Many of its inhabitants are from the Hadendoa group, with others being of Rashaida origin.
The Hadendoa were traditionally a pastoral people, ruled by a Hereditary Chief, called a Ma'ahes.
After the reconquest of the Egyptian Sudan ( 1896 98 ), the Hadendoa accepted the new order without demur.
In World War II, the Hadendoa allied themselves with the British against the Italians who were in turn supported by the Beni-Amer tribe.
It describes the respect of the ordinary British soldier for the bravery of the Hadendoa warriors who fought the British army in the Sudan, Egypt and Eritrea.
Their success emboldened the Hadendoa, who under the generalship of Osman Digna wiped out a smaller force of Egyptians under the command of Colonel Valentine Baker near the Red Sea port of Suakin.
Their success also emboldened Osman Digna, whose Hadendoa tribesmen, the so-called " fuzzy-wuzzies ", joined the rebellion from their lands on the Red Sea coast.
The British hoped that this defeat would deal a great blow to Osman Digna's prestige as well as weakening his forces, and that he would lose his hold over the Hadendoa.
The Mahdists had roughly 10, 000 men, most of them belonging to Osman Digna's Hadendoa tribe ( known to British soldiers as " Fuzzy Wuzzies " for their unique hair ).
Extensive anthropological research was done on Egyptian tribes in the late 1800s and a number of skulls of people of the Hadendoa tribe were taken to the Royal College of Surgeons to be measured and studied.