Nubia is a place located alongside river Nile and extends from the southern part of Aswan to the town of Dabba. The bigger part of Nubia is in Sudan while a small potion is situated in Egypt. History clearly indicates the subdivision of Nubia into lower, upper and southern Nubia. The lower and upper Nubia was the initial settlement place for Nubians.
Nubia gained its fame from its perpetual activity of mining gold in addition to trading with ivory and ebony. It is among the earliest black civilization with its backbone mainly on natural wealth (Bulliet, 2001).
Kerma culture was the first empire to bring together the Nubian community and it is believed to evolve from Neolithic. At that time, 1750 BC, the kings were powerful enough to mobilize construction of walls and rich tombs filled with human sacrifices and possessions (Bulliet, 2001). Craftsmen in Kerma were excellent in pottery and metalwork. Egypt took over Nubia in 1500 BC to form the new kingdom of Egyptian colony. Their empire stretched from Euphrates to the 5th cataract of the Nile.
After the conquest, monument such as Abu Simbel was built. When Egyptians left Nubia Kingdom of Kush came into being. This community adopted the Egyptian culture including their religion, music, language, and code of dressing. Assyrians invaded Kushite dynasty consequently pushing them down south to Meroe.
At the present time, Muslims makes up the Nubian community. Their main median of communication is the Arabic language in addition to the Nubian language. Other distinctive features include the code of dressing, traditions and music.
Jewelry was the most characterizing feature of Nubian culture. The jewelry was tailored to meet individual needs and specifications. Wedding festivity was a period to put on and display this jewelry. Nubian music in form of ‘shar’ was performed during wedding ceremonies.
Monuments, artifacts and tombs signified advanced use of technology to attain civilization. The unique form of writing comprising of hieroglyphs and the advanced alphabetic scripts of 23 signs clearly indicates high level of technology (Bulliet, 2001). Another important factor to note is the pyramids which were constructed in Meroe (800 BC – 350 AD). The process of putting up these pyramids required great human intellect and skills. This forms a reason for the classification of tombs and pyramids as the wonders of the world. The kingdom of Meroe was also described by a standing military force with sophisticated weapons. To support this point, military formation instituted by Candace of Meroe made Alexander the great to withdraw his force. Trade in the ancient time was the lifestyle of many communities.
Nubia acted as a trade corridor for people from tropical Africa and Egypt. Ebony and ivory from tropical Africa were channeled to Egypt via Nubia. This contributed to Nubian wealth.
Agriculture was the main source of food for Nubians.
A variety of date palms was planted intensively. Export of these products acted as a source of income. Cereals and vegetables were cultivated for consumption purposes. After the construction of Aswan High Dam, irrigation was carried out extensively. Several governmental projects including the building of walls to stop land from flooding were done. On the contrary, summer periods were hard times in Nubia as sorghum and millet were consumed. There was a risk therefore of malnutrition simply because sorghum lacked vitamin B.
Bulliet, P. et al. (2001). ‘Nubia,’ The Earth and Its Peoples. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company.