Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: January 26, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412964623 | Print ISBN: 9781412936361 | Online ISBN: 9781412964623| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Molefi Kete Asante
The Dinka are a Sudanese people whose culture centers on their cattle. The Dinka believe that each family group should occupy an area that will provide pasture and water for their cattle herds. All of life's rituals and ceremonies are connected to this reality. In effect, the cattle are responsible for an understanding of the Dinka way of life in terms of births, marriages, death, and the meaning of the universe. Thus, they use every aspect of the cattle. For example, every aspect of the cow's body and skin is used for something in the culture. The urine is used as a cleaning soap when one is washing. It is also used to dye the hair, to tan hides, and so forth. The dung is used for fires, and the ash from the fires is used to keep the animals clean of ticks and other bugs. Personal adornment of the ...