Adio people

Adio - Makaraka / Iddio

Adio / Iddio / Makaraka

Adio (also called Iddio or Makaraka) are an ethnic group indigenous to Central Africa, closely related to the powerful Azande or NiamNiam, occupying the Bahr-el-Ghazal west of Lado. They came originally from the country of the Kibas, north of the Welle River. They do not extract the incisors.
Currently, they form part of the population of the South Sudanese state of Central Equatoria. The Adio speak Kakwa and Mundu.


Name and History

The name Adio (Singular Dio) is sometimes commonly refered to as Makaraka and it is difficult to trace its origin. The Makaraka are not a separate ethnicity per se.

They are originally Azande, who were part of the large Gbudwe army that rampaged through the Mundu, Moru, Pojulo and Kakwa areas of Maridi, Mundri and Yei districts in the 18th and 19th centuries. They were later not able to link up with the main Azande homeland.

Gbudwe’s great ambition to defeat and subdue the tribes of central Equatoria prompted an alliance between the Moro, Mundu and Pojullo that defeated the main force forcing a retreat leaving a small group, which evolved into the Makaraka- a hybrid ethnicity made of different ethnic groups that formed Gbudwe’s army.

The Adio do not have a separate language. Those close to the Kakwa speak the Kakwa language, while those close to Mundu, as in Ras Wullu, speak Mundu language.


Demography and Geography

The Adio number a few hundred and are found in Yei River District along the Yei – Maridi road. They are agrarian and engage in subsistence agriculture producing cassava, telebun, maize, sorghum, beans, and sweet potatoes. The area where Adio live is infested with trypanosomaisis (sleeping sickness) resulting from tse-tse flies.
This is responsible for the decline in their numbers. Indeed, the Adio have been marked for extinction by many. The diminishing of the community partly due to the endemic diseases and migration to towns where many of their elite have assimilated into the Bari speaking communities.


Society, Socio-Political Organisation

There is very little existing literature about the social and political organisation of the Adio. The community is influenced by the Kakwa and Pojullo and have therefore adopted either of the traditional systems.