This style of 'X-hilted' dagger is typical of the Beja Hadendoa or Beni-Amir peoples of Eritrea and the Sudan that live along the southwestern shores of the Red Sea. The debony hilt has a slight bit of lighter sapwood the tips of one arm and is decorated with fluted carvings on the faces of the grip and groups of transverse lines over the back arms. The curved, very sharp, double edge blade has slightly convex flats rising to a low central midline from the edge bevels. This dagger has evidence of use including an old repair to the handle. // The southern Beja were part of the Christian kingdom of Axum during the sixth to fourteenth centuries. In the fifteenth century, Axum fell to the Islamization of the Sudan region, and although the Beja were never entirely subjugated, they were absorbed into Islam via marriages and trade contracts. In the seventeenth century, some of the Beja expanded southward, conquering better pastures. These became the Hadendoa, who by the eighteenth century were the dominant people of eastern Sudan, and always at war with the Bisharin tribe. Extensive anthropological research was done on Egyptian tribes in the late 1800s and a number of skulls of people of the Hadendoa tribe were taken to the Royal College of Surgeons to be measured and studied. The Hadendoa were traditionally a pastoral people, ruled by a hereditary chief, called a Ma'ahes. One of the best-known chiefs was a Mahdist general named Osman Digna. He led them in the battles, from 1883 to 1898, against the Anglo-Egyptian Sudan- Britain and Egypt were exercising joint sovereignty in Sudan. They fought the British infantry square in many battles, such as in the Battle of Tamai in 1884 and in the Battle of Tofrek in 1885 and earned an enviable reputation for their bravery. After the reconquest of the Egyptian Sudan (1896–98),the Hadendoa accepted the new order without demur. In World War II, the Hadendoa allied themselves with the British against the Italians, who were in turn supported by the Beni-Amer tribe.