Amara Woya, Washint Player in North Wollo, Ethiopia

February 6, 2014

Village of Mequat Mariam, North Wollo

Village of Mequat Mariam, North Wollo

During a trek a few hours from Lalibela in the North Wollo highlands of Ethiopia, we landed at the village of Waleja for the night. We stayed in the ubiquitous tukuls that pepper the Ethiopian landscape. After dinner in one of the tukuls we were greeted by Amara Woya who came to guard the site. Amara happens to be a fantastic washint player, serenading us with rapid-fire, yet strangely tranquil pentatonic grooves around the flickering half-light of a campfire at an altitude of 3000m. The next morning I asked Amara to play some more as the sun was rising. In the video, I put the sunrise performance first for the sheer awesomeness of the view…

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