20 Mar 2019


State Information

People of Western Bahr El Ghazal

There are different ethnic groups in the State:

Jur River County

  1. Luo
  2. Dinka  

Wau County

  1. Belanda
  2. Golo
  3. Ngobo
  4. Serie
  5. Bai
  6. Bongo

The Luo occupy most of the areas in Wau as they are the majority in State. They are found in payams and Bomas like Mapel, Kuajieno, Athiiro and Mbili in the southern part of Wau town. They are also found in some payams like Roc-Roc Dong, Wathalel, Udici, Kangi, Alelthony, Kayongo, Bhar Akol and Getti in the northern part of the town. Their number is not known due to unavailability of statistics. The Luo are farmers and hunters. They keep goats and chicken for consumption selling.

The Luo adore their culture and preserve it through music and art. They have two dances; adhou and Bul (drum). For adhou they dance while singing and clapping their hands. They also engaged in basketry, mat making, pottery and metal casting. They enjoy wrestling as a past time for boys aged 16-18 years. The boys undergo traditional initiation where they retreat to the bush to fight among themselves for about 10 days.  The exercise ushers them into adulthood.

The Dinka Marial Bai occupy two payams namely Marial Bai and Nyinakok which are found in the northern part of Wau’s border with the former Warrap State. The inhabitants are called Dinka Marial Bai because they came and settled in the area called Marial Bai. The Dinka are the smallest ethnic community in Wau. The Dinka are cattle keepers (pastoralist) but cultivate during the rainy season in their semi- arid habitat.

The Dinka have marks on their heads that identify from other ethnic groups. The marking is usually done at the early age of 10-11 years.

Their music is characterised by jumping and drum beating; some time used as a way of communication with their cattle to bring them back when they are lost.

The Belanda, Bongo, Serie, Ngobo, Bai and Golo ethnic communities are found in the western part of Wau.

Last updated at 4/26/2018