The Kingdom of Damot: Mythical Narratives versus Historical Realities

  • Yeshambel Kindie Bayu Bahir Dar University, Department of History


As indicated in medieval and pre-modern sources, Damot was one of the kingdoms of medieval Ethiopia. This kingdom was the largest and richest among kingdoms of Ethiopia. Unfortunately, the location of Damot was mistakenly recorded as if it was south of Abbay by later writers. The history of the people in general and its rulers in particular were defamed by hagiographers as pagans and evils. Curiously enough, some historians even today are entirely reluctant to acknowledge that Damot-proper was located north of Abbay in presentdayWest Gojjam. This paper attempted to exhaustively examine both primary and secondary sources and avers that the name Damot was associated with territories north of Abbay but provinces located south of Abbay had been identified by local names such as Bizamo, Gafat and Conch. Likewise, allegations of hagiographers that the people of Damot north of Abbay were pagans in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries are virtually untrue.