Nara people

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This article is about the ethnic group that lives in Eritrea. For the Manchu clan, see Clan Nara. For people from Nara, see Nara (disambiguation).
Nara
Total population
108,000[1]
Regions with significant populations
Eritrea
Languages
Nara
Religion
Islam, Christianity, traditional
Related ethnic groups
Kunama, other Nilotic peoples

The Nara are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting Eritrea.

Overview[edit]

According to the Eritrean government, the Nara are descendants of the first Nilo-Saharan settlers in Eritrea, who had migrated from the Upper Nile area and intermarried with local Pygmy populations.[2]

Today, the Nara number around 108,000 individuals.[1] They are typically agrarian and have settled primarily along the border with Sudan.[3]

The Nara population is divided into four subtribes: the Higir, Mogareb, Koyta and Santora.[1] They traditionally adhered to animist beliefs, but most have since adopted Islam and a minority also follow Christianity.[4]

The Nara ethnonym means "Sky Heaven".[4] They also used to call themselves the Barya.[5]

Language[edit]

The Nara people speak the Nara language. It belongs to the Nilo-Saharan family, and is closely related to Kunama.[1]

The language is also known as Nara-Bana, meaning "Nara-Talk".[4]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Nara". Ethnologue. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  2. ^ "The people of Eritrea". Ministry of Information, Eritrea. Retrieved 20 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Killion, Tom (1998). Historical Dictionary of Eritrea. ISBN 0-8108-3437-5. 
  4. ^ a b c "Eritrea: Nara People's History". Retrieved 2010-02-09. 
  5. ^ Cavalli-Sforza, L. Luca; Menozzi, Paolo; and Piazza Alberto The History and Geography of Human Genes Princeton, New Jersey: 1994 Princeton University Press "Ethiopians, Some of Their Neighbors, and North Africans" Page 173