Men of the Dinka tribe in South Sudan scar their faces with three parallel lines across the forehead in a rugged display of courage to the tribe. One of the reasons, according to the doctor, is that many Dinka and Nuer were killed because they were able to identify each other through the traditional head markings.
A symbolic and interpretive anthropologist would argue that these scars are the direct result of learned clan traditions. Passed down through the years, from old to new, the symbolic scarring defines the Dinka people.
The Nuer people are said to have originally been a section of the Dinka people that migrated out of the Gezira but south into a barren dry land that they called “Kwer Kwong””, which was in southern Kordofan. Centuries of isolation and influence from Luo peoples caused them to be a distinct ethnic group from the Dinka.
The Nuer have a traditional religious worldview usually called “animistic.” But they worship a supreme being called Kwoth (Kuoth) who has various manifestations with which some claim to have personal relationships. The Nuer pray for health and well-being, offering sacrifices to Kwoth so he will answer their petitions.
It has become Salvaʼs life mission. Salva became an American citizen and studied International Business in Rochester, New York, while working as president and drilling manager of Water for South Sudan, Inc. He now lives in Wau, South Africa and oversees Water for South Sudan’s operations there.
Due to the fact that the Nuer supported the Sudanese government in the civil war, they were seen as not supportive enough of the new South Sudanese government. This sparked bloodshed between the Dinka and Nuer, which is considered by some to be the next civil war in South Sudan (Howden, 2013).
Tattoos are wounds. They must heal properly before you’ll see the end result. It’s completely natural for a tattoo wound to scab over — you must resist pulling off these scabs, as scar tissue can form. Tattoo wound-healing can also be an itchy process.
He says scarification often hurts less than a tattoo; in fact, all forms of scarification occur on the same level of the skin as tattoos: on the dermis, far above fatty tissues and muscle matter.
But how the Dinka became some of the tallest people in the world has been somewhat of a mystery. A popular explanation is nutrition – a calorie-stuffed diet rich in dairy products, grains, and meat. Dinka primary nutrition is milk and organic food.
1: a member of a Nilotic people of southern Sudan. 2: the language of the Nuer people.
Because the land is flooded for part of the year and parched for the rest of it, they spend the rainy season in permanent villages built on the higher ground and the dry season in riverside camps.
South Sudan’s two predominant and most populous tribes, the Dinka and Nuer were longtime rivals who had battled over land and resources since at least the 19th century. As herders most historical inter-communal conflicts between these two communities are necessitated by geographic and not necessarily political factors.
Dinka are sometimes noted for their height. With the Tutsi of Rwanda, they are believed to be the tallest people in Africa. Roberts and Bainbridge reported the average height of 182.6 cm (5 ft 11.9 in) in a sample of 52 Dinka Agaar and 181.3 cm (5 ft 11.4 in) in 227 Dinka Ruweng measured in 1953–1954.
Both Nuer and Dinka are cattle herders on the vast savannas of the region. The Nuer are fully transhumant; the Dinka less so as their environment is less harsh and better watered, consisting of orchard savanna rather than the treeless plains of Nuerland.