all photos by the author, unless otherwise noted

Visitors to private homes in Aksum, Ethiopia may notice a genre of painting that remains relatively unknown outside of the Tigrai Regional State (Fig. 1). Known as gama, which is also the Tigrinya word for “wedding,” the paintings depict a bride and groom, often with attendants, and key iconic images of Aksum, the birthplace of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOC).1 Produced by church-trained artists and their apprentices, gama stylistically resemble paintings found in Ethiopian Orthodox churches, in bars, restaurants, and hotels, and in the artwork carried home by foreign visitors as souvenirs. While Aksum's tourist shops are full of paintings on board and canvas depicting secular and religious themes, gama are much less visible to tourists, as they are...

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