Zande spirit-shrine with grave stones

Zande spirit-shrine with grave stones
104 x 78 mm | Print gelatin silver
There are records relating to alternative images that we do not have scans for in the database:
1998.341.384.1 - Negative film nitrate , (104 x 78 mm)
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
47 2 (95) [frame 1]

Accession Number:
A collection of stones outside a deceased persons hut, in preparation for the raising of a grave mound over the burial site (mura) close by. The hut is dilapidated since the pumbó or mortuary feast at which the mound is raised is often a year or more after burial. In front of the doorway is a tuka or spirit-shrine where medicines (ngua) are invoked to ensure ancestral (spirit) favour for the inhabitants of the homestead.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1927 - 1930
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Yambio
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Death , Ritual , Religion
Grave , Grave Marker , Shrine
Ritual Activity
Ceremony , Mortuary ritual
Original catalogue lists in Manuscript Collections. Additional material in related documents files. [CM 27/9/2005]
Primary Documentation:
PRM Accession Records - [1966.27.21] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of negatives in envelopes. Nos. 1 - 400
Added Accession Book Entry - [In pencil in column] Catalogue room.
[1966.27.23] G PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - S. SUDAN, AZANDE TRIBE. Box of prints in envelopes, nos. 1 - 400 (prints of negatives in 1966.27.21)

Manual Catalogues [typewritten, entitled "Zande Photographs (E-P)"] - 384. Spirit shrine at entrance to broken-down hut and stones collected for grave-heap. 47/2 (95)

Other Information:
In The Azande (OUP 1971, page 115) E. E. Evans-Pritchard notes that 'At the present time in the Sudan a corpse is buried under a side niche in a rectangular shaft, and over the grave is erected a low hut with a ridged roof which is eventually replaced at a mortuary ceremony by a high heap of stones. The construction of this heap forms a central part of a complex of rites and festal observances.' In The Azande Baxter & Butt (London AIA, 1953 page 77) they note that 'the relatives of the deceased have one final and binding obligation, and that is to erect a cairn of stones over the grave' which may take place between a year to five years after burial, since preparations need to be made for a beer dance (gbere buda) to accompnay the erecting ceremony. In F. Gero's Death Among the Azande (Italy 1968, page 139) he notes that the mortuary feast is called Pumbó (meaning feast). 'The feast is held about a year or two after the death of a person, because long and laborious preparations are necessary.' He also notes that 'the master of the feast goes with his relatives, men and women and other volunteers, to get stones in the jungle; several square them off and put them side by side around the grave.' There follows a ceremony of the First Stone by the master of the feast. 'At one time the stones were brought and left near the grave and were placed on the grave later during the dance. Today, they are put on the grave before the dance, except for the last stone which involves another ceremony.' (Ibid page 146). See also [1998.341.201]
Christopher Morton 5/11/2003 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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