According to Pharaonic texts, 4200 year ago the Medjau inhabited the
southern part of the Eastern Desert. During the reign of the Ptolemaic
kings (332-30 BC), the people in this area were called Troglodytes.
The direct ancestors of the Ababda may have been the Blemmyes, who conquered
southern portions of the Roman province of Egypt after centuries of
conflict. The good humored and hospitable Bedouin of the Ababda tribe
have inhabited the Eastern Desert for many centuries now. The Ababda
belong with four other tribes to the Bedja group, of which the great
majority lives in Sudan. Many Ababda now live in towns and villages
in the Nile Valley and the Red Sea coast, driving in pick-up cars instead
of riding camels. Others, who cling to the traditional way of life,
still move through the desert with their herds of goats and sheep. They
travel from well to well, their camels loaded with water bags made of
goat hide and disassembled huts of matting.