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Nubians

Nubians

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The Nubians are an ethnic group originally from northern Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, and southern Egypt now inhabiting North Africa and some parts of East Africa.

The Nubian people in Sudan inhabit the region between Wadi Halfa
Wadi Halfa
Wadi Halfa is a city in the state of Northern, in northern Sudan, on the shores of Lake Nubia . It is the terminus of a rail line from Khartoum and the point where goods are transferred from rail to ferries going down the Lake Nasser...

 in the north and Aldaba in the south. The main Nubian groups from north to south are the Halfaweyen, Sikut, Mahas
Mahas
The Mahas are a sub-group of the Nubian people located in Southern Egypt and Northern Sudan along the banks of the Nile. The Mahas have been referred to as Nubians since the creation of Lake Nasser when indigenous people of several different cultures were made to relocate. The Mahas are one of the...

, and Danagla. They speak different dialects of the Nubian language
Nobiin language
Nobiin is a Northern Nubian language of the Nilo-Saharan phylum. ‘Nobiin’ is the genitive form of Nòòbíí ‘Nubian" and literally means ‘ of the Nubians"...

.

In ancient times Nubians were depicted by Egyptians
Egyptians
Egyptians are nation an ethnic group made up of Mediterranean North Africans, the indigenous people of Egypt.Egyptian identity is closely tied to geography. The population of Egypt is concentrated in the lower Nile Valley, the small strip of cultivable land stretching from the First Cataract to...

 as having very dark skin, often shown with hooped earrings and with braided or extended hair. Ancient Nubians were famous for their vast wealth, their trade between Central Africa
Central Africa
Central Africa is a core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, Chad, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda....

 and the lower Nile valley civilizations, including Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

, their skill and precision with the bow, their 23-letter alphabet, the use of deadly poison on the heads of their arrows, their great military, their advanced civilization, and their century-long rule over the united upper and lower Egyptian kingdoms.

History


Nubians are the people of southern Egypt and northern Sudan
Sudan
Sudan , officially the Republic of the Sudan , is a country in North Africa, sometimes considered part of the Middle East politically. It is bordered by Egypt to the north, the Red Sea to the northeast, Eritrea and Ethiopia to the east, South Sudan to the south, the Central African Republic to the...

, settling along the banks of the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 from Aswan
Aswan
Aswan , formerly spelled Assuan, is a city in the south of Egypt, the capital of the Aswan Governorate.It stands on the east bank of the Nile at the first cataract and is a busy market and tourist centre...

. Their Nubian language is an Eastern Sudanic language
Eastern Sudanic languages
Ehret 2001 [1984]Ehret, published in 2001 but circulating in manuscript form since at least 1984, calls the family "Eastern Sahelian", and idiosyncratically adds the Kuliak languages and Berta, which Bender assigns to higher-level branches of Nilo-Saharan, and reassigns Nyima to the southern branch...

, part of the Nilo-Saharan
Nilo-Saharan languages
The Nilo-Saharan languages are a proposed family of African languages spoken by some 50 million people, mainly in the upper parts of the Chari and Nile rivers , including historic Nubia, north of where the two tributaries of Nile meet...

 phylum.

The Old Nubian language
Old Nubian language
Old Nubian is an ancient variety of Nubian, attested in writing from the 8th to the 15th century . It is ancestral to modern-day Nobiin and related to other Nubian languages such as Dongolawi. It was used throughout the medieval Christian kingdom of Makuria and its satellite Nobadia...

 is attested from the 8th century, and is thus the oldest recorded language of Africa outside of the Afro-Asiatic group. It was the language of the Noba
Noba
Noba is a term found in a number of historical sources discussing ancient and Medieval Nubia. Its exact meaning is uncertain, with ancient sources themselves seeming confused about the region south of Egypt...

 nomads who occupied the Nile
Nile
The Nile is a major north-flowing river in North Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. It is long. It runs through the ten countries of Sudan, South Sudan, Burundi, Rwanda, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Tanzania, Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda and Egypt.The Nile has two major...

 between the First and Third Cataract
Cataracts of the Nile
The cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths of the Nile between Aswan and Khartoum where the surface of the water is broken by many small boulders and stones protruding out of the river bed, as well as many rocky islets. Aswan is also the Southern boundary of Upper Egypt...

s and the Makorae nomads who occupied the land between the Third and Fourth Cataracts following the collapse of the Kingdom of Kush
Kingdom of Kush
The native name of the Kingdom was likely kaš, recorded in Egyptian as .The name Kash is probably connected to Cush in the Hebrew Bible , son of Ham ....

 sometime in the 4th century CE. The Makorae were a separate tribe who eventually conquered or inherited the lands of the Noba: they established a Byzantine
Byzantine Empire
The Byzantine Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire during the periods of Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages, centred on the capital of Constantinople. Known simply as the Roman Empire or Romania to its inhabitants and neighbours, the Empire was the direct continuation of the Ancient Roman State...

-influenced state called the Kingdom of Makuria which administered the Noba lands separately as the eparchy
Eparchy
Eparchy is an anglicized Greek word , authentically Latinized as eparchia and loosely translating as 'rule over something,' like province, prefecture, or territory, to have the jurisdiction over, it has specific meanings both in politics, history and in the hierarchy of the Eastern Christian...

 of Nobadia. Nobadia was converted to Miaphysitism
Miaphysitism
Miaphysitism is a Christological formula of the Oriental Orthodox Churches and of the various churches adhering to the first three Ecumenical Councils...

 by the Orthodox priest Julian and Bishop Longinus of Constantinople, and thereafter received its bishops from the Pope of Alexandria.

Present day


The influx of Arabs to Egypt and Sudan had contributed to the suppression of the Nubian identity following the collapse of the last Nubian kingdom in 1900. However, you may still ocassionally come across a Nubian Princess while travelling in Madison Heights, MI trying to cut into the middle lane and thus cutting off traffic flow in the adjacent lanes. Unfortunately, these Nubian Princess' are self identifying and therefore much less important than they think.(Narowitz, Dec. 2011) A major part of the modern Nubian population were Arabised. The Jaa'leen-the majority of Northern Sudanese and some Donglawes in Sudan, Kenuz and Koreskos in Egypt all claimed to be Arabs. However the vast majority of the Nubians converted to Islam, and Arabic became their main language, in addition to their indigenous old Nubian language. The unique characteristics of Nubians are their culture
Culture
Culture is a term that has many different inter-related meanings. For example, in 1952, Alfred Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn compiled a list of 164 definitions of "culture" in Culture: A Critical Review of Concepts and Definitions...

 (dress, dances, traditions and music) as well as their indigenous language which is a common feature of most Nubians.

Prominent Nubians

  • Alara of Nubia
    Alara of Nubia
    Alara was a King of Kush who is generally regarded as the founder of the Napatan royal dynasty by his 25th Dynasty Nubian successors and was the first recorded prince of Nubia. He unified all of Upper Nubia from Meroë to the Third Cataract and is possibly attested at the Temple of Amun at Kawa....

    , founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt
    Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt
    The twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt, known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt....

  • Taharqa
    Taharqa
    Taharqa was a pharaoh of the Ancient Egyptian 25th dynasty and king of the Kingdom of Kush, which was located in Northern Sudan.Taharqa was the son of Piye, the Nubian king of Napata who had first conquered Egypt. Taharqa was also the cousin and successor of Shebitku. The successful campaigns of...

    , Pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth dynasty
  • Anwar Sadat
    Anwar Sadat
    Muhammad Anwar al-Sadat was the third President of Egypt, serving from 15 October 1970 until his assassination by fundamentalist army officers on 6 October 1981...

    , Late third President of Egypt ( Egyptian Nubian father, Sudanese Nubian mother)
  • Gaafar Nimeiry
    Gaafar Nimeiry
    Gaafar Muhammad an-Nimeiry was the Nubian President of Sudan from 1969 to 1985...

    , Former Sudanese president
  • Mohammed Wardi
    Mohammed Wardi
    Mohammed Osman Hassan Salih Wardi is a Nubian Sudanese singer and songwriter.-Early life:Wardi was born on July 19, 1932 in the small village of Swarda close to Wadi Halfa. His mother, Batool Badri, died when he was an infant. His father, Osman Hassan Wardi, died when he was nine...

    , Singer
  • Mohamed Mounir
    Mohamed Mounir
    Mohamed Mounir is a popular Egyptian singer and actor. He is one of the best-known musicians, both in Egypt and throughout the Middle East, with a musical career spanning more than three decades. He incorporates various genres into his music, including classical Arabic Music, Nubian music, blues,...

    , Singer
  • Ali Hassan Kuban
    Ali Hassan Kuban
    Ali Hassan Kuban was a Nubian singer and bandleader. He was known as the "Captain" or "Godfather" of Nubian Music....

    , Singer and musician
  • Hamza El Din
    Hamza El Din
    Hamza Alaa El Din was a Nubian composer, oud player, tar player, and vocalist.-Early life:Born in the village of Toshka, near Wadi Halfa in southern Egypt, he was originally trained to be an electrical engineer...

    , Singer and musicologist
  • Khalil Kalfat
    Khalil Kalfat
    Khalil Kalfat is a Nubian Egyptian intellectual, leftist activist, literary critic, short story writer, political and economic thinker, linguist, lexicographer and translator...

    , Literary critic, political and economic thinker and writer
  • Abdallah Khalil
    Abdallah Khalil
    Sayed Abdallah Khalil was a prominent Sudanese politician and the former Prime Minister.Khalil, a former army general, put together a Umma Party/Mahdist coalition on July 5, 1956 and became Prime Minister . He allied Sudan with the United States, sparking a tense standoff with Egypt under Gamal...

    , Ex-Sudanese Prime Minister, co-founder of the White Flag League
    White Flag League
    The White Flag League was an organized nationalist resistance movement of Sudanese military officers, formed in 1923-1924, which made a substantial early attempt toward Sudanese independence.The League was founded by Lieutenant Ali Abdullatif and Abdullah Khalil...

    , co-Founder and ex-general secretary of the Umma Party
  • Mohamed Hussein Tantawi Soliman, Egyptian Field Marshal and statesman, commander-in-chief of the Egyptian Armed Forces, de facto
    De facto
    De facto is a Latin expression that means "concerning fact." In law, it often means "in practice but not necessarily ordained by law" or "in practice or actuality, but not officially established." It is commonly used in contrast to de jure when referring to matters of law, governance, or...

     head of state of Egypt
    Egypt
    Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

  • Jamal Muhammad Ahmed, Sudanese diplomat, statesmen, author, poet
  • Ibrahim Ahmad, Prominent Sudanese politician, first Sudanese head of the University of Khartoum
    University of Khartoum
    The University of Khartoum ia a multi-campus, co-educational university located in Khartoum. It is the largest and oldest university in Sudan. UofK was founded as Gordon Memorial College in 1902 and established in 1956 when Sudan gained independence...

    , first Secretary of Treasury, the first chairman of the Bank of Sudan
    Bank of Sudan
    Bank of Sudan is the central bank of the Sudan. The bank was formed in 1960, four years after Sudan's independence. It is located in Khartoum and its governor is currently Mohamed Kheir El-Zubeir.-History:...

    , co-founder of Umma party, Author and negotiator of the Sudanese Declaration of Independence
  • Abdul-Rahman al Mahdi, Grandson of the Mahdi
    Mahdi
    In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

    , Prominent sudanese Satesman
  • Muhammad Ahmad
    Muhammad Ahmad
    Muhammad Ahmad bin Abd Allah was a religious leader of the Samaniyya order in Sudan who, on June 29, 1881, proclaimed himself as the Mahdi or messianic redeemer of the Islamic faith...

    , 19 century sufi
    Sufism
    Sufism or ' is defined by its adherents as the inner, mystical dimension of Islam. A practitioner of this tradition is generally known as a '...

     sheikh
    Sheikh
    Not to be confused with sikhSheikh — also spelled Sheik or Shaikh, or transliterated as Shaykh — is an honorific in the Arabic language that literally means "elder" and carries the meaning "leader and/or governor"...

     and self-proclaimed Mahdi
    Mahdi
    In Islamic eschatology, the Mahdi is the prophesied redeemer of Islam who will stay on Earth for seven, nine or nineteen years- before the Day of Judgment and, alongside Jesus, will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny.In Shia Islam, the belief in the Mahdi is a "central religious...

  • Jamal Abu Seif, Founder of Itihad, the first politically-active group in the Sudan and predecessor of the famous White Flag League
  • Sheikh Khalil Ateeg, Founder of the Day'fiya Ismailiya Sufi tariqa in the Sudan
  • Abdu Dahab Hassanein, Founder of the Sudanese Communist Party
    Sudanese Communist Party
    The Sudanese Communist Party is a Communist political party in the Republic of Sudan. Founded in 1946, it was a major force in Sudanese politics until 1971, when military ruler Gaafar al-Nimeiry launched a wave of repression against the party after a failed coup implicated...

  • Dawwod Abdul-Latif, First mayor of Khartoum
  • Mohammed Tawfeg, ex-Minister of Exterior, ex-Minister of the Media
  • Mo Ibrahim
    Mo Ibrahim
    Dr. Mohamed "Mo" Ibrahim is a Sudanese mobile communications entrepreneur and billionaire. He worked for several other telecommunications companies before founding Celtel, which when sold had over 24 million mobile phone subscribers in 14 African countries...

    , Sudanese-born British mobile communications entrepreneur, one of the richest men in the United Kingdom
    United Kingdom
    The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

  • Idris Ali
    Idris Ali
    Idris Ali was an Egyptian author of Nubian origin. He was born in Aswan in Upper Egypt and studied at Al-Azhar University. He published his first story in 1969, and eventually wrote six novels and three short story collections...

    , Egyptian novelist and short story writer
  • Ibrahim Awad, Late Sudanese Musician .
  • Osama Abdul Latif
    Osama Abdul Latif
    Osama D. Abdel Latif is a Sudanese businessman. He is one of the richest men in Sudan.-Alsunut Development:Latif founded the Alsunut Development Company, a joint venture with the National Social Insurance Fund, The Alsunut Co. is building Almogran, a new city center in Khartoum, Sudan.-Dal...

    , Sudanese businessman, Chairman of DAL group
  • Shikabala
    Shikabala
    Mahmoud Abdel Razek Fadlallah , commonly known as Shikabala is an Egyptian footballer who currently plays for Egyptian Premier League club Zamalek SC, where he started his football career...

    , Mahmoud Abdel Razek Fadlallah, Egyptian footballer who currently plays for Egyptian Premier League club Zamalek SC,

External links