The term Fuzzy-Wuzzy was used by British colonial soldiers like Lance-Corporal Jack Jones for the nineteenth-century Beja warriors (specifically the Haddendowa tribe) supporting the Sudanese Mahdi in the Mahdist War.

The Beja provided a large number of warriors to the Mahdist forces. They were armed with swords and spears and some of them carried breech-loaded rifles which had been captured from the Egyptian forces, and some of them had acquired military experience in the Egyptian army.

Jones felt sorry for them when Kitchener criticised their ragged appearance as they had neither a kit bag nor any kit. (TV: When Did You Last See Your Money?)

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