Komo in Sudan

Komo
Send Joshua Project a photo
of this people group.
Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Komo
Country: Sudan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 9,300
World Population: 49,300
Primary Language: Komo
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 5.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.80 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Nilotic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Central Koma, also known as the Komo, live in the Blue Nile Province of Sudan. They also live in South Sudan and Ethiopia. They are a Nilotic people. The term Nilotic once referred to people living along the banks of the Upper Nile Valley River. Today, the term is used in a broader sense, and includes people who live in surrounding areas and have the same physical, linguistic, and cultural characteristics as those living in the Upper Nile Valley. Intermarriage and close contact with some non-Nilotes have influenced the Central Koma culturally and linguistically. Thus, while most Nilotes speak a language from the Sudanic linguistic group, the Central Koma speak a language that belongs to the Koman language group.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Central Koma (hereafter called Komo) are shepherds and farmers. They raise cattle, sheep, and goats. Their crops include sorghum, maize, sesame, okra, peppers, cotton, and tobacco. They engage in some hunting and fishing, and also trade with the Nuer and other nearby peoples. The men hunt, fish, and do most of the herding and milking, while the women help the men with farm labor. The women also collect honey from the hives in the bush.


The Komo live in compact villages, in round huts with thatched roofs. Each wife has her own hut where she and her children remain until the children are old enough to begin their own families.


The Komo people forbid marriage between close relatives. The groom is not required to perform a bride-service (working for the bride's family before a marriage can take place), and a bride-price is uncommon. Polygamy (having more than one spouse) exists, but only a few of the wealthiest Komo have more than one wife.


Each village (or small group of villages) has a headman who inherits his office and exercises limited authority. He is considered "the Father of the Land." Although families clear and cultivate the fields, individual families do not own the land. Instead, the land collectively belongs to the entire village, under the leadership of the headman. The headman also keeps in his possession the symbolic insignia of the Komo, such as strings of beads, spears and village drums.


There are a few schools in the Blue Nile Province, and some Komo have the opportunity to receive an education. In certain schools, they teach English at the higher levels, and Arabic at the lower levels. There are few medical facilities in the area. The people often look to their chiefs for the healing of simple illnesses.


"Rain-makers" (men who conduct rituals in order to bring much needed rain) also inherit their positions and may sometimes serve as village headmen. In addition, each village has a religious expert who specializes in magic and is subject to inspiration from spirits.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Komo follow their traditional ethnic religion. This religion teaches the worship of a supreme god who is considered the creator of all things, and the worship of the spirits of dead ancestors. Divination (the use of supernatural powers), magic and rain-making are also a part of their traditional religion.

What Are Their Needs?

The Komo have few Christian resources available to them. A large majority of the Komo have not had an opportunity to hear a clear presentation of the gospel. Christian broadcasts need to fill the airwaves of the Blue Nile Province. There is a need for faithful intercessors to pray for a movement to Christ among the Komo people in Sudan, South Sudan and Ethiopia.

Prayer Points

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


Pray for the Komo 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 Komo that will spread joy, peace and salvation to other peoples in East Africa.

Text Source:   Joshua Project