Larim people

Larim - Boya

Larim / Boya / Buya / Longarim / Langarim / Narim

The Boya (also spelled Buya; called Larim and Langorim by the Didinga people) are a Surmic ethnic group numbering 20,000 to 25,000 people living in Budi County, part of the Greater Kapoeta region of the South Sudanese state of the erstwhile Eastern Equatoria.

The language of the Boya is the Surmic Narim language, related to that of the Didinga, Tenet and Murle in South Sudan. The people mostly live in the south and west Boya Hills, in the Mt. Kosodek and Mt. Lobuli areas. The main town is Kimatong, at the foot of the hills. They are agro-pastoralist, cultivating sorghum, maize and beans, but mainly involved in livestock herding, hunting game and fishing.

 
Population & Ecosystem

20.000 Larim live dispersed in solitary as well as collective settlements around the Boya Hills. The main town of the Boya is Kimatong at the foot of the Boya Hills. The Larim country is a rugged and hilly terrain with few shrub covered outcrops lying between the Kidepo Valley to the west and the Thangata River Valley to the east. The vegetation is that of rich savannah with high grassland and thick shrubby bushes.

 

Environment, Economy and Natural Resources

The Larim country is a rugged and hilly terrain with few shrub covered outcrops lying between the Kedipo valley to the west and the Thangata river valley to the east. The vegetation is that of rich savannah with high grassland and thick shrubby bushes. It drained by seasonal streams that flow eastwards into Thangata and westwards into Kidepo. The Larim are agro-pastoralist. While they engage in cultivation of food crops like sorghum, maize, and beans, the bulk of their socio-economic activities rest on livestock herding and hunting of game and fishing. Livestock is the only known natural resource in Larim country.

 

Mythology and History

The Larim are close relatives to the Didinga, the Murle and the Tenet. They believe they came from Ethiopia as part of the group whose separation into apparently different ethnic communities was provoked by the dispute over the gazelle soup. The Larim have lived in their present location since the eighteenth century. They have resisted the dominant Lotuka and Toposa maintaining strong links to the Didinga and Tenet.

 

Language

The Larim speak, although with some variations, the same language as the Didinga, Murle and Tenet.

 

Society, social events, attitudes, customs ad traditions

The Larim are organised into agnatic exogamous lineages knit together by strong ties of community solidarity; custom and tradition have helped them survive planked by two hostile communities . The social organisation of the Larim is identical to that of the Didinga in terms of marriage and dowry settlement, rituals associated with birth, naming of the child, death and treatment of the diseased.

The Larim venerate valour, courage and machismo in their social relations and economic activities. This is reflected in the trepidation and fright their neighbours display when the Larim come raiding for cattle. The Larim food culture and habits is similar to the Murle. Beef and games meat form the biggest part of the Larim dish. The Larim have initiation rituals for passing into adulthood, which comes at about the age of eighteen and twenty for boys and fourteen for the girls.

 

Political Organisation and Traditional Authority

Although they have not developed some form of state organisation only that the Larim have a traditional socio-political system in which administrative power is vested in the hereditary chiefs respected by all and sunder. The Larim share the same Rain Chief as the Didinga and indeed perform rain-making rituals in common.

 

Spirituality, Beliefs and Customs

The Larim are highly religious. Their spirituality is not organised in some of religion but share with other religions the existence of a supreme being who the Larim believe controls all life including the health of their cattle. They believe the spirits of the departed ones still roam around them and therefore communicate with them through prayers and offerings which they perform collectively in designated ritual place.

 

Culture: arts and physical culture

The Larim evolved tradition and culture which revolves around cattle, cattle acquisition and hunting transmitted orally through generations. Cattle are the medium of exchange.

 

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