Exchange

Quote

When two Amhara have concluded an agreement, they touch each other’s outstretched palms while standing very close to each other, and, in the presence of witnesses, swear “May the emperor die,” i.e. if the swearer breaks his agreement. This procedure is not followed in little transactions, but is in the case of major livestock, because of the family and other social significance.

  • Source: Messing, Simon D. Highland Plateau Amhara of Ethiopia. New Haven: Human Relations Area Files, 1985.
  • Culture: Amhara
  • Location: Africa