Nuer well

Nuer well
40 x 30 mm | Negative film nitrate
There are records relating to alternative images that we do not have scans for in the database:
1998.346.28.2 - Print 35mm contact , (40 x 30 mm)
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:

Accession Number:
A youth standing in a shallow well hole dug in the dry bed of the Nyanding stream in the dry season, occupied by Jimac and Gaaliek secondary sections of the Mor primary section of the Lou. This practice seems to have been restricted to the Lou and Eastern Jikany Nuer tribes, although less so after their territorial advance as far as the Sobat River and other rivers. It involved re-digging each season to provide a water source of about a foot in depth. Troughs for cattle were often placed around the holes, which belonged to a household.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
[Southern Sudan] Jonglei Nyanding River
Nuer Lou
Publication History:
Contemporary Publication - Reproduced as Plate XVb (facing page 134) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's The Nuer (Oxford University Press, 1940) with the caption 'b. A well in the bed of the Nyanding (Lou)'. Also reproduced as Plate IIIb (facing page 74) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's article Nuer: Tribe and Clan , Sudan Notes and Records, XVIII, 1935, with the caption 'A well in Lou country'. [Chris Morton 23/3/2004]
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Water Supply
Original catalogue lists in Manuscript Collections. Additional material in related documents files. [CM 27/9/2005]
Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry: [p. 98] 1966.27 [1 - 24] G[ift] PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD 1966.27.17 S. SUDAN. NUER TRIBE. Box of negatives each in separate envelope, labelled. (some missing). Nos. 1 - 213. (prints in box 1966.27.18)...1966.27.18 S. SUDAN. NUER TRIBE. Box of prints each in separate envelope. Nos. 1 - 213. (negatives in 1966.27.17.)

Manual Catalogues [typewritten, entitled "Nuer Photographs (E-P)"] - 28. Well. (S.) [Small size]
Other Information:
Ethnographic context - In The Nuer (Oxford University Press, 1940) page 58-59, E. E. Evans-Pritchard notes that 'only in parts of Lou, Gaawar, and Eastern Jikany, as far as is known, are they regularly forced to dig wells in the beds of streams at the height of the drought. Twenty years ago this was probably more customary among the Lou than today, for they had not then the undisputed access to open water that more sections now enjoy. The wells, which have to be redug each year, are two to three feet in diameter and twenty to thirty feet in depth, and their excavation takes two or three days of hard labour. The water, about a foot deep, is clean and fresh and the wells are frequently cleaned out, steps being cut in the walls for this purpose (Plate XVb). Each household has its own well which is surrounded by shallow mud troughs where the cattle are watered three times daily.' [Chris Morton 23/3/2004]
Christopher Morton [23/3/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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