The Dinka People of Southern Sudan

African Ceremonies, Inc.


Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher

African Ceremonies, Inc. is the nonprofit entity that funds the documentation of traditional cultures by Beckwith and Fisher.

Captivated by the richness of the cultures of Africa, Angela Fisher and Carol Beckwith have passionately recorded intricate rituals and ceremonies of cultural traditions, images reflecting the inspirational legacy of the great ancient African cultures and vital evidence of the creativity of humankind. Fisher and Beckwith have published 11 books about African life. However, the Dinka book is different. Never before have they documented with such timely honesty the beauty and the distinctiveness of a culture as well as the political pressures and changes that afflict traditional life in the modern times. To the viewer, the book feels like a glimpse into the souls of this ancient culture.

Dr. Donald Johanson, Professor and Chair of the School of Human Evolution and Social Change, at the University of Arizona, and Director of the Institute of Human Origins, has described the work of Fisher and Beckwith in these words:
“Carol Beckwith and Angela Fisher are not only truly remarkable photographers, but their dedication to preserving for all time the dazzling diversity of African Ceremonies, Inc. is unparalleled.  Their celebration of African cultures will forever serve as the most compelling and passionate portrayal of the splendor of human creativity from the very continent that gave rise to all humanity.”

Tribal elders and African scholars agree that the work of Beckwith and Fisher is monumental in its contribution to the history of traditional life in Africa. Their work will help ensure that a history of thousands of cultural ceremonies, rituals and values is available for future generations of Africans, for educators and as part of the human record.

 

“Of the many pastoralists we had visited in Africa, the Dinka have the closest and most profound relationship to their cattle – a rare symbiosis between animal and man. Long ago, according to Dinka legend, the first warriors went hunting and killed the mother of both the first buffalo and the first cow. The animals vowed to take revenge, but they chose to fight back in different ways. The buffalo decided to roam the land and attack man whenever he saw him. The cow, however, acted more subtly. She allowed herself to be caught and domesticated and in time made man dependent on her. Thus, the Dinka became obliged to satisfy her needs and even to give their own lives for her.”