Dats in people



The Dats’in are an indigenous minority group living on the Sudanese-Ethiopian borderland. They passed unnoticed to researchers, administrators and the wider world until 2013.

They speak an undocumented Nilo-Saharan language, related to Gumuz, and share important cultural and social traits with other indigenous communities in the area, while at the same time remaining clearly distinct.

Dats’in history, which is related to that of the so-called Hamej peoples – the blanket name by which they are known to other groups – can be traced back several centuries through oral traditions, texts and archaeology. The Hamej, in fact, played a crucial role during the Funj Sultanate (1504–1821) and probably before.