I have an item that has text on it, written in a different language. Ive been doing research trying to find it or something similar, but no luck. Anyone know what it says or the language? Much appreciated thank you

full picture

one part, reversed

1 Answer 1


It is Amharic, and the picture is upside down. The items below (at the top of your picture, between horizontal bars) are numerals.

  • 2
    If you have an Ethiopian font installed, the readable part of the text reads...ማቂ፡ኃያለ //፲፱፻፩፫ , the word ኃያለ meaning “almighty” according to Google translate, ant the numerals ፲፱፻፩፫ being 1913 (which probably to 1920-1921 AD) Commented May 16, 2017 at 12:25
  • 2
    Actually, i think it's ማዊ ኃይለ, mawi hayle, which is part of ቀዳማዊ ኃይለ ሥላሴ qädamawi haylä səllasé, the full name of Emperor Haile Selassie. I'm not suggesting that his name appears on the vessel, but at least one and probably two elements of his name do. My guess is that they are the name of somebody else. According to this, "Haile Selassie" means "power of the Trinity", but I haven't found what "Qedamawi" means. A later ruler of Ethiopia was called Haile Maryam Mengistu ("Power of Mary")
    – Colin Fine
    Commented May 16, 2017 at 21:34

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