National Geographic : 1951 Feb
265 George Rodger-Magnum Nuba Stick Fighters Wield Their Weapons Furiously until Blood Is Drawn Intently the excited audience follows the rapid action, for this is one of the most popular tribal sports. The fighters brandish their heavy, yard-long sticks like swords or sabers. Shields, carried in their left hands, may be of giraffe or cowhide, coils of thick grass rope, or other materials. Often a fighter carries a spare stick in his left hand, to be used if his weapon breaks or is knocked to the ground. When the fight starts the combatants strut and swagger around the ring until suddenly, without warning, they fly into combat, aiming heavy blows at their opponent's head or body. Hitting below the belt is not permitted. When blood flows, the referees stop the fight. Friends of the bleeding contestant lead him from the ring. They try to stop the flow by pressing the edges of the wound together and rubbing sand on it. Sometimes a fighter is killed by a vicious stroke.