Wednesday May 18, 2022

Political organization and traditional authority

Political organization and traditional authority

BACKGROUND INFORMATION

Introduction  

Lopit area is in Southern Sudan, Eastern Equatoria Province Lopit Hills, North East of Torit town, West of Kapoeta town, North of Hiyala Payam, and South of Lafon Payam.

The climatic condition is mainly savannah grassland with rainfall enough to cultivate and raise cattle. Wildlife is plentiful, and crops such as sorghum, millet sesame, groundnuts, maize, beans of different kinds, and vegetables are grown.

Lopit population varies between 116,000 and 279,000.  Their traditions, customs, and affinities are similar to Lotuho, Buya, Lokwaya, Lango, Didinga, and Dongotono.  Raids from the surrounding ethnic groups make life so difficult that the people could not live in the plains, but had to move to the mountains for defense purposes.

The Lopit like the Lotuka transfers 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 one village to the other. Most of the villages in southern Lopit tend to be influenced by the Lotuka practices while those in the center and north have their hifira in a manner quite different from that of Lotuka.

Like all the nationalities of the east bank, Equatoria’s 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.

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