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Nyamal Tutdeal - KNC

Prof. Nyamal Tutdeal

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Prof. Nyamal Tutdeal

TITLE:  Adjunct Professor
Arcadia University in Glenside, Pennsylvania
SPECIALTY AREA:  Advocacy, mediation and conflict resolution.

PRESENTATION ABSTRACT:  Significance of Gaar (Cultural Markings) Among the Nuer

Sat., 10/02/21 • 1:30pm est • Session B

The Nuer (Naath) in South Sudan still practice their ancient tradition of gaar or facial markings (“scarification”) as part of their male initiation into adulthood. The pattern of gaar varies within specific subgroups. The most common initiation pattern among males consists of six parallel horizontal lines which are cut across the forehead, often with a dip in the lines above the nose. The significant practice of the gaar ceremony moves the young males forward in life as they transition from boyhood to becoming full Nuer men. Afterwards, they forever sit in the circle of men. The gaar markings, however, are becoming increasingly rare as recent conflict between the Nuer and other South Sudanese tribes has been more frequent. Likewise, the female practice of facial markings called bieer is also becoming rare due to this changing political environment.

Prof. Nyamal Tutdeal Bio

Prof. Nyamal Tutdeal


Prof. Nyamal Tutdeal is a former U.S. refugee from South Sudan. She holds a B.A. in Human Relations, an M.A. in International Peace and Conflict Resolution, and is pursuing her Ph.D. in Conflict Analysis & Resolution at Nova Southeastern University.

She worked with domestic and international immigrants, migrants, refugees, indigenous communities, and women groups. A notable international speaker and advocate for displaced communities, she was invited to the White House during President Obama’s term in office. She hosts cultural events and facilitates dialogue on conflict resolution, antiracist/race relations and peacebuilding.

Nyamal is the co-founder and Executive Director of the NyaEden Foundation, an Adjunct Professor at Arcadia University and Director of Equity and Inclusion for CORA Services.

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