May 1, 2007
-- Geneva, May 1, 2007 - Anthropologists of the Geneva-based Africa Research Institute (ARI) discovered an unknown tribe in the Mid-African Democratic Republic of Congo. The tribe presumably originates from the Magyarabs living at the border of Egypt and Sudan since the 16th century.
The Africa Research Institute (ARI) in Geneva (www.ar-institute.ch)
has been pursuing anthropological research since May 2005 in the north-western regions of the civil war stricken Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). The expedition led by Gabor Varga anthropologist discovered a tribe of possible Hungarian origin last May near a tiny village called Halitu. "The village is situated approximately 100 kilometres from Aba in the north-western region of the country. The tribe had lived in a completely secluded area and rarely moved out of the well protected village" - said Dr. Varga.
The ARI researchers scrutinized the tribe's language, customs and culture for nine months and gained full cooperation of the tribe's elderly. The tribe at present has 573 members who call themselves "Madjari". According to the tribe's legend, their ancestors broke away from the "big family" of Madjarabs.
The Madjarab (meaning: Tribe of the Magyars) are a people living along the Nile River in Egypt and Sudan. They are of Hungarian ancestry, dating back to the late 16th century. According to the legend, Hungarian soldiers serving in the Ottoman army were fighting in southern Egypt. Some of them stayed and intermarried with the local Nubian women. Their leader, Ibrahim el-Magyar is highly respected amongst the Madjarabs even today.
Further research proved that the Madjari tribe in the DRC has actually preserved a lot more of its Hungarian culture and traditions than their relatives living in Egypt and the Sudan. People in the Madjari tribe still use words that have Hungarian sounding. Their ritual music recalls the original Hungarian themes and patterns. The ARI will publish its research findings following approval by the Board of Directors of the institute. The document will warn the public that the survival of this small group has been endangered by continuous tribal wars and the nearby oil exploration that completely devastates the environment today.