Museum of Ethnography
H-1146, Budapest, Dózsa György út 35.
Phone: +36 1 474 2100
The Sárosi-Martin project began when, on the occasion of a visit to Hungary in 1964, Emperor Haile Selassie requested that Hungary send a mission to Ethiopia to assist him in the matter of ethnomusicological studies, given that no such collecting efforts had yet been undertaken in his country. Thus, in 1965, on the recommendation of Zoltán Kodály, ethnomusicologist Bálint Sárosi and folk dance researcher György Martin were sent to fulfil the emperor's request.
In Sárosi's view, the visit to Ethiopia was at least as useful for the Hungarians as it was for their hosts, as it afforded them the opportunity of looking thousands of years back into the history of music and dance. Over the course of six weeks, the two researchers covered a distance of six thousand kilometres, visiting Axum in the north, the province of Kaffa in the south, Lake Tana in the west, and the Somali Peninsula in the east. The pair made recordings on film and reel-to-reel tape, while also taking an enormous quantity of still photographs. Despite the language difficulties and limited time, Sárosi and Martin succeeded in putting together a body of material that today is considered unique both in Hungary, and internationally.
Curator: Krisztina Pálóczy