Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Soudan, or SUDAN (Arabic "Blacks"), is a somewhat vague geographical term used by Arabs to designate the habitat of the Negro tribes of Africa, and adopted by European writers without specific definition. Roughly speaking, the district thus named lies between 5° and 18° N. lat., and stretches from Cape Verd to Massowah, haying the Sahara to its N., Guinea and the Congo territories to its S. The area considerably exceeds two millions of square miles, and presents marked physical contrasts with the northern and southern portions of the continent, being elevated, well-watered, fertile, and habitable. It is divided into the Western Soudan, comprising the Niger basin, the Central Soudan, which is drained into Lake Tchad, and the Eastern or Egyptian Soudan, which sends its waters into the Nile and its feeders. The first-named division is occupied chiefly by Bambarrah, the Fulah States, the Hausa and Tuareg tribes, and the territory attached to Timbuktu, the lower part coming under British protection. In the Central Soudan the principal states are Bornu, Kanem, Logon, Baghirmi, and Wadai. The Egyptian, Equatorial, and Bahr-Gazal Provinces, embracing Darfur, Kordofan, and Khartum, were, since the Mahdi rebellion, more or less reduced to anarchy, but they were restored to Egypt by the success of Kitchener's campaign, culminating in Omdurman (1898). Ethnologically the vast majority of the population belongs to tho Negro or Negroid race, Mandingoes, Hausas, Yorubas, Baghirmis, and Battas being marked varieties. Hamites, such as the Tuaregs, Fulahs, Serrakolets, etc., exercise a predominant power in the west, but their blood is often mixed with that of the Negro. Semites or Arabs do not settle much west of Kanem, but are the practical masters of all the Eastern Soudan.