Tribes in South Sudan

tribes in south sudan

Tribes in South Sudan

The ethnicity of South Sudan is rich and diverse. There is 64 tribes or ethnic groups which are natives of the South Sudan. Many of these ethnic groups share common culture, very closely-link cultural traits with intelligible languages which forming distinct larger family units of Tribes in South Sudan.

In this article, we have put together all the 64 tribes in South Sudan and some of which are very traditional living a life they have lived for centuries. You have to visit them before modernization unfortunately destroyed them

Top most Traditional Tribes in South Sudan

1. Mundari Tribe of South Sudan

Like other Nilotic tribes, are very cattle-oriented: cattle serves as food, a form of currency and a mark of status. Marriages are arranged by the prospective groom offering cattle to the bride’s family and husbands may take as many wives as they can support. The Mundari engage in perennial cattle raiding wars with the neighboring Dinka during the dry season. In order to secure their cattle, Mundari men at night take their weapons and go to the bush. Mundari practice ritual scarification as a rite of passage into adulthood for young men. The typical Mundari scar pattern consists of two sets of three parallel lines, each on either side of the forehead, extending in a downward slope and unconnected in the middle.

2. Dinka

The most prominent tribe in South Sudan is Dinka. The Dinka surrounding the central swamps of the Nile basin primarily in South Sudan. They speak a Nilotic language classified within the Eastern Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan languages and are closely related to the Nuer. Numbering some 4,500,000 in the early 21st century, the Dinka form many independent groups of 1,000 to 30,000 persons.

3. Toposa and Jie

The Toposa and Jye belong to what has been called the “Karamojong cluster”, which also includes the Karamojong people of Uganda, the Nyangatom people in south western Ethiopia and the Turkana people of Kenya.
The Toposa economy and social life revolves around herding livestock, including cattle, camels, donkeys, goats and sheep. Boys are first given care of goats and sheep, then graduate to looking after cattle when they come of age. Possession of cattle, along with possession of a loaded gun, are the main measures of status and wealth. Cattle are central to Toposa culture. The Toposa have always competed for water and pasturage with their neighbors, and have always engaged in cattle rustling.

4. Larim Tribe

Larim speak Murle and are excellent architects. They also pierce their nose and lips and scarify their bodies. Larim keep cattle and grow seasonal crops, such as sorghum, maize and beans. Widowed women wrap vegetable cords around their legs and head. Larim is considered one of South Sudan’s most traditional groups.

5. Lotuko Tribe of South Sudan

Lotuko people are a Nilotic ethnic group that populates the region characterized by ranges and mountain spurs such as the Imotong mountain, the highest mountain in South Sudan.
As agro-pastoralists, they keep large herds of cattle, sheep and goats, and supplement this with hoe-farming, hunting, and fishing. Land is owned by no single person, but in trust by the community. In the mountains, after finding a site, the group decides the boundaries of each person’s garden, with certain areas being fallow for a number of years.

Meet some of these Tribes in South Sudan on our extraordinary expeditions to South Sudan. Click here to get in touch

6. Acholi tribe

The Acholi people (also spelled Acoli) are a Nilotic ethnic group of Luo peoples (also spelled Lwo),This ethinic group can be found in Magwi County in South Sudan and Northern districts of Uganda like Agago, Amuru, Guru , Nwoya Omoro and others. Most of the Acholi are in Uganda side since 2.1 millions of them were registerd as Ugandan while in South Sudan, there are only 45,000 accoding to the 2000 population census in South Sudan


7. Adio Tribe

Adio (also called Iddio or Makaraka) are an ethnic group indigenous to Central Africa, closely related to the  Azande or NiamNiam, occupying the Bahr-el-Ghazal west of Lado. They came originally from the country of the Kibas, north of the Welle River. They do not extract the incisors.
Currently, they form part of the population of the South Sudanese state of Central Equatoria. The Adio speak Kakwa and Mundu but they are not Kakwa.

Demography and Geography

The Adio number a few hundred and are found in Yei River District along the Yei – Maridi road. They are agrarian and engage in subsistence agriculture producing cassava, telebun, maize, sorghum, beans, and sweet potatoes. The area where Adio live is infested with trypanosomaisis (sleeping sickness) resulting from tse-tse flies.
This is responsible for the decline in their numbers. Indeed, the Adio have been marked for extinction by many. The diminishing of the community partly due to the endemic diseases and migration to towns where many of their elite have assimilated into the Bari speaking communities.

8. Aja Tribe

Aja of South Sudan are different from those of Benin and Togo. They are small ethnic community divided into two sections: The largest section living close to the Banda inhabits the upper parts of Sopo River; The smallest section is found scattered around Raga town.The Aja economy like others, are predominantly agrarian and their activity is essentially subsistence. They keep fowl and goats.

9. Anyuak Tribe

Anyuak Tribe of South Sudan and Ethiopia are heavily reliant on their rivers and have subsistence economies. They cultivate their crops along the sides of rivers, which gives them a reliable and effective supply of food.

The Anuak people hunt the animals that are looking for streams during the dry season. They engage in a lot of fishing when it is not the dry season. Additionally, the Anuaks time the migration of their livestock according to the season (migrate in dry the dry season). Because the Anuak people prioritize agriculture above cattle, they do not have as much livestock as most other civilizations, hence the movement of domesticated animals is not as significant to them as it is to other societies. To address their financial needs, the Anuaks participate in agriculture, gathering, pastoralism, hunting, and fishing. [2]

The Anuak villages have minimal contact with the outside world and are quite close-knit. The Headmen who oversee the villages are readily removed from office if the populace finds them to be unacceptable.  The Anuak people have relatively democratic systems of self-government. [Reference needed] Because of their prior interactions with the Ethiopian government and other ethnic groups that live on the same land, the Anuaks have a tendency to distrust strangers.

List of all 64 South Sudan Tribes

5. Atuot Tribe
6. Avukaya Tribe
7. Azande Tribe
8. Bai Tribe
9. Baka Tribe
10. Balanda-Boor Tribe
11. Balanda-Bviri Tribe
12. Banda Tribe
13. Bari Tribe
14. Binga Tribe
15. Bongo Tribe
16. Boya Tribe

17 Larim Tribe
18. Didinga Tribe
19. Dinka Tribe
20. Dongotona Tribe
21. Falata Tribe
22. Feroghe Tribe
23. Gollo Tribe
24. Imatong Tribe
25. Indri Tribe
26. Jiye(Jie) Tribe
27. Jur Tribe
28. Luo Tribe of South Suand and Uganda
29. Kakwa Tribe
30. Kara Tribe
31. Keliku Tribe
32. Kuku Tribe
33. Lango Uganda and South Sudan Tribe
34. Lokoya Tribe
35. Lopit (Tenet is a village of the Lopit) Tribe
36. Lotuka Tribe
37. Lugbwara Tribe
38. Lulubo Tribe
39. Maban Tribe
40. Madi Tribe
41. Mananger Tribe
42. Mangayat Tribe
43. Moro Tribe
44. Moro Kodo Tribe
45. Mundari Tribe
46. Mundu Tribe
47.. Murle Tribe
48. Ndogo Tribe
49. Ngulngule Tribe
50. Nuer (naath) Tribe
51. Nyangatom Tribe
52. Nyangwara Tribe
53. Pari Tribe
54. Pojullo Tribe
55. Sere Tribe
56. Shatt Tribe
57. Shilluk Tribe
58. Suri Tribe
59. Tid Tribe
60. Toposa Tribe is shared in Uganda and South Sudan
61. Uduk Tribe
62. Woro Tribe
63. Yulu Tribe
64. Lokoro Tribe

There are also a few other tribe that we need to make more research about and we shall update the list, these tribes include Gbaya sometimes refereed to as Kresh who live in the areas of Kuru, Kata and Boro

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