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Darfur

country, negro, people and central

DARFUR, diefoor, or DARFOOR (Coun try of the Fur, a tribe of negroes), a region of central Africa, occupying a large portion of the area between Abyssinia and Bornou and forming part of the Egyptian Sudan. It may be considered as lying between lat. 10° and 16° N. and long. 22 and 28° E.; area 150,000 square miles. On the east it has Kordofan; on the west, Wadai; on the north, the desert; while the regions to the south are occupied by barbarous nations. The most important physi cal feature is the Djebel Marrah, a chain of mountains near the centre of the country, of a crescent form, lying north and south and reaching the height of 6,000 feet. Some of the peaks are extinct volcanoes. There are other subordinate chains and elevated masses. There seem to be no permanent streams, the water courses being filled only temporarily. The country belongs mainly to the Nile basin, partly to that of Lake Chad. Large portions of it are barren or are covered with verdure only in the rainy season. The inhabitants are of vari ous races, some of them of the negro type, others having little of the negro character, and a considerable number being Arabs. The Fur or For, who give name to the country, inhabit the mountainous central parts and are a brown ish-black color with negro features. Moham

medanism is the religion of the country, and to it is due what little civilization the people possess; but the natives are still semi-barba rous. Their occupation is chiefly agriculture. A few of the mechanical arts are carried on, and in particular the people manufacture a con siderable variety of articles, including cotton goods, pottery, leather, lance-heads, etc. Their houses are rudely constructed of clay and reeds, and with scanty accommodation. Among the exports the most important are camels, ivory, the horns, teeth and hide of the rhinoceros and hippopotamus, ostrich feathers, gum and cop per. The imports comprise beads, glass, arms, light cloths of different kinds, silks, shoes and other manufactured articles. Darfur was an independent kingdom till annexed by Egypt in 1874. During the ascendency of the Mandi and his successor it was independent; but it is now recognized as within the °sphere of influence of Great Britain. In 1898 it was made a part of the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan. The hereditary sultan manages the internal affairs. The capital is El Fisher. Pop. 4,000,000.