Sudan, Republic of (Arab. Jamhuryat es-Sudan)
- Artur Simon
(Arab. Jamhuryat es-Sudan)
Country in north-east Africa. The largest country on the continent, it has an area of 2,505,813 km² and a population of 29.82 million (2000 estimate). Approximately 70% of Sudanese are Sudan Arabs, 10% are Nubian, and 20% are Southerners belonging to numerous Nilotic and Bantu ethnic groups such as the Dinka, Shilluk (Colo), Nuer and Azande (Zande). These southern ethnic groups practise traditional religions or Christianity, while most other Sudanese are Sunni Muslim.
Popular Islamic customs and orders include song and music as an integral component of religious life and ceremonies. A distinctive musical practice has evolved out of local traditions over the centuries, resulting in solo songs such as qaṣīda and madīḥ, and in collective performances such as ḏikr. The motivating force of this development was Sufism. The ḏikr is a part of a larger ceremonial in the northern Sudan called lailiya (evening session, the meeting on Thursday evening), ...