Ceremonial dance of the diviners: a regional event

In the 1960s there was a very active network of diviners in the outlying hamlets of the  southern Blue Nile, especially among the Uduk.  Frowned on by missionaries, the diviners and other ritual specialists were active in dealing with illness and misfortune.  They also held elaborate ceremonies marking the initiation of new members.

Here is the music and dance of the diviners’ most special ceremony, the ‘Horns of the Diviners’, where the musicians - all themselves initiates - create a special percussion ensemble based on beaten antelope horns.  They also have a large repertoire of diviners’ songs, some of them in the Jum Jum (or Wadega) language spoken to the north of the Uduk area.   Across the whole district, these large gatherings only took place once every few years.