An Account of the Arab Tribes in the Vicinity of Aden


An Account of the Arab Tribes in the Vicinity of Aden is an ethnography prepared for use by the British administrators and army in the Aden Protectorate. It was first published in 1886. This edition of 1909 was “corrected and added to by various officers of the Aden Residency” until September 1907. The Aden Residency and the Aden Protectorate were not the same entities. The residency governed the town and port of Aden, beginning in 1839. The protectorate was established in 1886 with the conclusion of separate treaties with tribes of the coast and hinterland. This web of agreements established Great Britain “as a kind of paramount power, which, while recognizing independence in regard to internal government, yet is ready to prevent alienation of territory to foreign nations, or inter-tribal disputes which are carried on to the detriment of the public peace or the interests of commerce.”  In addition to the detailed ethnography of the region, the work contains genealogical tables, biographies of tribal notables, and the texts of treaties and other agreements. It includes histories and ethnographic details for approximately 20 Arab tribes or tribal confederations. A second volume containing maps is not in the collections of the Library of Congress and is not shown here. The authors of the work, Frederick Hunter and Charles Sealy, were officers in the Indian Army who served as resident (governor) in British Somaliland in the 1880s and 1890s, respectively. Hunter was also acting resident in Aden in 1885. Sealy was known in the army as an orientalist and was the translator of A.W.C. van den Berg’s Hadthramut and the Arab Colonies of the Indian Archipelago (1887).

Date Created

Publication Information

Government Central Press, Bombay


Title in Original Language

An Account of the Arab tribes in the vicinity of Aden

Type of Item

Physical Description

356 pages ; 33 centimeters


  1. John M. Willis, Unmaking North and South: Spatial Histories of Modern Yemen, Ph.D. dissertation (New York University, Department of History, 2007).

Last updated: December 29, 2015