History Of The Nubia People Of Sudan And Egypt

Nubia is an ancient group of amalgamated people that dominates the Nuba Mountains of South Kordofan, Sudan. They occupy the Nile River Valley, which is eastward of the Red Sea shores, south of Khartoum (Sudan), and the west of the Libyan Desert.

Being among the earliest civilization in Northeast Africa with a history dated as early as 2000 BC, Nubia (formerly, Kush) is a name gotten from the Nilo-Saharan Noba people who lived in that region during the 4th century.

They are divided into two regions; the Upper Nubia, which was called Kush while under the 18th dynasty Pharaohs of early Egypt while the ancient Greeks called it Ethiopia. The second region, which is the Lower Nubia situated on the northern side of Nubia, Wawat.


History Of The Nubia People Of Sudan And Egypt
Nubians at Aswan (image credit: pinterest.com)

The Nubia people have many Kordofanian or Nubian languages, Nobiin, which is an old Nubian language, Midob, Kenuzi-Dongola, and Birgid language, although it died off. These languages are classified under the Niger-Congo language family.

Nubia was built upon ninety-nine hills. Around  744-656 BC, they were part of Egypt, and as warriors respected for their skills in bow and arrow, earning them the name, Ta-Seti from the Egyptians.

Historically, Nubia was mostly ruled by women. It is a norm among them to bury their rulers with archery tools. 

 Nubia was first mentioned in ancient Egyptian trade history. Through Nubia, Egypt imported golds, copper, ivory, and expensive animals from tropical Africa in 2300 BC. They took over the trade routes in Northern Nubia while with access to transact with the Southern Nubia.

In this present time, the Egyptian Nubians are found in the south of Egypt. In places like Cairo, Nasr al-nuba, and Kom Ombo while the Sudanese Nubians are seen in northern Sudan, like Wadi Halfa, and al Dabbah. In the north of the Nuba Mountains, in South Sudan, there is a group of people called the Hill Nubians. Mahas, Danagla, and Sukkot are the main Nubian groups.

Nubians practice scarification – the people of Danagla at Dongola Reach wear scars on their temple. At the same time, the Mahas from the Third Cataract to Wadi Halfa and Sikurta have three scars on their cheeks, although the new generation that seems not interested in keeping up with the culture might bring it to extinction. 


History Of The Nubia People Of Sudan And Egypt
Egyptian Nubian dance at Abu Simbel Temple (image credit: pinterest.com)

 Nubia has a fertile land which made them mostly depend on agriculture. Also useful in hunting using bow and arrow. They grew in wealth that the Egyptians started seeking for means to control them.

Although the Nubians practice Islamic religion, they are among the groups that practice syncretism. Christianity was dominant, but they diminished after the Arab traders introduced Islam.

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