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Nubian Ceremonial LifeStudies in Islamic Syncretism and Cultural Change$
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John G. Kennedy

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9789774249556

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774249556.001.0001

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Nubia: History and Religious Background

Nubia: History and Religious Background

(p.1) Chapter 1 Nubia: History and Religious Background
Nubian Ceremonial Life

John G. Kennedy

American University in Cairo Press

With the building of the High Dam at Aswan, Egypt generated a worldwide movement to save the ancient monuments of Nubia, but stimulated practically no effort to document the culture of the living Nubians. The goals of this study are to provide some insight into how Islam was practiced at the village level in Nubia as well as some understanding of how religion related to social process and of how it articulated with ceremonial practices that appear to be non-Islamic. The Nubians regarded themselves as strong Muslims, though they were converted to the Islamic faith relatively late in comparison with the Egyptians. The syncretism of Nubian ceremonial practices contains three major categories of customs and beliefs: Non-Islamic, Popular Islamic, and Orthodox Islamic. These categories are not simple classifications, but are recognized in practice among the Nubians themselves.

Keywords:   Nubia, Egyptians, Non-Islamic, Popular Islamic, Orthodox Islamic

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