The Nubian Village in Egypt

What is the Nubian Village in Egypt?

On the West Bank of the Nile, near the town of Aswan, are the most colorful and enjoyable towns in the country. The Nubian village in Egypt is all painted in the colors of the rainbow. The amicable Nubians migrated from Sudan around 8000 years ago to begin farming along the Nile, which is why they have a darker complexion. They require their own distinct language, which they never teach to outsiders.

Visiting the Nubian Village in Egypt might be an excellent half-day excursion. In Egypt, there are several colorful Nubian villages. The one that is famous among both residents and tourists is 45 minutes by boat from the beautiful Aswan. Try to spend roughly 2 hours strolling about the village and 3 hours including lunch. A visit to a Nubian hamlet should be on your Egypt itinerary.

Nubian Village at Aswan

Who are the Nubians?

The Nubians are one of the friendliest communities in Egypt, if not the world, having originated in southern Egypt and northern Sudan and peacefully settled around the Nile River. Every year, hundreds of guests come to enjoy their land and residences. The “Nubian Village” is located in the city of Gharb Soheil in the Egyptian province of Aswan. Aswan is situated about 860 km (350 miles) south of Cairo and is known for hosting some of Egypt’s most ancient monuments.

This little community is more than meets the eye. It’s a preserved isle from one of history’s earliest civilizations. Nubians have not only preserved their old customs, but also their language, which is exclusively spoken and without an official alphabet. 

Nubian Village at Aswan

Women in the Nubian Village

Nubian women are hanging out in front of the house in the Nubian village
gina monica butoi, CC BY 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Nubian women have a very proud background, and they may be the reason that Nubian culture is still alive today. They like displaying their crafts and selling traditional foods. They still dress in traditional attire and produce Nubian jewelry to wear and sell to visitors. They are the Nubian women who ensure the survival of their culture by telling their children ancient Nubian tales and legends, teaching them traditional Nubian dances and music, and marrying within their own community. 

The NILE CROCODILE IN NUBIAN VILLAGE

Nile crocodiles are big, very violent African freshwater carnivores that are feared over most of their habitat. Every year, they swallow hundreds of human victims. People, with the exception of the Nubians, attempt to avoid them.

As you go around Nubaa, as it’s known locally, you’ll notice that everything has a deeper meaning. The town is densely packed with geometric structures.

Crocodiles are another distinctive element of Aswan’s Nubian Village. That’s correct. Historically, huge reptiles were kept as pets to keep invaders at bay… They are still used in households today, but mostly to entertain visitors. Along the way, we discovered that residents used to cover the entrance to their homes with flattened sand to check for signs of snakes and other creatures entering the house! Continue reading to find out where you may go to view a crocodile in the Nubian Village.

Ancient Egyptian beliefs continue to have an impact on Nubians. They believed that hanging a crocodile body over a home door would protect its inhabitants from the evil eye, which is why you’ll undoubtedly see crocodile mummified bodies all over the village’s doorways. Fish guys hunt crocodiles, load them with straw, and put them on their houses. They even draw crocodiles everywhere and may put one or two in a cage for tourists to photograph. The Nile crocodile was worshipped as an evil, envy, and war deity named Sobek during the reign of the pharaohs, which is why Nubians mummified the crocodile to avert evil and accepted it as a custom.

The residents of this Nubian village have learned how to nurture the massive reptiles from hatching, feed them properly, and enable tourists to take photos with them. A well-known tourist destination has created a fascinating new strategy.

Stop by whenever you like; the nice family inside will greet you, let you play with their pet crocodiles (some of which are taller than you and me), and give you tea. The implicit agreement here is that you must tip the homeowner. Nothing fancy, just a small gift of gratitude for your stay.

Nubian Music and dancing

Nubian Wedding
A Nubian wedding-Photo by: Hossam el-Hamalawy, CC BY 2.0, Flickr

The singing and dancing that took place as part of the lengthy ceremonies was an integral feature of traditional Nubian wedding celebrations. Those traditions, however, have been eroding as the customs of Old Nubia—prior to the closure of the Aswan High Dam—have become a distant memory. The name of the Nubian song is “Aragid”. Aragid Music is distinguished by two distinct styles:

1. The Ollin Aragid, also known as the “clapping dance.” It was one of the customary dances during Nubian weddings. Because there was a restricted number of individuals who could participate, the dances were usually brief—10 to 15 minutes.

2-Firry Aragid, a considerably longer wedding dance. The men and musicians formed a long line in front of the ladies, who would dance in another long line.
Elderly ladies from both families engaged in the wedding would dance in the area between the two lines, but at a quicker speed than the clapping dance.

Nubian wedding music and dancing had already evolved significantly from how it had been done in Old Nubia. Contemporary Arabic music had taken the role of praise songs for the bride’s and groom’s families.

In addition, additional Arabic phrases were being included into the songs, which also addressed current issues such as the construction of the High Dam, relocation, and maybe even criticisms against Egyptian national leaders.

However, the traditional dances, the Ollin Aragid and the Firry Aragid, were being phased out because the steps had grown too difficult. Only crude attempts were made to dance to them. Nubians liked group dances with quicker tempos and a concentration on young, marriageable ladies during weddings.

How Do I Get There?

The villages are only a few minutes’ drive from Aswan’s downtown, and you may get there by riding a Nile small boat or a felucca. It is not difficult at all. If you visit the Nubian villages with Egyptiva, we will arrange for all of your transport to the chosen location. Another option is to take a speedboat across the Nile, which should take no more than 40 minutes depending on your location. While sailing to Nubia, you may enjoy the gorgeous sunset, fresh air, and views of the Nile. When the gorgeous village begins to show in the water, you’ve arrived at the start of your amazing trip, where you may buy spices, souvenirs, and food.

Motor boats in the dock of Nubian Village
Alberto-g-rovi, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Verity Cridland, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

WHAT SHOULD I DO THERE?

Yes, go for a stroll. You must immerse yourself in this small community, and the only way to do so is to venture out on your own. Spend a few hours strolling about and checking out the graffiti on all the houses and structures. The bustling market sells everything from spices to freshly roasted nuts, souvenirs, toys, Nubian dolls, and clothing.

If you Choose to explore the Nubian villages with Egyptiva, we are able to make it a changing life experience. 

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