These days, when news comes out of South Sudan, it’s usually in relation to the country’s ongoing civil war and growing refugee crisis. Since 2013, the country has been embroiled in a deadly civil war that’s claimed the lives of more than 300,000 people. Brutal tactics on both sides have overshadowed the region’s amazing culture and history. In south Sudan, one of the largest ethnic groups are the Dinka, a close-knit assortment of tribes that currently fight with the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) on behalf of South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardit, a Dinka himself. If you’re not familiar with these noble people and fierce warriors, then prepare to be amazed.
1. No One Knows the Origin of the Word ‘Dinka’
It was invented by outsiders, but no one is sure what the word means or why it was applied to the people who would become the Dinka. In truth, the Dinka refer to themselves by an entirely different name. They self-apply either Muonjang or Jieng.
2. The Dinka’s Native Territory Is So Huge That Most Dinka Don’t Know of All the Different Variations in Their Collective People
Their territory is landlocked and largely surrounded by ideological adversaries.