a group of related peoples (Moru, Madi, Lugbara, Keliko, Logo, Avukaya, Mangbetu, Mamvu, Mangbutu, and Lendu) living mainly in the Republic of Zaïre and to a lesser extent in Uganda and the southern part of the Republic of Sudan. They speak the Moru-Mangbetu languages of the Central Sudanese group. Total population, 1.2 million (1970, estimate).
The overwhelming majority of the Moru-Mangbetu retain ancient traditional beliefs (ancestor worship predominates); an insignificant proportion are Christians (Catholics). Their chief occupations are hoe farming (millet, yams, taro, bananas, and legumes) and, in regions not infested by the tsetse fly, livestock raising. Crafts, such as forging, wood and ivory carving, and pottery-making, are well developed.