Africa > Nubians
This specific picture of Nubia and the Nubians arose from the structure and
function of the Nubian society and its adaptation to the environment along the
shores of the Nile.
One cannot associate violence with this land and people. Nor were the more
subtle patterns of factionalism and hostility so evident here as they sometimes
are in village life elsewhere.
The fundamental impression of the nonviolent peaceful quality of Nubian life
can only be explained or made plausible if we understand what is called the
Nubian polity. Polity in this sense, involves economy and ecology, as well as
the kinship organization, and the values and attitudes associated with these
basic conditions of every-day life.
This necessity also influenced social relationships and interactions because
shares in property could not be sold but were bequeathed. Therefore, it would
be in the interest of an owner of part of a waterwheel and consequently to a
share of the crops irrigated by it, to acquire part of the land irrigated by
the waterwheel. He would try to achieve this by marrying off his son to the
daughter of the landowner; thus, the bride would bring a share of the land to
the bridegroom's family.
Since the Old Kingdom, texts tell us that in the Egyptian army, the Nubians were fighting side by side with the Egyptians. In the Middle Kindom, we find the Nubians represented in military formation, as seen here on this model, a replica of a wooden one found in a tomb of Asyut, and now on display in the Cairo Museum – 11th dynasty.