Dinka shrine of Lerpio

Dinka shrine of Lerpio
82 x 82 mm | Lantern slide glass
82 x 82 mm
Date of Print:
Previous Other Number:
V.e.11 (432)

Accession Number:
The Bor Dinka rain-maker Biyordit standing outside the shrine-hut of the spirit Lerpio at Gwala, with other people gathered in its shade to the side. The Seligmans visited villages in the Bor locality in the dry season of 1910, with Archdeacon Shaw acting as guide and interpreter. Also next to Biyordit is a rit post with the horns of sacrificed oxen hanging from it. Within the shrine-hut was kept a sacred spear also called Lerpio, and beyond the hut a special bush called akoc which should not be cut or damaged and which forms a part of the rain-making ceremony.
Charles Gabriel Seligman
Date of Photo:
[Southern Sudan] Jonglei Gwala
Dinka Bor
PRM Source:
London School of Economics and Political Science
Donated 1967
Other Owners:
C. G. Seligman slide collection
Ritual Object , Religion , Shelter
Shrine , Building Religious
Manual Catalogue in Related Documents File
Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry - [1967.26] THE LONDON SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS AND POLITICAL SCIENCE, HOUGHTON STREET, ALDWYCH, LONDON, W.C.E. PER MR ANTHONY FORGE - SUDAN. Box containing 309 lantern slides (3 1/4” x 3 1/4”) made from photographs taken by the late Professor C. G. SELIGMAN in various parts of the SUDAN. All slides numbered and labelled. Catalogue in file (“Seligman Slide Collection”). Additional Accession Book Entry - [in pencil] 18 Parks Rd.

Manual catalogue entry (thermofax catalogue copy in folder '27-06 Seligman Slide Collection') - "V.e.11. Dinka 'rit' "

Note on lantern slide ms ink - "V.e.11. Dinka 'rit' CGS (432) "

Other Information:
The rit itself from this image is reproduced in line drawing as Fig.14 (page 199) in C.G. & B. Seligman's Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan (London, Routledge 1932), with the caption "Gwala, rit of rain-shrine" In C.G. & B. Seligman's Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan (London, Routledge 1932), page 198, they note 'Fig.2 of Plate XIX is a photograph of the rain-shrine formerly served by Biyordit. Near to the dwelling hut belonging to him there is another constituting a shrine, in which Lerpio, i.e. his spirit (jok), is thought to reside more or less constantly. Within this hut is kept a very sacred spear, also called Lerpio, and before it stands a post called rit (the name of the wood - ebony - from which it is often made) to which are attached the horns of bullocks sacrificed to Lerpio. Behind the hut there is a bush of the kind called akoc, which must not be cut or damaged in any way but which strangers are allowed to approach without the least ceremony...' [Chris Morton 13/10/2004]
Christopher Morton [13/10/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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