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By Urban Camel and Sara Pantuliano


The Beja are a confederation of tribes united by a common language, TuBedawiye, and a common segmentary structure, each of which is linked to a common ownership and use of land. The three main tribes are the Amar’ar/Atmaan, the Bishariyyn and the Hadendowa, who mostly live in North-Eastern Sudan between the Egyptian and the Eritrean borders, and all speak similar versions of TuBedawiye. Other minor related groups include the Arteiga, the Ashraf, the Kemeilab, the Halanga and the Shayaab. This article describes the migration of Beja pastoralist labour to Port Sudan from Halaib Province (NE Sudan). It reviews the different livestock holdings that the Beja have in town and shows that, although most urban-based pastoralists live in great poverty, some manage to successfully exploit urban opportunities whilst continuing to engage in rural-based livelihood strategies. Photo by A. Waters-Baye

Year: 2011
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