Photograph by Meredith Davenport
A Nuba farm near Kauda hugs a hillside, its terraced fields stippled with dried stalks of harvested sorghum. Centuries of slave raids by Arabs drove the Nubadiverse tribes that cling to shared indigenous traditionsup into the hills of the Nuba Mountains in central Sudan. There the Nuba learned to farm steep, rocky slopes. With the coming of British rule and the end of slavery in Sudan in the late 19th century, the Nuba came down into the surrounding fertile clay plains, expanding their farms to feed growing populations. But when Sudan's civil war reached their homeland in the mid to late 1980s, the Nuba once again retreated into the hills.