Ngundeng (The Prophet) 2004
by Mario Lual Deng

2007 • 010

Acrylic on Canvas.
36.8 x 25 inches / 93.9 x 63.9 cm

Donated by Trudi Veldman and Robert Kamen

Ngundeng (The Prophet) 2004

This Nuer prophet lived long time ago before we were born. He told about many things that are going on in Sudan right now. He said that there will be war in the lands of Nuer, Dinka and other parts of Southern Sudan which will affect the young generation. Many of this young generation will be of the same age, he said, and they will see a lot of horrible things, people dying. But in the end their life will change and there will be happiness. I have seen a lot of bad things going on in my life, but now I am happy. Although I have many sad memories, I have come to America, I can go to school, I don’t worry that somebody will come and kill me. That is what he said long time ago.

Atem Thuc Aleu

When something happens people say that Ngundeng predicted this long time ago. Everybody, even people who are educated, believe in that.

Franco Majok

Ngundeng, among the greatest prophets of the Nuer people, is shown here standing beside a great pyramid that he constructed in the early 20th century.  Such pyramids partly consisted of elephant tusks, considered sacred by Nilotic peoples.  In the postwar southern Sudan, it is widely believed that Ngundeng prophesized the coming of the civil war and other calamities.

Click here to listen to audio commentary.

This website has been developed by the Museums and Public Memory (Anth 159a) class taught by Professor Mark Auslander at Brandeis University. Images have been reproduced with the permission of the African Refugee Artists Club.