Dinka Ceremonial Staff. Origin: South Sudan. Specifications: H61 x W9 x D8.5 cm Medium: Timber carving, metalwork & pigment. Provenance: Private Collection, Cape Town.
The Dinka are a pastoral-agricultural people that make up the largest ethnic group in South Sudan They vary their lifestyle by season – in the rainy season they live in permanent savannah settlements and raise grain crops like millet, while in the dry season they herd cattle along rivers throughout their region. Their lives are very closely intertwined with those of their cattle – at their coming of age ceremony, young Dinka men are given an ox, and that ox’s name becomes a part of their own name. As it grows, they also shape their ox’s long horns into different forms.
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