Nuba Wrestling: The Way to Grow up in Sudan

Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba Wrestling Federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people.

Wrestling is the medium that coherently ties together the various aspects of Nuba life. The sport is important to the Nuba for both social and religious reasons. Wrestling is the Nuba way to prepare a boy for manhood while providing an opportunity for all young men to achieve. 

Concrete connections can be made between the ancient Nubians and modern Nuba. A careful anthropological investigation of the modem Sudanese tribes reveals a wrestling culture thriving among the Nuba of southern Kordofan. This tradition is still practiced fervently, thousands of years after the glory of the Pharaohs.

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A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler receives money from spectators after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler receives money from spectators after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler scoops sand during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler scoops sand during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP

A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler receives money from spectators after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler scoops sand during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Originating in the Nuba mountains, the sport has become wildly popular country-wide in recent years. The Sudanese Nuba wrestling federation organizes matches every Friday that attract hundreds of people. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler receives money from spectators after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler receives money from spectators after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler scoops sand during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler scoops sand during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
Sudanese wrestlers fight during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts after winning during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum.  Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
A Sudanese wrestler reacts during a traditional Nuba wrestling match at the Haj Youssef stadium in the district of Khartoum. Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP