Ancient African Tribes
Afar (Danakil) People
The Afar people are one of the most ancient African tribes. In fact, some believe that Latin word "africa" has its origin in the word "afar" which means "dust" in Semitic languages such as ancient Phoenician. Using the word "afar" or "dust" to describe this ancient African tribe refers to their living in the harsh Danikil desert and their nomadic lifestyle. Further proof that the Afar are one of the most ancient African tribes comes from the writings of the 13th century Arab historian Ibn Said who wrote about the Afar living near the port of Suakin and further to the south near Zeila on the Horn of Africa. The Afar are not a Semitic people such as the Arabs, whose origin is from Asia, rather they are Cushitic. The Arabs are not one of the ancient African tribes as they only started immigrating into Africa during the eight century. Despite their ancient origins on the African continent, the Afar people are presently divided, living in three countries (Ethiopia, Djibouti, and Somalia). Note in the photograph above that the Afar woman has her front teeth chipped to form points. This is an aesthetic embellishment that this ancient African tribe considers beautiful.
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