The hyena people: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Based on interviews with Ethiopian immigrants in Israel, taken since 1985. The interviews show that Jewish life in Ethiopia has been closely interlinked with the life of the Christian community there. The Jews and Christians in Ethiopia have common languages, a common appearance, and most probably common origins. Religious rivalry with the Christians is an important part of Jewish identity, as rivalry with the Jews is in Christian identity. The Jews have been a socially ostracized group in Ethiopia, and victims of many prejudices. Ch. 3 (pp. 35-39), "The Jew as 'Buda': Hyena in Human Form, " dwells on a specific Ethiopian prejudice. Christians believe that Jews are supernatural entities, combining human and animal characteristics, and are able to devour Christians in some way. Ch. 7 (pp. 65-71), "The Twice-Disguised Hyena, " dwells on the situation of converted Jews in Ethiopia - they are in no way accepted by Christian society, and constitute a closed group between Jews and Christians.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBerkeley
PublisherUniversity of California Press
Number of pages157
ISBN (Electronic)0520219007, 0520219015, 0520923014, 0585331200, 9780520923010, 9780585331201
StatePublished - 1999

Publication series

PublisherUniversity of California Press

Bibliographical note

Includes index.


Dive into the research topics of 'The hyena people: Ethiopian Jews in Christian Ethiopia'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this