Jur Beli Chief Undergoes Successful Surgery

Jur Beli Paramount Chief, Mataba Yoro has undergone a successful surgery in Juba. According to Jamal Juma Kakaya, a member of the national parliament representing Lakes State, the 90 year old influential chief from Wulu County in Lakes State has been at the hospital for six days.

Jur Beli Chief Undergoes Successful Surgery
Jur Beli Paramount Chief, Mataba Yoro (in hat). The area of the ‘Beli extends from Bahr Gel, north of Cueibet, to Wulu and then Billing. [Gabriel Mayom]

By Gabriel Mayom

JUBA, 17 December 2012 [Gurtong] – “Actually it is a very great achievement for us as people of Lakes State and particularly Wulu County.  Everybody knows what Chief Mataba did during the movement. We are really very happy that he is out from operation peacefully,” said Kakaya.

 The team thanked President Salva Kiir Mayardit, Lakes State Governor Chol Tong Mayay and Lakes State Deputy Speaker Nhial Enoch for the support offered to the chief while undergoing treatment.

The Jur (Beli & Modo) people number a little more than 100,000. They are divided geographically into 2 distinct groups namely: ‘Beli and Modo. The area of the ‘Beli extends from Bahr Gel, north of Cueibet, to Wulu and then Billing.

The Modo live in Mvolo, Bogri, Woko and bahr Girindi near to Yirol. In between the ‘Beli and Modo a minor group called Lori are to be found in Woko and Gira. The Modo have two sub-sections: the Wira (Yeri, Lesi and Dari) and Nyamosa group (Yeri, bahr girindi, ‘Boyi, and Kpelikiri), who have been mistakenly but deliberately counted as Moru clans.

The Jur Beli area ranges from rich savannah in the east to tropical equatoria in the west. It has flat plains with low-lying outcrops of granitoid rocks. It has sufficient annual rainfall to sustain this vegetation and extensive agricultural activities. The Jur (Beli & Modo) are sedentary agriculturalists who practice shifting cultivation. Their main crops are sorghum, millet, beans, cassava,, groundnuts and simsim.

They keep goats and sheep and very few cattle (Dinka influence). They engage in honey-bee keeping, with an adult Jur (Beli & Modo) expected to own more than 20 bee-hives. They engage in hunting and fishing. The main economic potential of the area are timber (mahogany), honey and shea oil.
The Jur (Beli & Modo) believe they came from Central African Republic in the company of the Bongo/Baka group. Being hunters they followed the forests south-eastwards.

The Bongo decided to settle down in the area north of Rumbek, while the Jur (Beli & Modo) continued to their present location where the Baka proceeded south-westwards to their present location in Maridi.

The Jur (Beli & Modo) speak a language that belong to the central Sudanic groups of languages but linguistically belong to the Baka/Bongo group. They share this language with the Baka, Bongo and Moro Kodo.

The Jur (Beli & Modo) society is organised as kinships, clans and families subscribing to social norms and values with little variations.

Posted in: Home, Culture, Health
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