Humbly Excuse my lateness to this topic
As the I have said already, there nothing to be found about the Bahtawi in the written records, so its hard to say exactly who and what they are unless you get a chance to sit and reason with one. But i consider it of great importance that InI as Rasta learn about the Bahtawi...and so i have always been saying thats as soon as Iman reach in Ithiopia, they are the first people i will seek out.
My earliest contact with Bahtawis was as a child when i would see them pass by. Ofcourse now i wish i could have reasoned with them but you must overstand the Bahtawi is a awsome and dreadful sight just as like the Ancients in Jamaica and kind of frightening to a child,, with their thick long locks and robes..this is not something you see everyday, even in Ithiopia.
They are Nazerites, ofcourse, and have absolutley no possesions exept the clothes on their backs and their walking sticks
They wear no shoes but trod barefoot
They rarely come into the cities but stay in the country.
The short times when they do come to the city, which is where i used to sight them, they are usually taken in into the home of any sympathetic person who will have them for the night or so. In fact i used to know an elder Rasta woman, tho not personally, who used to give them shelter regularly in Addis Ababa. Perhaps the same woman one of the idem mentioned.
Still growing up i rarely heard mention of them
Later in my childhood i started to hear of them again because of some controversy.
As i understood it at that time, It seems that the Bahtawis consider that the church of Ethiopia has been corrupted.
It was said that they used to come to the city to the most prominent churches, chanting Fire and Brimstone on this corruption, and i believe they gave special mention to the Abba, the Patriarch, who was living in a mansion while the people were starving.
After this i used to hear there were mass arrests of Bahtawis and that they couldnt almost enter the city for some time.
It will be very intersesting to I to know how much of what i used to hear as a youngster was accurate....so if any of the idem come into contact with any Idren who know more about the Bahtawi, learn as much as you can and get back to I.
I am glad this subject is back in focus in my mind..it has been laying there for a while almost forgotten. I will see what all my family contacts have to contribute to this subject