Portrait of a Nuer youth

Portrait of a Nuer youth
56 x 54 mm | Print gelatin silver
Date of Print:
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Accession Number:
A full length portrait of a young man wearing thiau arm-rings on the right arm, a practice which imitates or complements the practice of training a favourite ox's horn across the muzzle (ma gut), both of which are often done soon after initiation. This binding is done for some months or even a year or two, and is accompanied by swelling, sores and pain, and renders the arm useless for the period. During the elaborate telling of compliments to a woman during courtship or at dances, the youth ran a metal ring up and down the arm-rings to produce a sound. He is also wearing a European comb as a neck ornament. Evans-Pritchard stresses in his analysis of thiau as a left-horn imitation that the left arm is only ever used, but in this instance the right arm is bound. Evans-Pritchard carried out fieldwork among the Eastern Jikany at the mouth of the Nyanding and on the Sobat River in 1935.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
[Southern Sudan] Upper Nile ?Nyanding River (mouth)
Nuer Eastern Jikany Gaajok
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Physical Anthropology , Ornament
Ornament Arm , Ornament Neck , Comb
Original catalogue lists in Manuscript Collections. Additional material in related documents files. [CM 27/9/2005]
Primary Documentation:
Accession Book Entry [p. 98] 1966.27 [1 - 24] G[ift] PROFESSOR E. E. EVANS-PRITCHARD; INST. OF SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY, 51 BANBURY RD. OXFORD 1966.27.1-16 S. SUDAN. NUER TRIBE. Sixteen negative albums containing negatives and prints of photographs taken by donor during field-work. All listed in albums. Added Accession Book Entry - [p. 98 in right hand column, in pencil] Catalogue room.

Manual Catalogues [index taken from album book III, ms ink] - 22. Gaajok Youth

Note on print reverse ms pencil - "83" & print front border ms ink - "NUER III/22"

Other Information:
The same youth is also shown tying a neck ornament on a friend. [Chris Morton 26/5/2004]
Christopher Morton [27/5/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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