The Logir are an ethnic group numbering a few thousand people living in Eastern Equatoria state, South Sudan. They speak a dialect of the Lotuko language.
The Logir are part of the Eastern Nilotes who were originally staying in the present land Ethiopia, precisely on an area on top of Lake Turkana. They then moved to South Sudan after being displaced by the Oromia of Ethiopia. They came to stay at their present place north of Uganda, where they encountered the Madi people.
The Logir, number a few thousand people, inhabiting the east and south-eastern slopes of the Dongotono massif. Their settlements face the Kidepo valley which separates the massif from the Didinga hills to the east. Their most important settlements are Tseretenya, Agoro.
The Logir live in a rugged terrain dominated by the Dongotono massif in the west, Didinga hills in the east and the Kidepo valley. The area receives sufficient annual rainfall which supports traditional agriculture as well as livestock rearing. The Logir undertake these socio-economic occupations both on the mountain slopes and in the plains. The main crops are sorghum, bulrush, millet, pumpkin; groundnuts, simsim, and okra. The Logir, like other groups in the Kidepo valley practice extensive hunting.
The Logir are closely related to the Dongotono and have separated from them as part of the 19th century migration from the east. However, the Logir do not attach importance to any particular person(s) as their ancestor.
The Logir speak a dialect of the Lotuka.
The Logir resemble the Lotuka and Dongotono in many aspects of their social organisation. The society is organised into exogamous agnatic clans, some of who relate to animals (leopard, bush-buck, monkey, elephant, crocodile) to which, they are assumed to transform into when they die.
The Logir have adopted age-classes but do not perform the ‘new fire’ ceremony. Like the Dongotono, their initiates are secluded in the forest, feeding on forest food for 5 days. At the end of which, they return to feast on slaughtered but un-skinned roasted goat meat marked by serving as servants of the senior age-class. The importance of age-class lies in warfare, cattle raids and hunting in the Kidepo valley.
The Logir perform together with the Dongotono in the annual rain rituals in the Sawa/Asawa - a sacred grove in the Dongotono massif. This social cum spiritual event is considered one of their most important.
The Logir practice exhumation either as a ceremonial ending of the funeral period or on the advice of the diviners who recommend it as a remedy against particular misfortunes attributed to the dead.
The Logir do not have defined traditional chieftainship as in Lotuka. The rain chiefs and the diviners therefore wield authority and power over the clans. In the recent past, the Logir have adopted the age-set system of authority.
The Logir believe in the existence of a supreme being and the spiritual sphere as different from the living. The living communicate with the dead through mediums and diviners who are capable of diverting bad spirits which could cause illnesses and bad luck.
Like all other communities in the area, the Logir culture is oral, transmitted over the generations in speech, song, dance, folklore, etc. The main musical instruments include the drums and the harps made from the horns of wild animals. The Logir lifestyle demands that they perfect the art of warfare, hunting and cattle raids.
The Logir neighbour the Dongotono and the Lango with whom they share the slopes of Dongotono massifs. To the east across the Kidepo valley live the Didinga and the Boya. The competition over Kidepo valley resources and cattle rustling practiced by these communities has shaped their relations over the years prompting alliance and counter-alliances in the area.
The Logir have hitherto been marginalised by the successive governments. The recently ended long running civil war through their participation, paradoxically linked the Logir to the rest of the South.
Due to their proximity to Uganda a few Logir individuals are found in the refugee camps in northern Uganda. It remains to be established whether or not a Logir community exists in other lands outside Africa.