Who are the Nubian people?

Updated: May 16

Nubians are also known as Kushites. Kush refers to a land inhabited by Blacks.

Kushi is a racial slur for Blacks in Israel. Kushites are the Ethiopians of the Bible. Can an Ethiopian change his skin? Nubians are 100% black people. They are a proud black nation of Northeastern Africa along the Nile. The vast majority of Nubians live in Sudan. Sudan means the Country of Blacks. Sudani means black in Arabic.

Many modern Nubians deny that their ancestors were black people and immortalized as black people on ancient Egyptian frescoes. They say they their ancestors migrated from the “Middle East” and settled in the south of the Egypt and Sudan. They later mixed with “Sub-Saharan” Nilotes. This is a distorted history of ancient Nubia, Kush (Alwa, Dongola, Kerma, Napata-Meroe).

They say that there is confusion between the Nuba, Nilotes and the Nubians, the Kushites. This is the truth but Nubians are not a monolithic group of people. They differ in skin tone, facial features and hair texture.

The Nubian slave hoax used to disprove the black genesis of ancient Egypt was exposed as a complete farce. The Nubians were, in fact, Nilotes from further south.

Nubians were black people. Ancient Egyptians were black people. Ancient Berbers were black people. They were all called Ethiopians in ancient times. But they were regarded as the “civilized Ethiopians” in stark comparison with the rest of Africa, ancient Greeks knew very little about except for some trading communities along the East African coast.

Documentary Sources for Precolonial African History

Oxford Research Encyclopedia for African History, 2019

Christina Mobley

Herodotus’ work provided an important confirmation of the pre-existing Greek notion of Africa (or Libya) as a continent divided into two parts, known as the two Aithiopias, one civilized and one barbaric. The civilized Aithiopia consisted of Egypt and the first-millennium BCE Nubian states of Kerma, Kush, and Meroë. The “other Aithiopia” referred to the land south of Aswan as well as the fantastical interior west of the Nile. Herodotus’s description of the “other Aithiopia” was at once historical, geographical, and mythical. He populated the “other Aithiopia” with Libyans and, further inland, man-eating, half-monstrous tribes of barbarians drawn from Greek mythology. The monsters included the monopods (or sciapods) with a single foot so large it could be used as a sunshade, the dog-headed cynocephali, the Astomi with no need to eat or drink, and the man-eating anthropophagi.

EDIT # 1


De-colonizing the Historiography and Archaeology of Ancient Egypt and Nubia. Part 1. Scientific Racism

Uroš Matić

Races and Colors

Racial ideas are found also in works of those early Egyptologists who dealt solely with epigraphy and iconography. Nina de Garis Davies (1881–1965) argued that the register with the Upper Nubian embassy depicted in the tomb of Huy, viceroy of Nubia under Tutankhamun, depicts figures whose features appear most pronouncedly Negroid. She further adds that “Professor Seligman” argues that all the Nubians depicted here belong to “mesaticephalic stock” which stretches at least from Darfur in the west, through Kordofan, to the hills of the Dar Fung province in the east.73 The professor is to be identified with no other than previously mentioned Charles Gabriel Seligman, a proponent of the Hamitic hypothesis, according to whom some civilizations in Africa have been founded by Caucasoid Hamitic peoples.74 Ni.

Davies further added that it should be noted that the alteration of black and dark red complexions are most probably a graphic device to give clarity to individual figures.75 This differs significantly from the ideas of Gliddon, Nott, and Seligman who saw the difference in skin color in ancient Egyptian art as indicator of racial difference. Similarly, Norman de Garis Davies differentiates between Nubian women and Negresses in New Kingdom Egyptian iconography. Nubian women accordingly have longish hair.76 Thus, the use of ancient Egyptian art as evidence in combination with racial science continued from the time of Morton, Gliddon, Nott, and Petrie.

At the same time, the racial division between Nubians and Negroes had been firmly established. The term race was also used by Walter B. Emery (1902–1971) who like Petrie considered Egyptian civilization to be the result of the invasion of a dynastic race and who argued for an Egyptian colonial presence in Lower Nubia since the Old Kingdom. He also distinguished between the Brown or Mediterranean race, which was inhabiting Lower Nubia, and the Negroid race living further south, considering Wawat and Kush to be distinct both racially and culturally.77

Nevertheless, following the line of previous scholars, he argued that the people of Kush were not Negroes “as we understand the term applied to this racial group today.” Instead he claimed that “The Egyptians used the term ‘Negro’ to designate all the dark-skinned peoples of the south, whatever their race.”78 Emery wrote that Nubia was one of the battlegrounds of the ancient world where black and white people were struggling for the supremacy of north Africa.79 According to Rosemarie Drenkhahn, the Egyptian word nḥsj refers to all southerners including Puntites since the Old Kingdom and only beginning with the 19th Dynasty designates “Neger-Rasse”—a Negro race. She argued that there was no special designation for the Negroes although one can see racial differences in the iconography which are especially strong in New Kingdom foreigners’ procession scenes.80

Racial anthropology was further practiced to reconstruct the racial background and population changes in ancient Egypt. Thus, Eugen Strouhal (1931– 2016) argued that “Negroes and Negroids penetrated to Egypt only sporadically, and their frequency, uneven according to time, place and the diagnostical knowledge of the investigator, has been estimated as 1 to 5 per cent.”81 He used craniometry in his racial diagnosis and compared different series of skeletal material, such as the Badarian series, Wadi Qatna series in Nubia (4th century AC), Manfalout series from Upper Egypt (Ptolemaic), and recent Nilotes. He concluded that Badarian skulls extend from Europod to the Negroid range.82 Strouhal writes that the Wadi Qatna series was Europoid-Negroid and that the Manfalout series was Europoid.

However, he does not explicitly write about which criteria he used as a basis to sort out these two series in order to analyze the Badarian series. According to Strouhal, during Predynastic times the frequency of distinctively Negroid features was fading and was re-introduced sporadically during the Dynastic period and later in connection to the slave trade.83 The distinctions between populations based on skin color as depicted in ancient Egyptian art, a method going back to Morton, Gliddon, Nott, Petrie, Seligman, No. Davies, and Drenkhahn, are found also in later works. Thus, for Bruce Trigger (1937–2006) a difference in color (Fig. 1) is an indication of the origin and consequently the status of depicted figures:

This is based on the observation that the skin color and other physical traits of the Nilotic population change gradually from north to south. The assumption is the same as in the works of Morton, Gliddon, Nott, Petrie, Seligman, and No. Davies, namely that ancient Egyptian art depicts realistic physical differences in populations and differentiates between lighter skinned Nubians and darker skinned Negroes.

Seligman also wrote that: in passing southwards there is a slight tendency towards negritization: it has been pointed out that the eye and skin colour darken, that the proportion of unusually broad noses increases, and that spiral and crisp hair becomes more frequent.85

This idea was expressed by Trigger too:

On an average, between the Delta in northern Egypt and the Sudd of the Upper Nile, skin color tends to darken from light brown to what appears to the eye as bluish black, hair changes from wavy-straight to curly or kinky, noses become flatter and broader, lips become thicker and more everted, teeth enlarge in size from small to medium, height and linearity of body build increase to culminate in the extremely tall and thin Nilotic populations of the south and bodies become less hirsute (Brace 1964). All of these people are Africans. To proceed further and divide them into Caucasoid and Negroid stocks is to perform an act that is arbitrary and wholly devoid of historical or biological significance.86

Credit: Article by Françoise Marie from Quora

19 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All