Inside the cattle-worshipping African tribe that uses cow urine to wash their faces and bleach their hair – The Sun

FASCINATING photographs show an African tribe where members use URINE to wash their faces and bleach their hair.

Compelling images reveal the daily rituals of the cattle-worshipping Mundari tribe, including one that shows a young boy covered in ashes from fire with another smearing the dung of the Ankole Watusi cattle on the ground.

Other photographs depict the large size of the cattle’s horns which can grow up to 72 inches in length, whilst another shows a boy washing himself with the animal’s urine.

The incredible shots were taken in one of the cattle camps in South Sudan by travel photographer Trevor Cole from Londonderry, Northern Ireland,.

Trevor said: "Shooting at dawn and dusk is perfect as all the cattle are in place. 

"The more you see, the more you realise that there is an inextricable bond between the tribe and their cattle.

"The way they lead them, rub ash into their skins, attend to their needs, use their milk, dung and urine.

"They collect the dung deposited overnight and spread it on the ground, some of it is used to coat the cattle horns with a veneer of manure.

"We watched as boys immersed their heads in the flow of fresh urine from the cattle. 

"The outcome of this is to make use of a natural antiseptic and to change their hair colour to red or even bleached blonde."

At night Trevor recalled how they slept with their cattle to protect them and they carried Kalashnikovs to do so. 

Cattle rustling is commonplace and is a cause of conflict.

He said: "The Ankole Watusi cattle have the largest horns I have ever seen and the biggest of the cattle may be worth $500.

"During the day, the cattle disperse from the banks of the Nile into the long grasses of the alluvial floodplain. 

"They return at dusk instinctively."

Theirs is a symbiotic relationship where there is an understanding of the cattle which goes beyond normal animal husbandry.

They take pride in their animals and the whole community of man and beast is interconnected.

The Mundari tribe are a small ethnic group of South Sudan and one of the Nilotic indigenous groups. 

The community is made up of cattle-herders and agriculturalists and are part of Karo people, which also includes Bari, Pojulu, Kakwa, Kuku and Nyangwara.

Their native language is Kutuk na Mundari. Like many other Nilotic tribes, the Mundari are very cattle-oriented: the animal serves as food, a form of currency and a mark of status.

Trevor added: "An ancient mist, trapped in time, where tribal traits and traditions are perpetuated in the twenty-first century.

"These ancient practices ensure harmony with the environment and have a small ecological footprint which is local and ensures cultural longevity.

"These people have a very sustainable existence and their connection with nature should be a message to us all."

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