Seit 2011 ist die Afrikanistik durch drei Teilprojekte im Sonderforschungsbereich 950 „Manuskriptkulturen in Asien, Afrika und Europa“ vertreten.
Aktuelle regionale Forschungsschwerpunkte der Abteilung liegen in Ostafrika (Tansania, Kenia, Uganda), im nordöstlichen Afrika (Äthiopien, Eritrea) und im westlichen Afrika (Kamerun, Nigeria, Senegal, Gambia). Methodologisch konzentrieren sich die Forschungen vor allem in drei Bereichen:
- Dokumentation und Analyse der 1500 bis 2000 afrikanischen Sprachen (Afrikanische Sprachwissenschaft),
- Afrikanische Sprachen im Kontext ihrer gesellschaftlichen, kulturellen und historischen Bedingungen und Gebrauchsweisen,
- Äthiopistik, die mit primär philologischer Ausrichtung vor allem auf (hand)schriftlicher Grundlage die Geschichte, Kulturen, Religionen und Sprachen Äthiopiens und Eritreas erschließt.
Aktuelle Forschungsprojekte lassen sich diesen Bereichen folgendermaßen zuordnen:
Dokumentation und Analyse afrikanischer Sprachen:
- “Documentation of Bayso (Cushitic) and Haro (Omotic): two Afroasiatic endangered languages of the Abbaya Lake in the Ethiopian Rift Valley” (Volkswagenstiftung)
- “Documentation of the Bezen language (Cameroon)” (Volkswagenstiftung) mit Folgeprojekt: “The language of ethno-medicinal discourse in Southern Jukunoid communities of Cameroon (LEMSOC)”
- “Documentation of Kyanga/Shanga” (Volkswagenstiftung)
- „Documentation of Western !Xoon of Namibia“ (Volkswagenstiftung) mit Folgeprojekt: „A Pan-dialectal Documentation of Taa“
Afrikanische Sprachen im Kontext:
- „Language use and linguistic variation in multilingual urban groups: A micro-perspective on professional networks in Ngaoundéré (northern Cameroon)“. DFG, Laufzeit: 06/2017 – 05/2020.
- „Pragmalinguistische Grundlagenforschung in den Ring-Sprachen Kameruns (1-3)“ (DFG)
- „Historische Stratifizierung des Mande-Gurunsi-Sprachkontakts. Untersuchung soziolinguistischer Muster und normativer Kräfte in den sozialen Netzwerken von Pana und Samo“ (DFG)
- „Digitalarchiv Bakary Kebba Sidibe“ (Gerda Henkel)
- "Soziale Netzwerke und sprachliche Varietäten in urbanen Räumen Nord-Kameruns" (Anschubfinanzierung der Universitäten Mainz und Frankfurt a.M.)
- “African oral literatures, new media, and technologies: challenges for research and documentation” (gemeinsam mit Leiden, Neapel, London, Paris)
- “A study of Old Kanembu in Early West African Qur'anic manuscripts and Islamic recitations (Tarjumo) in the light of Kanuri-Kanembu dialects spoken around Lake Chad” (DFG)
- Beteiligung an „Offensive Sprachwissenschaft“ (Stadt Hamburg)
- “The language and practice of ethno-medicine in the Grasslands region of Cameroon (LAPEM)” (Alexander von Humboldt)
- „Islamische Manuskripte mit großen Zeilenabständen als Vermittler von Lehrpraktiken in Westafrika“ mit Vorgänger: Das Schreiben und Lesen von Paratexten: Kognitive Ebenen in westafrikanischen Islam-Handschriften (Teilprojekt A05 des SFB 950) (DFG)
- “Arabo-Swahili manuscripts in practice: rituals, ceremonies, liturgies and healing” mit Vorgänger: “The place of Swahili Manuscripts in East African Collections ” (Teilprojekt C07 des SFB 950) (DFG)
Äthiopische Philologie und Geschichte:
- „Die Schriftkultur des christlichen Äthiopiens: Eine multimediale Forschungsumgebung“ (Akademie der Wissenschaften in Hamburg)
- „TraCES: From Translation to Creation: Changes in Ethiopic Style and Lexicon from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages” (ERC)
- „COMSt: Comparative Oriental Manuscript Studies“ (ESF)
- „Encyclopaedia Aethiopica“ (DFG)
- „Pergament-Heilige“ – Wie äthiopische hagiographische Handschriften gefertigt werden: Andacht und ihr Gegenstand in Manuskriptpraktiken des mittelalterlichen und vormodernen Äthiopiens“ mit Vorgänger: „Querschnittsansichten sich entwickelnden Wissens: christlich-äthiopische Manuskripte mit kanonistisch-liturgischem und hagiographischem Inhalt als Corpus-Organizers” (Teilprojekt C05 des SFB 950) (DFG)
- Ethio-SPaRe - The Project Ethio-SPaRe (ERC Starting Grant 240720; Dec. 2009 - May 2015) was dedicated to the preservation and scientific analysis of manuscripts located in Ethiopian churches and monasteries, with the focus of the activities being in the region of Tegray in the north of the country.
- “Grundlagenforschung in den Adamawasprachen: Fali sowie Sprachen der Duru- und der Leeko-Gruppe in Kamerun“ (DFG)
- Neue wissenschaftliche Mediathek mit äthiopischen Dokumenten, Handschriftenfilmen und mit historischen Abbildungen vom Horn von Afrika, gefördert von Johanna und Fritz Buch-Gedächtnisstiftung
- Digitale und textkritische Erfassung christlich- und islamisch-äthiopischer Quellenschriften und äthiopistischer Grundlagenmaterialien, DAAD-CRUI
- The Redefinition of Ethiopia -- Islam and the Middle East, German Israeli Foundation Geschichte der europäisch-äthiopischen Kulturbegegnung, ZEIT-Stiftung
- SFB 520 "Gesellschaftliche Umbrüche in Afrika und ihre Bewältigung" (DFG).
- "Experiens-Kodierung in afrikanischen Sprachen typologisch gesehen: Formen und ihre Motivierungen", gefördert im Rahmen des Forschungsschwerpunktes 'Sprachtypologie' der DFG.
- "Mehrsprachige literale Praktiken im Kulturvergleich" (DFG).
- "Uganda und Bolivien". Teilprojekt A5 des SFB 538 "Mehrsprachigkeit".
- Literaturwerke des äthiopisch-eritreischen Raums, Fritz Thyssen Stiftung (seit 2004)
- Spracherhalt und Sprachwandel im Kameruner Grasland (im Rahmen eines von der DFG geförderten Heisenberg-Stipendiums 2001-2006).
- "Iraqw-Texte" (DFG).
Korpusbasierte funktionale Sprachbeschreibung des Kyanga (Ost-Mande)
Marlene Altebockwinkel ist wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im Projekt “The documentation of Kyanga and Shanga”, das von 2012-2016 als DoBeS-Projekt durch die VolkswagenStiftung gefördert wird.
General research interests: Sprachdokumentation, Funktional-deskriptive Linguistik, Korpuslinguistik
Ostmande, Adamawa (Dii), Nigeria, Kamerun
Altebockwinkel, Marlene (2014): Der Ausdruck von Eigenschaftskonzepten im Dii (Adamawa, Kamerun). Arbeitspapiere des Instituts für Ethnologie und Afrikastudien der Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz / Working Papers of the Department of Anthropology and African Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz 152.
Micheal Terhemen Angitso
Descriptive and Cognitive aspects of the Tiv nominal morphology
Michael Terhemen Angitso is researching on the Tiv(oid) language(s). Tiv(oid) language(s) is/are one of the unpopular and under-described Bantu Language(s), spoken in Nigeria and Cameroun. Angitso had his Bachelor’s Degree at Benue State University, Makurdi, and his Master’s degree at University of Ibadan. His research interests include Syntactic theory (information structure and the syntax-semantics interface), comparative and descriptive linguistics, as well as Applied Linguistics. His Current research centers on the descriptive and Cognitive aspects of the Tiv nominal morphology. Although Tiv has undergone some phonological studies overtime, little has been done about describing the morphological and syntactic structures of the language. The research on the nominal morphology of Tiv is a contribution to preserving the structure(s) of the language since it is an endangered language.
Institutional multilingualism: The case of church services in Hamburg
After finishing the BA “African Languages and Cultures” (2012) and the MA “General Linguistics” (2014) at the University of Hamburg, I
started working for the interdisciplinary project “Offensive Sprachwissenschaft”. In this project we develop and conduct seminars for MA students from different linguistic departments. The seminars deal with institutional multilingualism in Hamburg and require the students to do their own empirical research.
My PhD project is connected to the topic of institutional multilingualism as well: I analyse the existence and use of several languages in African churches (in Hamburg). The focus of my analysis will be on the sermons, in which it is important that the pastor and the congregation do not only have a mutual basis of religious knowledge, but also a shared understanding of the language(s) that is/are used. Sermons occupy a special position within the different text types because they are mostly written texts which are presented orally and often changed spontaneously. The pastors have to decide which language to use at which point and when to translate certain elements in order to convey the meaning to everyone in the congregation. Interviews and recordings show how pastors handle the existing multilingualism in their congregations, how they react to it in their sermons and which discourse phenomena arise.
Locomotion in Datooga
Living as semi-nomadic pastoralists, locomotion and spatial orientation have always been essential elements in the life of the Southern Nilotic Datooga. This cultural significance is also mirrored by the grammar of the language which is spoken in central and northwestern Tanzania. The complex morphology of the verb features deictic-directional suffixes for centripetal, centrifugal and terminative motion and, in addition, the language has grammaticalized a cross-linguistically rare category, which is known as “associated motion”. Formally expressed through verbal suffixes, this category indicates that the verbal action is performed with the manner of a specific locomotion. For example, the verb qwálàc ‘he is cutting’ can be extended by the suffix for centripetal locomotion -aan, resulting in the form qwálàj-àan ‘he is cutting while coming’.
The rarity of this category constitutes an attractive field of research and producing a monographic study on locomotion in this non-European language will be of high scientific value, because there are merely very few of such so far, which is posing problems for typological generalization of motion events. My dissertation project aims therefore at an in-depth analysis of the locomotion verbs of Datooga, comprising their lexical semantics, their derivational potential as well as their syntactic characteristics. It is opted to gain a profound understanding of central aspects of the grammar, which have been researched only sparingly and are not well understood, such as the system of verbal derivation, its interaction with lexical semantics and the morphosyntactic introduction of additional arguments. Furthermore, the role of “associated motion” with respect to the organization of the lexicon shall be clarified as well as its combinatory potential and its functional facets with different semantic classes of verbs.
Our department hosts a Datooga corpus, which is constituted by the bequeathment of Paul Berger, who gathered a lot of narrative texts along with elicitations and ethnological notes during the German East-Africa expedition under Ludwig Kohl-Larsen in 1935 and 1936. Based on this corpus I have developed hypotheses and concrete research questions and designed several questionnaires for data collection, which will be augmented by diverse audiovisual stimuli, in order to reach the aims of the project.
General research interests: Documentation and analysis of African languages, Motion and spatial relations, Sociolinguistics (language planning and language development), Tonology
„Aksimaros-Literatur: die 'Schöpfung der Welt' in der äthiopischen Tradition“ („Aksimaros-literature: The Creation of the World in the Ethiopian Tradition“)
The Ethiopian tradition is home to a broad number of texts treating the creation of the world in different ways. Some are very conservative translations from Arabic texts, others were influenced by ancient texts which originated in the near East, and still others emerged in Ethiopia itself. The aim of my work is to deliver an analysis of the different degrees of textual relationships, influence of language, and genre.
My general research interest is in the (Jewish-)Christian history of Ethiopia. Having also studied comparative religious studies, Ethiopia proves to be the perfect field were cultures and religious believes intermingle. In addition, I am especially interested in old Ethiopian manuscripts, the monastic and ecclesiastic history of the country.
General research interests: (Jewish-)Christian history of Ethiopia, Ethiopian manuscripts
Daria Vladimirovna Elagina
A text-critical edition of the less-known Amharic version of the Chronicle of John of Nikiu
Daria Elagina studied Ethiopian Studies at the State University of Saint-Petersburg before she moved to Germany, where she received her Master’s degree from the University of Hamburg. Her main academic interest lies in the field of philology and text-criticism. The main goal of her PhD-project is a text-critical edition of the less well-known Amharic version of the Chronicle of John of Nikiu. This chronicle is an important historiographical source of the history of Egypt, the decline of the Roman rule in the region and the invasion of Arabs. This study is part of the TRACES-project at the Hiob Ludolf Center of Ethiopian Studies at the University of Hamburg and supervised by Prof. Dr. Alessandro Bausi.
General research interests: Philology, text-criticism
Gidena Mesfin Kebede
Multi-Language Use, Organizational Structure and Orality in Ethiopian Medicinal and Magical Texts
This study will focus on the patterns of multi-language use, organizational structure and orality of Ethiopian medical and magical manuscripts with the aim of exploring their textual transmission, the contribution of oral-traditional knowledge in the application and preservation of medical and magical procedures, and attempting an overall textual synthesis of the treatises. Multi-language use will be explored with the aim of synthesizing the alleged use of Arabic, Hebrew, Amharic, Pseudo-Arabic and Pseudo-Hebrew and other forms with Ge‘ez (Old Ethiopic) as the main language of composition. Methods of historical linguistics will be employed to arrive at safe conclusions about the actual languages involved in the manuscripts. Moreover, the alleged language use within the manuscripts will be utilized as a key instrument to figure out the transmission history, ideological implication and cultural contact of the manuscript cultures of the actual languages involved. Secondly, organizational structure analyses will involve elements of internal textual organization, lay-out and image combination, order and pattern of repetitive elements. Eventually, the role of orality in the application of the knowledge contained in the treatises and the indicators of such oral involvement will also be discussed thoroughly. Data will be collected from private collections, churches and monasteries in Ethiopia, and from libraries and museums both in Ethiopia and abroad. The data will be analyzed using philological methods (textual-comparative method highlighting an innovative “conceptual base manuscript” approach) and where appropriate appealing to historical linguistics (sound changes, etymological connections and semantic shifts).
The Issues of ʼAggäbab and Polysemantic Gǝʿǝz Verbs According to the Tradition of Qǝne Schools
Qǝne schools in Ethiopia are the most important centers for the study of Gǝʿǝz the most ancient Semitic and classic language of Ethiopia. The study has two major parts, ‘Säwasǝw’ and ‘Qǝne’. ‘Qǝne’ deals with the composition, recitation and interpretation of Gǝʿǝz poems whereas ‘Säwasǝw’ is specifically concerned with study of the language. It is theoretically divided into four different sections that have their own identifications, specializations and scopes. They are called Gǝśś (ግሥ), Rǝba-qǝmr (ርባ ቅምር), Rǝba-gǝśś (ርባ ግሥ) and ʼAggäbab (አገባብ).
ʼAggäbab is the last and the most essential part in the study of Säwasǝw. Almost the majority of the decisive language regulations—how to read and to write; how to build sentences and to interpret words, names, and terminologies; the issues of numbers, genders, prepositions, adjectives, adverbs, negations, interrogations and exclamatory phrases of good or bad feelings, etc. are comprised in this part of the study.
There are few publications on Gǝʿǝz grammar done by both Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian scholars. However, the grammar, which is regularly studied in the Qǝne schools i.e. ʼAggäbab is still unpublished. Even today, the students learn it orally and keep it by heart. My research work is concerned with the issues of this essential part of Gǝʿǝz study. It deals at the same time with the polysemantic verbs. My final objective is also to investigate it and to bring its issues to light.
Eine historisch-kritische Ausgabe der Vita des Heiligen Śarḍa Ṗeṭros
Susanne Hummel ist Doktorandin und wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin im ERC-Projekt ‘TraCES: From Translation to Creation: Changes in Ethiopic Style and Lexicon from Late Antiquity to the Middle Ages’(https://www.traces.uni-hamburg.de/en.html) mit Schwerpunkt auf Korpusannotation. Zudem ist sie Redaktionsmitglied der jährlich erscheinenden Fachzeitschrift ‘Aethiopica. International Journal of Ethiopian and Eritrean Studies’ (https://journals.sub.uni-hamburg.de/aethiopica).
Ziel ihres Promotionsvorhabens ist eine historisch-kritische Ausgabe der Vita des Heiligen Śarḍa Ṗeṭros. Śarḍa Ṗeṭros war ein gelehrter Mönch des 15. Jahrhunderts und gründete das
Kloster Dabra Warq (östliches Goǧǧām, Äthiopien), wo er noch heute als Heiliger verehrt wird. Das ihm gewidmete hagiographisches Werk, das über sein Leben und Wirken, seine Lehren und Weisheiten erzählt, wurde nicht nur zum Gedenken an den Klostergründer niedergeschrieben, sondern es dient seinem Kloster zugleich als Gründungserzählung. Der Text der Vita, insbesondere die Klostergründung betreffenden Passagen wurde ca. 1900 intensiv um-geschrieben. Dank des erhaltenen originalen Arbeitsmanuskripts, das die ursprüngliche Textfassung mit den vorgenommenen Textänderungen, Ergänzungen und Streichungen unter Mitwirkung diverser Schreiberhände enthält, ist dieser Um-Schreibungsprozess außergewöhnlich gut dokumentiert. Die historisch-kritische Ausgabe soll beide Fassungen zur Verfügung stellen, damit der Leser den Um-Schreibungsprozess sowohl an den Einzelstellen als auch über das gesamte Werk hin verfolgen kann.
From “Subject to Citizen”? History, Identity and Minority Citizenship: The Case of the Mao and Komo of Western Ethiopia
The Mao and Komo are two minority groups spread across several regional states in western Ethiopia and across the border of South Sudan. Historically, the Mao and Komo have been subjected to various forms of marginalization and exploitation. Memories of slavery, war and dispersal loom large in the cultural memory of the groups. How do such recollections affect the performance of citizenship and belonging in the multi-cultural setting?
Against the historical background of “state-encroachment”, social-stratification, territorial control and changing patterns of minority-majority relations in western Ethiopia, this study aims at analyzing the historical processes of state formation and integration in western Ethiopia from a minority perspective. As a synchronic and diachronic political ethnography of the Mao and Komo, the study offers a glance at the changes and continuities of majority-minority relations under the current political framework. This will contribute to an analysis of the ‘accommodation of diversity’ with regard to modern Ethiopia’s stated aims of political minority empowerment and national integration.
General research interests: Modern history of Northeast Africa, State formations, Inter-ethnic relations, Political and historical anthropology, Slavery in Africa
Metaphorical language in use in knowledge transmission situations in Ngemba
Solange Mekamgoum has been a Ph.D. student at the department of African and Ethiopian Languages, University of Hamburg, since October 2014, under the DAAD scholarship programme “Research Grants for Doctoral Candidates and Young Academics and Scientists (more than 6 months)”. Her research interests include metaphor studies and pragmatics. For her Ph.D. project she currently works on metaphorical language in use in knowledge transmission situations in Ngemba (ISO: 639-3, ngemba-bbj).
Ngemba is a language of the Niger-Kordofanian family spoken in five villages (Bameka, Bamougoum, Bansoa, Bamendjou and Bafunda) of Western Cameroon. It belongs to the Eastern Grassfields Bantu subgroup. In a nutshell, it is an empirical research that seeks to answer a few questions: how does the Ngemba frame their thoughts in situations where they transmit knowledge and what the way they use language in context reveal about their cognitive system regarding traditional education. Beyond describing the metaphors that structure the Ngemba worldview about knowledge transmission, the final goal is to give concrete suggestions about a better educational system, based on the results obtained from the analysis. The research uses qualitative and quantitative methods for data analysis and exploits audio and video interactions as primary data. The multimedia data is recorded in the Ngemba native speaking area during a series of fieldwork using language documentation methods. It is supplemented by interviews that seek to gather additional ethnographic information.
Solange Mekamgoum holds a Master of Arts in General linguistics from the University of Yaoundé I, Cameroon. Her master thesis was on “Nə̀ tʃə́k (rebuking) in ŋgə̂mbà: A study in facework across the age and social power ladders”. She described and analyized a specific speech act together with the politeness issues attached to it and compared it with the English counterpart ‘rebuking’. For her Bachelor’s degree in Bilingual studies (French and English) she investigated Bambili as a linguistic melting pot.
General research interests: metaphor studies; pragmatics
Attitude and Rhetoric in the Inauguration Speeches of the Fon of Isu: An Approach towards an Extended Framework of Appraisal Theory
The main objective of this dissertation is to make a culture-specific contribution to Appraisal Theory, a systemic functional linguistic framework developed by Martin & White (2005) to analyse evaluative language and interpersonal semantics.
As a “theory in progress”, the evaluative categories of the framework so far prove to be skewed towards individualistic and egalitarian, sometimes misleadingly termed ‘Western’ notions of evaluation. Empirical evidence from an African context, represented here by the Fondom of Isu, a traditional monarchy in the Cameroonian Grassfields, indicates that a significantly more differentiated approach than the existing model allows for is required.
In order to substantiate this observation and approach the desideratum of a more comprehensive and inclusive, universally applicable framework, a two-pronged research strategy is adopted, which aims at revealing the range of linguistic resources used to encode and negotiate attitude in Isu, and with it, culture-specific concepts of evaluation:
The linguistic data, drawn from three inauguration speeches held by the chief (or Fon, as is his regional title), is to be investigated with regard to (a) the lexico-grammatical means he chooses to express his sentiments about various states of affairs and types of behaviour in his community and (b) the rhetorical strategies he employs to persuade his audience to adopt his own value positions.
The explanatory patterns yielded from this line of inquiry will serve to complement and expand the existing configuration of evaluative categories of the Appraisal framework, and also contribute to the description of the Isu language.
Ahmed Hussein Ahmed Parkar
Manuscripts and Transmission of Knowledge in Swahili Society: A Comparative Analysis on Form and Usage of Qasida Hamziyya
Qasidas are poems that are commonly sung and chanted during religious festivals or on special occasions such as marriage ceremonies. For centuries, the qasidas, have widely been used in the Muslim world. Some qasidas such as Banat Suada, Hamziyya and Burda are believed to have special spiritual attachment and healing powers. Hamziyya, one of the most frequently copied and elevated poem in Swahili land, will be the subject of my thesis. The Arabic version of Hamziyya was known as “Ummul Quraa” (Mother of Cities). It was composed by an Egyptian Sufi poet, Al-Busiri, in 12th century (CE). It was then translated from Arabic into Swahili by Sayyid Aidarus of Lamu in the 16th century. Little is known about the biographies of such scribes, their technical apparatus; paper, ink, calligraphy tools and the usage of their materials or texts. One may find Hamziyya manuscripts in Swahili-Arabic or Arabic versions with some interlinear Swahili translations. They were written by different copyists who were from different locations. Some copyists applied their own native Swahili dialects. Due to the absence of standardization, the texts varied considerably in their form, language, diction and style. The Arabic consonant ٻ (Ba), e.g., was used by scribes to represent b, bw, mb, mbw, pw and p in the Swahili texts and the Arabic consonant such as ﻮ (wau) was used to represent o, u or w. Hence, this makes the reading and deciphering of the texts extremely challenging. Based on an analysis which integrates textual, palaeographical, codicological and linguistic aspects, the social contexts of the usage of Hamziyya manuscripts will be investigated because the manuscripts were also used for oral performances. The fundamental objective of the thesis is to provide a critical edition of the Hamziyya corpus and to analyse the manuscripts with regards to the ways they have been used in order to address the overall question of how and for which purposes which type of knowledge was preserved, organized and transmitted in Swahili society.
Tradition and significance of the Gädlä Lalibäla
The aim of this project is to investigate the tradition and the significance of the hagiographic celebration of King Lalibäla, as well as preparing a critical edition of the Gädlä Lalibäla (GL) ‘(Spiritual) Combat (or Vita) of Lalibäla’ and his miracles. The GL is the main source about the life and deeds of King Lalibäla. King Lalibäla is considered a saint along with other kings of the so-called Zagwe dynasty, who ruled in the twelfth-thirteenth century ce, who is given credit for the construction of the renowned rock-hewn churches in the city of Lalibäla, named after the king. The term Gädl, lit. ‘Combat’, defines a text written according to the hagiographic genre, which, with its own rules and conventions, reveals at the same time the author’s own ideas. Therefore, hagiographical texts are excellent witnesses to the history of thoughts, mentality, and practices. The only scholarly yet partial edition of this text was carried out by the French philologist Jules Perruchon in 1892. This incomplete basis has been misleading researchers. The working hypothesis is that the GL results from merging two originally independent texts – as it appears in some manuscripts – with distinctly marked ideological approaches, which were eventually transmitted as one text. Such merged redaction is already attested in the oldest known manuscript dating back to the fifteenth century. The first text, containing only the Gädl, presents us Lalibäla as a legitimate king of Ethiopia, whereas the second text, the ‘Miracles of King Gäbrä Mäsqal’ (throne name of Lalibäla) introduces him as an illegitimate ruler, not to say as an usurper. To date the writing of all these texts, to find out the aim of the writing, to reconstruct the way of their transmitting, to find their place in the liturgical practice are further challenging tasks of the research.