`Nuer of the Sudan culture. Can a scar considered to make a man ? I think this is important question to be discussed in this article in details. I can say yes however, most of the African tribes in general believed that scar is important part of culture and has been considered in their customs that a man must have some marks on his body part and than to make him to become a man.
Let take for example, the Nuer tribal marks is one of the most important event in the life of the Nuer people, of the South Sudan, is cutting to make the to become the man is consider the most significance event as a custom symbol for the tribes. By far this most important event in life of a Nuer boy comes when he has a bout to reached the ages of puberty.15-16 years old.
This is time to gets a marks on his forehead with six cuts of parallel lines. is a time from his boyhood to the manhood. The boy who have their tribal marks cuts usually took place from 4-6 years duration, is to be give a certain class name which they are going to be known with it. Always Nuer man is known his ages in class he is belong to , by the year when he was marking, but not the day he was born. Birthday is not important in the Nuer culture
A rite changes the statues of the boy from that of boy to man. Now he is to attend all dances, he may carry his own spear- infect all the privilege of a man are his. He also may exercise authority over other boys who have not as yet had a tribal marks cut and his sisters must treat him more respectfully than in the past. He is to practiced some Despines with some importance responsibilities. for now he has a voice in his father home affairs as well as in the community however, he must render due deference to those who have had their tribal marks cut before him. In that he is to continue some access of respect and dignity.
Every male child who passed through the rite of initiation to the manhood is to be given an ox and spear by his father or any adult male in the family as a sign of his manhood to shows is an adult and his ox name color. The boy became the centre of attraction at his village. And his ox name is more than a passport to him. That was the only time when the youth takes personal name from that marking period The ox name is to encouraging him to do all things by his power. The most important things is to be ready to fight any war. No one compels him to care or looking after small calves, goat and sheep, not even to continue helping women by milking the cows as these were his duty before he was a boy.
In a war time if accidental happen, the boy who has no marks on his head is considered like a woman compensation payment are more than a man mark why because women considered as innocent as the same as unmarked boy.
How is the Process Done?
First of all, the boys of the village who had reached the ages, 15-16 years, are to agreed to be marked and invited the expert man to marks them.The House to stay, They are ready , the hair shaved off, removes all clothing as well as beads, ornaments of all kinds, every one of the must be discarded They are to be in the same place in the night of marking takes place. The boys are allotted a house in which to sleep the night before the rite take place but, little sleep or none at all.
Pillow ring of can- leave with a hole in the centre used by the boy until their would heal. The day break, before the daybreak, the people are stirring for the man who will cut the tribal marks come at or before sunrise in order that the ordeal may be over and the boys safely back in the house before the heat of the days begins. Parents, all villagers people some of the near by girl friends have to come to see how bravely the boy act when suffering for claming as to become a man.
In the day break before sunrise they still to be in the house before the heat of the day begins waiting for their called. The hole be dung outside the yard in the open air 4-6 inches in diameter deep for each boy. Each oh the boy must be taken out from these hole. The expert man begins to call each boy, and he is to come out lie down on his back , head on the hole, arms fold over his chest and he is ready to be marks. Now then, the elders son of the village is the first to be called the expert is to kneeling down beside the boy with his knife on his hand and began to cuts the first boy As soon as he done the second and the third and so on are to be called, until all lie there still and bleeding for some time.
In that movement everything is quiet when the actual cutting takes place except to hear the sound of the sharp knife grating upon the skull of the bone. The cutting started at the centre of the forehead and extends the cut even to past the ear. The boy absolutely remained unshaken of fear. If this hard happens, it always bring shame to the parents an his friends such as the girl friend as well this is heard to bear.
The boys remain lies until the bleeding stop. When it stop the boys are told by the expert to go into the hut prepared for them. Each of the crawls into the house on his Hands and feet, but back and head to the ground and body hold in the horizontal position. The done that with out any help either from the parent or expert.. But for some few days, they used pillow to sleeping on. This pillow, is a ring can often with the hole in the centre. They are remained sleeping on it until their wounds heal.
Women of the village: The women of the village on that especial occasion wear their long made of grass dancing skirts and they begin to rush in singing and dancing of being their sons had reach the ages of the men. The women and the men of that especial are now ready to make a little mock fight is staged between the men and the women of that village in which the women are allowed to use clubs, but the men must defend themselves bar handed This fighting is just for happiness not an actual fight.
After cutting is done the big bull is to be killed as a sort of sacrificed to insured that the would be quickly heal. After six to tens day the boys are get out. They wears a piece of sheep skin over their head to keep flies a way from the wound. The all these cuts are washed later on for clotted blood, is left undisturbed for some time. The boys are usually carries a long cluster feather as fan to helping them keep flies a way from the would on their head. They would not go a among into the cattle nor pregnant women would comes near to the; even the man whose wife pregnant, is to be avoid to visiting them. As soon as their would held, they become the centre of attraction from that community
Who Made the marking: It has being done by the experts men. Expert at cutting the tribal marks are much in demand as the season of could winds approach in each month of December every year. For each year there are usually boys in each locality must have the tribal marks. Cut and the services of some one who is an adept at the work is required. Usually this rite is executed upon several boys at the same time and place, so that they may find companionship in the company each other while they were under recovery. For ordeal it is no matter how much they try to bolster up their courage.
The demand take place is every four to six years the marking forehead is being cut with a sharp knife. by theexpert man in that village. This took place when the cold winds blows in the season of fall as the December approaching. Several boys are to be marks in the same time in the same placeThis marking took place from four to six years. The duration from groups or class marking time is 4-6 years are going to be given a certain name This will be the name they are going to remembered that he is belong, but not the day he was born. Birth days is not recognize in the Nuer culture.
Why are the Nuer Male Boys' Foreheads Cut?
Cutting the boys forehead, is a great change of the status. the boys is free to attend all the dances , he is to exercise authority over his sisters including mother, are to treat him more respectfully than in the past. All the privileges of a man are now his . He is to carry his own give spear and club for protection. He is ready to fight bravely and his ox name encourage him to do any thing by his own way. For him this is a time a man must be considered as a man to do what so ever he can do. And as a result, he is to practice discipline with a big responsibility that works well. And continue gaining access of respect than he was still a boy. He is to be a man of his own man, he is to have a big voice in his father affair and his community. He also stop looking after calves, sheep, goats and helping mother for milking cows as it was his duty before he was given some marks on his forehead in short, marking the boys forehead at this time is not to be continue. The Nuer began to learn from other world people because of going to school and most of them became Christians. Made them to understands that the different between men and woman, is not because of putting a marks on the body parts, this can not make any one to become a man. Scar can not make a man. This is understand well by Nuer in 1972 of the signing of the peace. Anyanya II SplM/A and how the Nuer began to immigrated change every things.
Marking, is now days come to hold, there are no many needed to be initiated. Since from the end of 1972 some of the Nuer sections join the world community because of the two reasons. First many Nuer became Christianity belief. Second many boys became love to go to schools. These two things change them and they begins to know that it was not the cutting the forehead that can make a man to be man, nor as a different between man and the woman.
Nuer people considered marking of the boys forehead as their great difference between man and the woman. they forget that the different between man the woman is not of the marking forehead, but the creature of the nature for all human kind that make a different Nuer ways of marking is also being threaten by their immigration to the developed first world. No one can even try . it since it has been seen as a dreadful ordeal, otherwise you must be put into jail for all your life time my children, even if I still in Sudan the process of marking a boy forehead I can not excepted. The culture of cutting seem not to be a good way to continue be practicing it this time. Cutting forehead is always a dreadful ordeal, but as this is a custom no matter how much the pains can be ones must encourage as everyone in the villages boy do, you have to do it too. Culture accepted by its people even though its had a painful memory.