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Bedouin
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Bedouin

Bedouin, derived from the Arabic badawi بدوي, a generic name for a desert-dweller, is a term generally applied to Arab nomadic groups, who are found throughout most of the desert belt extending from the Atlantic coast of the Sahara via the Western Desert, Sinai, and Negev to the eastern coast of the Arabian desert. It is occasionally used to refer to non-Arab groups as well, notably the Beja of the African coast of the Red Sea.

The Bedouins were traditionally divided into related tribes, each led by a Sheikh. Traditionally they would herd camels, sheep, and goats, while riding on highly prized horses, moving according to the seasons for grazing lands. For centuries and into the early 20th century the Bedouin were known for their fierce resistance to outside government and influence.

Some notable Bedouin groups in Africa include the Baggara of Sudan and Chad, the Chaamba of Algeria, and the Beni Hassan of Mauritania.

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