The indigenous species living in many African countries still follow the customs that have existed since ancient times. Many of their traditions are completely different from the rest of the world. One of them is the Dinka, the largest tribe inhabiting the eastern and western banks of the Nile in South Sudan. Geophysicist Ratnesh Pandey by profession shared his experiences in Sudan with Navbharat Times Online. Learn the history of this particular tribe here
Who is Dinka?
Hundreds of years ago, the Dinka people were called Moinjung, which means “people of the people”. The Dinka is the largest tribe in Africa. He lives in the region of Behroonjal on the Nile. Breeding and breeding are their main tasks. The Dinka group mainly cultivates sorghum, millet, groundnuts, beans, maize (maize) and other crops. Dinka women mainly do agriculture, but Dinka men clear the forest for gardening sites. Dinka usually cultivate twice a year. The Dinka tribe comprises around 14 sub-communities. It is the largest tribe in South Sudan. Dinka people are outgoing, social and enjoy sharing their happiness and pain with one another.
The lifestyle changes with the seasons
The weather has not affected the way of life of the Dinka tribals of Sudan. They are always linked to the threads of their tradition and their culture. Their lifestyle changes depending on the weather. During the rainy season they live in permanent savanna settlements and grow cereals such as millet, peanuts, beans, corn, while in summer they are seen along the banks of the river with herds of cattle.
The greatest African
According to Dinka Adivasi tradition, when a boy is young, he is given an ox, which is named after the young man. As the bull’s wings grow, the young man decorates them in different shapes. Most Dinka use animal skins in place of clothing and decorate the body with ashes. One of the reasons for using ash is also mosquito protection. The Dinka tribe is considered the tallest and tallest people in Africa, as is the Tutsi tribe of Rwanda. Males of the Dinka tribe have an average height of around 182.6 cm (5 ft 11.9 in) and females have an average height of 176.4 cm (5 ft 9.4 in).
Culture Pride – Cattle
Dinka communities depend mainly on traditional agriculture and animal husbandry, cattle rearing is a cultural pride for the Dinka community. The Dinka breed cattle not for commercial or meat purposes, but for cultural performances, rituals, milk, food marriages and “dowry”. Exceptionally, sometimes, in certain circumstances, such as slaughtering cows for food at the time of marriage.
During the dry season, Dinka communities confine their livestock to rivers, grasslands, but during the rainy season, take them according to height to avoid flooding and water. Dinka communities are better developed to survive in hot climates. The Dinka community does not eat during the day. The Dinka sit around the fire and eat food in the evening. The food of the Dinka community consists mainly of milk, vegetables and fish.
Carry less luggage
Cows are not sacrificed in the Dinka community, with a few exceptions. The Dinka community is led by a head of society who chooses the grazing sites. Each Dinka family raises a large number of cattle and a few goats. The Dinka community roam from place to place with their cattle, so the Dinka don’t keep many belongings with them, just earthen pots, pottery, handkerchiefs made by women for cover hands and hunting work For the spear.
This is how milk comes from cows
The Dinka community also makes it possible to take milk from their cows which have stopped milking and for this they use a special technique. By virtue of this, a 9 or 10 year old child from the Dinka community fills the air with his mouth in the urine of this cow and massages the urine of the cow with both hands. This process continues for about four to five minutes and after that the cow starts to milk surprisingly. The love of the Dinka community for their cattle is clearly visible.
Girls are rich
Agriculture and animal husbandry are the main occupation of the Dinka tribe while Dinka women manage many grains and vegetables such as pumpkin, millet, cassava, maize and sesame, while Dinka men manage animal camps. Having a daughter in a family in the Dinka community is considered a measure of happiness and wealth for the girl’s family, because the more girls there are in the family, the richer and more prosperous the family will be. In fact, every time a boy marries a girl, he pays the girl’s family a lot as a dowry.
In the Dinka community, when two people argue over marriage with the same girl, then in this competition whoever pays more and more cows and money to the girl’s family has the right to get the wife. During the competition, the number of cows reaches around 200 which the competitor has to give to the woman’s family.
This is how marriage is decided
In Dinka society, the cow is considered the best place among animals and women and girls among humans and those who have them both consider themselves the luckiest person in the world. When it comes to getting married in the Dinka tribe, a Dinka man has to pay at least 80 cows and money to the girl’s family. The person wishing to marry first goes to the male members of the girl’s family and asks them for the girl’s hand and assures them to offer the cow as a dowry.
After that, the male members of the girl’s family inquire about the financial situation of the person wishing to marry. Once the male members of the girl’s family are satisfied with the financial situation of the person wishing to marry, the boy is sent to the girl’s mother and female family members to ask for their permission. Once everything is decided, the boy pays the cows and the money for the wedding. Not only that, he serves food for the whole family of the girl and then takes the girl to her house.
Entered 3000 BC
South Sudan is predominantly Christian, but in addition to them there are also a large number of traditional African primitive tribes who worship nature. Atheists and Muslims also reside here. Historically, the Dinka tribe settled in the southern part of Sudan as a hunter clan in 3000 BCE and began to spread throughout the region of Sudan from early 1500 AD.
Ottoman rule for many centuries
Turkey’s Ottoman Empire over Dinkaland lasted for several centuries, which ended in 1880 with the British Empire. From there until 1956, it remained a colony of the British Empire. South Sudan gained independence following a referendum on July 9, 2011 after a fierce civil war over the Khartoum government attempt to Islamize the entire tribal group after gaining independence from the British colony.
In this referendum, a large number of people (98.83% of the total vote) voted for the creation of a new nation separate from Sudan. It is the 196th independent country in the world, the 193rd member of the United Nations and the 55th country in Africa. So, on July 9, 2011, on the world map, united Sudan was replaced by two new countries on the globe, one of which became North Sudan dominated by Islam and the other South Sudan. dominated by tribes and Christians.
In July 2012, the country signed the Geneva Conference. South Sudan is divided into ten states (North Bahr al Ghazal, Western Bahr al Ghazal, Lex, Varrap, Western Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Eastern Equatoria, Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile).