Argobba people

Gollo / Golo

Gollo / Golo

The Gollo or Golo are an ethnic group living in the South Sudanese state of Western Bahr el Ghazal. The area occupied by the Gollo lies to the west of the town of Wau and is delimited by Deil Zubier (North), the source of the Mbomou River (east), the confluence of the Wara River (west) and the Kpango River (south). The most important settlements are Kayango, Abushakka, Manga.

(Not to be confusewd with the Golo of Chad)

Their language, Golomo (meaning "Golo language" or "Golo speech"), may belong to the Sere group of languages.

The society is mainly agrarian, with little trade with neighboring tribes.

The tribe has been plagued by multiple upheavals that has seen their numbers reduced to several thousands in recent times and has eroded their political organization.


Demography and Geography

The Gollo inhabit the area circumscribed by Deim Zubier (north) the source of Mbomo river (east) and the confluence of Wara river (west) down to the Kpango river (south) all lying west of Wau town. The Gollo had 3 clans: Taga, Yanga and Kpesi. They were a united tribe in the ancient times but their population has seriously declined to few thousand due to several factors. Their important settlements are Kayango, Abushakka, Manga, and other smaller ones


Environment, Economy and Natural Resources

The Gollo environment is similar to that described for the Ndogo and Kresh. They are predominantly agrarian but keep few goats, sheep and fowl. The economy is essentially subsistence with a little amount of trade between them and the neighbouring tribes.


Mythology and History

There is no concrete information linking the Gollo to any particular strong founder. However, they have close relationships with the Kresh, the Ndogo and the Sere. The most spectacular episodes in the history of the Gollo are the Azande invasions, the slave raids of Zubier Rahama (1864 -78), his rule over the people of western Bahr el Ghazal and the rule of Suleiman-Gessi (1878-9) Zubier’s son.



The Gollo speak a language very close to the Ndogo, Kresh and Bviri languages


Society, Social Events, Attitudes, Customs and Traditions

The Gollo society has been seriously disrupted by foreign raids, that more research will have to be undertaken to establish their social organisation and norms.


Socio-Political Organisation and Traditional Authority

The social upheavals that the Gollo went through coupled with migration from their ancestral home has led to the erosion of the traditional political organisation. The persons who wield authority among the Gollo, like any other fertit groups in western Bahr el Ghazal are the government appointed chiefs. The fortune-tellers, mediums, medicine men, and women also wield influence due to their linkage with spirits.


Spirituality, Beliefs and Customs

Like their kindred tribes the Ndogo and Kresh, the Gollo practice traditional African beliefs, the most significant being the sacrifice to the spirits of the departed ancestors and relatives. Many Gollo people have however abandoned these traditional beliefs and have converted to Islam (coerced by Zubier and his son Suleiman) and Christianity through missionary activities following the re-conquest of the Sudan.


Culture: Arts, Music, Literature and Handicraft

The Gollo culture is represented by their arts, music, song, dance and folklore that reflect the worth of the human person and the good in society. This area requires more inquiry as the present literature is silent about this. It is clear that there has been a process of de-tribalisation and erosion of traditional Gollo value system.


Neighbours and Foreign Relations and Co-operations

In their ancestral land, the Gollo neighbour the Ndogo, Bongo and Boor. They have however been scattered, that many Gollo are found living side by side with the Kresh, Shall and Sere and in the Raga area.


Latest Developments

The long running war has transformed the demography of the Gollo and many of them have migrated outside their ancestral land into Wau and Khartoum. A few Gollo joined the resistance movement.



Few Gollo families live in Kenya, Uganda and further afield in Europe, United States of America. The bulk of the Gollo Diaspora is domicile in northern Sudan.