By Edouard Aldahdah
Posted on January 7th, 2011 in General
The Egyptian foundation mare Venus is the tail female for one of Egypt’s most successful lines. The stallions Nazeer, Aswan, Khofo, and the mares Yosreia, Samha, Kamla, all come from this line, and so do countless others.
Page 63 of Egypt’s Royal Agricultural Society’s Volume I Studbook, also known as the RAS History, has Venus as a chestnut Hadbah Inzihiyah imported in 1893 to Egypt by Hassan Abu Amin Agha, later in the stud of Khedive (Egypt’s Viceroy) Abbas II Hilmi. There is no recorded information as to her tribal provenance in the RAS History.
The only tribal information on Venus comes from Carl Raswan.
Venus, like other horses owned by the Western educated Abbas II (he was still studying in Vienna when he was called to assume the throne upon the sudden death of his father), had a Western name. She was called Venus after the Roman goddess of love. Another Egyptian foundation mare from the same stud, and probably from the same provenance, was known as the “Halabia mare”, or the ‘mare from Aleppo’ (Halab in Arabic), but she had a Western name, Carmen, after the opera of Bizet.
Carl Raswan, who had a habit of conflating Arabian horses’ first names with names of strains and names of tribes, seemed to have gone on a quest to find a Bedouin tribal affiliation for Venus. In his zeal, he took Venu’s Western (heck, Latin) name and went looking for a Bedouin tribe or a sub-tribe whose name matched that first name…
He found an obscure sub-clan of the Shammar tribe of Zawba’, the Yunus (note the near match with the name ‘Venus’, given that the Arabic language does not have a letter V), and ascribed Venus’ origins to this Yunus clan. It’s a blatantly clumsy attempt at relating things that don’t relate to each other.
Even more so, the Zawba’ Shammar did not traditionally breed Hadban Enzahi. The leaders of the Shammar Zawba’, the family of al-Mahmoud (who by the way do not recognize the leadership of the Jarbah leading clan of the Northern Shammar) were famous for their Dahman ‘Amer, their Saqlawi Jadran and their Ubayyan strains.
In all likelihood, the tribal affiliation of the mare Venus with the Shammar, their Zawba’ section, and their hypothetical Yunus clan, is the product of Raswan’s unfortunate attempt at shoehorning a Latin goddess’ name with the name of a Bedouin clan, just because the names sound like each other. Venus’ tribal affiliation with the Shammar should be reconsidered, until further evidence surfaces, in my opinion.