A number of different units of measurement have been used in Ethiopia. The values of most of these units are not well defined. In 1963, Ethiopia adopted the metric system.
These units have also been referred to as Abyssinian units of measurements.
Different units were used to measure length. Values provided below are approximations only as these units were often not well-defined.
1 pic = 0.686 metres
1 farsang = 5070 m
1 berri = 1⁄3 farsang (approx. 3 pics)
A number of units were used to measure mass. One rotto is approximately equal to 0.311 kilograms. Some other units are provided below.
1 drachm = 1⁄120 rotto
1 derime = 1⁄120 rotto
1 wakea (ounce) = 1⁄12 rotto
1 mocha = 1⁄10 rotto
Two types of measuring system were used, one for dry measures and one for liquid measures.
Different units were used to measure dry capacities. One madega is approximately equal to 0.44 litres.
1 ardeb = 10 or 24 madega (these may sometimes be referred to as either the long ardeb, equal to 24 madega or the short ardeb, equal to 10 madega)
The kuba(kubaya)pronounced in Ethiopia is approximately equal to 1.016 litres.
More than 70 different units are used in an ordinary household. Some of the more important units used are kilograms, kunna, medeb, esir, bobo, pieces, litres, tassa, kubaya, birchiko, sini, bottles, guchiye, sahen and weket.
Details for some of the common units of measurements are given below:
(Note: Most of the above are actual household items, such as tassa translating to can, and sini mainly being used for serving coffee, not measuring coffee or any other substances.)