Zande circumcision operator

Zande circumcision operator
104 x 78 mm | Print gelatin silver
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
4 (168) [frame 2]

Accession Number:
A man sitting on the ground wearing a straw hat, said to be the operator waiting for circumcision initiates. Beside him can just be made out his knife and a small gourd. Circumcision was a relatively new custom among the Azande in Evans-Pritchard's time, having been practised perhaps for some twenty years.
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
Ceremony Circumcision
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)"] - 414. Circumcision operator waiting to begin initiating boys. 4(168)

Other Information:
In The Azande (OUP, 1971) p.113 E. E. Evans-Pritchard notes that 'when Czekanowski carried out his researches in the years 1907-8 circumcision was in process of being introduced and had indeed become so much the fashion that adults were undergoing the operation... It is remarkable that in so short a time the practice had come to be regarded as so much a Zande custom that aboro pito 'the uncircumcised', had become a scornful epithet used in reference to other peoples.... My informants said that it [circumcision] came to them from the Amadi... Mgr Lagae says that the Azande of the south were initiated into the practice by the Mangbetu and the Abarambo, those of the north by the Amadi.' P. Baxter & A. Butt (London AIA, 1953 pages 73-4) discuss C.R. Lagae's published accounts of circumcision among the Azande in the Congo, noting that it takes place near a stream and away from settlement, the period of seclusion being about two months and the boys residing in specially made huts there. The period is brought to a close with a feast and dancing, after which the boy takes a new name and social position.
Christopher Morton 6/11/2003 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography