A Fascinating History of Ancient Nubian Wrestling


Prolly, you have come across the word ‘wrestle’ or you have seen people wrestling on Tv but you don’t know what wrestling means. Wrestling is a sport involving fighting, takedowns, locks, and other grappling techniques. The combat sport can either be sportive or competitive. The sport comes in various types such as freestyle, Greco-Roman, and others.


#1 The History of Wrestling

The sport combat represented one of the ancient forms of combat or fight. The origin of the sport dates back over 10000 years via the drawings of the caves. Egyptian and Babylonian reliefs display wrestlers employing most of the holds. In the Book of Genesis, Jacob wrestled with an angel. Indian epics Mahabharata and Ramayana have references to martial arts including the combat sport.


In old Greece, the sport occupied a special place in literature and was brutal in many ways. The ancient Romans copied Greek wrestling but removed its aspect of brutality. During the 5th-15th centuries, the sport remained popular and enjoyed the funding of rich families.


Novice wrestling prospered throughout the years of the N. American territories and served as a famous activity at celebrations. The combat sport has been an event at today’s Olympic Games.


#2 Ancient Greek Wrestling

The ancient Greeks practiced Greek wrestling, which was a grappling sport. A wrestler’s goal was to slam his rival to the ground from a standing point. A wrestler would score a point when a wrestler’s back touched the floor. A wrestler needed more than one point to successfully win a wrestling match. The Greeks restricted to hold only to the upper part of the body.


Every city in the region had a palaestra, a place for wrestling. Wrestlers competed without clothes or in the nude. The 2 ancient Greek wrestlers that people remember in the modern era were Leontiskos and Milo. During the time of Leontiskos, the wrestler won the Olympics after breaking the fingers of his rival. Milo won more than 3 Olympic championships.


#3 The Nuba Fighting

Nuba fighting refers to the customary sports of the Nuba people. It mainly involves wrestling. Just like ancient Greek wrestling, Nuba wrestling aimed to throw the rival to the ground. The Nuba fight has no submissions but has struck. Wrestling training is inclusive of practicing under the watch of former successful champions.


#4 Who are the Nubians?

Nubians are a group of people native to the area which is now Northern Sudan and the southern part of Egypt. They communicate using the Nubian language.

#5 Egyptian Portrayals of Nubian Wrestlers

The 1st portrayal of a Nubian wrestler is on a wall painting from the tomb of Tyanen. The picture displays more than 3 men marching together with the last man holding a standard with more than 1 wrestler on it. The 2nd illustration portraying the Nubians is in the rock tomb of one of Quen Nefertiti’s palace stewards.


The illustration shows a scene in which King Akhenaten is waiting to get a tribute at a festival. The people observe a wrestling match at the festival. The match occurred before the king and his court. Here, we observe a political aspect of the combat sport taking form in the account.


#6 Origin of Wrestling Amongst the Nuba People

According to oral tradition, it came from a strong desire to copy particular animals. They watched how the monkeys wrestled. The monkeys would rub their hands on the ground to pick up dirt that aided their hold or grip. This group of people copied this too to get a better hold on their rivals.


#7 Religious Aspect of Nuba Wrestling

The religious feature of the Nuba combat sport tied in with more than 2 ideas. The 1st one was that wrestling is in relation to ancestral worship. 2nd, wrestling is ins connection with fertility rights. Thirdly, the combat sport is a channel via which the members dramatized their beliefs.



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