wikipedia

Hyenas of Harar
This postcard was sent by Manú

Written records indicate that spotted hyenas have been present in the walled Ethiopian city of Harar for at least 500 years, where they sanitise the city by feeding on its organic refuse.
The practice of regularly feeding them did not begin until the 1960s. The first to put it into practice was a farmer who began to feed hyenas in order to stop them attacking his livestock, with his descendants having continued the practice. Some of the hyena men give each hyena a name they respond to, and call to them using a "hyena dialect", a mixture of English and Oromo. The hyena men feed the hyenas by mouth, using pieces of raw meat provided by spectators. Tourists usually organise to watch the spectacle through a guide for a negotiable rate. As of 2002, the practice is considered to be on the decline, with only two practicing hyena men left in Harar. - in: wikipedia

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