The DINKA CULTURE- Sudan
The DINKA are among the largest ethnic groups in South Sudan! And are a Part of a larger group known as Nilotics. They are most notable by their beautiful dark skin and by their height (average height is 5 ft 11). The Dinka are among the tallest people in Africa and the world! Along with the Tutsi people of Rwanda.
There is no origin of the word Dinka as they refer to themselves as Muonjang or Jieng .
The Dinka Land is so widespread and vast and is divided by several rivers. As a result, many people of the Dinka tribe are not aware of the many other sections inhabited by fellow Dinka.
The Dinka are huge cattle herding people! It is no wonder they have over 400 words relating to cattle in the Dinka language and they have come to be widely known as;
"The Legendary Cattle Keepers of Sudan," as they are strongly devoted to their cattle and have several stories and myths that explain why and how they acquired them.
As a result of their respect and devotion to cattle, they do not slaughter cattle solely for the meat, but for traditional or religious sacrifices.
The Dinka culture is a unique and fascinating one!
In the Dinka Culture, food is not eaten during the day. Families gather around a fire in the evenings, to eat fish, vegetables, milk and rarely meat.
The women, men and children wear very little clothing. Although clothing has become more common in recent years. Among their clothing, you can find; goatskin skirts and dresses, beautiful colorful beaded corsets, bangles for the arms and legs and also elaborate jewelry.
In the Dinka culture, elaborate and expressive cultural ceremonies are held for births, weddings and buriels, during which various forms of entertainment are given, including song and dance. These ceremonies often go on for a few days at a time.
An interesting ceremony within the Dinka Culture is the 'coming of age ceremony' held mostly for young men, where they are inducted into adulthood.
During this ceremony, the young men are marked with a sharp object on the forehead, to create permanent marks. Being that the Dinka are mainly agripastoral, the young men are also given "Ox Names," which are formed or derived from several characteristics of their favourite cattle.
FUN FACT: Some noteable Dinka in POP Culture include; Supermodel- Alek Wek and NBA player for the Milwaukee Bucks, Thon Maker.
The Dinka are quite the creatives. They produce clay pots, baskets, mats, elephant tusk bracelets and so much more!