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Photographer's Note

The dominant ethnic groups of southern Sudan, the Dinka and the Nuer, have traditionally based their life and economy on raising cattle. The men and older boys usually spent long periods in the bush with their animals. Life went on the same way it had done for hundreds or thousands of years. According to tradition there was no need to wear any clothes. To protect themselves against insects the men covered themselves with ashes.
This picture was taken from a boat going down the Nile in February 1983. A few seconds later I had my camera taken away by security agents and in the evening, when we reached the town of Bor, I was taken ashore along with some other lawbreaking foreigners, and brought to a police-station. We were threatened to have the films taken away, but after some discussion we were warmly welcomed to Sudan and wished a pleasant continued journey.
A few months later civil war broke out in Sudan between the South and the North and the Dinka formed the core of the southern liberation army SPLA. I think the people on this picture were Dinka, but I'm not sure. I wasn't close enough to identify them from their ritual scars on the foreheads.
This was scanned from a Kodachrome slide.

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Additional Photos by Gert Holmertz (holmertz) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 9705 W: 511 N: 18823] (83294)
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