Images from the Nuba Mountains 1956 - 1985

After the independence of Sudan, linguistists, anthropologists and other scientists continued to conduct research in the Nuba Mountains. People like Gert Baumann, James Faris and many others travelled to Kordofan to learn more about these tribes that modernity seemed to have forgotten. Others, like Leni Riefenstahl, came with different purposes: a cover story or an inventory of vanishing worlds - as if they all wanted to be George Rodger really.

Rousseau was the first to call the savages noble, and idealisation of the primitive life has been a constant factor ever since in the European approach to tribal societies. Researchers and photographers alike were drawn towards the Nuba by the aura of innocense and originality that surrounded them. This one phrase keeps recurring in reference to the Nuba: they were 'untouched by civilisation'.

Going through the history of the Nuba, it is obvious that the Nuba were never living in a time capsule. Some tribes, nevertheless, kept closer to their tradional way of living than others. Whether this way of living has been rightfully romaticised or not - who can tell? The images are wonderful though.

The Nuba Mountains Homepage was made by Nanne op 't Ende.
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