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Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V03, Page 737 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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BENT (E1. BENI), a department of north-eastern Bolivia, bounded N. and E. by Brazil, S. by the departments of Santa Cruz and Cochabamba, and W. by La Paz and the national territory contiguous to Peru and Brazil. Pop. (est., 1900) 32,180, including 6000 wild Indians; area (est., probably too high) 102,111 sq. m. The " Llanos de Mojos," famous for their flourishing Jesuit mission settlements of the 17th and 18th centuries, occupy the eastern part of this department and are still inhabited by an industrious peaceful native population, devoted to cattle raising and primitive methods of agriculture. Cattle and forest products, including rubber and coca, are exported to a limited extent. The capital, Trinidad (pop. 2556), is situated on the Mamore river in an open fertile country, and was once a flourishing Jesuit mission. BENI-AMER (Amrx), a tribe of African " Arabs " of Hamitic stock, ethnologically intermediate between Abyssinians and Nubians. They are of the Beja family, and occupy the coast of the Red Sea south of Suakin and portions of the adjacent coast-country of Eritrea, north of Abyssinia. They are of very mixed Beja and Abyssinian blood, and speak a dialect half Beja and half Tigre, locally known as Hassa. They marry the women of the Bogos and other mountain tribes; but are too proud to let their daughters marry Abyssinians. See Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, ed. Count Gleichen (London, 1905) ; A. H. Keane, Ethnology of Egyptian Sudan (1884) ; G. Sergi, Africa: Antropologia della Stirpe Camitica (Turin, 1897). BENI-ISRAEL (" Sons of Israel "), a colony of Jews settled on the Malabar coast in Kolaba district, Bombay presidency, chiefly centring in the native state of Janjira. With the Jews of Cochin, they represent a very ancient Judaic invasion of India, and are to be entirely distinguished from those Jews who have come to India in modern days for purposes of trade. Some authorities believe that the Beni-Israel settled in Kolaba in the 15th century, but they themselves have traditions which indicate a far longer connexion with India (see JEws: § 3).
End of Article: BENT (E1. BENI)

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