Dinka Cultural Art
The Dinka people occupy significant parts of South Sudan, where they explore significant cultural arts. As one of the Nilotic speaking groups, the Dinka exhibit explicit cultural associations, and their skills are pertinent to the various activities that people engage in throughout the region. Remarkably, art is portrayed as an essential element among the Dinka people. For instance, as opposed to dances and other folklores that are predominant among this tribe, men folk carve spears and fishing hooks, while women weave baskets using mats and papyrus used as beds. This paper focuses on exploring the Dinka cultural arts by examining dance and songs that are pertinent to execute the needed characteristics.
Dance and song play an integral role among the Dinka people and entire South Sudan. They are conducted on different occasions to depict specific meanings associated with them. Additionally, different songs and dances have particular patterns that differentiate them from the other and the substances that they contain. For instance, the ox drug song, which is so predominant among the Dinka people, is a preliminary song by a group of Dinka men in a large formed circle with the girls making different integrals patterns for the overall beauty of the music. In this song, different characteristics are depicted, and the singers and the dancers are in specific designs that are different from any other among the tribes in South Sudan (Pendle, 2017). Notably, most dance formation is a mixture of men and women in specific patterns. The dance styles are initiated by the singer, who is also the song composer. The composition and the dance patterns depict a particular meaning based on the occasion. The Dinka’s folklore is rich in stories associated with the origins of animal behaviors, everyday life, and customs.
The Dinka dance is an impeccable art. The patterns depicted in different dances and songs among the Dinka people portray a unique cultural celebration as it is generally done on specific occasions. Dance among the Dinka people is also a sign of unity and depicts seasons of the years and events celebrated. Artists from various traditional groups usually come together during these occasions to showcase their talents. They incorporate a broad range of themes and issues in these cultural arts’ good associations among people. Culturally, through dances and songs, most artists in the region promote explicit ethnic heritage through the association of unique designs. Notably, most through music and dance, people can relate adequately and exhibit certain useful and meaningful situations among the entire tribe.
Characteristics of the Dinka Dance
The Dinka dance has working movements and styles that make it different from others. The bending of knees, accompanied by the swinging of the machete, is used to elaborate on the song’s meaning. There is also the formation of closed circles with dancers facing each other or sometimes facing the center. The Dinka dance exhibit formations using formalized floor patterns, with men and women interchange during the process (Mayik, 2020). Additionally, the dancers often move along the circle while others use straight-line formations with spears and arrows as the main dancing tools.
Moreover, the choice of language, commonly Juba Arabic, English, and Kiswahili, or sometimes a mixture of these languages, is common among most Dinka songs and dances. Notably, Dynamic is common in most modern dances. Overall, through dance formations, the dress code, and styles, Dinka culture is adequately depicted. The mixture of men and women is a sign of unity and is common in most dances.
Play and Leisure for Dinka cultural group
The Dinka tribe has little time to play and recreation purposes. However, during celebrations often after harvest, they engage in cultural dances and songs accompanied by social events to make the day a success. Leisure is also not common among these people as they are entirely busy with their herds. When the opportunity for such an event arises, the men engage in mock sparring where they use sticks or spears and shields to make the event enjoyable. Additionally, celebrations are expected during the autumn when people are together where offerings are done to honor political leaders and traditional spiritual figures (Jurkuch, 2019). Drought seasons provide the best leisure time for the Dinka people. The common forms of entertainment are sports and wrestling. In wresting, two strong engage in fierce entanglement as the others cheer from a distance. It is the most common source of entertainment as mostly done by youths. Overall, leisure is also closely tied to religious practices, one of the main cultural focus among the Dinka people. The association and inclusion of cultural practices such as specific dress codes and tools portray cultural indication.
Art, Play, and Leisure in The Dinka Group Changing through Globalization
Globalization brought a significant impact on art, play, and leisure in the Dinka group. The inclusion of modern art forms interfered with the cultural norms that were prevalent among the group. Transmogrification, which was the main impact of globalization on traditional beliefs and religious systems, saw Dinka’s art being disintegrated as the shred norms receiving significant setbacks from the original ones (Currie, 2012). Significantly, globalization involves sweeping changes in cultural and social patterns that are pertinent to a specific group. Among the Dinka people, the sweeping of these systems saw most of the cultural practices being disintegrated. For instance, the introduction of the cyber-culture saw significant developments in traditional beliefs and norms that significantly changed the lifestyle’s nature.
Globalization led to introducing new dress codes and lifestyles, contrasting the original exhibition among the Dinka people. For instance, the wearing of long and full dresses opposes the traditional beads and skin wear among these groups. The increasing advancement in communication, information technology, and transportation methods changed the original perception that was common among the Dinka. English, which is regarded as the global and official language, virtually pushed the Dinkas indigenous dialects to nothingness as people try to make significant changes as much as possible. Excessive use of modem technologies such as computers saw the death of traditional drugs and dance styles. Categorically, anthropologists have played an integral role in preserving cultures that have been influenced by globalization. By creating museums and the initiation of cultural sites, most of the cultural practices that have been lost due to globalization have been preserved. Notably, through inhibition of the traditional artistic methods, anthropologists have helped build resonate avenues where societies who have lost their cultures, art, play, and other associated variables can make a new focus. Overall, the establishment of reading materials and impeccable resources has helped preserve cultures to better standards regardless of the impacts of globalization.
Currie, G. (2012). Art and the Anthropologists. Aesthetic Science: Connecting minds, brains, and experience, 107-128.
Jurkuch, J. W. (2019). The portrayal of Aspects of Dinka Culture Through Oral Narrative Performance.
Mayik, B. M. (2020). Investigating the impact of child abduction and cattle raiding among the Dinka, Nuer, and Murle communities in Jonglei State, South Sudan. International Journal of Peace and Development Studies, 11(2), 9-14.
Pendle, N. R. (2017). Laws, landscapes and prophecy: the art of remaking regimes of lethal violence amongst the western Nuer and Dinka (South Sudan) (Doctoral dissertation, The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE)).