South Sudan

My Life in a Cattle Camp

Where people share their habitat with cows

“We have not been fighting for 40 years to keep on living amongst the cows”: this seems to be the motto of many Sudanese people. But then, just a short distance from the few main inhabited centers, there’s a totally different planet where people share their habitat with cows and lead a  lifestyle that has not changed with the passing of time. For the nomadic shepherds living in Southern Sudan, a population of Nilotic descend, cows are like four- legged wallets, besides being a prestige factor. Because of their economic and symbolic value, cows are looked after for many hours a day by shepherds in the attempt to make their own herd look healthier than the other ones’. Livestock raids have become a routine which frequently leads to tribal clashes and occasionally to political tensions.