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Demography and Geography The Acholi in South Sudan number about 30,000 50,000 people inhabiting what is now Magwe County, originally part of Torit District east bank Equatoria. The nationality has been fragmented by the international border with Uganda with part of the Acholi found in northern Uganda consisting of about 1.4 Million people. The Acholi land lies on the western slopes of Imatong Mountains and Acholi hills that rim the southern borders of South Sudan extending all the way into uganada comprising of the districts of gulu, Kitgum and Pader. Gulu Town in Uganda is the largest Town in Acholi Land with a population of about 60,000. The environment has influenced Acholi lifestyle and economy. They practice a form of mixed farming in which they keep cattle, goats, sheep and fowls in addition to subsistence agricultureby growing sorghum, millet, simsim, beans, tobacco and sweet potatoes. In recent times, just before the war, commercial farming of Irish potatoes, tea and rice had been introduced. There is potential in minerals like gold and chromite in Kit River area in southern Sudan. Mythology and History Different accounts attest that the Acholi group was formed from different people who inhabited the area as the result of Luo migration and therefore assert that the Acholi are a product of intermarriages between the Luo and the Madi being Luo in language and custom and therefore closely related in history to the Alur of West Nile, the Jopadhola of eastern Uganda and the Joluo of Kenya, the Shilluk, Anyuak and other Luo groups in the Sudan. Others say that in Uganda the Luo groups, trace their origin to Rumbek in southern Sudan. It is believed that the major group of the Luo moved downwards uganda under the leadership of a chief named Olum(means wilderness of the bushes and Grass) and settled at Pubungu near Pakwach. So Legend asserts that Luo was the first man. He had no human parents. He is said to have sprung from the ground. It was taken that his father was Jok (God) and that his mother was Earth. Legend adds that Luo's son Jipiti , whose mother is unknown, had a daughter called Kilak . Kilak was not known to have a husband. Then one time, she got lost in the bush from where she later emerged with a male child. It was believed the father of this child was the devil, Lubanga . The child was named Labongo and later had a brother called Gipir. Labongo was born with bells around his wrists and ankles and he had feathers in his hair. There were definitely magical elements in Labongo. It is said that he was fond of dancing all the t time and as he danced the bells jingled. Oral legend holds that a conflict arose between the leader, Gipir and his brother Labongo over a bead belonging to the other that eaten by a child of the other. Gipir moved west. His descendants include the Alur. Labongo's group moved east of the Nile by AD 1500. It is from this group that the present day Acholi in uganda and Langi emerged. When Labongo grew up, he married and had a child in the normal way in spite of his peculiarities. Luo's home is said to have been at Bukoba, near Pakwach. He possessed an axe which he is said to have driven into the ground and out came oakley encino boardshorts the chiefs of many Luo groups. Labongo became the first in the line of the Rwots (chiefs) of Payera. The same Labongo whose full title was Isingoma(' Icing ngoma' means by the toils of the hands of my own lands) Labongo('means without' in his case it means without power as compared to his brother Gipir) Rukidi, is also remembered as being first in the line of the Babiito kings of Bunyoro Kitara. He is said to have been the twin brother of Kato Kimera who is remembered in some quarters as the first in the line of the kings of Buganda. The first Namuyongo of north Bugerere is also said to have been a son of Labongo. Whether true or false, this legend brings forward the complicated interrelationship between the various peoples of Uganda. It is quite interesting that the Banyoro and the Acholi, different as they seem, could claim common origin. Some groups in Acholi such as the Pajule trace their origin directly to the Bagungu of Bunyoro. It is said that after settling in Pawir, while some Luo (Biito) moved southwards, others also moved oakley echo boardshorts northwards and settled in Pajule. He had no human parents. He is said to have sprung from the ground. It is taken that his father was Jok (God) and that his mother was Earth. The legend adds that Luo's son Jipiti, whose mother is unknown, had a daughter called Kilak. Kilak is believed to have conceived a son, Lubongo, whose father was said to be the devil, Lubanga. Lubongo was the first in the line of Rwot the chiefs of Payera, the dominant Acholi clan. The Language The Acholi speak leb Acholi [literally Acholi tongue] which is close to Alur, Anyuak especially in syntax and structure. Like other Nilotic languages, the Acholi count only up to five which correspond to the five fingers of the hand. They then add one to five [abic] until ten [apar] literally meaning have become equal. This territory comprises of the aristocrats who are the agnatic kins of the Rwot commoners who are not related to the Rwot. The villages formed a protected ring around the royal village 'gang kal'. The structural configuration of the Acholi into aristocrats and commoners definitely is as a result of the unequal distribution of wealth and the social relations in the Acholi society. The members of the royal lineage kaka pa rwot are known as the 'people of the court' or 'jokal' (sing) lokal or jobito (sing) lobito or the 'people of power' joker, while the commoners' lineage is called luak meaning bulk or mass. An ordinary person is known as dano. The Acholi observe an elaborate system of social norms, customs and traditions:Among the Acholi, marriage is a lengthy process. It begins by courting until the young man wins the girl's consent. He goes to her father and pays a small instalment of dowry [otono ke] after which the pair is considered betrothed. This may last for a long time depending on the final completion of dowry payment after which the bride's status changes from girl [nyako] and becomes a house wife [dako ot]. Acholi dowry is traditionally settled in sheep, goats, spears, hoes. For three days after the birth of a girl (four in the case of a boy) the mother has to abstain from certain acts, varying from village to village, including eating certain foods and the baby is not allowed out of the house.

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