Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


This paper offers an in depth study of an insular, seminomadic ethnic group populating a remote corner of the northeastern part of the Sudan. The first section of this paper offers a general overview of the major town around which this group has recently begun to settle. The second part is a examination of this ethnic group's contacts with the outside world during the past several thousand years.

The third section of this paper is an assessment of the ethnic group's condition as of early 1981. This is followed by an explanation of the program approach and activities for the urban community development program that I was responsible for during the following two years.

The phenomenon of change is viewed throughout the world with varying degrees of suspicion and acceptance by differing cultures. This thesis will address the unintentional misunderstandings, varying expectations, and changes that have resulted from the clash of various cultures in the northeastern part of the Sudan. The primary focus of this paper is on the Beja ethnic group, a seminomadic, warriorlike people that have recently begun in large numbers to accept a sedentary existence.

Traditionally a fiercely independent, proudly insular people, the Beja are now more than ever under pressure to alter their lifestyle in order to survive. The painful, but ultimately profitable cultural examination they have begun, is difficult for many. Values, beliefs and tribal relationships that have bolstered the Beja for four millennium now find themselves subject to critical analysis.


African Languages and Societies | Place and Environment | Sociology of Culture