Binga

community map

 


 

The Name | Demography and Geography |Environment, Economy and Natural Resources | Mythology and History | The Language | Society: Social Events, Attitudes, Customs and Traditions | Marriage | Birth | Naming | Divorce | Relationships | Death | Social and Political Organisation, Traditional Authority, etc. | Spirituality, Belief and Customs | Culture: Arts, Music, Literature, Handicraft | Neighbours and Relationships | Latest Developments | Diaspora

Demography and Geography

The Binga live in and around Raga district of western Bahr el Ghazal, and Radom and Kafia-kingi in southern Darfur. The tribe comprises of 3 clans namely the Chala (Caala), Moro, Raga and Lele each name of the clan corresponding to the name of their respective locations. The Binga population is very small compared to the other fertit groups.

Environment, Economy and Natural Resources

The terrain occupied by the Binga resembles that of the Kara, Kresh and other fertit groups. That fact that they grow date palm trees in their territory may point to the fact that the climate is more arid in the area compared to others. The Binga are predominantly agrarian, cultivating food crops chiefly being sorghum, simsim, beans, but they also keep fowl, goats and sheep. The economy is largely subsistence but they also engage in trade and barter with the neighbouring communities.

Mythology and History

The Binga are believed to have come from the east towards the end of the 18th century. They settled for a time at Jebel Mara in Darfur. They migrated southwards and finally settled in the basin of the River Yata, in the lands which have now become Dar Binga.
The Binga never had a tradition of having chiefs. This explains the utter destruction they suffered from wars, raids and deportation en masse into slavery; first by the Mahdist (1883- 1897), then by Arabi Dafa Allah (1889) and lastly by Sultan Bakhit of Dar Sila¡ (1890). In spite of so many losses from their enemies, the Binga under the leadership of their Chief Malmal made an alliance with the Kara to fight the Yulu and succeeded in killing their chief, Damdoud in 1892 thus, ensuring their autonomy.

Language

The Binga speak a language closely related to Kara and Yulu. This according to history is what has bounded the different clans together.

Society, Social Events, Attitudes, Customs and Traditions

The Binga must have had strong social relations apart from the clan and family to explain their resistance to stronger and larger tribes that attacked them. There is however nothing in print to support this assertion. The interaction with the Fur and Arabs must have eroded their social norms and traditions. Most of the Binga have become Muslims and hence subscribe to Islamic religious traditions and practices.

Socio-Political Organisation, Traditional Authority

The Binga used to have traditional chiefs heading the different clans. However, this system was eroded by the various foreign expeditions and raids. They now subscribe to the authority of the chiefs appointed by the government (Hakuma).

Spirituality, Beliefs and Customs

The Binga are predominantly Muslim. Nevertheless they believe in and practice traditional African religions, magic and charms. They perform sacrifices performed by mediums, fortune tellers and medicine men and women or witches (bi-tobo).

Culture: Arts, Music, Literature, Handicraft

The Binga culture is transmitted orally in song, dance, folklore and stories. They are endowed with artistic abilities, much of which have been destroyed by hardship and warfare.

Neighbours and Foreign Relations and Co-operation

The Binga neighbour and are closely related to the Kara, Yulu, Kresh, Feroge and Mangaya. Their relationship with the Azande in the south has been anything but cordial.

Latest Developments

The long running war and the 2001 incursion of SPLA into western Bahr el Ghazal caused large scale migration and displacement of the people.

Diaspora

Little knowledge exists about Binga Diaspora in any part of the world.

Further Reading

Stefano Santandrea, A tribal history of the Bahr el Ghazal.Museum Combonianum N 17, Bologna, 1964

Stefano Santandrea, ¡®Ethno-geography of Bahr el Ghazal .¡¯ Editrice Missionaria Italiana, Via dell¡¯Arcoveggio 80/7, Bologna, 1981.

Seligman, C. G., and Seligman, B. Z., ¡®Pagan Tribes of the Nilotic Sudan.¡¯ George Routledge & Sons Ltd., London, 1932
 

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