There are some places that will have you craving for vibrancy; some others that give you a dash of colour occasionally. At the Nubian Villages in Egypt, you are greeted with the abundance of hues. The place is not randomly slashed in paint, but in fact, holds meaning to the patterns and the colours.
Historically, Nubians from Southern Egypt and North Sudan settled along the banks of the Nile to farm. They were also known to be skilled archers.
The Nubian villages in Aswan are still flanked on the river. They are treasuries of some of Egypt’s oldest ancient ruins. Residents of the villages are known to be extremely friendly and hospitable. They have their own customs and traditions, and speak their own language called Nuba. The latter is sacred to the community and thus, not taught to any outsider. They have kept their culture alive through generations.
Vividly painted houses of mud dot the villages. You can interact with a welcoming Nubian family and understand their lifestyle personally. Most tourists are taken to the Gharb Soheil Nubian village. Owing to this, many traditional homes have been transformed into guest houses.
There is much to do in this village. First, you must walk around and soak in the beautiful shades of colour and the art stroked along the walls. You could also indulge in shopping at the local market—roasted nuts, trinkets, Nubian dolls, clothing and souvenirs are up for grabs. If walking isn’t your style, you can try the camel ride through the market instead.
Crocodiles are an important part of the Nubian culture as a totem of blessings. They were once even used to guard residences. Now, they have become a tourist attraction in themselves. Various locals have domesticated these reptilian predators as tourists from far and wide come to view them. When they pass over, they are skinned and mummified as well. A mummified crocodile hung above the door of a house indicates that the owner has domestic ones that you can view. The aggressive nature of the creature has been modified with care by the owners. These crocodiles play a very significant role in the supplementary income of the Nubians.
For those who wish to unwrap the history of the Nubians, the Nubian Museum in Aswan is a good place to start. The structure was built under the UNESCO International Campaign for the Establishment of the Nubia Museum in Aswan and the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo. The museum flaunts 3,000 artifacts related to Nubian history and culture. You can notice the evolution of the Nubian culture from its past history to this day. Even the architecture of the museum was done keeping in mind the traditions. In 2001, the museum was a winner of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture.
You will be taken from Aswan to the Nubian villages by either a felucca or a modern boat, depending on the weather conditions. This ride will give you impeccable views of the Nile and of course also a panoramic postcard image of the villages.