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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:From Many, One: The Social Construction of the Rashayida Tribe in Eastern Sudan
Author:Young, William C.
Periodical:Northeast African Studies
Geographic term:Sudan
Subjects:social structure
ethnic groups
Peoples of Africa (Ethnic Groups)
Abstract:This paper presents an ethnohistory of the Rash¯ayida. The Rash¯ayida tribe consists of a set of three 'tribal branches'. Most Rash¯ayida live in northeastern Sudan. Some, however, live in northern Eritrea. The author shows how various family units were put together to make a new society during the late 19th century. He traces the migration of some Rash¯id¯i families from Arabia to Sudan and Eritrea and shows how they merged to form a tribe, a social formation that was forged under the pressures of European colonial expansion, on the one hand, and the Mahdist rebellion of the 1880s, on the other. He bases his argument on archival research. Although the Rash¯ayida's genealogical model of the past leads one to believe that their ancestors should all have a common origin and 'tribal' identity, this is not what the accounts of travellers and eyewitnesses to their history reveal. Instead, we see a series of small groups, identified (or misidentified) as members of disparate coastal and inland societies in northwestern Arabia, Egypt, and Sinai, whose connection with each other seems more and more tenuous the farther one goes back in time. Notes, ref.