Rashida woman, Eritrea
“The Rashida are descendants of 19th-century immigrants from Saudi Arabia presently occupying the area centered around Kassala in Sudan, though occasionally traveling through the Eastern Desert to Shalateen. They usher large herds of camel from Sudan through the inhospitable terrain to sell them at Shalateen’s camel market, where traders from all over Egypt bargain for camel deals. They are an interesting people, and don’t really comply with the rules of a normal citizenship; relocating from place to place and trading in absolutely everything; buying and selling locally made handicrafts such as jewelry, knives, and swords.
As in other Arab tribal traditions, the women consider their mouth to be one of their private parts, and always have it covered, as well as most of their body, even in 40+ degree heat. They wear colorful fabrics and craft many things out of beads such as wall hangings, veils and jewels. Women of the Rashida tribe make the silver jewelry.
In wedding celebrations men show off their warrior skills, staging sword fights. Tribesmen cheer around the two dueling swordsmen, waiting for their turn. The swordsmen dual fearlessly, clashing their swords in blazing speed while kicking dirt at their opponent’s face. In another part of the camp sheep and goats are slaughtered for the feast.
They love to have their picture taken and often crowd around for a photo.”
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