They are spoken primarily in the Horn of Africa, with minorities speaking Cushitic languages to the north in Egypt and the Sudan, and to the south in Kenya and Tanzania. As of 2012, the Cushitic languages with over one million speakers were Oromo, Somali, Beja, Afar, Hadiyya, Kambaata, Saho, and Sidama.
- Culture and Customs
- List of Notable Kenyan and Tanzanian Luo and People of Luo Descent
- See Also
- Suggested Reading
The present day homeland of Kenyan and Tanzanian Luo lies in the eastern Lake Victoria basin in the former Nyanza province in Western Kenya and the Mara region in northwestern Tanzania. This area falls within tropical latitudes and straddles the equator. This area also receives average rainfall averages. The average altitudes range between 3700 and 6000 feet above sea level.
Luo people of Kenya and Tanzania form the majority of Nilotic peoples. During the British colonial period, they were known as Nilotic Kavirondo. The exact location of origin of the Nilotic peoples is controversial but most ethnolinguists and historians place their origins between Bahr-el-Ghazal and Eastern Equatoria in South Sudan. They practiced a mixed economy of cattle pastoralism, fishing and seed cultivation. Some of the earliest archaeological findings on record, which describe a simila...
Migration into Kenya
Oral history and genealogical evidence have been used to estimate timelines of Luo expansion into and within Kenya and Tanzania. Four major waves of migrations into the former Nyanza province in Kenya are discernible, starting with the People of Jok (Joka Jok), which is estimated to have begun around 1490–1517. Joka Jok were the first and largest wave of migrants into northern Nyanza. These migrants settled at a place called Ramogi Hill, then expanded around Northern Nyanza. The People of Owi...
Early British contact with the Luo was indirect and sporadic. Relations intensified only when the completion of the Uganda Railway had confirmed British intentions and largely removed the need for local alliances. In 1896, a punitive expedition was mounted in support of the Wanga ruler Mumia in Ugenya against the Kager clan led by Ochieng Ger III, otherwise known as Gero. Over 200 were quickly killed by a Maxim gun. Another 300 people in the Uyoma resistance were killed by an expedition led b...
Tishkoff et al in 2009 published the largest study done to characterise genetic variation and relationships among populations in Africa. They examined 121 African populations, 4 African American populations and 60 non-African populations. Their results indicated a high degree of mixed ancestry reflecting migration events. In East Africa, all population groups examined had elements of Nilotic, Cushitic and Bantu ancestry, amongst others, to varying degrees. They also found that, by and large, genetic clusters were consistent with linguistic classification, with notable exceptions including the Luo of Kenya. Despite being Nilo-Saharan speakers, the Luo cluster with the Niger-Kordofanian speaking populations that surround them. They suggest that this indicates a high degree of admixture occurred during the southward migration of Southern Luo. David Reich'slaboratory also noted similar findings. They found that mutation frequencies in the Luo were much more similar to those of the surro...
Traditional system of government
Traditionally, the Luo people were a patriarchal society with a decentralized government system. The family was headed by the father or the first wife mikayi or son in the absence of the father. Many families came together through a traced relations by blood to form a clan, anyuola, which mostly brought together the heads of different families together as people of the same descent, jokang'ato. Many clans came together to form a village called gwengwhich was headed by a village elder titled d...
Rites of passage
Traditionally, the names given to children often reflected the conditions of the mother's pregnancy or delivery (including, for example, the time or season). Further, the Luos have traditionally practiced the removal of six lower teeth between the ages of twelve and sixteen.This practice has now fallen largely out of use.
A popular Luo meal includes fish (rech) especially tilapia (ngege) and omena, usually accompanied with ugali (called kuon in Dholuo) and traditional vegetables like osuga and apoth. Many of the vegetables eaten by the Luo were shared after years of association with their Bantu neighbours, the Abaluhya and the Abagusii. Traditional Luo diet consisted of kuon made of sorghum or millet accompanied by fish, meat, or vegetable stews.Gor Mahia FC - A Kenyanfootball clubKyle Keith. "The Politics of The Independence of Kenya." Palgrave MacMillan 1999Ogot, Bethwell A., History of the Southern Luo: Volume I, Migration and Settlement, 1500–1900, (Series: Peoples of East Africa), East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1967Reich, David. Who We Are and How We Got Here: Ancient DNA and the New Science of the Human Past. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group (27 March 2018). ISBN 110187032XHerbich, Ingrid. "The Luo." In Encyclopedia of World Cultures Supplement, C. Ember, M. Ember and I. Skoggard (eds.), pp. 189–194. New York: Macmillan Reference, 2002Ogot, Bethwell A., History of the Southern Luo: Volume I, Migration and Settlement, 1500–1900, (Series: Peoples of East Africa), East African Publishing House, Nairobi, 1967Senogazake, George, Folk Music of Kenya, ISBN 9966-855-56-4Mwakikagile, Godfrey, Ethnic Politics in Kenya and Nigeria, Nova Science Publishers, Inc., Huntington, New York, 2001; Godfrey Mwakikagile, Kenya: Identity of A Nation, New Africa Press, Pretoria,...
- 5,066,966 (2019)
- 1,980,000 (2010)
- Official Status
- Origin and Prehistory
- Typological Characteristics
- Extinct Languages
- Comparative Vocabulary
- See Also
The Cushitic languages with the greatest number of total speakers are Oromo (37 million), Somali (22 million), Beja (3.2 million), Sidamo (3 million), and Afar(2 million). Oromo serves as one of the official working languages of Ethiopia and is also the working language of several of the states within the Ethiopian federal system including Oromia, Harari and Dire Dawa regional states and of the Oromia Zone in the Amhara Region. Somali is one of two official languages of Somalia and three official languages of Somaliland. It also serves as a language of instruction in Djibouti, and as the working language of the Somali Regionin Ethiopia. Beja, Afar, Blin and Saho, the languages of the Cushitic branch of Afroasiatic that are spoken in Eritrea, are languages of instruction in the Eritrean elementary school curriculum. The constitution of Eritrea also recognizes the equality of all natively spoken languages. Additionally, Afar is a language of instruction in Djibouti, as well as the wor...
There is some evidence of a Proto-Cushitic language as far back as the Early Holocene. Based on onomastic evidence, the Medjay and the Blemmyes of northern Nubia are believed to have spoken Cushitic languages related to the modern Beja language. Less certain are hypotheses which propose that Cushitic languages were spoken by the people of the C-Group culture in northern Nubia, or the people of the Kerma culturein southern Nubia.
Most Cushitic languages have a simple five-vowel system with phonemic length (/a a: e e: i i: o o: u u:/); a notable exception are the Agaw languages, which do not contrast vowel length, but have one or two additional central vowels. The consonant inventory of many Cushitic languages includes glottalic consonants, e.g. in Oromo, which has the ejectives /pʼ tʼ tʃʼ kʼ/ and the implosive /ᶑ/. Less common are pharyngeal consonants /ħ ʕ/, which appear e.g. in Somali or the Saho–Afar languages. Pit...
Nouns are inflected for case and number. All nouns are further grouped into two gender categories, masculine gender and feminine gender. In many languages, gender is overtly marked directly on the noun (e.g. in Awngi, where all female nouns carry the suffix -a). The case system of many Cushitic languages is characterized by marked nominative alignment, which is typologically quite rare and predominantly found in languages of Africa.In marked nominative languages, the noun appears in unmarked...
The phylum was first designated as Cushitic in 1858.The Cushitic languages usually include the following branches: 1. North Cushitic (Beja) 2. Central Cushitic (Agaw languages) 3. East Cushitic 3.1. Lowland East Cushitic 3.2. Highland East Cushitic 3.3. Yaaku-Dullay 3.4. Dahalo 4. South Cushitic These classifications have not been without contention, and many other classifications have been proposed over the years.
Beja constitutes the only member of the Northern Cushitic subgroup. As such, Beja contains a number of linguistic innovations that are unique to it, as is also the situation with the other subgroups of Cushitic (e.g. idiosyncratic features in Agaw or Central Cushitic). Hetzron (1980) argues that Beja therefore may comprise an independent branch of the Afroasiatic family. However, this suggestion has been rejected by most other scholars.The characteristics of Beja that differ from those of oth...
Other divergent languages
There are also a few poorly-classified languages, including Yaaku, Dahalo, Aasax, Kw'adza, Boon, the Cushitic element of Mbugu (Ma'a) and Ongota. There is a wide range of opinions as to how the languages are interrelated. The positions of the Dullay languages and of Yaaku are uncertain. They have traditionally been assigned to an East Cushitic subbranch along with Highland (Sidamic) and Lowland East Cushitic. However, Hayward thinks that East Cushitic may not be a valid node and that its cons...
A number of extinct populations have been proposed to have spoken Afroasiatic languages of the Cushitic branch. Marianne Bechhaus-Gerst (2000) proposed that the peoples of the Kerma Culture – which inhabited the Nile Valley in present-day Sudan immediately before the arrival of the first Nubian speakers – spoke Cushitic languages. She argues that the Nilo-Saharan Nobiin language today contains a number of key pastoralism related loanwords that are of proto-Highland East Cushitic origin, including the terms for sheep/goatskin, hen/cock, livestock enclosure, butter and milk. However, more recent linguistic research indicates that the people of the Kerma culture (who were based in southern Nubia) instead spoke Nilo-Saharan languages of the Eastern Sudanic branch, and that the peoples of the C-Group culture to their north (in northern Nubia) and other groups in northern Nubia (such as the Medjay and Belmmyes) spoke Cushitic languages with the latter being related to the modern Beja lang...
Christopher Ehret proposed a reconstruction of Proto-Cushitic in 1987, but did not base this on individual branch reconstructions. Grover Hudson (1989) has done some preliminary work on Highland East Cushitic, David Appleyard (2006) has proposed a reconstruction of Proto-Agaw, and Roland Kießling and Maarten Mous (2003) have jointly proposed a reconstruction of West Rift Southern Cushitic. No reconstruction been published for Lowland East Cushitic, though Paul D. Black wrote his (unpublished) dissertation on the topic in 1974.No comparative work has yet brought these branch reconstructions together.
Sample basic vocabulary of Cushitic languages from Vossen & Dimmendaal (2020:318) (with PSC denoting Proto-Southern Cushitic):
Comparison of numerals in individual Cushitic languages:
They occupy one third of Egyptian Nubia today. The Kenuz speak a Nubian language but live over one thousand miles from what is believed to be their original ancestry, the Dongolawi (Fernea, 14). It is assumed that they were once the same social unit due to the great amount of space between the two people, but speak the same language.
This Kerma Kingdom was the earliest Kingdom of Cush, existing through Egypt's Old Kingdom (started c. 2667 BC) to Egypt's Middle Kingdom (started c. 2030 BC) and it reached its zenith during Egypt's Second Intermediate Period (started c. 1783 BC).
THE EASTERN CEMETER Y OF KERMA: D AT A ANAL YSIS AND EXCAV ATIONS. IN SECTORS 8, 29 AND 30. Our aim during our study of the initial phase of the development of the Eastern. Necropolis (Early Kerma ...
Apr 04, 2019 · During this February, Pritzker Prize-winning architect Alejandro Aravena visited Sudan to present two public lectures during the Kerma Expo in Northern Sudan.. Aravena, the founder of Elemental, a Chilean architecture office that is mostly known for their work in social housing, presented a number of his projects and his approach to design during his talk.
Today there are over fifty Nuba tribes, who speak as many different languages. Traditionally the Nuba are farmers, but they are now employed in all segments of society. Since the beginning of the twentieth century, labour migrants have formed large Nuba communities in the large cities of North Sudan, like El Obeid, Khartoum and Port Sudan.
First of all Aethiopia is an ancient Greek word that is mentioned in many ancient Greek texts. It is the Greeks that gave this name to Aethiopia many thousand years ago.
Nov 16, 2013 · An account of the Dispersal of people across the sahale during the fall of kanem People Have been in the sahale-Saharan area since around the aqualithic /green Saharan period. The occupation of the Sahara was one that shared certain material culture commonalities throughout such as barbed harpoons for fishing and wavy lined pottery for storage.