Shilluk grave-shrine

Shilluk grave-shrine
82 x 82 mm | Lantern slide glass
82 x 82 mm
Date of Print:
Previous Other Number:
V.e.47 (283)

Accession Number:
The site of a Shilluk grave-shrine (kengo) of the deceased twelfth Reth (king) Nyadwai. The grave, a small circular fence around it, is not visible in this image. Although no larger enclosure was standing when this photograph was taken, the old tree stump in the foreground was revered as sacred, and a young tree (right) also respected and associated with the shrine. Such grave-shrines were closely connected with the spirit Nyakang, the founder of the Shilluk nation, since the Reth was considered an incarnation of Nyakang. In the background can be seen Government offices and houses of Kodok.
Charles Gabriel Seligman
Date of Photo:
[Southern Sudan] Upper Nile Kodok
PRM Source:
London School of Economics and Political Science
Donated 1967
Other Owners:
C. G. Seligman slide collection
Religion , Settlement , Colonial
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.47 Shilluk. Nyadwai's tree at Kodok (283)" Additional note ms ink (1967) - "mottled shading"

Note on lantern slide ms ink - "V.e.47 Shilluk. Nyadwai's tree at Kodok. 283. CGS"

Other Information:
In C.G. & B. Seligman's Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan (London, Routledge 1932), page 87n, they note that 'As an instance we may cite an old tree at Kodok whose stump was standing in 1910 near the grave of Nyadwai, the twelfth king; if any one had burned the wood of this tree, even accidentally, he would have sickened, and when the tree fell its fragments were collected and carried to the river, just as are the bones of certain sacrifices. There was in 1910 no shrine over the grave of Nyadwai, probably because it is situated some little distance from the present native village and is surrounded by Government offices and houses, but it had a fence round it, and a young tree that had appeared at some distance from the stump of the old tree was regarded with respect. The old tree did not really spring from the grave of Nyadwai, since it was admitted that during his lifetime it stood near his house and that he would often sit under it; nevertheless, there is a general feeling that it is associated with his grave, and this feeling is so strong that many Shilluk at one time or another spoke of Nyadwai being buried under the tree, though his grave must be nearly a hundred yards away.' [Chris Morton 18/10/2004]
Christopher Morton [18/10/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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