(See also Fellata)
It is believed that Fulani and other West-African on their way to or back from prigrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, have settled in many parts of eastern Sudan and in western Eritrea.
In Sudan they are known as Takrir (sing. Takruri). They are also known as Fellata a term given to them by Kanuri people. They number close to 2 millions in Sudan, while in Eritrea that number is significantly less. However, the Tekruris have been part of the Eritrean society for hundreds of years(1).
Living mostly in western Eritrea, they had their own quarters in the towns, called Hillet Tekhwarir. They speak Tikarna Arabic , their dialect separated them from other population groups. They were seen as reserved group who elected their own chief. They have a reputation to be hard working and clean and honest people. Crime was uncommon, but they did not educate their children who started working at early age. They married amongst themselves. Because of their superior learning, the Tekruris are regarded as well educated, cunning and wizards not only by the people of Sudan and Eritrea , but also by the people of by the people of Egypt and Saudi Arabia. In fact, it has been reported that country-people are eager to possess amulets of their writing, which are supposed to possess greater virtue than those of any other class of pilgrims (2).
They can be classified into 3 groups
(1) Pilgrims passing through the Sudan, including the many colonies on
the pilgrim routes through Darfur to El-Obeyd.
(2) Large permanent colonies, especially in Kessela and Sennar districts. There is also a large colony near Sinnar under Mai Wurno, son of the ex-sultan of Sokoto, and another under Mai Ahmed, ex-Emir of Misau.
(3) Two nomadic cattle-owning clans ('Ikka and 'Ibba) with a Dar of their
own in southern Darfur, who have been there at least two hundred years and
now speak Arabic. Some Tekruris originally from Darfur, have now, however, settled in the
neighborhood of Gallabat, on the Abyssinian frontier; and the Egyptian govt has given them some land on a number of years' lease, where they cultivate Dhurra (3).
1) Regarding the Tekruri of Eritrea.
Contributed by Aida Kidane, 10 Oct 2003
2) The Sources of the Nile; by Beke, Charles T, 1860
3) The Wild Tribes of the Sudan by F.L. James 1884