What does the Egyptians nickname for the Nubians (Land of the Bow) tell us about Nubian culture?
The Nubians are Sunni Muslims who believe in one God and his Prophet Mohammed, in the angels created by God, in the prophets through whom his revelations were brought to humankind, in the Day of Judgment and individual accountability for actions, in God s complete authority over human destiny, and in life after death. They also follow the Ibadat, or practicing framework of the Muslim's life: the Five Pillars. In Nubia this process of intermingling is expressed in the animism that is predominant along the Nile and in the activities of the local shuyukh (sing. shaykh ), who regulate daily concerns about health, fertility, and marriage. The latter have completely disappeared from the Nubian culture given that the crop that was celebrated, palm dates, is no longer cultivated because of environmental changes in the new settlements. The art forms in old Nubia are divided into three categories: utilitarian, decorative, and symbolic. The utilitarian arts included the making of plates, mats, fans, and jars from material available in the environment, such as straw and clay. Women practiced this art form. Bright colors distinguished the Nubian form from other Egyptian or Sudanese plates or jars. After resettlement, this art form disappeared because the utensils are available in the market. The decorative art included mainly bead necklaces and bracelets. Grooms and brides used these ornaments to decorate themselves. Since resettlement, modern decorative jewelry, including silver and gold, has replaced these items. Women traditionally made the bead necklaces, and today a commercial version of these necklaces is sold in the marketPrior to resettlement, government medical care was almost nonexistant in old Nubia. Today, in Egyptian Nubia, there are small clinics and health units that provide both in-patient and out-patient services. In Nasr town, in Aswan, there is a hospital. Nubian traditions with regard to death follow Islamic teaching. At death, a Muslim's body must be washed, dressed, wrapped in white cloth, and buried appropriately (the face pointing toward Mecca) before the first sunset.