Maiores Nostri is a reportage whose aim is to rediscover the ancestral human life, out of society and in close connection with nature.
South Sudan was formed by a long-awaited independence referendum on July 9, 2011, and took its first steps on a wave of hope and promise. The first time I was in South Sudan was just after its independence. I remember the look on people’s faces on those days — tired but happy, hopeful for a better future after a past full of pain and war. Two years later, civil war is tearing the country apart. Seven million people — nearly 60 percent of South Sudan’s population — teeter on the edge of a hunger crisis.
In February 2014, I went from Juba to Yirol, crossing Mingkaman. When in Yirol, I headed to the Cattle Camps in the deep forest far from any kind of civilization.
In the world’s youngest country where an ongoing civil war is taking place between Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups, traditions are the same as millennia ago: cattle remains the center of the country’s culture and economy. The Dinka regard cattle as sacred. They live in symbiosis with their cows, sleeping outdoors in the same camp with them and using the cow’s milk, blood, skin, and waste as vital resources for survival.