Siegfried F. Nadel

In 1937 Douglas Newbold, Governor of Kordofan, asked the Sudan Government to finance a study into the cultures of the Nuba. One year later, Siegfried Nadel was appointed as Government Anthropologist in the Sudan, to investigate the Nuba tribes.

Nadel had received his doctoral degree in 1925 from the University of Vienna in Psychology and Philosophy and had been a post graduate student of the London School of Economics Department of Anthropology. From 1934-36, he had worked with the Nupe and other groups in northern Nigeria.

Nadel started his research in the Nuba Mountains in 1938 and the Second World War broke out before he could write down his findings. From 1942-1945 he served in the British Military Administration in Eritrea and in 1945 he became Secretary for Native Affairs to the British Military Administration in Tripolitania.

Finally, in 1947, he was able to publish his book: The Nuba: an Anthropological Study of the Hill Tribes in Kordofan. It is a wonderfully detailed study that has recorded for history the complexity and variety of the Nuba cultures as they existed in those days. The following images are copied from the book.

Age-grade dance in Otoro

Planting in Heiban

Hoeing in Heiban

Terraced cultivation in Otoro (Chungur)

Weeding in Otoro

Stacking grain in Heiban

Threshing in Otoro

Angreb-maker in Otoro (Chungur)

Pottery 'factory' in Tira

Otoro hunters setting out on an expedition

Nyima hills


Watering cattle in Korongo

Spearing of bulls in Korongo funeral feast

Arab road shops inKorongo

Urila hill in Otoro; on the right cairn-shaped
shrine of seasonal fertility rites

Heiban mountain

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