Profile Source: Angelo Ugwaag wod Arun
Introduction / History
Thuri is a sub-Luo group believed to have migrated from Ethiopia along river Nile with other Nilo-Nilotic-speaking groups such as Anyuak, Acholi and Pari. Thuri is divided into main sub-groups namely: Boodho, Thuri and Dembo; and into many clans namely: Pacai, Piweer, Pinyanga, Pabuori, Pijuli, Paajuli, Pimana, Burpiem, Puudieji, Picuot, Piyieja, Pikiir, Pinyigadha, Puudhieng, Bieno, Ubini among others. Thuri is believed to have parted ways with other groups and settled in Bahr el Ghazal while others moved to other parts of South Sudan, Uganda and Kenya.
Where are they Located?
Thuri live mainly in Northern and Western Bahr el Ghazal States of The Republic of South Sudan. They live in Dhiama, Umal, Nyinbuoli, Yaalo, Achaano, Par-Amaado, Maper Gir Faama, Areia, Jod-Kul, Apuojo, Wuj-yaa, Aguli, Awoda, Thikidi, Thikou, Aguarbel, War-Mon, Abul, Kuuru, Doi-Leela (Kor-hajer), Doi-Kou (Kor-gana), Aweil, Nyalath, Umany Kiwang, Dagajim, Wadhilang, Umoora and Wau.
What are Their Lives Like?
Thuri are mainly farmers. They also hunt seasonally and collect honey, lulu fruits and nuts to make oil. They collect herbs for curing different kinds of diseases. Roots and tubers are also collected and processed in many styles to make different edibles.
They live in community with homesteads distanced from each other due to large farms they own. They have many celebrations throughout the year. Their dances are: Bul, Gwenh-dhela, Rong, Guma among others. They celebrate live from birth to death with special dedication to music in its totality-from songs to musical instruments.
They also specialize in metal and wood works-blacksmithing and carpentry. Women are good in art and craft too. They weave baskets and pots.
Thuri eat in groups and they value marriage. There is a lot to admire in Thuriland that is uniquely Thuri and can't be found elsewhere in the world. In the olden days, Thuri were involved in barter trade with alone and are now picking up entrepreneurship.
They use to fight wars with neighbours and took as slaves. They treated those slaves very well and incorporated them in their community. Men were married for, and women were married; evident in some of the strange names we have today.
Chieftaincy known as ruoth is still very significant today. Ruoth has many roles including political, religious, social, judicial and economic. Ruoth is well respected and the system is hereditary. Pacai is the Royal Clan in Thuriland.
What are Their Beliefs?
Thuri believe in Juag Ciel (One God) - the Creator of all things and life after death for all. The only qualification is death. For Thuri, death (thoo) is not an end but a transition from one life (timely) to untimely life (Bodho). But the living don't have a direct communication with the Almighty Creator. He is reached through the spirits of the dead (Jo Pijuak) relatives who are still linked with families and are still influential in keeping the living alive and healthy and protect them against any evil invasions. The dead can punish the living at times if forgotten. They communicate occasionally with living in dreams. Other ways of communicating is through other gods such as Maalo, Machardit, Mathiang-Agug etc.
They also believe that Juak defends, protects, and provides for all. They communicate to Juak through prayer (kuej) and sacrifice (muj ye Juak). Children, new farm produce, new wives, new buildings and new years are all dedicated and sacrificed to Juak before anything else. Seeds and farms are also prayed over before farming. Thuri life revolves around and swims in religiosity if you like.
What are Their Needs?
Basics of life (food, water, shelter, protection, wealth, security, religion, cultural preservation and self regeneration).
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