A Hadendoa poem from northern Sudan. The Handendoa live in northern Sudan, bordering the Red Sea. They supplied the majority of the supporters of Muhammed Ahmed el Mahdi (‘The Mad Mullah’) in his revolt against the British (see also the poem The Mahdi’s Boast). Like the poem Why Do We Grumble, it accepts that ‘wealth has a coat of many colours’.

I have good cultivable land sown and watered,
I have men who load my camels with trade goods:
You who are without possessions, cattle or children,
Is it possible that even you are envied?

from Sudan Notes & Records 10 (1927)
E.M. Roper