Funj Sultanate

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Funj Sultanate


(also Fung Sultanate, Black Sultanate), a feudal state in northeastern Africa, in what is now the Democratic Republic of the Sudan. It was founded in the early 16th century by Amara Dunkas (1504–34). The sultanate flourished during the 17th and 18th centuries, extending along the Nile Valley from the Egyptian border to the mouth of the Blue Nile. It consisted of the Funj Sultanate proper, which had its capital at Sennar, and the sultanate’s dependent territories.

The population consisted mainly of the Funj people; Nubians, Arabs, Beja, and other peoples also lived in the sultanate. Arabic was spoken in much of the Funj Sultanate proper. The state religion was the Sunnite branch of Islam. The feudal structure of the sultanate retained elements of a slaveholding system; tribal clan relationships continued in the outlying areas. In 1821–22 the Funj Sultanate was conquered by the Egyptian pasha Mehemet Ali.


Smirnov, S. R. Istoriia Sudana. Moscow, 1968.
Crawford, O. G. S. The Fung Kingdom of Sennar. Gloucester, 1951.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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