Bongo rain-post

Bongo rain-post
103 x 75 mm | Negative film nitrate
There are records relating to alternative images that we do not have scans for in the database:
1998.343.29.2 - Print gelatin silver , (103 x 75 mm)
1998.343.31.2 - Print gelatin silver , (103 x 75 mm)
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
66 5

Accession Number:
A long wooden rain-post (riyak) with maize heads and medicines attached, stuck into the ground under a large nilotic shea-butter tree, Vitellaria paradoxa ssp. nilotica, a slow-growing hardwood fruit tree indigenous to northern Uganda and Southern Sudan. During drought this post was the focus for rain-making rituals involving the sprinkling of durra (Sorghum bicolor) over an assembled crowd by a rain-maker (biriak).
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1929 March
[Southern Sudan] Warab/Western Bahr El Ghazal Wau-Tonj Road
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Ritual , Ritual Object
Public Space , Shrine
Primary Documentation:
PRM Accession Records - Accession Book Entry [p. 98] 1966.27 [1 - 24] G[ift] PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD - 1966.27.19 - S. SUDAN, DARFUNG. VARIOUS TRIBES. Box of negatives in envelopes, [1 - 242] & 1966.27.20 - Box of prints of these negatives [refers to object 1966.27.19] [1 - 242], in envelopes.

Other Information:
In "The Bongo" (Sudan Notes and Records Vol.XII Part I 1929 page 26) E. E. Evans-Pritchard notes that 'there is one of these shrines on the Wau road under a butter-tree, and hanging on it are some maize heads and some fruits of mapiang medicine. The post is called riyak and the officiator in the rain-ceremony is called biriak.' [Chris Morton 16/1/2004]
Christopher Morton 16/1/2004 [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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