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Nyimang is an ethnic group of the Nuba Mountainsmarker in Kordofan in Sudanmarker and one of the ethnicities called "Nuba". They speak Nyima languages, of the Nilo-Saharan language family. The population of may exceed 100,000. Most are Muslims.

Culture

Communication

The spoken language is Nymang . Their languge is named after the tribe. There is no written language, but some are trying to make it with Latin letters to try and make the sounds. There are about thirty names for men and about 20 names for women, the names have no special meaning but are made because they have a pleasant sound.

Social Behavior

Not many games are played but there is a game where all the males play. Kordang, it’s a game that is played with a racket that looks much like a cricket racket.

The way people greet each other depends with their generation, the same generation greet each other by sliding the palm over the back of the other person's hand.

The eating schedule is they eat at 5-6 in the morning then the men go farming until noon, the women go late because they are preparing food. They have their lunch at noon and then they take care of daily work. Dinner is held at sunset and then they wait to about 9 and go to bed and sleep. After dinner they relax and have a chat.

Things that are considered stylish are braids for women and teenagers; once you are considered a man braids are not good.

Weddings are very often especially since a man has minimum 2 wives. The man goes to the girl’s family and asks for her hand, then men that want to marry the girl hold a competition and they are rated on their warrior traits and bravery. The father and his brothers decide on the man for the daughter, once they decide who it should be then they get the dowry and the man has to kidnap the woman. It’s sort of a game they have, if the man doesn’t kidnap the woman then they won't live in the same house or be officially married. In some cases the man didn't kidnap the girl for 5-6 years.

Art Forms

The Nymang tribe has many different forms of art. They have dances and ceremonies for a certain event. They celebrate births, weddings, harvest, and death. They even have a special dance for when they are about to go to war with enemy tribes because they believe it gives them special energy and it scares the enemy .

They are also fond of pottery and woodcarvings; they have mud plates with authentic designs that they favor. Their woodcarvings are shown in the form of a pillar with carved designs on them.

They also have great music. Their instruments are not that different from other instruments ; they have string instruments, woodwind, and drums.

The Nymang tribe tells many stories to amuse both grown men and children. There is a certain story of how they believe they came from the sky and landed on the Nuba Mountains. They believe this because they saw footprints on the mountains and thought it was the footprints of their ancestors when they first descended from the sky.

Architecture

The Nymang live in clay huts, another one of their architectural achievements. The walls of the house are made of mud and the roofs are made of hay or twigs and leaves. The kitchen or storage room is very big and spacious, they keep some calfs in there and meat and vegetables. It is wear they keep mostly everything, in their language it is called the "Tukol"

Style/Fashion

As for their clothing they wear fancy clothing with great embroidery to festivals and special events. Sometimes they wear animal skin. They also wear jewellery such as beads and necklaces; these necklaces are sometimes made of pumpkin skin while others are made of certain nuts. They also wear very flashy clothes, very colorful so that when they have to walk a long distance to get water or supplies they wear these clothes so that they can deflect the heat and also if they are lost they can be seen easily. Symbols are used to separate generations rather than used for letters.

Social Structure

Nymang have different views depending on the gender and the age of a person. The father/husband is supposed to lead the family. If the father has died or is away for some reason then the eldest son leads the family, but the women are never in charge. Adult men and women go to work on the farms early in the morning. When there is a wedding, the father and brother(s) of the girl chooses the husband. The bride has no say in who she wants to marry. Spouses are chosen according to the man's bravery, courage, and so on, because a brave man is at a high position.

Women are supposed to cook and feed the family. They shall care for children who are still too young to work. They also care for small animals and tend to their small vegetable garden if they have one.

Both boys and girls from the age of eight to twenty care for the cattle and other animals. When the rains come they all go to the high lands and camp with the cattle (and each other) for three months. A man can never marry a girl who he considers a friend. He can never touch the girl for fear of being disgraceful. If he does then he will need to be cleansed with a special ceremony led by the Kujur.

Elders are the wise and the old of the village. Some choose to become priests.

There are eight hills and each hill has a chief. The hills are called: Sallara, Tundia, Kallara, Kurmiti, Nitil, Kakara, and Fus. Hajar was the Sultan. A chief of a certain hill is responsible for that hill's residence. He is the one who will solve the problems of that hill. Higher above them is a chief who is the chief of all the hills.

Institutions

In a family the women don’t get much of a say in anything. It is always the men who make the decisions. The father/husband is in charge. If the father is away or is dead then his eldest son is in charge. He decides what is to happen when in crisis or when something is at hand.The Amma tribe’s religion depends. About 90% are Muslim, 8% are Christian, and 2% are other African religions.Children’s schooling is like normal government schooling. They wake up early morning and go to government school. They have no favorite subjects but learn all the same.

Economic Base

The preferable job that the Amma tribes like is agriculture. They like farming and building crops that they find quite valuable. If a member of their tribe goes to the city they prefer to be solders or join the police force and some become bakers.The Nymang like farming thats why they have numerous crops per person. They include cucumbers, nuts, corn, wheat, and sesame seeds.The Amma tribe measures wealth not by money or land, but by cattle and land. Someone who has more cattle than other is considered wealthier. Cattle and land for the Nymang is like a currency.Their tribe also has a balanced trading system: they trade cattle for seeds with other tribes. The seeds and the cattle must be balanced out. If the Amma tribe is short on cattle then the number of seeds they get while rise; it works in vice versa as well.

History

No one knows where their beliefs originated from or when they came to the Numba Mountains but as stated before the people believe they came from the sky because they saw footprints o the mountains and think that that was where their ancestors first landed on Earth.

Politics

Before 1917 during the war against the British, the Sultan Agabna led the Nymang against the colonial rulers. He lost the fight and was hanged in 1917. At that time the Nuba Mountains were ruled by Kujurs. All Kujurs were ruled by sultans but each hill had self-rule without too much interference from the sultan. In 1954, when Sudan prepared to get independence, Mekks (chiefs) were appointed for each hill. A Nazir was appointed as the ruler of the Mekks. The Sultan still kept his position, but was without power. Some famous Mekks were:Tamor Dura-Mekk of SallaraSallam Darfur-Mekk of KurmitiGaa Adin-Mekk of TundiaKhalita-Mekk of Nitil

Some other famous Nazir are:Kanda Krboos and Amina Dirdimma.The famous and politically involved person was Archbishop Philip. Abbas Gaboush was the late chairman of the Sudan National Party. Professor Alamin Hamouda Dabib is the current chairman of the Sudan National Party. General Ibrahim Nail Edam was a farmer but is now the late member of the Revolution Command Council.

References

  1. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.
  2. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 04 Oct. 2009.
  3. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.
  4. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.
  5. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.
  6. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.
  7. Idris, Mirghani Gabir. Personal interview. 28 Sept. 2009.

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