You are on page 1of 7


The Nuer Tribe

Mashal Roohi:
Hareem Arshad:
Mahnoor Muhammad:


Culture profile
The Nuer people are a Nilotic ethnic group concentrated in
southern Sudan with some also found in south western
Their resistance into the Sudanese political culture led to
development of two distinct parts of the country:
Northerners self-identify as Arabs and are Muslims, while the
southerners identify themselves as black, Africans and
The nuer language is in the Nilotic branch of the NiloSaharan language family, which includes Ainka, Luo, Shilluk
and a number of other language groups. Linguistic
similarities between these groups indicate a degree of
shared origin or mutual influence.

Economy system

The nuer economy is based on a combination of cattle

herding, horticulture, fishing and collecting wild food. Cattle
are the Nuers most cherished possession, an essential food
as well as the most important social asset.

They have started engaging in trading as a source of

subsistence. Wild foods are abundant during certain times
of the year.

Besides grain and dried fish, they do not have

nonperishable food items to store. The goal is to satisfy
immediate dietary needs rather than to accumulate wealth.

Marriage & family

Polygymous marriages are common.
All legal marital unions are recognized through the exchange of bride
wealth in the form of cattle, between the husbands kin and the rightful
claimants of the brides family.
Courtship and cattle become a young mans major interests, and he takes
every opportunity to flirt.

When it is his turn to get married, the man is asked by his family to identify
which one of the girls he has courted he loves the most and then the family
visits the womans family to discuss the amount of cattle to be paid

Marriage is not finalized until the bride has given birth to at least 2
children. The birth of a third child is considered as a tie in the marriage.

The married couple is free to live in a place of their choice, but residence
with the mans family is preferred.


Although a large no. of the Nuer converted to Christianity at the end of
the 20th century, majority still remains followers of traditional religions
whose central tenet is the worship of a high god through a totem,
ancestral spirits and a no. of deities.
Practice involves sacrifices of animals at designated times of the year.
Ancestral spirits are thought to be able to increase the productivity of
the land, increase the number of cattle and provide safety.
Traditional therapeutic medicine is still highly regarded. The therapeutic
techniques used among them includes various kinds of surgery
dispensing medicinal plants, and bone setting.
Some also believe that they can diagnose by communicating with the
supernatural world.

The soil is black cotton soil that maintains its fertility
at all times.
Main crops are millet, maize, and vegetables.

The area of land that a household cultivates varies

according its labor force. On average a Nuer
household grows two acres.

When crops fail because of floods or drought, grains

can be purchased from areas of surplus within the
nuer land or in towns where Arab traders keep shops.

Social change

Acculturation is a process in which members of one

cultural group adopt the beliefs and behaviors of another

This can happen when newcomers come to a specific

community and leave behind certain beliefs and practices
altering the original culture.

The Nuer developed through cultural differentiation from

the Dinka.