HOW IS A HEALING SCROLL MADE ?
A däbtära, or unordained cleric (someone who is training to be a priest or religious leader, but has not yet been officially made one by the church) makes a healing scroll. Often, the skin of an animal is used that has been sacrificed in a ritual. The panels (different sections of the scroll) are sewed together to form a very long and thin parchment.
WHAT IS A HEALING SCROLL ?
A healing scroll is a long piece of parchment (a kind of paper made of the skin of animals, or made of plants) used to heal people of sickness in the 19th Century. Usually, illnesses was thought to be caused by evil spirits. The scroll is made of 3 or more parts. The different parts have different images drawn and prayers written on them. The images and prayers depend on the zodiac sign (a sign that is related to the arrangement of the stars and planets when a person is born) of the client of the healer.
Healing scrolls from Ethiopia often have images of saints and archangels (an angel of a higher rank than regular angels) on them. An example would be archangel Michael. According to the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, archangel Michael can force bad spirits permanently out of a human’s body. Images of saints are commonly used because they are associated with spiritual help.
HOW IS A HEALING SCROLL USED ?
The images used on scrolls have symbolic meanings. For example, an animal with only one eye visible is traditionally seen in Ethiopia as a symbol for evil. The prayers on the scrolls would be directed to a Christian saint. Depending on the saint, the scroll would be used for a man or for a woman. Saint Susenyos, for example, is a saint often used in healing scrolls for women.
The environment the scroll was hung in would decide was the scroll was being used for. A scroll can be used specifically for an individual who is suffering from a physical illness. A scroll can also be used to protect a home. If the scroll was hung opposite a door, the angels drawn on the scroll are thought to stop any evil spirits from entering. Therefore, the healing scrolls could be used in different ways, to heal different people.