Sunday, 5 June 2011

The Dinka people


Jieng (plural)/Muonyjang (singular)
Jieng are known to outsiders as Dinka.

Area of residence (shown via the map below)

Dinka sub-tribes and the state capitals and areas where they reside

Aweil - Rek  
Pangak -Thoi Luach
Bailiet - Ngok   Renk
Bentiu - Ruweng
Bor - Bor, Twic, Nyarweng, Hol 
Rumbek - Agar Gok
Tonj - Rek Luach
Gogrial- Rek
Yirol - Aliab, Ciec
Abyei - Ngok 

Thong muonyjang or thong-Jieng 
Also known as the Dinka language.


A Dinka Man

The Dinka are a cultural rather than political federation of sub-nationalities.Chief-ship is hereditary and holds the title of beny /bany (plural), which can mean either chief, expert, or military officer.

The word ring (or rem) probably refers to the supernatural power of the chief. Bith, on the other hand, is the sacred fishing-spear (unbarbed or un-serrated spear) as a symbol of office .

The Dinka have cultural and linguistic affinity to and share much with the Nuer and Shilluk to whom they refer to in their names:
  • Foreigners are called 'jur' and the colour of the skin is the only distinction. ‘
  • Jur chol’ refer to black foreigners 
  • jur mathiang or buony refer to light skin people 
Society and beliefs

Many Dinka have converted to Christianity and Islam in Ngok and Abialang. 

They have adopted either jellabia or European dress and now nudity and wearing of skins are rare sight even in the cattle camps.''

Many Dinka's believe that the first people God created were Garang and Abuk (the equivalent of Adam and Eve).Deng was their first born from whom all Dinka people are descend from.

Dinka tradition permits addressing God and the spirits of the departed ancestors and relatives either directly or through a medium in a special offering place yik, situated in every Dinka homestead.


Dinka arts include different types of dance formations and songs. The common art is that of war: with a spear and stick (duelling),which they practice from their youth.

Diaspora found most notably in:

United Kingdom
    Notable Dinka
    The late John Garang (Former President of Southern Sudan and 1st Vice President of Sudan)
    The late Manute Bol (Former NBA basketball player)
    Salva Kiir (President of South Sudan and soon to be former 1st Vice President of Sudan)
    Alek Wek (Model and Designer)
    Luol Deng (NBA basketball player)

      References: Gurtong,artrabbit

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