captured by Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher
South Sudan, officially known as the Republic of South Sudan, is a landlocked country in East-Central Africa. The country gained its independence from Sudan in 2011. Its capital and largest city is Juba.
South Sudan is bordered by Sudan to the north, Ethiopia to the east, Kenya to the southeast, Uganda to the south, the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the southwest, and the Central African Republic to the west.
As we advance technologically, customs and traditions seem to change or disappear. These unique cultures posses a wealth of knowledge that should be celebrated, shared, and honoured. Here is a beautiful story documented by the renowned photographer duo Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher. Thirty years ago American-born Carol Beckwith and Australian Angela Fisher met in Kenya and began a relationship with the African continent that would profoundly alter and shape their lives. Their journeys have taken them over 270,000 miles, through remote corners of 40 countries, and to more than 150 African cultures.
At puberty a Dinka male receives a namesake ox after which he is named. He believes that he and the animal are one being. He trains the ox’s horns from calfhood into beautiful lyre shapes, and emulates these shapes with his arms as he walks alongside his beloved personality ox.
Some women from wealthy families also wear beaded corsets. The height of the corset in this photograph indicates the girl’s parents require over 80 head of cattle in exchange for her hand in marriage.
“During our 30 years in Africa recording traditional ceremonies, we have observed that life relies on a continuing cycle of giving and receiving. Each rite begins with a gift or an offering: survival depends on this basic principle. We, too, have looked for the appropriate ways to reciprocate the support given to us by the communities where we have lived. We found that small projects closely tied to communal and personal needs at grass roots level have made a significant difference to the welfare of the people with whom we have worked.”
— Carol Beckwith & Angela Fisher
We are an Amsterdam-based design enterprise that partners with cooperatives in traditional societies around the world. The intention of our work is to promote time-honoured craft through a contemporary process. Ode to Artisans was founded in London and currently based in Amsterdam, by Sabrina Kraus López and Noëlle Maxine Tierie.
We believe that cultural exchange and collaboration form the quest to safeguard traditional skills and craftsmanship. We achieve this by providing design tools to remote communities in order for local artisans to innovate and become aware of global trends and markets.
ODE – is an elaborately structured poem praising or glorifying an event or individual.
ARTISANS – are skilled craft workers who make or create things by hand.