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Dembiya (Amharic: ደምቢያ, dembīyā; also transliterated Dembea, Dambya, Dembya, Dambiya, etc.) is a historic region of Ethiopia, intimately linked with Lake Tana. According to the account of Manuel de Almeida, Dembiya was "bounded on East by Begemder, on South by Gojjam, on West by Agaws of Achefer and Tangha. Lake Tsana, formerly called Dambaya, is in this region." [1] Alexander Murray, in his preface to the third volume of Bruce's account, further describes it as "on the east it includes Foggora, Dara, and Alata; on the north-east Gondar, the metropolis, and the rich district beneath it; on the southwest, the district of Bed (the plain barren country) and, on the west, the lands around Waindaga and Dingleber." [2]

Ethiopia country in East Africa

Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a country in the northeastern part of Africa, popularly known as the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, and Somalia to the east, Sudan and South Sudan to the west, and Kenya to the south. With over 102 million inhabitants, Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent that covers a total area of 1,100,000 square kilometres (420,000 sq mi). Its capital and largest city is Addis Ababa, which lies a few miles west of the East African Rift that splits the country into the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate.

Lake Tana lake in Ethiopia

Lake Tana is the source of the Blue Nile and is the largest lake in Ethiopia. Located in Amhara Region in the north-western Ethiopian Highlands, the lake is approximately 84 kilometres long and 66 kilometres wide, with a maximum depth of 15 metres, and an elevation of 1,788 metres. Lake Tana is fed by the Lesser Abay, Reb and Gumara rivers. Its surface area ranges from 3,000 to 3,500 square kilometres, depending on season and rainfall. The lake level has been regulated since the construction of the control weir where the lake discharges into the Blue Nile. This controls the flow to the Blue Nile Falls and hydro-power station.

Manuel de Almeida was a native of Viseu who entered at an early age into the Society of Jesus and went out as a missionary to India. He is noted to have travelled to Ethiopia and Eritrea and Lake Tana and built a number of churches and monasteries, particularly on the small islands of the lake.

Dembiya was incorporated into the Begemder province (which previously only included lands to the east of Lake Tana) during the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie, and in 1996 became a woreda of the Amhara Region.

Begemder province

Begemder was an old province in the northwestern part of Ethiopia. There is evidence to support that Begemder existed since the time of the Kingdom of Aksum. In the middle of Haile Selassie's rule of Ethiopia in 1941 & 1943, Begemder was expanded. Welkait, Tsegede and some other provinces were taken away from the old Tigray state and given to the expanded Begemder. In the same way, Raya was taken away from the old Tigray state and given to Welo province. One of the reasons why Raya was given to Welo was because Haile Selassie's son Crown Prince Amha Selassie was appointed as the governor of Welo; according to historical books, Tigray state's south-eastern border has always been the Alewha river, which used to include Kobo province). Welkait and some other provinces were given to Begemder since there was armed rebellion in Tigray against Haile Selassie's rule,. Therefore, until the 1995 administrative reorganization and the establishment of ethnic federalism in Ethiopia, Begemder included Welkait, North Gondar Zone, South Gondar Zone and so on.

Haile Selassie Emperor of Ethiopia

Haile Selassie I was an Ethiopian regent from 1916 to 1930 and emperor from 1930 to 1974. He is a defining figure in contemporary Ethiopian history.

Dembiya is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. It is named for the former province of Dembiya, which was located roughly in the same location. Part of the Semien Gondar Zone, Dembiya is bordered on the south by Lake Tana, on the southwest by Takusa, on the west by Chilga, on the north by Lay Armachiho, and on the east by Gondar Zuria. Towns in Dembiya include Aymiba, Chuahit, Gorgora and Koladiba.

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Gojjam province

Gojjam was a kingdom in the north-western part of Ethiopia, with its capital city at Debre Marqos. This region is distinctive for lying entirely within the bend of the Abbay River from its outflow from Lake Tana to the Sudan. Gojjamis believe that they are the original people mentioned in the Bible as the river Guihon/Gihon (Nile) encircling the land of Cush extending to the ancient kingdom of Meroe. At the fall of Meroe to the Axumite King Ezana. Gojjam (Guihon) became a kingdom and later joined the rest of the kingdom of Ethiopia having their own kingship up to the coming of Menlike II of Shoa in the late 19th century, who reduced it to a province..

Qwara was a province in now Amhara region, Ethiopia, located between Lake Tana and the frontier with Sudan, and stretching from Agawmeder in the south as far north as Metemma. It was eventually absorbed into the province of Begemder.

Amhara Region Regional State in Ethiopia

Amhara Region is one of the nine ethnic divisions of Ethiopia, containing the homeland of the Amhara people. Previously known as "Region 3", its capital is Bahir Dar. Ethiopia's largest inland body of water, Lake Tana, which is the source of the Blue Nile river, is located within Amhara. The region also contains the Semien Mountains National Park, which includes Ras Dashan, the highest point in Ethiopia. Amhara is bordered by the state of Sudan to the west and northwest, and in other directions by other regions of Ethiopia: Tigray to the north, Afar to the east, Benishangul-Gumuz to the west and southwest, and Oromia to the south.

Yaqob I, was nəgusä nägäst of Ethiopia, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. He was the eldest surviving son of Sarsa Dengel. According to E. A. Wallis Budge, Yaqob's mother was Empress Maryam Sena; others sources suggest she was Emebet Harego of the Beta Israel. Because Yaqob had at least three sons before his death, it is likely he was born no later than 1590. Most Ethiopian sources including Tekle Tsadik Mekuria however state that his mother was Harego, but that Empress Maryam Sena championed his right to the throne as she only bore Emperor Sarsa Dengel daughters, and hoped to dominate a long term regency for the boy monarch.

Fasilides Ethiopian Emperor

Fasilides, also known as Fasil or Basilide, was emperor of Ethiopia from 1632 to 18 October 1667, and a member of the Solomonic dynasty. His throne name was ʿAlam Sagad, meaning "to whom the world bows". He was the son of Emperor Susenyos I and Empress Sultana Mogassa, born at Magazaz in Shewa before 10 November 1603. His paternal grandfather's name was also Fasilides.

Baeda Maryam III, also known as Bida Maryam, was Emperor of Ethiopia for a few days in April 1826. Baeda Maryam was a figurehead, set on the throne by Dejazmach Haile Maryam, the governor of Semien.

Provinces of Ethiopia

Ethiopia was divided into provinces, further subdivided into awrajjas or districts, until they were replaced by regions (kililoch) and chartered cities in 1992.

Luni River Desert river in India

Luni is a river in Rajasthan. It originates in the Pushkar valley of the Aravalli Range, near Ajmer, passes through the southeastern portion of the Thar Desert, and ends in the marshy lands of Rann of Kutch in Gujarat, after travelling a distance of 495 km. It is first known as Sagarmati, then after passing Govindgarh, it meets its tributary Saraswati, which originates from Pushkar Lake, and from then on it gets its name Luni.

Gugsa of Yejju was a Ras of Begemder, and Inderase (regent) of the Emperor of Ethiopia. According to Nathaniel Pearce, he took the Christian name of Wolde Mikael. He was the son of Mersu Barentu and Kefey, the sister of Ras Aligaz. Both Bahru Zewde and Paul B. Henze consider his reign as Ras and Enderase as the peak of the Yejju Dynasty during the Zemene Mesafint.

Ali II of Yejju was a Ras of Begemder and Enderase (Regent) of the Emperor of Ethiopia. He was the son of Alula of Yejju and Menen Liben Amede and nephew of Gugsa of Yejju.

Gondar Zuria is a woreda in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Gondar Zone, Gondar Zuria is bordered on the south by the Debub Gondar Zone, on the southwest by Lake Tana, on the west by Dembiya, on the north by Lay Armachiho, on the northeast by Wegera, and on the southeast by Mirab Belessa. Towns in Gondar Zuria include Azazo, Degoma, Emfraz, Maksenit and Teda. The city and woreda of Gondar is surrounded by Gondar Zuria in the northern part of this woreda.

Kemekem is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Debub Gondar Zone, Kemekem is bordered on the south by the Reb which separates it from Fogera, on the west by Lake Tana, on the north by the Semien Gondar Zone, and on the east by Ebenat. The administrative center is Addis Zemen; other towns include Amba Meda and Yifag.

Fogera is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of northwest Ethiopia. Fogera is part of the Debub Gondar Zone. The district is bordered on the south by Dera, on the west by Lake Tana, on the north by the Reb which separates it from Kemekem, on the northeast by Ebenat, and on the east by Farta.

Emfraz Town in Amhara, Ethiopia

Emfraz or Enfraz is an historic town and district in northern Ethiopia. Located in the mountainous area overlooking the northeast shore of Lake Tana in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, it sits at a latitude and longitude of 12°15′30″N37°37′45″E.

Dengel Ber Place in Amhara Region, Ethiopia

Dengel Ber is a town in western Ethiopia. Located on the south-western shore of Lake Tana in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of 11°57′N37°00′E. Access to this town includes track roads to both Shawra and Kunzela and weekly service by the Bahir Dar-Gorgora ferry on Lake Tana. While the name of the town is indisputably Amharic, there is some disagreement over the meaning of its name: while "Pass of the Virgin" has been the most common interpretation since at least the days James Bruce visited Ethiopia, Huntingford and Beckingham state that it means "pass of canna plants".

Delghi is a town in the Amhara region western Ethiopia. Located on the south-western shore of Lake Tana in the Semien Gondar Zone of the Amhara Region, this town has a latitude and longitude of 12°12′N37°03′E and an elevation of 1785 meters above sea level. It is the only towns in Takusa woreda and rich in agricultural product and fishery.

Takusa is one of the woredas in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia. Part of the Semien Gondar Zone, Takusa is bordered on the south by Alefa, on the west by Qwara, on the northwest by the Metemma, on the north by Chilga, on the northeast by Dembiya, and on the east by Lake Tana. Towns in Takusa include Delgi. Takusa was part of Alefa woreda.


  1. Quoted in H. Weld Blundell, The Royal chronicle of Abyssinia, 1769-1840, (Cambridge: University Press, 1922), p. 538
  2. Travels to Discover the Source of the Nile, (1805 edition), vol. 3 p. 9

Coordinates: 12°21′00″N37°15′20″E / 12.3500°N 37.2556°E / 12.3500; 37.2556

Geographic coordinate system Coordinate system

A geographic coordinate system is a coordinate system that enables every location on Earth to be specified by a set of numbers, letters or symbols. The coordinates are often chosen such that one of the numbers represents a vertical position and two or three of the numbers represent a horizontal position; alternatively, a geographic position may be expressed in a combined three-dimensional Cartesian vector. A common choice of coordinates is latitude, longitude and elevation. To specify a location on a plane requires a map projection.