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News

ETHIOPIA ROYAL ORCHESTRA COMPOSED OF ARMENIAN ORPHANS

16.12.2015


The group photo depicts Ethiopian imperial orchestra composed of Armenian young orphans having survived the Armenian Genocide.

The photo was taken in 1925, in Addis Ababa.



The great flow of Armenians to Ethiopia began after the terrible massacres of 1915. Many Armenians moved to Ethiopia by the support of their relatives. Their number here reached to one thousand five hundred. Later in 1924, the Ethiopian Crown Prince Ras Tafari Makonnene (later called Emperor Teferi Hayle Selasie I) was leaving for Switzerland to represent Ethiopia in the League of Nations. On his way he visited Jerusalem by the support of the Armenian Patriarch of Jerusalem. Here he was informed about 40 Armenian orphans who survived the massacre, and had created the brass band. Being inspired of their activities, he adopts all the forty orphans and the bandmaster Gevorg Nalbandyan, and invites them to Ethiopia and places them in his own palace. As a result, they formed the Ethiopian first imperial orchestra, which was called “Abpa lichoche” (“Forty children”).

The band composed of those Armenian orphans operates successfully, gets imperial support and becomes the core of the royal orchestra.

In 1925, on the occasion of New Year, the Ethiopian orchestra conveyed all his proceeds of the party organized in Addis Ababa to the children of the of Armenian General Benevolent Union orphanages.

“The exceptional loyalty you have shown towards this country has deeply touched me. I am proud to be an Armenophil. It is our family approach; my father was also Armenophil. I love you not only as the citizens of this country, my followers, but also because Armenians always had been cordial towards Ethiopia. Today, you are fully expressing your warmth as it is appropriate to the children of same nation”.


Hayle Selasiye I
Emperor of Ethiopia
Boris Adjemian, Paris


Photo: Collection of Armenian Genocide Museum-Institute



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During 2015, within the framework of the events dedicated to the 100th anniversary of the Armenian Genocide, the AGMI plans to organize nearly twenty different multilingual exhibitions of new scientific scholarship using modern technologies and design in different countries simultaneously. There will be accompanying exhibition leaflets, catalogues and booklets in Armenian and foreign languages. In parallel, the AGMI plans to publish memoirs and monographs in Armenian and foreign languages.

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Mickayel Frenkulyan, had studied at the Oberlin college in USA. He was a professor at the American college of Sebastia. In 1915 he was arrested and killed. A victim of Armenian Genocide.

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