Elephant shot in Nuerland

Elephant shot in Nuerland
35 mm | Negative film Kodak Panatonic
Previous PRM Number:
WT.Southern Sudan.11.12

Accession Number:
Thesiger's Nuer porters cutting up an elephant shot by Thesiger, who is sitting on top of the animal's body, Malo the interpreter below. Big game hunting formed a significant element of Thesiger's activities in Western Nuerland, and he later acknowledged that it facilitated his acceptance by the Nuer, and provided nutrition for his porters, who called themselves 'Kwechuor's men' after his ox-name. The skewed frame suggests that Thesiger handed the camera to Idris to take the commemorative picture.
?Idris Daud
Date of Photo:
1938 - 1939
[Southern Sudan] Wahda
Wilfred Patrick Thesiger, Malo
PRM Source:
Wilfred Patrick Thesiger
Accepted as Art in Lieu of Inheritance Tax by H.M. Government and allocated to the Pitt Rivers Museum, March 2004
Other Owners:
Fauna , Weapon , Hunting
Animal Elephant , Spear , Firearm
Other Information:
Manual Catalogue (Thesiger album card) entry for similar image - 'VOL E p. 28/Elephant shot by me.' [Elin Bornemann 24/5/2004] In The Life of My Choice (Harper Collins 1987) Thesiger notes (page 275) that 'Although I never succeeded in shooting an elephant in the swamps, I was more successful when they moved into open country during the rains...Each time I shot an elephant the Nuer- men, women and children - appeared in large numbers and in a few hours the enormous mass of meat was cut up and carried away...It was extraordinary to see these naked men swarming all over the carcass and even inside it, most of them covered with blood, partly from the elephant and partly from cuts on their own bodies, as they hacked and slashed with their spearheads.' Chris Morton [15/9/2004]
Elin Bornemann [11/12/2003] Christopher Morton [21/9/2004] [Southern Sudan Project]
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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