Shilluk, Dhocolo in South Sudan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Expanded PDF Profile

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.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Shilluk, Dhocolo in South Sudan.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Shilluk
People Name in Country Shilluk, Dhocolo
Population this Country 517,000
Population all Countries 523,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 5
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
Alternate Names Agar; Chollo; Dhocolo; Dinka Southcentral; Shiluk; South Central Dinka
People ID 14912
ROP3 Code 108946
Country South Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Upper Nile State, Manyo, Fashoda, Malakal and Panyikang counties.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country South Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Upper Nile State, Manyo, Fashoda, Malakal and Panyikang counties..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Shilluk (517,000 speakers)
Language Code shk   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Shilluk (517,000 speakers)
Language Code shk   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Shilluk

Primary Language:  Shilluk

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1911-1998)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1977)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2012)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Shilluk
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 11.00 %)
40.00 %
Ethnic Religions
55.00 %
0.00 %
5.00 %
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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