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The pagan Sudan

Identifier: Film Collection no. 263

Scope and Contents

Filmed during the AMNH Queeny African Expedition, 1950. The Pagan Sudan records Edgar Monsanto Queeny's expedition along the Nile River to Lake Nyibor in the Sudan, to study the Dinka people. As the film opens, the staff engages in typical expedition chores such as loading trucks and pitching camp. Along the Nile they witness the Madi people using harpoons to kill a hippopotamus trapped in a papyrus swamp. They then float the body out and butcher it to supply meat for the village. The main purpose of the film, however, is to document the Dinka people and their use of Lake Nyibor's vast resources. In the rainy season the lake spreads out over 1,200 square miles, but shrinks to five square miles in the dry season, squeezing all of the fish into a small area. The fish, mostly Polypterus and tilapias, are easily speared by the men in dugouts. Dinka women collect lily tubers, process millet, cook, weave papyrus sleeping mats, and dry skins. The men, who prize their cattle, sing to them and wash their hands with urine. Both men and women rub their bodies with dung ash. As with all the Queeny films the animal footage is excellent and includes hippopotamuses, buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, zebras, leopards, hyenas, ostriches, wild dogs, warthogs, lions, black rhinoceroses, white rhinoceroses, Nile lechwes, African skimmers, crowned cranes, pelicans, marabou storks, pied wagtails, hadada ibis, and fish eagles.


  • 1952

Language of Materials


Conditions Governing Access

Not available through interlibrary loan. Contact AMNH Library Special Collections for terms of access.


1 Film Reel (34 minutes) : sound, color ; 16 mm.

1 Videocassette (U-Matic (34 minutes)) : sound, color ; 3/4 in.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

3/4 in., U-Matic, viewing copy


Original format: 16 mm. print.



Edgar M. Queeny, Fort B. Guerin, Jr., and Richard E. Bishop, photographers; Frank Eschen, narrator; Robert R. Presnell, script; Victor C. Lewis, film editor; Jack Clink, sound; produced and re-recorded at the Jarville Studios.

The pagan Sudan, 1952
Iris Lee
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note

Repository Details

Part of the Museum Archives at the Gottesman Research Library Repository

American Museum of Natural History
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