NUBIA

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NUBIA ; an extensive country of Africa, bordering on the Red sea to the east, Nigntia (q. v.) to the west, Abyssinia on the south, and Egypt on the north. It lies between north latitude 13° and 24°, and east longitude 28° and 39°, containing a superficial area of about 360,000 square miles, and divided into a great number of kingdoms, of which the principal are Sennaar and Dongola. It is intersected by the Nile (q. v.), which here receives the Tacazze, and forms the celebrated peninsula ofMeroe. (See Meroe.) In the northern part of the country there are extensive deserts, in which roam nomadic tribes, who lie in wait for the caravans. The valley of the Nile contains the largest part of the population, and is fertile. The climate in general is excessively hot, but in the eastern parts is more moderate. Among the animals are elephants, horses, camels, civetcats, giraifes, lions, tigers, hyaenas, hippopotamuses, crocodiles, ostriches. Senna leaves, ebony, sandalwood, bamboo, gum, corn, tobacco, sugar, rice, tef (a kind of millet, used for making bread), &c, are among the vegetable productions. Gold is found in mines, and in the river sands. The principal article of traffic is slaves, which are imported from the central parts of Africa to the number of about 5000 annually, and exported chiefly to Arabia and Egypt. Dates, gums and ostrich feathers are also exported. The population is small in proportion to the extent of the country: it is chiefly composed of tribes of Arabian descent. The Nubians are perfectly black, and have the thick lips, but not the flat nose, nor the prominent jaws, of the negro race. They are well made, and have a pleasing expression of countenance; they are temperate, but not very industrious. They are chiefly Mohammedans. Only the northei*n part of the country and the coast of Habesh, or New Arabia, is subject to the Turks. The separate kingdoms are governed by independent chiefs, called malek. (See Sennaar.) Nubia is the northern part of the Ethiopia of the ancients, who placed in it the Nobates, the Blemmyes, the Troglodytes, and other tribes. Mohammed Ali (q. v.) sent an expedition to Nubia under his son Ismael, in 1821, for the purpose of discovering gold mines, destroying the remnants of the mamelukes, and procuring a supply of negroes. This force penetrated as far as ten degrees north, but was then forced to retreat. Caillaud (q. v.), who accompanied the expedition, has written an account of the country.See Burckhard's Travels in JYubia; Gau's Newly Discovered Monuments of Abyssinia; Riffaud's Voyage, &c. (5 vols., with 300 plates, Paris, 1831).