Parchment Manufacture


We visited the countryside around Iste three times between November 2000 and July 2002 and, with the help of the local church authorities, interviewed about thirty scribes in this area of South Gondar.

We must thank all of the scribes who so freely shared their knowledge with us and hope that our two small publications, Ethiopian Bookmaking and its companion volume Scribes of South Gondar, and the associated exhibitions at the Institute of Ethiopian Studies in Addis Ababa, will help to raise awareness of their work. Thanks are also due to Endalkachew Mamo and Mola Melese and to Qés Yohanis Melese Dubale who allowed our party to stay in their homes.

We also gratefully acknowledge the help of many others who assisted us in a variety of ways: in particular in England, Dr Bent Juel-Jensen, Jen Lindsay, Canon Richard Marsh, and Jim Randell and the Anglo-Ethiopian Society; in Germany, Sergew Hable Selassie; in Ethiopia, Abba Gerima, Abuna Elsa, Abuna Selama and Ambassador Tebebe from the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Richard and Rita Pankhurst, and the Ethiopian Mapping Authority. Finally, special thanks to our friend Habte Selasie Asemare, from Gondar, who helped to arrange the visits and translated for us on all of our trips to the region.

John Mellors and Anne Parsons
London, October 2002

Some copies of the two publications are still available and can be purchased direct from the authors.

Ethiopian Bookmaking Cover Scribes of South Gondar Cover
Ethiopian Bookmaking by John Mellors and Anne Parsons
Card covers, Size A5 (5.8 ins x 8.3 ins)
26 pages, 65 colour photos + 2 maps
ISBN 0-954383516
New Cross Books, 2002
Scribes of South Gondar by John Mellors and Anne Parsons
Card covers, Size A5 (5.8 ins x 8.3 ins)
20 pages, 39 colour photos + 2 maps
ISBN 0-954383508
New Cross Books, 2002