Query: Ethiopian Constitutions

Matteo Salvadore's picture

From Prof. Alexander Maxwell:

I am currently writing an article about the words for 'nation' in different legal documents. I have found an English translation of the 1931 Ethiopian constitution that declares in Article 1 "all natives of Ethiopia, subjects of the Empire, form the Ethiopian nation".  I  have also found an English translation of the 1955 constitution that declares in article 1 "All Ethiopian subjects, whether living within or out the Empire constitute the Ethiopian people". However, I can't find the Amharic originals.
      I wondered, firstly,  whether the relevant Amharic word was ብሔር   or  ሕዝብ.  I also wonder if the Amharic versions were actually different: the shift in wording might reflect different translations.  So what exactly does Article 1 of the constitutions say in the Amharic originals:
 (1931) the subjects of the empire form the Ethiopian ሕዝብ  or ብሔር? (or some other word?)
 (1955) all ethioian subjects constitute the Ethiopian ሕዝብ or ብሔር ?  (or some other word?)
      Kindly send any insights to alexander.maxwell(at)vuw.ac.nz.   Thank you to H-horn list subscribers for reading this query!

Categories: Query, Research