The Reth and the Hippo

The Reth and the Hippo

Next in our art series of African queens with animals, we have a Reth (ruler) of the Shilluk kingdom in South Sudan leaning against a hippopotamus. The history of the Shilluk kingdom goes back to the 15th century, but so far they’ve had only one female Reth, a woman by the name of Abudok who had taken the throne because her brothers were very young. Because of her gender, she wasn’t very popular with her subjects and ended up leaving the throne to her brother Dhokoth. As for the hippo, I felt it was a fitting animal for a South Sudanese queen since much of the country is covered by wetlands adjacent to the Upper Nile.

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