26 May 2020


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

The Name

The people call themselves Bugwa (Bukwa) but their official name is Mangayat. There is no account as to how they came to be called Mangayat.

Demography and Geography

The name Bugwa is assumed to be related to the hilly (Jababa, Bigira, Naada) habitat. These people live along Sopo, Kagulu rivers and Khor Luju about 20 miles east of the Raga –Deim Zubier road. Some of the Mangayat live scattered among the Kreish-Ndogo and in Dar Sila in Raga district of western Bahr el Ghazal.

Environment, Economy and Natural Resources

The Mangayat hills have been described as truly ‘wondrous sight’, rising as solid and bare (without trees or grass) block of smooth granitic outcrops about several hundred feet in height. The economy is dominated by agriculture and trading with neighbouring communities.

Mythology and History

Records indicate that Mangayat do not have an account of their history before the Turko-Egyptian domination. Latter developments linked to the Mahdiya, Anglo-Egyptian condominium, the first civil war (1955-1972) and the last war (1983 -2004) have caused great convulsions among the Mangayat and other small ethnic communities in western Bahr el Ghazal that may require further studies to establish the social and political changes.

Further Reading

S. Santandrea, ‘The Preliminary Account of the Mangayat’. SNR Vol. 30, II: 230-263

S. Santandrea, ‘Little Known tribes in the Bahr el Ghazal Basin.’ SNR Vol. 29, I: 78-106


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