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Uganda: Eastern Nilotic Language Groups
Country Study > Chapter 2 > The Society and Its Environment > Ethnic Diversity and Language > Eastern Nilotic Language Groups

EASTERN NILOTIC LANGUAGE GROUPS


Historians believe that Uganda's northeastern districts were inhabited by herders migrating from the east over a period of several centuries. Their twentieth-century descendants live in Kenya, Sudan, and Uganda, where the largest groups are the Karamojong (people of Karamoja) ethnic groups. These include the Karamojong proper, as well as Jie, Dodoth, and several small related groups, constituting about 12 percent of the population. All Karamojong peoples speak almost the same language (Akaramojong), with different pronunciations. The Iteso (people of Teso) south of Karamoja also speak an Eastern Nilotic language (Ateso) and are historically related to the Karamojong, but the Iteso are sometimes classified separately, based on cultural differences (many of which are recently acquired). The small Teuso (Ik), Tepeth, and Labwor populations in the northeast also speak Eastern Nilotic languages but maintain separate cultural identities. In northwestern Uganda, the Kakwa are also classified as Eastern Nilotic, based on linguistic similarities to the Karamojong, despite the fact that Kakwa society is surrounded by Western Nilotic and Central Sudanic language speakers.

Data as of December 1990




Last Updated: December 1990


Editor's Note: Country Studies included here were published between 1988 and 1998. The Country study for Uganda was first published in 1990. Where available, the data has been updated through 2008. The date at the bottom of each section will indicate the time period of the data. Information on some countries may no longer be up to date. See the "Research Completed" date at the beginning of each study on the Title Page or the "Data as of" date at the end of each section of text. This information is included due to its comprehensiveness and for historical purposes.

Note that current information from the CIA World Factbook, U.S. Department of State Background Notes, Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade Country Briefs, the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office's Country Profiles, and the World Bank can be found on Factba.se.

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