Dinka Man Covered in Ash, South Sudan

Courtship begins for Dinka men at 20 years old, and for girls at 17. A man, however, may not marry until he is 30 years old, as he must raise the sufficient number of cattle to pay the bride price. Continue reading

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Dinka Woman Dancing, South Sudan

A young Dinka woman abandons herself to the pleasure of dancing. She wears the highly valued blue beads given to her as a present by her husband at their marriage. Continue reading

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Leaping Dinka Dancer, South Sudan

Gathering outside of the cattle camp, Dinka men leap high in the air, competing for the attention of young girls who are eligible for marriage. Continue reading

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Dinka Man Playing Drum, South Sudan

Young Dinka men and women dance together in small groups, their rhythmic stamping keeping pace with the ever-increasing beat of the drums. Continue reading

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Dinka Woman Wearing Corset, South Sudan

Some Dinka women from wealthy families also wear beaded corsets. The height of the corset in this photograph indicates the girl’s parents require over 80 head of cattle in exchange for her hand in marriage. Continue reading

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Dinka Woman with Corset Carrying Calabash, South Sudan

At 17 to 18 years a girl is ready for marriage, and is fattened up by her family to look attractive. A beaded bodice veils and subtly enhances her femininity. A valued gift from her mother, the bodice is passed … Continue reading Continue reading

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Dinka Woman in Corset, South Sudan

Dry season cattle camps provide an opportunity for young men and women to meet in total freedom. Sexual matters are discussed openly, though behavior is quite innocent. A young woman’s corset is supported by two rigid wires running down the … Continue reading Continue reading

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Dinka Warrior With Spear, South Sudan

The size and beauty of a Dinka man’s corset reflects whether he comes from a family rich in cattle and can afford a high bride price. Continue reading

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Dinka Men in Beaded Corsets, South Sudan

Dinka men from South Sudan often walk through the cattle camps hand in hand. This physical touching celebrates their close bonds as age-mates. Their traditional corsets are color coded to show their status in life: a red corset indicates a … Continue reading Continue reading

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Robed Dinka Elder with Namesake Ox, South Sudan

At puberty a Dinka male receives a namesake ox after which he is named. He believes that he and the animal are one being. From calfhood he trains it’s horns into beautiful lyre shapes, and emulates them with his arms … Continue reading Continue reading

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