The Hamitic Funj in the 15th century established themselves as masters of SENNAR. They converted to Islam and adopted the Arab language and Arab customs, their state being referred to as the FUNJ SULTANATE, also called THE BLACK SULTANATE (al Saltana al Zarqa). In 1504 they conquered the (christian) Kingdom of ABA located in the Gazira (between the Blue and White Nile), in 1505 SOBA, the last christian kingdom of the Sudan. Funj expanded further, reducing KORDOFAN to a vassal. The conquerors intermarried with the local opulation.
Visitors report that despite Islam being state religion, traditional African customs were still practiced at the Funj court, most notably cannibalism (J. Bruce, 1772). In the early 19th century political power passed over to the ethnically Arab vezirs; in 1821 the Funj Sultanate was conquered and annexed by Egypt.

Article Funj, from EB 1911
DOCUMENTS Regnal Chronologies : Northern Africa, scroll down for Funj
Funj Sultanate, from Surfable Books Project, collection of links

REFERENCE P.M. Holt, A Modern History of the Sudan, NY : Grove Press 1961

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted on March 3rd 2003, last revised on August 27th 2005

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