A Nuer dance

A Nuer dance
58 x 55 mm | Print gelatin silver
Sulphide staining left hand side [?EE 1987]
Date of Print:
Previous PRM Number:
Previous Other Number:
44 (A140)

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, right outside the awning of Evans-Pritchard's tent at Yakwach cattle camp on the Sobat River which Evans-Pritchard revisited in July 1935. Men with metal-bladed spears have stoppers at the ends to prevent accidental injury, whereas others have hardwood spears. 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
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 XIV, ms ink] - 40. Dancing

Note on print reverse ms pencil - "44 A140" & print front border ms ink - "NUER XIV/40"

Other Information:
The same men appear in another image [1998.355.52] which is indexed as Yakwach village. [Chris Morton 21/5/2004]
Christopher Morton [27/6/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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