Do you know the Queen of Sheba?
I was born and raised in the 70s and Sheba was BIG then in my world.
A somewhat nebulous figure, the Queen of Sheba (fl. 10th century BCE)—known also as Bilqis and as Makeda—figures prominently in Judaic, Islamic, and Ethiopian traditions. Her legendary voyage to meet Solomon, King of Israel, has inspired centuries of speculation about her kingdom and influence in the ancient world. Modern-day Ethiopians believe her, as the mother of their first Emperor, Menilek I, to be the ultimate maternal ancestor of the dominant Ethiopian royal dynasty.
A Queen of Legend
“Little has been verified about the Queen of Sheba’s life—in fact, even such basic details as her given name and the exact location of her kingdom remain uncertain…
well-attested in three major ancient sources: the Biblical Old Testament, the Islamic Qu’ran, and the Ethiopian Kebra Nagast (Glory of the Kings). These three perspectives on the Queen meld to create a picture of one of the relatively rare, powerful female monarchs of the ancient world.”
“The Queen of Sheba - an exotic and mysterious woman of power - is immortalised in the world’s great religious works, among them the Hebrew Bible and the Muslim Koran. She also appears in Turkish and Persian painting, in Kabbalistic treatises, and in medieval Christian mystical works, where she is viewed as the embodiment of Divine Wisdom and a foreteller of the cult of the Holy Cross. In Africa and Arabia her tale is still told to this day and, indeed, her tale has been told and retold in many lands for nearly 3,000 years.”
HEY LOOK!!!! AN ONLINE DOCUMENTARY:
Pam Grier IS “Sheba, Baby!” check out the retro 70s movie promo
MOST OF THE IMAGES/PICS/ILLUSTRATIONS OF THIS QUEEN ARE RARE, OBSCURE, MODERN because she is ANCIENT. But I found some portraits that moved me and that seem inspired. OF COURSE THERE ARE THE REQUISITE IMAGES THAT SHOW A WHITE/EUROPEAN FEMALE TO PORTRAY AN ETHIOPIAN QUEEN……………. I didn’t even go there. they can BITE ME and kiss the Queen’s ass!
“Since the Queen was from Ethiopia, it’s highly unlikely that she would be a Caucasian woman as so many early renderings and even more modern films depict. Moreover, there is further evidence of this in the Bible chapter The Songs of Solomon, apparently written by Solomon for one of his lovers, perhaps to Makeda herself:
I am black but comely
O ye daughters of Jerusalem,
As the tents of Kedar,
As the curtains of Solomon,
Look not upon me because I am black,
Because the sun hath scorched me.
Clearly this, along with other tales of the queen that existed in such texts as the Torah and the Quran, would have provided quite a bit of evidence about how the queen may have looked. Of course, with attitudes toward people of color being what they were, it is no surprise that this became an early case of whitewashing.” -(MY NOTES- RACISM is as old as Dirt, just filthier. And WHITEWASHING of history and in religion is even older…….)
PLEASE ENJOY this heavenly classical work heralding The Queen’s Arrival
After opera’s decline of popularity in England during the 1730’s, Handel switched to writing oratorios. These were lengthy choral works without operatic staging or scenery, his most famous of these being Messiah. Another such work, Solomon, brings us the Entrance of the Queen of Sheba.
Written for mallet ensemble and two flutes, Entrance of the Queen of Sheba allows the musicians to demonstrate how well Baroque music adapts to percussion instruments. In an age where contemporary music sometimes dominates percussion concerts, this will provide a nice contrast that not only highlights the beauty of Handel’s music but welcomes the addition of woodwinds into the mix.
This arrangement of Entrance of the Queen of Sheba has been heard worldwide on the popular CD “Bach on Wood,” which helped garner Brian Slawson a Grammy nomination for “Best New Classical Artist.”