We leave the Karima area to head towards Meroe via the Bayuda desert surrounded by sharp cone-shaped black basalt mountains and bounded by the loop formed by the Nile between the 4th and 6th Cataract. We met some Bisharin nomads who live in small huts built with dry wooden branches close to rare water wells in the desert. The desert has some low lands and wadi where grass and bushes grow and provide pasture for the herds of cattle and camels of these Bisharin people. The specific family we visited belongs to the Bisharin-Hasanya tribe. The men were out at work and we got to meet the women and children of the house.
Houses made of dry wooden branches
Dawa and her nephew Ali
17-year old Dawa with so much on her mind….
2-year old Ali
The women sitting around chatting inside the house
Umbala, Ali’s mother, has a baby under her shawl. These nomads believe that it is auspicious to hide their baby away from the public eye until they are at least a few months old.
It is a Sudanese tradition for married women to apply black henna to the soles of their feet, toes, and fingertips.
The sisters sharing a laugh
16-year old Thorya and her 17-year old sister Dawa
Auntie Zaneb here on a visit
Grandma Medina who is 95 is the matriarch of the family. What a story her face tells!
16-year old Thorya
Ali sitting on his parent’s bed
Children here love to peer into our car window and get their photos taken. All they want in return is to see their image on the screen of the camera.
Quick stop in Shendi to get some supplies for our long drive.
Boy selling henna at the local market
According to our guide, we are not allowed to take photos at the local markets (mandated by the government) but in more remote places outside of Khartoum, this rule is often not strictly enforced. The locals in the market actually love getting their photos taken and were practically lining up in front of us. Unlike in more touristy places like Egypt or Ethiopia, they do not ask for money in return. All they wanted was to see their image on the screen of the camera. They will give you a big smile and a thumbs up upon seeing their picture and carry on with whatever they were doing or wherever they were going.
I noticed there are no women in the market, only men and children.
Next post will be on the highlight of our trip: Meroe, the latter day capital of the ancient Kingdom of Kush and its numerous pyramids. Stay tuned!
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