African Culture Insight – Ethnic Toposa women

Ethnic Toposa women

Ethnic Toposa Women

Ethnic Toposa women in goat skins, sleeping cloths, and rosaries in Namorupus village, southern Sudan (now South Sudan). (Photographer: George Steinmetz – ASA).

Fun Fact: They have traditionally lived by herding cattle, sheep and goats, and in the past were involved in the ivory trade. They have a tradition of constant low-level warfare, usually cattle raids, against their neighbors. There are no orphans in Toposa society because every child whose father is dead or not known is adopted by somebody. If a girl becomes pregnant before she marries, the child is incorporated into the girl’s family and adopted by either her mother or another co-wife of her father, and the girl’s father becomes also the (social) father of the child. If a man dies and his brothers take his wives into levirate, the children born are deemed to be the offspring of the deceased man. The latter explains the surprising fact that old men of 80 years should still procreate.

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