THE NARA OF ERITREA

THE NARA OF ERITREA

An ethnic group called the Nara lives in southwest Eritrea. The four subtribes of the civilization are all traditionally animist. Most of them are subsistence farmers.

Overview

The original Nilo-Saharan settlers in Eritrea, who arrived from the Upper Nile region and intermarried with the local Pygmy people, are said to be the ancestors of the Nara, according to the Eritrean government. There are approximately 108,000 Nara living today. They make up about 1.5% of Eritrea’s total population. They have mainly lived along the Sudanese border and are largely agrarian. The Nara make up roughly 1.5% of the Eritrean population, and they live in the western Barka Plains, north of the Kunama. The Higir, Mogareb, Koyta, and Santora are the four subtribes that make up the Nara population. They had historically held animist ideas. The majority of Nara converted to Islam following the Egyptian colonization in the 19th century. A small portion of people practice Christianity.

Language

The Nara language is used by the Nara people. Numerous Nara are also trilingual in Tigre and/or Arabic as a result of interactions with nearby Afroasiatic-speaking groups. The few works of literature that still remain in Nara were written using either the Tigre or Arabic writing systems because they historically lacked a written language The term “Nara-Talk” is also used to refer to the language, Nara-Bana

Social structure

The Nara people live in villages and hamlets and have a social structure centered on clans and subclans. Unlike the Kunama people, who follow a matrilineal system, this one is patrilineal. The clan owns land, which is distributed among its families.

Genetics

Trombetta et al. (2015) estimate that 60% of Nara are E1b1b paternal haplogroup carriers. Around 13% of individuals have the V32 subclade, which accounts for 60% of Eritrean speakers of the Tigre Semitic language. This suggests that there was significant gene flow into the ancestral population of the Nara from nearby Afro-Asiatic-speaking males. Cruciani et al. (2010) also noted that the remaining Nara people mainly carry the haplogroup J (20%), which is related with Afro-Asia, as well as the A lineage (20%), which is quite frequent among Nilotes.

 

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