Shilluk, Dhocolo in South Sudan





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Shilluk's traditional homeland is in South Sudan, in the Upper Nile Province and also extending on the west bank of the Nile along the Sobat River. They believe they probably originated in Uganda and their ancestors were led out by Nyikang after he had a disagreement with his older brother. On their migration people from other tribes joined them, or were subdued by them, including the Dinka, Luwo, Funj, Western Equatorians, and Arabs. Nyikang is believed to have been given special gifts by Jwok (God) and as the patriarch of the tribe has become the Shilluk national hero.

The Shilluk have a sophisticated hierarchical ruling structure. They are the only tribe in the country still to have a kingdom and a king. The King is the ultimate authority; the kingdom is divided into areas overseen by Chiefs, and each village is also overseen by a sub-chief and elders. This hierarchical structure is reflected in the manner in which the Shilluk approach God. Rather than approach him directly, they believe their dead people can act as mediators; mediation through a dead king will have more influence than approaching through a dead chief. Their main religion is still their traditional belief system, but more Shilluk are becoming open to Christianity. Very few are known to have converted to Islam.

The Shilluk are pastoralists first and foremost, keeping cattle, goats and sheep. But they are settlers and so also farm to supplement their livelihood. The possession of cattle is an important status symbol and a necessary means of providing income through bartering, and of participating fully in the culture. For example, traditionally it was impossible for a man to marry without first having acquired sufficient cows and goats to pay the bride price. Young men work hard to build up their cattle stocks. Shilluk are a proud and self-sufficient people and the older people regard their traditions and language highly.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Shilluk
People Name in Country Shilluk, Dhocolo
Population in South Sudan 388,000
World Population 394,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Agar, Chollo, Dhocolo, Dinka Southcentral, South Central Dinka
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Shilluk
Ethnic Code NAB62o
People ID 14912
Country South Sudan
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Southern Sudan, Upper Nile Province, between Nile and Kordofan Province boundary..   Source:
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Shilluk (388,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Shilluk 388,000
For Primary Language: Shilluk

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1911-1998)
New Testament Yes   (1977)
Complete Bible Yes   (2012)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Shilluk Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 11.00 %)
45.00 %
Ethnic Religions
55.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
20.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
80.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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