Nuer sheep sacrifice

Nuer sheep sacrifice
116 x 114 mm | Print gelatin silver
There are records relating to alternative images that we do not have scans for in the database:
1998.355.21.1 - Negative film nitrate , (58 x 55 mm )
Date of Print:
circa 1955 by Clarendon/OUP
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
64 2 (A166)

Accession Number:
A man cuts the throat of a tethered sheep whilst another holds it leg, with other men looking on beyond. A large hammer lies discarded in the foreground after being used to knock in the tethering peg. Castrated sheep and goats were frequently used in sacrifice in place of oxen, with particular care taken to note the way the beast falls, since this may indicate the success or potential failure of the sacrificial purpose. Evans-Pritchard describes having witnessed a Lou sheep sacrifice at Yakwach for a girl possessed by a lion-spirit, a cow also being dedicated to the spirit to placate it.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1935 July
[Southern Sudan] Upper Nile Sobat River Yakwach
Nuer Lou
Publication History:
Contemporary Publication - Reproduced as Plate X (facing page 218) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Nuer Religion (Oxford University Press 1974 [1957]) with the caption 'Immolation' [Chris Morton 20/5/2004]
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Ritual , Agriculture and Horticulture , Animal Husbandry , Religion
Animal Sheep , Spear
Ritual Activity
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 I, ms ink] - 42. Sacrificing sheep - Lou

Note on print reverse ms pencil - "NUER RELIGION Plate X Clarendon Press/ Evans-Pritchard" [typewritten on label] "Please return, after use, to The Curator, Pitt Rivers Museum, Parks Road, Oxford." [Ms ink] "Spare copy Alb I no.42"
Other Information:
Ethnographic context - In E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Nuer Religion (Oxford University Press 1974 [1957]), page 65, he notes that 'While I was living in a cattle camp at the same village of Yakwac.. a girl of the lineage was taken hold of by the lion-spirit and had hysterics. Her family sacrificed a sheep to the spirit and dedicated a cow to it, for the seizure was thought to have been due to their failure to dedicate a cow to it earlier; and the girl was restored to her normal self.' [Chris Morton 2/6/2004] Archive note - This seems to be a print produced by Clarendon Press in preparation for publication in Nuer Religion, cropped slightly as indicated on the other print by a vertical blue line. [Chris Morton 4/2/2005]
Christopher Morton [4/2/2005] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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