Tribes In Sudan

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In Sudan northern Africa borders on southern Africa. Arabian North Africa and tribal cultures of the south melt together and six ethnic groups emerge. Nuba, Nuer and Dinka are only three of the oldes tribes in Sudan.

They live in the centre of Sudan and go back to a group of pastorates who escaped from the Arabs in the mountains more than five centuries ago. Most time of the year livestock graze in plains, in summer (it is the rainy season) in the mountains. On account of it rains more in these uplands the Nuba can live in their villages the whole year. Many Nuba tribes confess to the Islam, south groups believe in the power of their body. In times of harvest young men, covered with holy ash, make competitions.

They are very tall and live in the area where the White Nil flows with two other rivers together. When the rivers overflow the land they go to higher areas. They live from and with their cattle (milk and products of milk). Respect of a man depends on his cattle and cows are given in the ceremony at beginning of manhood. There are daily quarrels because of the cattle.

Westwards of the Nuer live the Dinka who regard their cattle very high. They grow millet and live from it. Cattle has economic, social and religious meaning and respect of a person depends on his cattle.

In the rainy season they go from the land along the rivers to higher savannahs. They have no chief, but there is a figurehead on who the welfare of the tribe depends, but there is no hierarchy.

Lifestyle of many groups is endangered because of economic development and long civil war. 1978 were the beginning of building the Jonglin-canal. In the 70ies and 80ies were long dryness and 1988 was a great flooding.


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