South Sudan is a multi-ethnic country with more than 60 distinct languages. A helpful categorization of the people of South Sudan consists of Nilotic, Nilo-Hamitic and South Western Sudanic groups.
The Nilotic people include the Acholi, Agar, Ajaa, Aliap, Anyuak, Appak, Atuot, Bai, Bango, Benga, Chod (Jur), Ciec, Dinka, Endri, Forgee, Forugi, Gok, Gollo, Guere, Hopi, Jie, Kachiopo, Khara, Kuma, Lango, Lou (Jur), Maban, Murle, Ngorgule, Nuer, Otuho Pakam, Pari,
Shiluk (Collo) and Siri.
The Nilo-Hamitic groups include the Acholi, Bari, Buya, Diginga, Kakwa, Kuku, Lango, Latuko, Lokoya, Lopit, Lugbara, Madi, Mundari, Nyangwara, Pojula, Tennet and Toposa.
The South-western Sudanic groups includes Avukaya, Baka, Balanda, Banda, Kresh, Madi, Makaraka, Mundu, Murus, Ndogo, Olubo and Zande.
In numerical terms, the most widely spoken languages are Dinka, Nuer, Bari, Zande, English and Juba Arabic.
English is the official language. With South Sudan’s southern orientation, especially with that its membership in the East African Community, Kiswahili (Swahili) is expected to gain momentum and, according to the government, become one of the main languages in the country.
Religion is an important aspect of the people of South Sudan with an estimated 60 percent identifying themselves as Christians, 32 percent belonging to African Traditional religions and 6 per cent Muslim.
Music & Drama
Decades of war have not dented the vibrant cultural traditions of South Sudan. Dancing is an in integral part of nearly every ceremony or event. The vastness of the country and its dozens of ethnic nationalities offer the visitor an endless choice of dance and traditional songs. We shall explore these in the next few months and present them on this site.