The Nuers (Anthropology)

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The Nuer is a film by Robert Gardner, which was filmed during the dry season of Southwestern Ethiopia in 1968. Robert Gardner and his team lived with the Nuers during the dry season and captured the lives and tradition of the Nuer. The documentary begins with the Nuer singing a song that states their morning ritual which begins with the clean ashes of a dung fire. Also explained in the song is the introduction of the oldest man living in the village of Ciengach, Maldwal. Maldwal states that they have always had cows because god gave it to them. Cows are part of their culture and have been passed down from father to son. Cows play a great role in the lives of the Nuer "cows give us everything, they are our happiness", Maldwal claims. When the Nuers are in need of help they sacrifice an ox to god. Maldwal states that a Nuer may sacrifice an ox when a god enters his home or just to thank him but never sacrifices without a reason. Another tradition of the Nuers is when a boy becomes a man, he must be marked. Tis mark is made on his forehead and is called a gar. During Gardner's stay only two boys in Ciengach were to receive gar because of the outbreak of smallpox that year. The boy tells his father he is ready and the father tells his aunt who confirms it. A special man is then arranged to come to their village to make sure these mark are given properly. The boy receiving gar gives the man performing gar a fishing spear, his sister makes a feast for when her brother has finished his initiation and a woman makes kong, a form of beer, for the soon to be man. During this process, grain and dung dire are placed in the boy's house and a sheep is sacrificed. Leading their childhood behind the boys enter manhood nude. When a boy receives gar he also receives an ox from his father and is called by a new name which is name after the color pattern if his ox. If a boy doesn't

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