Journal of Eritrean Studies
Eritrea’s famous stele at Belew Kelew and its inscription strike me
as an archaeological, at least
ad hoc, beginning of Eritrean literary
be it written or oral.
“Adulite. / Join here and
write,” it appears to proclaim (Cantalupo, Light the Lights, 2004:
77). Subsequently, as Kenya’s and Africa’s greatest living writer,
Ngugi wa Thiong’o recognizes, “For at least four thousand years –
from the ancient stele at Belew Kelew to the 20th century battlefields of Eritrea’s struggle for independence – and into the 21st
, Eritrean...[s] have never given up writing in their own
languages, which is why their... [literature] thrives” (Who Needs a
, 2005: back cover).
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