Warriors of the Ababda. Guerriers Ababdeh. 

Ababda, Warriors, Ababdeh, Guerriers, Ababdeh, Sudan, Tribe, Nomads,
Warriors of the Ababda. Guerriers Ababdeh. 

Warriors of the Ababda with spears. Guerriers Ababdeh.   

Guerriers Ababdeh.

Source: Auteur du Monde Souvenirs de Voyages, Paris, 1895. Éditeur: L. Boulanger.

The Ababda or Ababde (عبابدة) are mostly a nomadic tribe of the Bedouins of Upper Egypt, a subgroup of the Beja; some still speak Beja, the language of the Cushitic subgroup, while others speak Arabic

They live in the eastern desert of Upper Egypt between Nile at Aswan to the Red Sea, and live north of the Kena-Kossier route, thus occupying the southern edge of Egypt east of the Nile including Gebel Elba National Park, and in Nubia in northern Sudan. They call each other “sons of the Jinns”. Together with some of the Bisharin clans and possibly with the Hadendoa, they represent the Blemians of the classical geographers, and their present location is almost identical with that assigned to them in Ancient Roman times.

They feel most closely related to the Bisharin. Their language is the Bedja language (Bedawi), but they also use the Arabic language. A traditional and often used musical instrument of the Ababde is the five-stringed tanbura.

The Ababda are said to be descendants of the ancient Troglodytes and Blemmyers. They used to work as caravan leaders, among other things. Many of them served with the Anglo-Egyptian troops during the Mahdi uprising (1881-1899). The number of Ababda was estimated at about 40,000 around 1888, current figures are not known.

In the course of the last decades, the eastern desert has become drier and drier, i.e. the few known springs, especially in the mountains, are drying up or have dried up for the most part. As a result, living conditions for the Ababda have deteriorated to such an extent that the government has advised them to settle in the Nile Valley. Some of them then settled permanently in the Nile Valley.

Illustration, damasks, ornament


Note:  Zouave soldier from Algeria, ca. 1900. French infantry. Elite troops.

Leave a Reply

Auguste Racinet. The Costume History by Françoise Tétart-Vittu.

Racinet's Costume History is an invaluable reference for students, designers, artists, illustrators, and historians; and a rich source of inspiration for anyone with an interest in clothing and style. Originally published in France between 1876 and 1888, Auguste Racinet’s Le Costume historique was in its day the most wide-ranging and incisive study of clothing ever attempted.

Covering the world history of costume, dress, and style from antiquity through to the end of the 19th century, the six volume work remains completely unique in its scope and detail. “Some books just scream out to be bought; this is one of them.” ― Vogue.com

The Fabric of Civilization: How Textiles Made the World Paperback – December 7, 2021
by Virginia Postrel (Author)

From Neanderthal string to 3D knitting, an “expansive” global history that highlights “how textiles truly changed the world” (Wall Street Journal)

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

Fashionpedia - The Visual Dictionary Of Fashion Design

FASHIONPEDIA is a visual fashion dictionary covering all the technical terms from style to material to production with illustrations and infographics. It encompasses rich, extensive information and yet is easy to read. Whether you are an industry insider or a fashion connoisseur, FASHIONPEDIA is all you will ever need to navigate the fashion scene.

Textilepedia. The Complete Fabric Guide.

The Textile Manual is an encyclopaedia of textile information, from material to yarn, from fabric structure to the finishing process. Encompassing practical tips for a range of textiles and detailed visuals, this ultra-accessible manual is the perfect companion for fashion aficionados and aspiring fashion designers.


Couture: then and now Clothes define people. A person's clothing, whether it's a sari, kimono, or business suit, is an essential key to his or her culture, class, personality, or even religion. The Kyoto Costume Institute recognizes the importance of understanding clothing sociologically, historically, and artistically.