Temain in Sudan

The Temain have only been reported in Sudan
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Nuba people claim to be the original inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains which are located in Sudan's South Kordofan province. Since other groups occupy the area, such as the Arabic-speaking Baggara and Jellaba, the non-Arab Nuba make up less than two-thirds of the Nuba Mountains population. Although the people are referred to as "Nuba," there is no single Nuba group. Instead, the term is used as a regional grouping for a people who share the same environment and stand out as distinct from the surrounding tribes. One of these groups is the Temain tribe. In fact, there are nearly 100 different dialects in the Nuba Mountains. With 100 dialects and languages, most of them speak Arabic as their trade language, which has enabled them to communicate.

What Are Their Lives Like?

For many centuries, the Nuba Mountains served as a refuge for peoples fleeing oppressive governments and slave traders. Perhaps this best explains why there is such a variety of Nuba groups and languages. Because the Nuba tribes originally fled to the mountains for refuge, they generally dislike and distrust outsiders. While most of the tribes still live in the mountains, some individuals have migrated to the surrounding hills and plains since the late 1800s. Others have even moved to towns and cities, either permanently or seasonally, in search of jobs or schools for their children. This gradual migration is the result of the British establishing law and order around the tribes, making them feel safe from outside influences. The introduction of cotton as a cash crop has also encouraged some individuals to move southward.

The Nuba peoples like the Temain are industrious farmers, and their livelihood is based primarily on agriculture. Sorghum, the staple crop, can either be sold or made into beer. They also grow millet, sesame, peanuts, and tobacco for personal consumption. The Temain people also gather forest products and sell them as some of the region's exports. The women have small vegetable gardens in which they raise vegetables such as onions, okra, beans, and maize. The Temain also keep cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens.

Millet porridge is a main part of the Temain diet. They serve it with a sauce made from meat, okra, or kidney beans. Arab groups introduced to the region dura, a thin, coarse bread. Today, it has become one of their staple foods. Dura can also be used to make a mild beer. Temain people who migrated into cities enjoy bread from bakeries, fresh meat, and fresh produce, leaving their desire for millet porridge behind.

A typical Temain home is made of either stone or plaster-covered thatch. Each home has a kitchen, sleeping quarters, and a granary. Some houses also have special rooms where the young unmarried girls of the neighborhood sleep.

Village communities are organized by clans or extended family sections. The authority of the village is left in the hands of the clan elders. Each community usually has a large, stone mosque. Most villages also have Islamic schools where boys and girls are sent to study the Koran.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most of the Nuba groups are completely Muslim and allow Islamic law to affect their daily lives. Although one group is different from the next in language, ethnicity, and cultural heritage, the laws of Islam bind them in education, dress, diet, family life, and spiritual life. In accordance with Islamic tradition, Temain children are educated in religious schools. They will not eat pork, and meat must be slaughtered according to halal traditions. They circumcise their boys, and husbands can have as many as four wives. There are common Muslim prayers uttered at home and at the mosques.

On a practical level, Muslim Nuba peoples like the Temain depend on shamans (priests or priestesses) to cure the sick by magic, communicate with the gods, and control events. The shamans often go into trances and speak to the spirits whom they believe control their lives. People believe that the local priests can be incarnations of spirits. These priests are in charge of such things as fertility ceremonies, and they participate in sacrifices to ward off illness or famine.

What Are Their Needs?

Some Nuba groups, like the Temain, have no Christian resources except for global recordings. They need much intercession so their hearts will be ready when they hear of the Savior who offers life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for Temain believers to have hearts that are ready and willing to take the name of Jesus to Muslims throughout their region.

Pray for the Temain people to have hearts that are open to the abundant blessings of Jesus Christ.

Pray for their families to prosper financially and spiritually as they experience a relationship with Jesus Christ.

Pray for a movement to Christ among the Temain that will spread joy, peace, and salvation to other peoples in East Africa.

Scripture Prayers for the Temain, Ronge in Sudan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Temain
People Name in Country Temain, Ronge
Natural Name Temain
Alternate Names Ronge; Temein
Population this Country 20,000
Population all Countries 20,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 15326
ROP3 Code 109932
ROP25 Code 308054
ROP25 Name Temain
Country Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Janub Kurdufan state: between Jebels Ghulfan Morung and Julud, Tukur, Nekring, Kwiye, Tokoing, Tulu, Farik, and Kuris villages.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Sudan
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 8  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Janub Kurdufan state: between Jebels Ghulfan Morung and Julud, Tukur, Nekring, Kwiye, Tokoing, Tulu, Farik, and Kuris villages..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.10 %)
2.00 %
Ethnic Religions
8.00 %
0.00 %
90.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Temein (20,000 speakers)
Language Code teq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Temein (20,000 speakers)
Language Code teq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Temein

Primary Language:  Temein

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Started

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Map Source Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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