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Ibrahim El-Salahi Pain Relief at The Saatchi Gallery, London

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Title photo, newly henna-ed hands dipping into a bowl of flowering hibiscus. Above, setting sail from Kerma, Northern Province 


Henna paste for tattooing curing in the sun. See coming posts on Sudanese henna and perfume traditions 



This is a cultural post for Women’s Education Partnership

Learn more about our literacy work in Community Literacy and About

img_1053.jpgGenerous and honorable, dear neighbours in Dongola 

If you are interested in Sudanese art, you might enjoy Birds of the Soul    Forests and Spirits and Inscriptions on Rosewater


If you are interested in Sudanese wedding customs, you might enjoy Anointing in Robes of Red and Gold


Scenes from Sudan’s Northern Province, 1980’s

fullsizerender-49Nubian doorway seen in one of the Nile villages north of Dongola, and below – 



Nubian doorways, near Dongola 

If you are interested in women’s Nubian vernacular art, see Inscriptions on Rosewater

From the early to late 1980’s I worked as an English Language teacher based in Dongola, Northern Province.  The kindness and generosity of the Sudanese who welcomed me into their homes and lives there were both exceptional and humbling. 

This post attempts to do justice to their dignity and grace. 

Please do not reproduce any photos below of my Sudanese friends without seeking written permission 



Young musician with his rababa or Sudanese lute 


Below, my landlady and village elder, from Irtidi village, near Dongola, bearing traditional tribal facial scars 

img_7611-1img_7662Villager who sold baskets and dates door to door while sharing stories and dispensing wisdom with humour and grace to her neighbours


Ramadan Preparations – Everyone Included 


Children, having helped their mothers to make jars of hilu-mur flakes (soaked to make the drink traditionally used to break your ramadan fast at sunset)


img_7370.jpgWinnowing grain in Dongola market


Below, more friends from the market

fullsizerender-397img_7612-1Dongola Coffee Shops – early 1980’s 


Below Sudanese snuff seller from Darfur, Dongola Market 



Bread Making 

img_7325img_7326.jpgimg_7328.jpgProving bread to be baked in traditional clay, wood-fired ovens in Irtidi


img_7676.jpgMaking kisra on a dooka


School Celebrations 

img_7586Washing and weaving tripe for school feast, Dongola Secondary School, and below –

img_7394Our school caretaker with his pipe 


Traveling Further Afield 


img_7619Somewhere between Dongola and Delgo – mid-1980’s

Below, Merowe, mid-1980’s 



img_3690Delgo, Northern Province 


Along The Nile 

Below, carrying palm, wood and water pots from Dongola Nile 


Nile scenes, including the Karima ferry sailing past Dongola



Perfume making for Eid celebrations – see coming posts for more on this 


img_7614-1img_7552Sesame seed oil making near Burgeig, north of Dongola 

Below, village near Dongola in mid-1980’s


img_7355-1Collecting palm “jareed”, used for roofing and many other purposes, Abri  

Below, seen on the wall of a restaurant wall, Ed-Debba, Northern Provence in the early 1980’s 


This is a cultural post for Women’s Education Partnership

Learn more about our literacy work in Community Literacy and About

If you would like to support our work further, please go to our website Women’s Education Partnership.  We operate on a shoestring and all our UK trustees and staff are unpaid volunteers. 

















One comment on “Scenes from Sudan’s Northern Province

  1. Lovely pictures, very nostalgic

    Liked by 1 person

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