Zande vengeance symbol

Zande vengeance symbol
140 x 80 mm | Print gelatin silver
Silver sulphide staining [EE 1989]
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
51 3 (+7)

Accession Number:
Hanging from the branches on the tall tree to the right of a wide government track can be seen a piece of barkcloth, hung there as a public signal or symbol that the period of mourning for an individual who lived nearby has been completed, i.e. after vengeance is said to have been satisfied by the prince's benge oracle. The barkcloth belonged to the boy who observed taboos during the period of death vengeance.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1927 - 1930
[Southern Sudan] Western Equatoria Yambio
Publication History:
Contemporary Publication - Reproduced as Plate XXXIVa (facing page 542) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (OUP 1937), with the caption "A Government road. Barkcloth can just be seen hanging from the tallest tree to the right of the photograph. It has been hung there in sign of accomplished vengeance" [CM 17/8/2005]
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Religion , Death , Ritual Object
Sign , Track
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)"] - 744. Bark cloth hung up after death (Large size). 51/3 (+7)

Notes on card mount m/s pencil - "SSS upper RHS 8.89"
Other Information:
Ethnographic context - In Witchcraft, Oracles and Magic Among the Azande (OUP 1937, page 544) where Evans-Pritchard states that 'when the oracle of the prince agrees with the oracle of the kinsmen, vengeance is accomplished. The wings of the fowls that have died in acknowledgement of their victory are hung up, with the barkcloth and sleeping mat of the boy who has observed taboos, on a tree at the side of a frequented path in public notification that the kinsmen have done their duty (see Plate XXXIV).' This practice is also referred to in F. Gero's Death Among the Azande (Italy 1968: facing page 80) where the plate caption reads "Old clothes, belts, mats are hanged from the branch of a tree by a much frequented road, so that everyone may know that mourning for that person is ended: his death has been avenged." [Chris Morton 8/12/2003]
Christopher Morton 8/12/2003 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
Help | About | Bibliography