A Nuer dance

A Nuer dance
56 x 54 mm | Print gelatin silver
stained right hand side [19/11/86 EE]
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
44 (A139)

Accession Number:
Two men perform a leaping movement (rau) with spears held in the right hand, and beyond them a group of men are also dancing, with Evans-Pritchard's tent visible to the right edge. The location is Yakwach cattle camp on the Sobat which Evans-Pritchard revisited in July 1935. Dances were more a feature of village life than cattle camps since people had more ready access to other social groups, and often accompanied ceremonies such as marriages. Such events were the main arena for courtship among Nuer youth, and often took the form of mock battles between village groups. The proximity of the tent suggests that this dance was held at the end of the day (see shadows) at the instigation of Evans-Pritchard.
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Date of Photo:
1935 July
[Southern Sudan] Upper Nile Sobat River Yakwach
Nuer Lou
PRM Source:
Edward Evan Evans-Pritchard
Donated 1966
Other Owners:
E. E. Evans-Pritchard Collection
Dance , Weapon , Shelter , Ornament , Social Life
Dance Accessory , Spear , Tent
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 II, ms ink] - 4. Dancing - Yakwac

Note on print reverse ms pencil - "44 A139" & print front border ms ink - "NUER II/4"

Other Information:
The same group are seen in an image [1998.355.23] reproduced as Plate VIII (facing page 85) in E. E. Evans-Pritchard's Kinship and Marriage Among the Nuer (Clarendon Press, Oxford 1990 [1951]) with the caption 'The leaping movement (rau) in a dance' [Chris Morton 19/5/2004]
Christopher Morton [20/5/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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