05 May 2007

The Hungarian tribes of Africa...

In 1935, Hungarian Laszlo Almasy encountered a tribe in living along Nile in Egypt and Sudan who called themselves Magyarab and claimed Hungarian ancestry.

According to the Magyarabs - a word that means the tribe of Magyars in Nubian - a unit of Hungarians in the Ottoman army was fighting in southern Egypt, in the 16th Century. Some or all of the unit remained and intermarried with local women. The Magyarabs now have a Middle Eastern appearance and no longer speak the Hungarian but they still take great pride in their ancestry. Their leader, Ibrahim el-Magyar is highly respected amongst the Madjarabs even today.

A few days ago the Africa Research Institute (ARI) in Geneva announced that it had found an what is possibly an offshoot of the Magyarabs – this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A team led by anthropologist Gabor Varga discovered the Madjari in tiny village called Halitu in the north-western region of the country. The tribe had lived in a completely secluded area and rarely moved out of its well protected village according to Dr. Varga.

EDIT: Sadly the news about the Congo Magyarabs  was subsequently shown to be a hoax. I still find the idea of a Hungarian descendant tribe in Egypt and Sudan quite fascinating though.

Until mid week I had never heard of the Magyarabs (or Madjarabs). I can thank Redwine for drawing my attention to their existence. Now to see if a link can be demonstrated between the residents of Liqian and the Roman Empire.


17 comments:

elasticwaistbandlady said...

With the advent of complex DNA testing, they've found an African tribe that practices Judaism and has the genetic makeup to prove that they are indeed descended from Jews. Interesting stuff.

Papi just found out this week that his family members he always assumed immigrated to Mexico from Italy in the early 1900's, was actually SWEDISH! I told Papi that he is no longer my Sexi Mexi. He's now my Swedish Meatball. I then demanded a houseful of new furnishings from IKEA, and a blue Volvo sedan.

Steve Bates said...

Now jams, that post is strictly from Hungary. <grin_duck_run />

jams o donnell said...

It's fascinating stuff indeed EWBL.. I've not heard of that group, I would be interested in more information on them.

Ah so Papi is swedinh??? Ah I will know that your transformatio will be complete once you go beyong volvos and IKEA and into fermented Herring..Go on you know you want to!

Gah Steve.. so quiet you can hear a pun drop!

Steve Bates said...

How about that, EWBL... members of A tribe who are also members of THE tribe. I had read of that before. I wonder when stories like that one and the one jams tells here will lead us to realize just how interrelated we all are as a species.

I'd love to hear some of that Madjari ritual music. Musical "cross-pollination" often results in a very satisfying musical hybrid; think of Afro-Cuban music for example.

jams o donnell said...

interrelated, Steve.. That we are, just one large extended family

imnakoya said...

Interesting and informative. Thanks for sharing

jams o donnell said...

Glad you liked it imnakoya

Anonymous said...

hi iam zyad
i am from egypt and iam one of them
and the mother of my grand mother had a blue eye

jams o donnell said...

Hi Ziyad. Thanks for your comment!

Anonymous said...

Sorry Ziyad, original Hungarians are not blue eyed. I would say you got Slavic origin perhaps. Among the Hungarians stolen by the Ottomans, were Croats and Slovenes in smaller numbers as well.
The article should say the Hungarians fighting for the Ottomans were pressed, as it was the custom of the Ottoman empire to capture males from subjugated areas and press them into military service. This way it sounds like they volunteered, which was never the case. This story is well known in Hungary by the way, from long time back. We knew of the Nile Magyars, but the Congo ones are news for sure. Traditional Hungarian music uses Asian scale and the melodies are reminiscent of Central Asia. Would be nice to hear the one from the Congo.

Anonymous said...

> A few days ago the Africa Research Institute (ARI) in Geneva announced that it had found an what is possibly an offshoot of the Magyarabs – this time in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

You do understand that this is bullshit?

Anonymous said...

You do understand that that Congo thing is a hoax?

You really really should update this blog entry.

jams o donnell said...

Thanks Anonymous. This is an old post which I had not revisited.

Anonymous said...

So good topic really i like any post talking about Ancient Egypt but i want to say thing to u Ancient Egypt not that only ... you can see in Ancient Egypt Ancient Egyptian Gods and more , you shall search in Google and Wikipedia about that .... thanks a gain ,,,

Anonymous said...

http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyarabok

Anonymous said...

http://hu.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyarabok

Anonymous said...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magyarab_people