NUBIANS IN SUDAN by Abdalla Sources: http://www.ancientsudan.org/arthistory_08_draw_gall.htm Google, Wikipediahttp://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/ED/TRC/NUBIA/religion.html Where is Nubian? Nubian is located in Northeast Africa within the political boundaries of modern Sudan. Alternative Names for Nubia: Three terms were used in ancient sources to refer to the land of ancient Nubias; these are Ethiopia, Kush, Nubia, and recently Sudan.
Nubians are the ancestors of modern Northern Sudanese people. According to the Biblical Table of Nations, the Nubians/ Kushites are the descendants of Ham, the son of Noah. According to the system of linguistic classification, the modern Nubia language is identified as a member of the Nilo-Saharan language group.
The Nubians Pharaohs ( Arabic : نوبي , Nuubi) are an ethnic group originally from Sudan , and Egypt now inhabiting North Africa and some parts of East Africa.
The Nubian people in Sudan inhabit the region between Wadi Halfa in the north and Aldaba in the south. The main Nubian groups from north to south are the Halfaweyen , Sikut , Mahas , and Danagla . They speak different dialects of the Nubian language .
In ancient times Nubians were dark skinned like Egyptians. They are often shown with hooped earrings and with braided or extended hair. Ancient Nubians were famous for their vast wealth, their trade between Central Africa and the lower Nile valley civilizations, including Egypt , 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.
By the end of the Old Stone Age, Nubian peoples, like those in the Near East and elsewhere, had begun utilizing sickle-like tools made of wood inset with small razor-sharp stone flakes. The purpose of such tools was for cutting grain, and it is the harvesting of grains and the learning of methods of food production - how to plant crops and how to domesticate animals - that marked the transition from the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic) to the New (Neolithic).
Nubia is the name of a specific ethnic and culture area in Africa .The ancient Egyptian word (nab) meant (gold) and that the Ancient Egyptians used that term to refer to the Nubian Valley because of gold mines that were nearby .
Another source mentions that the word (nebed) appeared in an inscription of Thomtes 1 (1450 B.C) to designate people with curly hair who were invaded by Pharoe .
Nubian is part of the modern day country of Sudan. However, historically the land of Nubian stretches from Aswan (in southern Egypt) in the north to Kosti in the White Nile and Sinnar in the Blue Nile in the south, and from the Red Sea coast to Kordofan and the Libyan Desert in the west.
Most of Sudan's topography is consisted of deserts, except for the narrow strip of the Nile valley which provide fertile agriculture and abundant pasture for settled human communities. Because of the availability of food along the Nile Valley, human communities there grew in number more than in any other location in Sudan. As a result, the first unified civilization in the world developed there. The environment affect their spiritual beliefs in religion and artifacts .
Around 5,000 years ago, ancient Nubia (also known as the kingdom of Kush) was a rich and powerful nation, as well as a center of culture and military might in Africa. It had a wealth of natural resources, including gold, ivory, copper, and ebony, and its people produced and traded a variety of goods.
Agriculture along the narrow strip of the Nile Valley provided Nubians with their necessary food supply.
Therefore most of the Nubian populations were farmers.
The main food crop seems to be Sorghum.
Dates are one of the available crops grown along the Nile especially in upper Nubian
Other types of diet :
One prominent diet was ostrich eggs. An ostrich egg was found in almost every grave at Nubian. Fruits may have included oranges and grape-fruits which are extensively grown in Sudan today.
Pigs may have been eaten in limited amounts. (Like the Egyptian and other Near Eastern religions,) Nubian is likely to have forbidden the eating of pigs
The Nubians heavily domesticate cattle and sheep for their food and other sources. Extensive left over of sheep bones were found at the offering chapels and temple kitchens in Kerma. Cattle were also sacrificed in great numbers in the Kerma graves, indicating the importance of their presence in the Nubian life.
The Nubian also used meats ,blood ,milk , and cheese for food .
The climate of the place is hot , dry ,and it rains occasionally in the late summer. When it is rains in central Africa that cause the Nile to flood.
At the brutal summer heat was identified as a flaming breath of the fierce lioness goddess SEKHMET , who it was believed sought to destroy mankind and had to be appeased with elaborate rituals to ensure that the Nile would rise.
TEFNUT lioness goddess of moisture and rains and floods, whom man had to fear and she too had to be appeased with prayer.
The cooling north winds falls were identified with the god SHU (wind) who was though to have come from Egypt to Nubia.
During summer the daytime temperature can exceed 120 F.
Most of the year the people rise at dawn and work during the cooler morning hours. During the afternoons, most people retreat to their homes for shade and sleep.
Tools: Tools that were used for agriculture, hunting, buildings, households and weapons were made from stones, bones, wood , and Iron .
The main sources of water is the Nile the Nubian used the Shaduf (a traditional device operated manually for raising water from a lower depression that is connected to a source of water, to a higher depression where the water is distributed to farther depressions to irrigate the field/s) for watering their farms.
Sometime in the late Meroitic period, they transfer to the use of Saquia (water wheel) which was brought to Nubian from Southwest Asia.
Wall painting at Kerma dating to 1600 BC depicts a well in profile with a robe pulling a buck of water. Therefore, it becomes obvious that the Kushite main source of water was from wells. Wells would be shallow if the settlements were by the Nile, and would be deep if they were on regions far from the river .
Nubian artists had a wide variety of row materials to work with including clay, stone, leather, metals and natural fibers for spinning and weaving.
Beautiful example of ancient pottery, leather working and metalsmithing have been recovered from Nubian tombs.
Some Pottery from the Meriotic period (250 BC - AD 350). is particularly enchanting because of the lively images of animals, including snakes, frogs, and rabbits that decorate it. Frogs were a popular motif and theme on pottery because they were a symbol of regeneration .
Gather the harvest on the great day of celebration .
Religion festivals .
Nubian dancers are often shown alongside musicians in military parades such as the depicted in the tomb .
The ancient Nubians worshipped a variety of gods and goddesses; some they held in common with the Egyptians, while others were of Nubian origin. Amun was one of the most important gods, associated with the sun and the forces of nature, and was worshipped by Egyptians and Nubians alike. The Nubians represented Amun as a ram with a sun disk above his head and they believed that the king of Nubia was the son of Amun. Nubian religion included a belief in the afterlife, with burial practices that evolved over time. Objects needed in the next life were often buried with the dead, along with statues depicting Nubian gods. Since the Nubians believed in life after death they also supplied their dead with water and food. This small, delicately carved offering table represents a pool with stairs that provided access to cool water for the dead. The pool was also a symbol of purification, and sacred lakes were situated next to temples for the ritual purification of priests. The plant forms carved onto the stone allude to vegetation and growth as well as fertility and rebirth. The table is in the shape of the Egyptian hieroglyph hetep , which means “offering” or “satisfied.”
.Cotton it was used for domestic cloth making and was possibly transported to other Kingdoms. Cotton cloth was found abundantly at Kushite grave. Other Nubian clothing was made from leather, linen, or wool and was often elaborately decorated with geometric designs or shiny ornaments made of mica. Men wore leather loincloths embellished with elaborate diamond-patterned beadwork. Women usually wore leather knee-length skirts or tunics with drawstrings and beaded designs at the waist. Beads were made of ostrich egg shell, gold, or silver and were sewn onto clothing. Originally worn on a belt as part of daily dress, this well-crafted iron Nubian grooming implement looks much like a modern day multi-tool set. The tweezers were used to pluck hair and remove thorns from the feet.
. They established flourishing ports on the Red Sea.
They tried to work out trade agreements with Egypt that would allow them free access to the Mediterranean via the Nile River. Egyptians depended on Nubian for iron, gold, and for exotic goods like incense and ebony.
Nubian wanted Egyptian manufactured goods, especially their cotton, an export for which Egypt is still famous today.
Before the initiation of Nubia first centralized government, Nubians lived in tribes or perhaps chiefdoms. A tribe was formed of members who are blood related. Obviously some of these tribes were relatively large, since Old Kingdom armies were often matched by Nubian forces. Tribes had a hierarchical system of authority allocation; elders of the subsections head the extended families that top the single households. The work, whether economic, military, or other, was defined and divided among tribe members. chiefs of the tribe are the strongest and most wise or religious members; the youth provide for courageous and brave soldiers at war.
Early medicine in Nubian was practiced by the chief magician (witch doctor) of the village. Later, healers also served as priests at the temples..
The Nubians used a combination of scientific-based cures and cures based on superstition and magic. For injuries, such as a fall or a cut, they used appropriate cures such as splints or bandages. For diseases, where the diagnosis was uncertain, they believed the gods had caused the illness. Magical cures were developed to combat unexplained illnesses. Sometimes they believed demons were afflicting the patients. These patients were given very unpleasant concoctions to drive the demons away. Some concoctions contained items such as “fats and blood of various animals as well as ground up horns, bones and hoofs, the whole dissolved in water, milk, wine or beer and sweetened with honey to lessen the disgust”
The ancient Nubians built homes of sun-dried bricks, made of mud and straw. To make the bricks, the ancient Nubians invented brick molds. A mix of mud and straw was placed into the molds. Then, the molds were left out in the sun to dry. The desert heat dried the bricks for them. They could make a huge number of bricks easily.
Their homes were huge. Homes had flat roofs, people often sat outside on their roofs in the evening to watch the sunset and catch the evening breeze.
Nobles Homes: Nobles lived in huge villas along the Nile. Some were front with white limestone, which made the walls sparkle. A few homes were even built with stone. But stone was difficult to cut and use. Most homes were made of sun dried brick.
Evidence of ancient Nubian recreation in the form of depictions and artifacts show that the ancient Nubians were not just about spending their days toiling in the fields or lugging two tonne stones on a pyramid construction site. They did allow themselves some down-time also.
So what does an ancient Nubian do when they have some time off from work?
Although fishing was a living for some, it was a pastime as well. Drawings from the Old and New kingdom display fishing in a recreational context.
In fact, this evidence suggests that the Nubians were the first to fish for pleasure.
. Fishing for survival was traditionally carried out with a net or spear, while the angler used a rod and line.
With the advent of farming and agriculture, hunting for survival became obsolete in ancient Nubian. It did make good sport for the nobility and pharaohs
Lions were also hunted with a bow and arrow from a chariot.