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The Sultanate of Darfur was an eastern so-called Sahelian state that from its location in the region just south of the Sahara benefited and prospered from trans-Saharan trade. The region had previously been dominated by the Daju and Tunjur ethnic groups, the latter of which is traditionally thought to have introduced Islam to the region. By the 16th century CE an ethnic group known as the Fur had gained the upper hand and under Sultan Sulayman established a long-lasting sultanate. The word Darfur means the Land of the Fur.