By James Gatdet Dak
April 22, 2009 (JUBA) – The United Kingdom authorities will next month return to Southern Sudan a Rod and Pipe belonging to a Nuer prophet after nearly 80 years in exile.
- Ngundeng’s Pyramid (Lou)
The family of Prophet Ngundeng Bong this week announced that the Arrow or Rode, which is called Dang in Nuer language and Pipe, also called Toony, will be returned to Bieh (pyramid), the Prophet’s headquarters in Waat of Jonglei state on 5th May, 2009.
Reat Bol Ngundeng, one of the Prophet’s grandsons, confirmed the arrangements for the return of both Dang and Toony to Bieh (pyramid), which the family considered divine and historical for the people of Southern Sudan.
The 60-feet tall pyramid, surrounded at its base with numerous elephant tasks, was built in 1800s. By 1920s, the British administration attempted to destroy it leaving only about half of it intact.
Prophet Ngundeng died peacefully more than one hundred years ago in 1906 at his headquarters (Bieh) in Waat and did not experience any direct contacts with the Anglo-Egyptian government or with any other government.
However, in 1930, about 24 years after his death, the colonial British administration reached Bieh and confiscated his Dang, Toony and Drum (Bul) after they assassinated his son, Guek Ngundeng.
The Drum was returned to Bieh in 1978 after it was kept in museum in Khartoum for nearly 50 years.
But the Dang and Toony have been kept in London by the British government since 1930.
They are expected to be accompanied to Bieh in Waat by a number of Nuer senior government officials, traditional leaders and elders.
Professor Douglas Johnson, a British national and the author of the book, Nuer Prophets: A History of Prophesy in Upper Nile in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuaries, will accompany the Prophet’s belongings in person from London to Waat.
Dr. Douglas is a renowned historian who has lived and worked in Sudan for more than 40 years. He also served as a consultant for the Government of Southern Sudan on the issue of the North-South border demarcation process based on the 1956 boundaries.
Ngundeng’s family members believe that the return of Dang and Toony are timely and important as foreseen by the Prophet in 1903.