Fayoumi, Bigawi, Qarafa and Old Egyptian

Discussion in 'General breed discussions & FAQ' started by Resolution, Jan 1, 2010.

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  1. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    FROM THE PEARL OF THE INDIAN OCEAN TO THE ERYTHRAEAN SEA AND BACK AGAIN
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    Please examine closely the location of the island Sri Lanka in relation to the Horn of Africa and the Erythreaen(Red)Sea.
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    BLUE STREAK DENOTES EGYPTIAN BIGAWI (BEJA) TRADE ROUTE AND TERRITORY-NOTE WIDEST END PROXIMITY WITH AL FAYYOM (FAYOUM OASIS)
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    Look for Lake Moeris in the insert map. This is the enormous lake that once covered most of the Fayoum Depression during ancient times.
    As the water table dropped this lake dried up leaving an ever wider barrier of thorn scrub and doum palm forest between the desert and the centre of the depression.



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    Search for El Fayum on the Nile River.
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    http://www.jstor.org/pss/3853489

    http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119867463/abstract?CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  2. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Long before dynastic days in Egypt, before the first civilization had sprung up along the Northern Nile Valley, ancient peoples moved along a migration route linking the Indian Sub-Continent with the Horn of Africa.

    The first inhabitants of the Nile River Valley lived in what is now termed Upper (Southern) Egypt, and Lower (Northern Eastern) Sudan. Archaeological texts describe these people as the Tasian Culture and Badarian A Group Culture respectively.

    These cultures founded the civilizations of Upper Egypt, Eastern Sudan, Eritrea (Abyssinia) all the way down to the Horn Africa.

    During Egyptian Dynastic days, the composite culture that emerged from the fusion of Tasians and Badarians, (which was often at odds with its sibling cultures in Ethiopia, Sudan and Egypt,) and their vast territories would come to be known as the Ta-Seti (Ta Sa'id) people that inhabited the Land of the Bow.

    Much later, during Greek and Roman times, the Ta-Sa'id would come to be known as the Troglodytae or 'Cave Dwellers'. This is akin to the term Berber, which comes from the Greek term for Barbarian. The Greeks were a bit much...
    At any rate, these Troglodytae lived then as their descendants do to this day, along the African coast of the Red Sea all the way down to Puntland along the northern shores of the Horn of Africa, in present day Puntland.
    The original inhabitants of Yemen in Southern Arabia are also descended from this East African stock- though it should be remembered that Yemen represents the literal bridge between the Indian Subcontinent and Northeastern Africa. Consequently, the Yemeni "Arab" is equal parts Brahman and equal parts East African. As a digression we could well go into a long discussion of their cattle culture but its late. Today, the modern tribes descended of Tasian and Badarian Cultures AKA Ta-Sa'id and Troglodytae are known as the Beja Peoples or Bejawi/Bigawi.
    The Afro-Asiatic language still spoken by the Bejawi/Bigawi peoples is called To-Bedawie. This language is essentially similar to Ancient Egyptian languages. The Ta-Sa'id culture would eventually give rise to the Sa'id culture of Upper Egypt. From the Sa'id we have uniquely Egyptian dialects of two languages, Sahidic Coptic and Sahidic Arabic.


    The "Troglodytae" of Egypt's Red Sea Hills (The Bigawi Bisharis) were identified by early religious scholars as the descendants of a woman name Keturah. Keturah in the Hebrew language means Incense. Myrrh and Frankincense (olibanum) were referred to as qetera in Arabia Felix (modern day Yemen). Keturah (not to be confused with Hagar) was one of the women that mothered children with the Old Testament patriarch Abraham. In Ancient Egyptian (language) Abrahm (Abraham) literally means "of Brahman" or more generally transcribed as ' Holy Seers from the Brahmanputra River'. This of course refers to the diaspora of Indus Valley peoples into Ur and westwards many thousands of years ago.

    The Troglodytae (Greek: Τρωγλοδῦται) or Troglodyti (literally "cave goers"), were a people mentioned in various locations by many ancient Greek and Roman geographers and historians including Agatharcides, Strabo, Diodorus Siculus, Pliny, Tacitus, Josephus, etc. The earlier references call them Trogodytes, which was evidently altered later by folk-etymology from Greek trōglē, cave. They were usually placed in the desert along the African side of the Red Sea coast, from Berenice Troglodytica southward as far as Somalia. They have been connected with the modern Afar of Eritrea and neighboring peoples, as well as with the Tuareg.
    Troglodytis in Flavius Josephus

    Flavius Josephus alludes to a place he calls Troglodytis while discussing the account in Genesis, that after the death of Sarah, Abraham married Keturah (not to be confused with Hagar) and fathered six sons who in turn fathered many more. "Now, for all these sons and grandsons, Abraham contrived to settle them in colonies; and they took possession of Troglodytis, and the country of Arabia Felix..."

    The Troglodytis Josephus refers to here is generally taken to mean both coasts of the Red Sea. However, Josephus goes on to state that the descendants of one of these grandsons, Epher, invaded Libya, and that the name of Africa was thus derived from that of Epher.

    According to the Hebrew Bible, Keturah or Ketura (Hebrew: קְטוּרָה, Modern Qətura Tiberian Qəṭûrāh ; "Incense") was the woman whom Abraham, the patriarch of the Israelites, married after the death of his wife, Sarah. Her nationality is unknown. Keturah bore Abraham six sons, Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah.

    What has this to do with chickens? These Tasian A Group Cultures of East Africa, hence forth to be described as Bejawi/Bigawi peoples, had been moving back and forth across the Arabian Peninsula (modern day Yemen and Oman) to what is now Pakistan and Western India since the very dawn of history. Bigawi peoples were trading extensively with Indus Valley Civilization- no later than ~3300 to 1300 BCE, and in turn, they traded their imported wares to the Northern Egyptians of the Delta (Lower Egypt) and on to the Mediterranean.
    The progenitors of the Egyptian Fayoumi were transported by the Bigawi/Bejawi people to Egypt sometime around 1550 B.C.E.

    Peoples native to the Indian Subcontinent including Sri Lanka held a great deal in common with their East African and Southern Arabian cousins.
    Please be reminded that this moment time took place literally thousands of years before the advent of Judaism and subsequently even more distant in time from the birth of Christianity.
    *It is easy for people to confuse the word Arabia with Islam because most Arabic speakers today are Muslims. Nevertheless, all you historians will recall that the emergence of Islamic religion is even more recent ~ 650 years after the birth of Christ.

    Arabian cultures were flourishing thousands of years ago and as mentioned above, Arabia Felix AKA Yemen was the physical crossroads between India, the Red Sea and the Horn of Africa.
    Millet, Sesame, Coffee, Myrrh and Frankincense was carried eastward to India. Cumin, Turmeric, Cinnamon, Black Pepper, Cloves and Citrus was carried westwards.​
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2010
  3. Mahonri

    Mahonri Urban Desert Chicken Enthusiast Premium Member

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  4. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

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    City of the Dead (Qarafa, Arafa) is a four mile long cemetery from northern to southern part of Cairo, Egypt. To the people of Cairo and other Egyptians, it is simply el'arafa which means "the cemetery". It is a bustling grid of tombs and mausoleums where people live and work amongst their dead and ancestors. Many residents live here to be near their loved ones, or because they were forced from more crowded areas in Cairo and 60s immigration from countryside. In fact many came from their villages simply looking for work — a good example of rural to urban migration in an LEDC. Its foundation dates back to the Arab conquest of Egypt in 642 AD. The Arab commander, Amr ibn al As, founded the first Egyptian Arab capital, the city of Al Fustat, and established his family’s graveyard at the foot of the hill al Moqattam. The other tribes buried their dead within the living quartiers. The following Arab dinasties built own political citadel northwards to the previous, founding a new graveyard every time. The Great Qarafa and the Lesser Qarafa (the commander’s family cemetery) have been inhabiting since the first centuries after the conquest. Its first resident nucleus consisted of the custodians to noble graves and the staff in charge of the burial service as well as the Sufi mystics in their khawaniq (colleges). During the Fatimid Caliphate, because of their Shi’ite faith, the sovereigns supported pilgrimages to Ahl al Bayt (Prophet’s family) shrines as part of their politics. These pilgrimages increased the cemetery’s habitat in order to provide pligrims’ needs. The following sultan, Salah el Din, in order to unify all the four capitals within a surrounding wall, included both cemeteries in an unique urban space. The next Mamluk rulers, originally freed slaves forming a military caste, founded a new graveyard named Sahara, because of its deserted environment, outside the city at its north-eastern border. It was also a place for military parades, such as tournaments and investiture ceremonies, as well as for processions, at which sultan and nobles took part during the religious celebrations. So that many of them built their palaces on the main road of the cemetery in order to assist to the spectacles. With the Ottomans (1517-1798) Egypt became just a mere province of a vaste empire with Istanbul as capital. During the following three centuries Egypt was ruled by pashas, sultan’s representatives, selected among his closest because of the importance of this country for agricultural and financial supplies. Because of the short term of the rulers’ office, only few of one hundred and ten pashas who administrated Egypt, decided to build own tomb there, on the contrary of Cairenes. At the beginning of the sixteenth century an urban and heterogeneous community, populated Al Qarafa. The economic improvements affected the urban territory of Cairo with the birth of new neighbourhoods which caused a reduction in the utilization of the old cemetery. However since the funerary monuments were symbols of self-glorification for the upper classes in order to perpetuate own memory, their tombs were garlanded with gilded decorations with festoons, based on nature, flowers and fruits. The necropolis, because as a site of extraordinary concentration of awalya’s tombs, Sufi colleges and madrasa, it attracted many people in search of baraka (blessing). during the following centuries Egyptian population empoverished more and more. The lower stratum of middle class collapsed and moved to other peripheral zones and the fellahin, the Egyptian peasants and farmers, emigrated to the capital. Both of them crowded the poorest fringe zones as well as the City of the Dead. The newcomers changed Al Qarafa’s face from an urban district to a hybrid community of rurals and citizens.

    These young chooks were photographed at the cemetery in Old Cairo at the base of the Moqattam Hills.
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    They're here and there- really just about everywhere- not in big groups mind you -but healthy flocks running about the City of the Dead- sleeping in mausoleums and in scrubby trees and refuse- between structures- there are feral dogs everywhere about and hungry children -but they survive- and have for centuries. No one I spoke with at the museum of agriculture in Cairo could recall where they came from or first arrived. But then chickens don't really matter to much to many people- they don't see any significance to distinct breeds- they sort of snort bout it- like flabbergasted school children. Either way, I learned that it's frowned on to chase them about in the City of the Dead, though eggs are readily taken. There are many thousands of people living in the cemetery- its just adjacent to the Coptic Quarter- Zebahlin -poor Christian street labourers They are unique looking-especially compared with all the modern utility breeds one sees in the bird markets and meat and egg vendors. I wouldn't call them Old Egyptians but rather Moqattam-Hills Egyptians or Qarafa as they are known in the Coptic Quarter. I don't know of any of these birds outside Egypt so it may be a mute point here- but one would hope Cairene BackYard Poultry aficionados will move to conserve a few flocks before they are mongrelized with all the commercial utility breeds one sees about Cairo.​
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2010
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  5. kathyinmo

    kathyinmo Nothing In Moderation

    Quote:I second that! I love the history lesson! [​IMG]
     
  6. Pheonix Rising

    Pheonix Rising Out Of The Brooder

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    If I did it right here is a picture of our Fayoumi.

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  7. Resolution

    Resolution Chillin' With My Peeps

    These are actually Bigawi or "Old Egyptians" . The major difference being the colour of hens and chicks and also the general size and temperament. Bigawi ( Old Egyptians) tend to be smaller and tamer though they can be quite batty as juveniles. They are darker than "Fayoumi" also called New Egyptian Fayoumi versus Old Egyptian Bigawi.
    The males are very similar to Fayoumi cocks but the hens and chicks are much darker being a deep chestnut and sepia colour. The Bigawi is the closest living relative of the ancestral stock that gave rise to Fayoumi and Campine. It is from Upper Egypt south of Aswan in the region surrounding Lake Nasser. The Bejawi people whom the chicken is named after once lived on the lands now beneath the great lake. They are also known as the A-Group Culture, the Badarian Culture and also as the Ta-Seti. One of the Bejawi ethnics from Upper Egypt are known as the Bishari tribal people. The term Bishari is derived of Ta-Seti meaning " The people of the bow ".

    To read more about Egyptian Fayoumi chickens and their origins go to:

    https://www.backyardchickens.com/forum/viewtopic.php?id=316739
     
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