Nubians in Egypt: Peaceful People

Nubians in Egypt: Peaceful People

Nubians in Egypt: Peaceful People

Nubians in Egypt: Peaceful People

Excerpt

The life of the Nubian people, as described in the following pages, no longer exists. The Egyptian government has resettled the Nubians in new communities and on new lands north of the city of Aswan, near Kom Ombo. Waters of the Nile, backed up by the High Dam at Aswan, have covered the houses and flooded the area where these people lived hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. Yet Nubian culture, developed during a long history, has not been obliterated by the floodwaters. The values and techniques that allowed Nubians to live peacefully in a difficult environment in the past still persist to some extent in the new communities, helping these people adjust to radically different patterns of life. As we shall see, the building of the High Dam and the resettlement of Nubian villagers are only the most recent of a long series of events that have brought Nubians ever more into the mainstream of Egyptian society. In a world in which people are constantly being uprooted from their native communities, and where their traditional culture seems of little use in their new settings, the Nubian example is worthy of our attention.

Like the Nubians, most of mankind lived during the greater part of history in small, relatively isolated settlements and villages and slowly developed workable variations on the basic themes of human culture. Today the isolation necessary for such creativity is largely gone, and distinctive small communities themselves are vanishing, if not under the floodwaters of the Nile, then at least in the homogeneous mixture we call modern society. Little record remains of the achievements of many of the cultures that have already disappeared: achievements in terms of values; patterns of social relations; techniques for wresting subsistence from varying environments; approaches to expression and communication in pictorial art, in words, in the building of houses, and in the fashioning of the objects of everyday life. These unique manifestations of human capabilities will not appear again, and we are all poorer for their loss. This book is an attempt, then, to record some of the achievements of the Nubian people while they still lived in their ancestral home.

Who are the Nubians? Western readers may recall that the Nubian is mentioned in histories of Pharaonic Egypt, both as king and slave, and also appears as a character in the tales of the Arabian Nights . The foreign visitor to modern Cairo will be told that the tall, elegantly garbed black employees . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.