1 definition by Tom Bass

Habesha is a term currently used by many Eritreans and Ethiopians to identify them selves. Habesh is a term frequently used by Sudanese people to refer to Eritreans and Ethiopians. Centuries ago the present Eritrea used to be called Habeshistan. Visitors to the area noticed the differences in life style and looks between the Nubians (Sudanese) and Habeshans (Eritreans). While the Nubians were nomads with dark black color, the habeshans were mostly pastoralists with the color of their face looking like a sun burn. The term habesha came from abyss which implies burned faces. One may ask why people from current Ethiopia refer to them selves as habeshans or Abyssinians. Good Question! During the old times it was impossible for visitors to go all the way to Ethiopia due to the harsh terrains of the area and those hostile inhabitants. As was the case in many parts of Africa visitors just referred everything around present Eritrea and beyond as Abyssinia or habesha per se.
1)Please refer to old maps and memos for Habesha
2) Aksumite Kingdom - the kingdom of present Eritrea and Tigrai .....
by Tom Bass April 21, 2006

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