Ever heard of the Suri Stick Fighters of South Sudan?


(Posted 18th April 2016)

Little is known outside South Sudan of the great variety of tribes and ancient tribal customs. Bahr el Jebel Safaris, South Sudan’s premier safari and expedition operator, is now offering an insight and has prepared a trip itinerary which combines an expedition to the Boma National Park with attending a Suri stick fight.

The Suri have, according to Wikipedia wisdom, some extremely dangerous rituals such as stick fighting. Some anthropologists see this as a kind of controlled violence to get young Suris used to feeling pain and seeing blood. These are, after all, people who live in a volatile, hostile world, under constant threat from their enemies around them.

The Donga stick fighting occurs after the harvest is in.

Referees make sure the rules are followed.The only rule is that it is forbidden to hit a man on the ground. A fighter can challenge whoever he wants to a duel and hit any part of the opponent’s body. If a fighter kills his opponent then he must pay the family of the dead fighter 20 cows or a girl.

Before the fights some men drink cows blood, thinking it strengthens them. Donga fights attract the most beautiful girls of the area, hoping to be chosen by the champions. Groups of fighters always arrive on the field together carrying the strongest man and singing.

See the link to learn more about the Suri people.

The average man owns between 30 and 40 cows. In order to marry, he needs about 60 cows to give to his future wife’s family. Suri men will fight to the death to protect their herd.

Dates: Dec 20th to 31st ,2016 and Jan 03rd to 14th, 2017