Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/El-Obeid

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EL-OBEID, Lobeid, or Obeidh, the chief town of the country of Kordofan, in Africa, and the seat of an Egyptian governor, is situated at a height of 1700 feet above the sea, at the foot of Jebel Kordofan, about 150 miles west of the Bahr-el Abiad, or White Nile, in 13° 15′ N. lat. and 30° 7′ E. long. It is scattered over a large area, and in fact consists of several distinct townships, each inhabited by a different race. Most of the houses are mere mud huts, which require to be rebuilt or extensively repaired every year after the rainy season; but, besides the governor’s residence, there are three barracks, a gun-powder magazine, a hospital, and six mosques. Strong fences of thorny brushwood have to be maintained by every household as a protective against the wild beasts that invade the town by night. Though the wells have been sunk to a depth of nearly 100 feet, water is frequently scarce. The inhabitants make plaited work of palm-leaf fibres and beautiful silver filigree; and a considerable trade is carried on in gum, gold, and ivory with Darfur and other neighbouring countries. The population is estimated at from 12,000 to 20,000.