Sebei in Uganda





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

Uganda's Sapiiny people call their language Kupsapiiny, sometimes spelled with an 'a' at the end. They live in eastern Uganda on the slopes of Mount Elgon. Traditionally they raise cattle, many Sapiiny also rely on subsistence farming, cultivating maize, beans, wheat and potatoes. They sell their produce when they are able, but poor roads in some areas make it difficult to transport their crops to the market. More than 60 percent of the Sapiiny people live in poverty.

Clan elders provide leadership and, along with traditional prophets, establish laws, norms and values. Circumcision, performed on adolescent boys, provides cultural identity. Some Sapiiny also practice female circumcision, although in secret because it is illegal.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Christianity came to the Sapiiny in the 1930s through the efforts of a large Christian denomination. Other denominations and Christian groups came in the 1970s. Now 70 percent of the Sapiiny people identify themselves as Christians, although only about half of those are deeply rooted in their faith and growing. Although they believe in the Creator, many see Him as distant. Many also fear ancestral spirits and practice traditional religion, keeping totems and relying on the revelations of local prophets and clan leaders for guidance.

The existing Kupsapiiny New Testament is not widely used. It is essentially a word-for-word rendering of the English Good News Bible and is not the way the Kupsapiiny naturally speak so they are beginning a new translation.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Sebei
People Name in Country Sebei
Population in Uganda 311,000
World Population 329,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kupsabiny, Kupsapiny, Mbai, Sabiny, Sapiny
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Sebei
Ethnic Code NAB62y
People ID 14805
Country Uganda
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country East, Kapchorwa District, Kenya border.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kupsapiiny: Sebei (311,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kupsapiiny: Sebei 311,000
For Primary Language: Kupsapiiny

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1975)
New Testament Yes   (1996)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Kupsabiny Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Anglican

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 30.00 %)
90.00 %
Ethnic Religions
10.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
50.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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