Introduction / History The Dar Hamid consist of a group of about nineteen tribes and smaller groups. They are culturally similar and are led by a single leader, called a nazir. Although the origins of the tribes vary, most Dar Hamid descend from Arabia.
Where are they located? The Dar Hamid live in Northern Sudan.
What are their lives like? The Dar Hamid are nomadic, moving around with their herds in search of vegetation. Their system of migration is complex, and families often split up and move to different areas at various times of the year. Livestock is then traded for essentials such as grain, salt, tea, cloth, etc. Camels are also extremely important to the Dar Hamid. They provide milk, which is essential, as well as meat, hair for tents, and transportation.
Because of the need to move with their herds, the Dar Hamid live in homes that can be easily transported. The structures are tents made of camel hair and cotton. They don't have much furniture but usually have a bed that is made of palm ribs that are bound together with strips of leather. Because of their nomadic lifestyle, the Dar Hamid have very few items in their homes that do not have practical value. However, they are extremely hospitable by tradition, so their tents are often decorated with leather and wool in order to provide a more inviting environment.
Men in Dar Hamid society are the ones who move with the herds, while the women and children remain with the tents and tend to the gardens.
For protection in the dangerous desert, all Dar Hamid men carry daggers, usually sheathed and strapped to their left arms. They also carry shotguns, swords, or rifles. Because bandits are common as well, they have learned to sleep lightly in order to protect themselves.
When a tribe member kills an animal, the tribe will eat meat, but their normal diet consists of tea with camel milk. In recent years, the Dar Hamid have experienced economic difficulty. Prior to the 1960s, the number of livestock a tribe owned was determined by how much water they had access to. In the 1960s, however, the government drilled new wells, which resulted in larger herds. However, there was then not enough food for the extra animals, and decreased rainfall made the situation even more dismal. As a result, many Dar Hamid have lost their livestock and been forced to leave their land.
What are their beliefs? Traditionally, the Dar Hamid are Sunni Muslims, although it is generally a strictly cultural identification and most don't even know much about Islam. Islam requires that a Muslim pray five times per day. However, most Dar Hamid pray only when they feel like it, and others do not pray at all.
Because water is a scarce resource, ritual cleansing is also often eliminated completely. In addition, some forms of folk Islam are present among the Dar Hamid. For example, fakis, or holy men, often make charms and then sell them to the people for personal profit.
What are their needs? Because illiteracy is very prevalent among the Dar Hamid, educators and English teachers would be able to provide valuable service for these Muslims.
Many areas in Sudan are suffering loss and disease. Humanitarian aid in healthcare and community training could prove very helpful.
Those with skills in water purification and treatment could provide help and better health to this people group living in the dry climates of Sudan.
Prayer Points * Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Dar Hamid toward Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of Sudan's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Dar Hamid who will boldly declare the Gospel.