Feb 5, 2018

Dinka: The Nude Tribe of South Sudan

There are 4.5 million Dinka (they call themselves Muonyjang).  Their traditional home is along the White Nile in South Sudan, near the border of Uganda. Mostly pastoralists, they raise long-horned cattle for the milk (rarely the meat).  They speak a Sudanic language, similar to several others in the upper Nile region.

The Dinka have long been a favorite with anthropologists, who enjoy investigating their beliefs, rituals, and physiques.  They are reputedly the tallest ethnic group in Africa, and superb athletes.  

For the last 30 years, Sudan has been involved in a massive civil war and many other internal conflicts.  As a result, millions of Dinka have fled the country. There are sizeable refugee populations in the United States, especially in Des Moines, Iowa, Jacksonville, Florida, and Sioux Falls, South Dakota.  The well-received movie The Lost Boys of Sudan is about the Dinka.

Since many Dinka tend to be tall, they are often recruited to play basketball.  Peter Jok plays for the Iowa Hawkeyes.

The other thing you should know about the Dinka is that their traditional costume consists of necklaces.  No clothes.  I can't show you here, of course, but they aren't just the tallest ethnic group in Africa.

A simple google image search should provide you with ample examples of Dinka men in the buff.

1 comment:

  1. Sounds like a Tales of West Hollywood post is in order.

    They sometimes wear corsets. Actually, being naked, and not circumcised, unusual for much of Africa but particularly North Africa, is one of the things that offends the Muslims. Similar thing with penis gourds in West Papua.

    (As an aside, this is one of the many things that make explaining indigenous issues to liberals so complicated: Liberals are, by default, Orientalist romantics. In fact, it was those oh-so-horrid Evangelicals who brought the Dinka, and more recently Yazidis, here.)


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