Bari in South Sudan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Nyepo who are a part of the Karo are Nilo-hamites. Their land is known as Nyepo in the recently created Kajo keji county and speak a dialect of the Bari Language also known as Nyepo. Their Dialect is closer to the Pojulu and Nyangwara ones. Other members of the Karo are Bari, Kakwa, Kuku, Mundari, Nyangwara and Pojulu. SOCIAL DIVISION Like other Karo, the Nyepo society is divided into three classes - Lui, Tomonok and Upi (Freemen, Technicians and serfs ). The Freemen consists of the ruling class and the ordinery men. The ruling class consists of Kimak ti kak and Kimak ti piong (chiefs of the land and chiefs of religion who are laterally known as chiefs of chiefs of water). The role of the chief of the land is to settle disputes among clans, give permission to go for fishing or hunting, make foreign relation with other tribes, direct the people to migrate in case of need and leading the people to go for war or to announce cease fire during war. The religious chief blesses the land in order to yield more crops and to bring forth no diseases, asks God to bring rain in case of scarcity, settles disputes that involve death within the tribe or with another tribe. Warns people of danger of incoming disease or any other danger. Cleanse the land after defiling it with human blood. The serfs cook for the freemen in funerals. They don't have any role to play apart from paying tribute in crops and meat or livestocks to the chief of the land. They must also go with the freemen to war and fight along side. The serfs are not allowed to marry from the freemen, only freemen marry from freemen and serfs from serfs. Their skin colour is always browner compared to their counterparts' (not masters ). They live apart from the freemen but can share other social settings like dancing and other games. The huts of the serfs are smaller in size compared to those ones of the freemen. The technicians make drums, agricultural hoes, and Nyepo hoe*, boats and weapons like spears, arrows, knives, swords etc. They pay tribute in form of weapons, fish and meat. They transport people across water bodies by recieving pay in food crops since they don't cultivate. They exchange meat, weapons, fish and livestock for grain since they don't cultivate. The technicians are divided into Tomonok ti yukit (land technicians), Liggo (technical big game hunters ) and Tomonok ti kare (technicians of water bodies ). *The Nyepo hoe was a hoe that was not used for cultivating but as a currency for marriage, cattle sale, land sale, slave sale and other huge financial transactions.

Where Are they Located?

They live in the Northern part of Kajo keji at a place also known as Nyepo. Kajo keji was created when the Nyepo tribe of the North were brought together with the Kuku tribe of the South. Before the creation of Kajo keji county, they and their counter part, the Kuku were part of Yei District during the British rule of the Sudan in the 1950's. The Nyepo are bordered by the Bari to the North, North East and South East; Pojulu to the North West and Kuku to the South and South West. Their staple foods are sorghum, cassava and pea.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Nyepo are peace loving people but can not be smiled at when provoked. What interesting about these people is that they are quick to reconcile with their enemies and fast to forgive. They were hostile to foreigners that made it difficult for church missionaries and explorers to pass through their land. They were devoted to cattle life and crop farming, thanks to Sir Samuel Baker who frequently looted their cattle for paying his soldiers as salaries to the extend that the cattle were wiped up on the Nyepo land. After losing their cattle, they started dealing with crop farming and hunting. They go out for fish poisoning communally on seasonal basis.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They belief in one heavenly God known as Ngun, from the word nguundö, to mould- meaning He was not created but moulded Himself from nothing.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Bari
People Name in Country Bari
Population in South Sudan 584,000
World Population 732,900
Total Countries 4
Indigenous Yes
Unreached No
Progress Scale 4
GSEC 4  (per
Alternate Names Fajulu, Kuku, Nyangwara, Nyepo, Nyepu, Nypho, Pojullo, Pojulu
People ID 10808
ROP3 Code 101283
Country South Sudan
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central Equatoria State, Juba, Kajo Keji, and Lainya counties; both banks of the Nile, south of Terakeka on west bank, Mongalla on east bank, to Kajo Kaji escarpment.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country South Sudan
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central Equatoria State, Juba, Kajo Keji, and Lainya counties; both banks of the Nile, south of Terakeka on west bank, Mongalla on east bank, to Kajo Kaji escarpment..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Bari (584,000 speakers)
Language Code bfa   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Other People Groups Speaking Bari
Primary Language Bari (584,000 speakers)
Language Code bfa   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Bari

Primary Language:  Bari

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1927-1964)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1954)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1979)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bari
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Roman Catholic
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 7.00 %)
95.00 %
Ethnic Religions
5.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
12.0 %
3.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
75.0 %
Photo Source RJ Tidwell 
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Anonymous  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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