Sudan

Port Sudan
Figure 1.--The photo shows a Sudanese boy amd cammel durung the 1930s. It represents a good idea of the arid landscape that covers much of the country. Port Sudan on the Red Sea is Sudan's principal port and msjor transit point for Adricans making the Haj. The photographer was D.P. Chryssides.

Sudan is the largest African country in area. It is set in northeast Africa and domunated by the vast Sahara Desert which the Nile River winds through. It is located between Egypt and Eritrea/Ethipia in the east and with Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic to the west. On the southern border lie Zaire, Uganda, and Kenya. There is a small Red Sea coast. Port Sudan there is the major port and transit point for Muslims participating in the Haj. A large part of the country is part of the Sahara Desert or arid land on the perifery of the Sahara. This is a major fact shaping Sudanese culture and the economy. The Sahara and much of eastern Sudan is cut by the Nile. The great Nile tributaries are rise or transit theSudan. As a result, in antiquity, the Sudan was a major commerce corridor between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean world. The country is divided aming an Muslim Arab north and a Christian African south. We have a page on Sudanese history. We note the terrible genocide being conducted by the Arab Sudanese on their fellow Muslims in the Darfur region. A reader has provided us some information about the Dinka people who live in the southern Sudan along both sides of the White Nile. The West was amazed at the Sudanese reaction to teddy bear incident in 2007.

Geography

Sudan is a huge country. It used to be the largest country in Africa and the Middle East in area, before the Southern Sudan seceeded (July 2011). It is now the 10th largest country in the world. Sudan is third largest country in Africa (after Algeria and Democratic Republic of the Congo) and the 16th largest country in the world. t is set in northeast Africa and domunated by the vast Sahara Desert which the Nile River winds through. It is located between Egypt and Eritrea/Ethipia in the east and with Libya, Chad, and the Central African Republic to the west. On the southern border lie Zaire, Uganda, and Kenya. There is a small Red Sea coast. Port Sudan there is the major port and transit point for Muslims participating in the Haj. A large part of the country is part of the Sahara Desert or arid land on the perifery of the Sahara. This is a major fact shaping Sudanese culture and the economy. The Sahara and much of eastern Sudan is cut by the Nile. The great Nile tributaries all rise or transit the Sudan. As a result, in antiquity, the Sudan was a major commerce corridor between Sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean world. The White and Blue Nile rivers merge at Khartoum, becoming the Nile River continuing north as it flows into Egypt. The White Nile is muddy and brown. The Blue Nile is crystal clear, they move next to each other before mixing for a couple of miles. The largest Sudanese city is Umm Durman with almost 2 million people, followed by Al Khartum, Al Khartum Bahri, Nyala, Bur Sudan, Al Ubayyid, Kassala, Wad Madani, and Al Qadarif.

History

The modern Sudan or the area beyond the first Nile cataract. was known as Kush. Sudan through much of its history has been closely associated with Egypt. This began with Kush and pharonnic Egypt. It was conquered by the more advanced Egyptians who gradually advanced up the Bile. Some of the great mounments of ancient Egypt were built in Kush. A Cudshite dynasty conquered Egypt becoming the 25th Dynasty. They were conquered by the Assyriand (7th century BC). The Kushites withdrew up the Nile beyond the reach of the Assyrians and here survived for centuries. The Romans knew themn as Nubians. They became Chritisanized and survived the Arab invasions for a millenium. Sudan is an abreviation for the Arabic bilad as-sudan--"land of the blacks". The Nubians survived in part by paying a tribute in slaves. Geography through the Nile River made Sudan a natual conduit from Equitorial Africa to the Mediterraneam and slaves were one of the primary item involved in this trade. The Koran condoned slacery, especially the enslaving of non-Muslims. The slave trade became am imporant part of the Sudanese econmmy. his brought them into conflict with both the Egyptians and British in the late-19th century. The British launched a major effort both to end the slace trade and to expand the Empire. One result was the Mhadist revolt (1880s). With indepencence, the Aran-dominated Sudanese goverment has no only turned a vlinf eye to slavery, but used it as a tool afainst Africans in the civil war. The Arab government has also been implicated with genocide in Darfur.

Econonomy


Language

The official languages spoken in Sudamn are Arabic and English. Anthropologists and social scientists have reportedly identified more than 100 languages and dialects used in the country. We believe that this was before the secession of South Sudan where there is a substantil ethnic and racial diversity. A sudanese blogger tells us, "What I'm sure about is that where I came from " Durfor" there are 82 different tribes, and each one of these tribes have their own language, slang and dialogue. So, if we combine the number of tribes in Sudan " North Sudan", I think yeah the number is correct."

Religion

The country is divided aming an Muslim Arab north and a Christian African south. This is the case in quite a number of African coutries which until recently has not been a major problem. Sudan is very different. For centuries the arab north has preyed on the African people of the south and slave traing became an important part of the ecinomy. The arab north resisted British efforts to stamp out the slave trade (19th centyry). After indepenence there was ctually a revilval of slave trading bcause of the strenth of fundamentalist relgion belif. And Muslim Aran leasrts in the north used slaved raids tosppress growing separtit movements in the south. We also note the terrible genocide being conducted by the Arab Sudanese on their fellow Muslims in the Darfur region. The West was amazed at the Sudanese reaction to teddy bear incident in 2007. One aspect of Islam is the view of women as an inferior sex that hs to be controlled and civered up. Thus we were surprised to learn, "Sudan boasts the first female parliamentarian in Africa and the Middle East (1965), the first female Minister of Health (1974). Moreover, Sudan is the first Muslim and Arab country to appoint a female as a judge. This took place in the 1960s. There are at least 67 judges in the Sudanese judiciary today, which is more than any other Arab or Muslim country in the world." The modern Sudan legal system at independence was based on English common law and Islamic Sharia law. As Sudan has develope Sharia has become increasingly important.

Activities

Weddings are especially important activities in Sudan. They can be great festivities which lasts for several days. The climax of the ceremony is the bridal dancing, which can last until the early hours of the morning. Before a wedding, it’s a tradition for a bride to sit in a smoke bath of burning perfumed acacia wood called Dukhan, twice a day for about 40 days. During that period, she wouldn’t wash. Her body would be covered with aromatic oils as well until a thick layer forms on her skin. On day 40, the thick sooty layer would be peeled off revealing glowing skin underneath.

Ethnicity

A reader has provided us some information about the Dinka people who live in the southern Sudan along both sides of the White Nile. They are now mostly part of Southern Sudan.

Sources

Hafiz, Mohanad. Blog resoomse (December 5, 2015).









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Created: 10:01 PM 5/27/2010
Last updated: 2:25 PM 12/5/2015