The rashaida people are an ancient arab bedouin group of Africa and Eritrea living predominantly in the scattered areas in western and northern Eritrea, with some smaller groups also dwelling in parts of Egypt, bordering the Sinai desert and Eastern Sudan. The name "Rashaida" means "refugee". These people are believed to be Bedouin Arabs who migrated from Saudi Arabia in the mid to late 1800’s and are the last established ethnic group to have settled in Eritrea. Rashaida people speak Arabic language, although some of them can speak impeccable Tigre language. The Rashaida live in isolated communities, preferring not to live with people of other tribes. However, occasionally Rashaida can be found living in Tigre villages or Rashaida men will marry Tigre women.
Rashaida women are famous for their black-and-red geometrically patterened dresses, and their burkas (long, heavy veils) elaborately embroidered with silver thread, beads and sometimes seed perals.
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