Society & Culture

Nuer Scarification: Ancient Body Art


Sudan Events


The pattern of Nuer scarification varies within specific subgroups. The most common initiation pattern among males consists of six parallel horizontal lines which are cut across the forehead with a razor, often with a dip in the lines above the nose.

The Nuer people are a Nilotic ethnic group concentrated in the Greater Upper Nile region of South Sudan. They also live in the Ethiopian region of Gambella.

The Nuer speak the Nuer language, which belongs to the Nilotic language family.

They are the second largest ethnic group in South Sudan. The Nuer people are pastoralists who herd cattle for a living. Their cattle serve as companions and define their lifestyle. The Nuer refer to themselves as “Naath”.

The Nuer people, an esteemed Nilotic ethnic group, possess a distinct cultural practice known as scarification.

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