Stories from the Amhara region were collected in Bahr Dar in March 1997 under the auspices of Alemayehu Gebrehiwot of the Regional Education Bureau. Storytellers were assembled and the stories translated by Daniel Legesse. Bahr Dar was visited again in November 1999 and on that occasion the stories were translated by Mesfin Habte-mariam of the British Council. School readers in English using a selection of these stories were published with the collaboration of the Education Bureau of the Amhara region under the direction of Bikala Seyoum.
Melese Getahun Wolde, Amhara storyteller
Of interest in this collection is the way in which historical personages (the late Emperor Haile Selassie, the Empress Menen and Ras Hailu, for example) acquire semi-mythical status. The character of Aleka Gebre Hanna, a clever and witty trickster, probably descends from the tradition of jesters, who were allowed extreme latitude in their language and behaviour, both at the courts of the Emperors and of Ras Hailu of Gojjam.
Several of the story-tellers in the Amhara Region found it hard to recall "teret" (folk stories) and offered instead short jokes, sayings and poems. These have been retained for the sake of completeness.