The Republic of the Sudan: a Regional Geography

The Republic of the Sudan: a Regional Geography

The Republic of the Sudan: a Regional Geography

The Republic of the Sudan: a Regional Geography

Excerpt

The Republic of the Sudan is an attempt to gather together the findings of the many scientists and other scholars who have worked in Sudan during the last half century, and to consider the light which they throw on such topics as the distribution of settlement, regional variations in agriculture and animal husbandry, and the gradual spread of a cash economy throughout Sudan. For many areas I have tried to supplement the written sources by personal observation and enquiry, but in so large a country it is inevitable that even a life-time would not be sufficient to ensure that no important topics or areas have been omitted through 'sheer ignorance'.

It is hoped that the result will be of use not only to those who are looking for background material on Sudan as a whole, but also in schools and colleges within the country, to give the young Sudanese an insight into the variety, charm and excitement of the land in which they have the good fortune to live. If one result of the publication of The Republic of the Sudan is to provoke Sudanese scholars to carry out their own investigations, so as to confirm or correct the statements here made, it will give me and my wife the satisfaction of knowing that our long labour has been worth while.

My thanks are due to the many persons who have helped me to write this book: to Lewis Wilcher, former Principal of the University College of Khartoum, for all the help that I received from the college authorities while I was working in Khartoum, enabling me to travel very extensively throughout Sudan; to Professors Robert Steel and John Lebon for their encouragement, and for their advice in planning the work; to the very many Sudan Government officials, both British and Sudanese, who have freely given me information and advice, particularly E. F. Aglen, A. J. Arkell, Sir Gawain Bell, P. Broadbent, A. W. Chalmers, D. F. Hawley, K. D. D. Henderson, T. R. H. Owen, A. Paul, and A. B. Theobald and to the late Saad ed Din Fawzi, H. A. W. Morrice and W. P. G. Thomson; to many other inhabitants of Sudan, who have answered the questions I have put to them; and especially to those colleagues, both in the University of Khartoum and in University College, London, who have taken great pains in reading chapters and in making suggestions.

The maps were drawn in the Cartographic Office of the Department of Geography in University College, London. To R. Versey, J. Bryant, R. Geary, K. Wass and M. Watts I owe a great debt for their advice, skill and forbearance.

While this book has been in the course of preparation both the Belgian Congo and the colonies which made up French Equatorial Africa have attained independence. It has nevertheless been decided to employ their former names, not only because they are more widely known than the new ones, but also on account of the confusion that has arisen since both the former Belgian Congo and the former colony of Moyen Congo have adopted the official name of "The Republic of the Congo".

K. M. BARBOUR

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