Blanche Cora Soule

View photographs by Blanche Cora Soule.

Blanche Soule was a missionary at the American Presbytarian Mission at Nasir (begun 1913) during Evans-Pritchard's visits there in the 1930s, remaining there until at least 1945. A number of photographs taken by him seem to be in the grounds or proximity of the mission station there. The Nuer (Oxford University Press, 1940) is dedicated to 'The Staff of the American Mission at Nasser', and he notes in the Preface that "I wish to make particular acknowledgement to the staff of the American Mission, especially to Miss B. Soule, who unreservedly placed their home, their time, and their knowledge at my disposal. I dedicate this book to them not only as an expression of personal gratitude, but also as a tribute to their devoted service to the Nuer."

Evans-Pritchard first met Soule at the Nasir mission in 1931 and in December of that year wrote her a letter, which included the following thoughts:

"People in the Sudan often say that I am against Christian missions. It is largely true that I am against missions, but not against Christian missions, and by that I mean missions which regard it as a privilege to work among Africans and realize that Christianity is a spirit which can permeate any culture and not a body of ready-made and repressive rules of conduct which a native must accept in exchange for a higher social status. Yours is the only station I have ever been at where I felt that the Europeans were really at one with the natives and treated them as brothers and sisters. I hope you will not mind my saying this."

(Source Indiana University Library Digital Program - Nuer Field Notes. URL:

Soule evidently gave or sent this photograph of motherless Nuer children to Evans-Pritchard sometime after they met.

Reverse of 1998.346.346
Funded by Arts and Humanities Research Council
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