Title : Cattle and Dust
These photos are a subset of a travel reportage about the small ethnic group of Mundari I did in February 2020. Mundari are cattle herders of South Sudan, the world’s youngest country, who dedicate their lives to the care of their cattle. The Mundari live in symbiosis with their cattle and nothing is more important for them than their bovines. In the cattle camps, kids are doing most of the daily work. They collect the fresh cow dung and put it into piles which are then set on fire to repel the numerous and voracious mosquitoes of the area. Mundari also use the ash created by these fires to rub on themselves and their cattle, creating a protection against mosquitoes. They massage their animals twice a day. When the herd come back from grazing the dust lift by the cattle, the smoke of the fires lighted on agains mosquitoes and the sun light, make the atmosphere of the camp almost mystical. The young kids and the guardinas are sleeping with the cows. The ash from dung fires, as fine as talcum powder, is often used as bedding. To largely keep themselves clean, Mundari men squat under streams of cow urine, which they see as a natural antiseptic to fight infection. The act also tinges their hair orange.