Ngulngule

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 Ngulgule or Njalgulgule - sometimes known by their neighbours as Bègi (Feroghe); Bègé (Mangaya) and Beko (Togoyo) with a suggestive common origin with the Bego - live in the area between Raga in the west and Nyamlell (Aweil district) in the east.
The community is divided into 10 clans and number a few thousand people with their main towns being Kossinga and Bora, all on the banks of Sopo River.

Environment, Economy and Natural Resources

The terrain is a series of undulating hills such as jebel Telgona and others, separated by valleys in which flow the perennial streams like River Bora, River Rega and River Sopo. The climate is tropical and the vegetation is forest with thick grasses. The Ngulngule are predominantly agrarian but also keep few sheep, goats and fowl.

Mythology and History

According to Ngulgule tradition, the tribe moved southwards from Dar Fur under the pressure of the Fur. Dahia was the first to cross the frontiers of Dar Fur and settled in the Bahr el Ghazal and occupied the area with the assistance of well organised and armed Ngulgule invaders. The Ngulgule chief Yango (1880-83) ruled from Telgona their capital city. The Azande invasion under Zemoi with the help of Feroghe threatened and reduced Ngulgule dominance in the area until the arrival of the Turks and Arabs tilting the balance of forces entirely against the Ngulgule.

Language

The Ngulgule speak a language very close to that of Bego and Feroghe.

Society, Social Events, Attitudes, Customs and Traditions

Although it has been recorded that the Ngulgule were a well organised people given their easy conquest over the indigenous tribes they found in the area, there is little information about their social organisation and norms. This area requires more investigation to establish important linkages.

Socio-political Organisation and Traditional Authority

Ngulgule history attests to them having had powerful traditional leaders but this authority must have declined permitting the easy enslavement of the Ngulgule by the Arabs and the Azande. There is very little information as to how this traditional authority itself was organised, whether or not it was hereditary and according to what traditions.

Spirituality, Beliefs and Customs

The Ngulgule used to believe and practice traditional African magic, oracles and charms. However, most of these beliefs and practices have been abandoned as a result of conversion to Islam. They therefore subscribe to the Islamic Sharia and practices, although traditional practices and offerings to the ancestral spirits still endure.

Culture: Arts, Music, Literature and Handicrafts

he influence of Islamic religion and practices; their subjugation by the Feroghe meant that Ngulngule could not be expected to have anything of their own.

Neighbours and Foreign Relations and Co-operation

The Ngulgule neighbour the Bego and Feroghe who have subjugated and assimilated most of them.

Latest Developments

Many clans of the Ngulgule have socially and culturally disappeared as separate entities.

Diaspora

There is no record of Ngulgule Diaspora.

Further Reading

S. Santandrea, ‘Little known tribes in the Bahr el Ghazal basin.’ SNR XXIX Part I

S. Santandrea. ‘A Tribal history of the western Bahr el Ghazal.’ Museum Combonianum No. 17, Editrice Negrizia, Bologna, 1964 pp.170 - 180

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

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