I am once again watching Dr. Gus Casely Hayford’s BBC 4’s Series. The lost kingdoms of Africa. This time it is Ethiopia and this is my take on it.
Prompt#. What was the most profound scene from this film and why do you think so?
The camera shifts, a sight is revealed in all its magnificence. The painting has lasted for thousands of centuries. Yet its beauty still shimmers, as though the piece has not been touched before. Dr. Gus’s jaw drops, his eyes shift in wonder with awe. He is marveling at the sight before him. I am breathless. My eyes pinned on the screen. Yes, it is the painting of priests carrying the Ark of the Covenant. I thought this masterpiece was supposed to be in Jerusalem! Except, it is in Ethiopia.
Yes! The most profound scene for me is the scene where Dr. Gus Casely-Hayford is talking to the high priest His Highness Abune Paulos, inquiring about the true ancestry of the Ethiopian and the Orthodox church and on the priest’s right side, a painting of Ancient Ethiopians lifting ‘The Ark of the Covenant’! It is the sight of this art, seeming so real, orthodox, Old Testament that I found most profound.
This to me was not only shocking and overwhelming but it also left me breathless. I am a lover of history and I have particularly been interested in the Ethiopian Religious Doctrines earlier. However, I had no idea that this Ethiopian culture was built on a history so deep it includes The Ark of the Covenant or Old testament Solomon and Queen Sheba’s son Emperor Mulzac. This is still the most shocking revelation I got from the video. To me it was like a completion of a puzzle that has been for long unsolved.
I also think this scene is very crucial as everything else in the film revolves around it. This includes the religious norms including Judaism and Orthodox, the temple in which the ‘Ark of the covenant’ is kept, to be specific, the symbolism and embellishments that are incorporated in almost all architecture. From the star of David, the wooden roof patterns, the symbol of the rising sun, the crescent moon and the sun and the temples that stand as long as skyscrapers and as Guy Casely mentioned in the narration, some of this buildings are older or even as old as the ancient Greek temples in Rome and Greece.
It is the revelation of the ‘Ark of the Covenant’ that sets the temple for the entire video, research. The fact that the Ethiopians believe their culture was founded on this, that their religious beliefs revolve around this concept, the culture and isolation from external civilizations, all liking back to the first emperor believed to have been the son of Solomon and Sheba, makes this scene even more profound.