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South Sudanese Lopit Community 

Lopit people

The name The people are known as Lopit, Language is known Lopit Demography and geography The Lopit populations are about one hundred fifteen thousands people. They inhabit the Lopit hills, which form the Northeastern frontiers of Torit district. The main settlements of the Lopit are follows: Twenty Two (22) West Lopit: Tabwor Ihonga, Idali, Lodogyok, Virickhelangi, Losou, Lesigya, Hiyahi, Irube, Maitong, Loturumo, Longiro, Lehirie, Haba Lodo, Lohomiling (Lokirwon), Lomerok, Bwara (Ngabori), Lohidomok, Loluro, Tafajak, Suhuluk, Lebitihi. Five (5) South West Lopit: Lossou, Odongiok, Idale Mura, Tabwor, and Ibele Twenty Two (23) Villages in East Lopit: Loturomo, Lohidodmok, Lonyamut, Tariri, Lohitojo, Lodohori, Locharock, Lobelo, Logolowaati, Lehingang, Lohobohobo, Habirongi, Mura Lopit, Imehejek, Ihirang, Imaluha, Lelang, Ibonni, Ibahure, Ataranyi, Lohutok, Lalanga, and Loming Environment, economy and natural resources The Lopit live in a hilly environment. They are agro-pastoralists practicing traditional agriculture as well as livestock rearing. These socio-economic occupations are carried out both on the mountain slopes and in the plains. The main crops are sorghum, bulrush, millet, pumpkin; groundnuts, simsim, and okra. They also harvest forest products: honey and shea nuts from which they press oil. The Lopit, like other groups in the area practice extensive hunting. They engage in trade in a wide spectrum of commodities: cattle, groundnuts, sorghum, honey, chicken, handicrafts, okra, calabashes, hoes, tobacco, etc. Mythology and history Very little is known about the origin of the Lopit apart from the widely held view that they came along with the waves of groups migrating from Lake Turkana. The Lopit are said to have broken away from the Dongotono after a quarrel over gazelle soup. Language Linguistically, the Lopit belong to the eastern Nilotics and their language is much closer to the Lotuka, Dongotono and Maasai [Kenya] languages. These linguistic similarities give clues to the common origin of these people. Society, social events, attitudes, customs and tradition The Lopit are very proud of their cultural entity and this informs most of their attitudes and social life. Their material culture (especially southern Lopit) is similar to the Otuho while at the same time distinct (especially in central and northern Lopit). They practice several cultural initiations: childhood (naming initiation), adulthood, initiation into the camp (i.e., Mangat), and age-set initiation.


Political organization and traditional authority

The Lopit like the Lotuka transfer power to the younger age-set in an initiation ceremony [hifira] after every 20 or 25 years. The village administration and all other affairs are handed to the new generation. The practice of this initiation slightly differs from village to the other. Most of the villages in southern Lopit tend to be influenced by the Lotuka practices while those in the centre and north have their hifira in a manner quiet different from that of Lotuka. Like all the nationalities of east bank Equatoria political and administrative authority over the affairs of the community is exercised by the ruling age-set, monyomiji, which is transferred every quarter of a century. The other political cum spiritual institution among the Lopit is the rainmakers, who also enjoy much authority. ...