Tunjur people

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The Tunjur, or Tungur, are a Muslim people estimated around 176,000 people, living mainly in central Darfur, a province of Sudan. They are farmers and live closely associated with the Fur, even if differently from these they speak Arabic as their native language.

Like the Fur and the Zaghawa, since the start of the Darfur conflict in February 2003, many Tunjur have been displaced and some killed. A number of Tunjur have taken part in the fight against the Sudanese government, under the banners of the Sudan Liberation Movement (SLM).


The Tunjur were the ruling class of Darfur and Wadai. According to their traditions they are descendants of the Banu Hilal who migrated from Arabia to the Central Sudan either by way of North Africa and Tunis or by way of Nubia. In fact, as Nachtigal observed they resemble in features and behaviour the Arabs.[1]

In Darfur they vanquished the Daju and they were later in turn defeated by the Keira. Their overthrow by the Keira which took place about 1600 AD is couched in a colourful legend. Shau Dorshid, the last ruler of the Tunjur, was “driven out by his own people because he compelled his subjects to dig wells in the high rocky regions and to undertake the ardeous und useless task of levelling the Mail mountain peak, on the summit of which he wanted to establish his residence" [2] His capital is said to have been the site of Ain Farah.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Nachtigal/Fisher, Sahara, II, 257/ III, 13.
  2. ^ Nachtigal/Fisher, Sahara, III, 361/IV, 276.
  • Arkell, A. J., "A History of Darfur. Part II: The Tunjur etc.", Sudan Notes and Records, 32, 2 (1951), 207-238.
  • Balfour Paul, H. G. 1955. History and Antiquities of Darfur. Khartoum, Sudan Antiquities Service.
  • Braukämper, Ulrich: Migration und ethnischer Wandel, Stuttgart, 1992.
  • Fuchs, Peter: "The Arab origin of the Tunjur, in: A. Rouand (Hg.), Les orientalistes sont des aventuriers, Saint-Maur, 1999, 235-9.
  • Lange, Dierk: “Abwanderung der assyrischen tamkāru nach Nubien, Darfur und ins Tschadseegebiet“, in: Bronislaw Nowak et al. (eds.), Europejczycy Afrykanie Inni: Studia ofiarowane Profesorowi Michalowi Tymowskiemu, Warzawa 2011, 199-226.
  • Nachtigal, G. transl. H. Fisher, Sahara and Sudan, vol. IV (vol. III, 1889), London 1971.
  • O'Fahey, R. S., The Darfur Sultanate: A History, London 2008.