Egypt’s Nubians Tame Crocodiles for Selfie-Snapping Tourist.

Nubians Tame Crocodiles for Selfie-Snapping Tourist.
Nubians Tame Crocodiles for Selfie-Snapping Tourist.

In Egypt, especially amongst the Nubians, they not only tame crocodiles but also use them as a source of income. Visitors from all over the continent pay to marvel and take shots with these tamed creatures. However, apart from bringing the foreign dollar, these creatures play a cultural role in this ethnic group. This history dates back to pharaonic times and has a unique language. Formerly the Nubians resided along the banks of the Nile in Southern Egypt with its heritage extending into Northern Sudan.

In a Nubian village near Aswan by the name Gharb Soheil, mummified crocodile heads still adorn the entrance of the traditional white and blue-domed shaped homes. According to the Nubian belief, crocodiles signifies a critical physical totem of blessings. In Gharb Soheil, a stuffed crocodile at the entrance indicates that the homeowner keeps the giant reptiles as pets.

 History of the Nubians.

In this village, outside a homestead, Rajab gently rubs a two-meter old crocodile that is seventeen years of age. He has raised this reptile since it was born. He explains it by expressing joy and a sense of pride in what it has become.

“she lives on meat, chicken, and fish,” he adds.

During the time of President Gamal Abdel Nasser, the building of the Aswan High Dam created an artificial reservoir over traditional Nubian lands. In 1964, when Lake Nasser began filling, almost forty-four Nubian villages were displaced and flooded. While the Nile’s crocodiles benefited from the new locale, Nasser failed to fulfill his promise to compensate Nubians with new terrestrial sufficiently.

The displacement of fifty thousand Nubians happened and they moved to villages north of the dam, on the west bank of the Nile near Kom Ombo and Aswan — a narrow strip of land with limited space for agriculture. After that, Nubians have claimed the return of their grounds and have kept their culture by modernizing their traditions. Keeping crocodiles as pets became a means to boost incomes and promote their heritage. Rajab learned to domesticate crocodiles from his father while his father learned from his forefathers.

Crocodiles for Pets.

Twenty years later, a man by the name Hassan cultivated a keen sense for when and where wild crocodile eggs will hatch. Female crocodiles commonly lay their eggs along the banks of Lake Nasser. Here Hassan waits for the baby reptiles to surface before carrying them home.

“The crocodile’s nature of aggressiveness is tempered by growing up in a home with a family and being cared for,” he said.

A crocodile by the Francesca is the flaunt of the show in the village, we were informed. An Italian tourist who enjoyed her sunny personality named her so. Afterward, Hassan decided to keep the name. Visitors take selfies with the lounging beasts, while the villagers delight the tourists with Nubian folk tales about their culture and crocodiles. One of the tourists, Hany, from Cairo, could not seem to get over the spectacle of Hassan opening the crocodiles’ mouths wide with his bare hands, this amused her.

The Nile for the Nubian represents life.

To date, Nubians maintain the tradition of keeping and valuing crocodiles, one that remains true to a centuries-old technique.

“We are absolutely aware of the value of crocodile leather; however, we do not sell it… we cherish it,” Hassan added.

When a crocodile dies, Nubian`s skin them from their guts and fill them with straw or sawdust. The Nile for the Nubians signifies life and everything that lives in it they consider as angels.



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