Murle Cultural Heritage in South Sudan

Documenting and showcasing Murle Cultural Heritage

Welcome to the website showcasing and promoting the cultural heritage of the Murle people of South Sudan, through annotated imagery and sound.

This website is about keer ci Murlo – Murle culture. It is intended to offer a space for learning about Murle tangible and intangible cultural heritage, and a space to hold a conversation about these in an accessible way.

Through the angle of the Murle age-sets, it showcases annotated photographs, audio and video recordings of Murle songs, dance, oral histories and scarification practices, as well as other socio-cultural dimensions, discussing how these have been changing, adapting and reflect connections to a global world.

The website was launched in April 2022 and the aim is to continuously update it with new material and posts by different contributors. It is a product of a larger academic research project funded by the British Academy on youth and age-sets in Greater Pibor, by Diana Felix da Costa.

Man with facial scarification
Photograph of a Murle man with facial scarification and beaded hoops from Dorongwa age-set, by Jon Arensen, Pibor circa early 1980s.
Song by Kadila Kelega about her white cow who ensures her children survive the harsh dry season, recorded by Diana Felix da Costa in Kongor May 2015.
Photograph of a young girl with beads from Muden age-set and facial scarification, by Jon Arensen, Pibor circa early 1980s.

Recent posts

  • Navigating the complex webs of Murle authority in Pibor: conflict sensitivity considerations for aid actors

    This blog piece, co-authored by Diana Felix da Costa and Gola Boyoi Gola and published in the Conflict Sensitivity Resource Facility South Sudan, explores social institutions and authorities among Murle community. The blog finds that Murle authority consists of the three complex layers of the key social institutions, such as the age-sets, the clans and……

  • Photo exhibition on Murle culture and heritage in Juba and Pibor – 2022

    Photo exhibition on Murle age-sets and scarification in Juba British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr Diana Felix da Costa recently organised a multi-sited photo exhibition on Murle culture and heritage in South Sudan’s capital Juba and in the eastern town of Pibor in the Greater Pibor Administrative Area (GPAA).  The photo series entitled ‘Stories on the……

  • What can the changing tastes in body scarification tell us about the lives and aspirations of Murle youth?

    This blog post posted in the Rift Valley Institute’s (RVI) website discusses how the Murle social institution of age-sets (sometimes known as generations) has, in recent years, been fragmenting and is becoming increasingly militarized. Body scarification is a valuable lens through which to view these transformations, as well as a way to better understand individual……

The material in this website (images, videos, audio files, text) should only be reproduced with the consent of the website management team and with due reference given. For any queries please contact Diana Felix da Costa (