Nuer

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Nuer

(no͞o`ər, no͝or), a Nilotic people living around Lake No in South Sudan. Their economy and social life generally revolve around cattle, which are grazed on the plains during the dry season and in the hills during the wet season. During the dry season, the Nuer also fish, hunt, and gather wild plant foods. At their initiation, boys receive six horizontal cuts in the forehead and are given cattle; thereafter they belong to an age gradeage grade and age set,
differentiation of social role based on age, commonly found in small-scale societies of North America and East Africa.
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, with whom they will advance into various positions within the clan over the period of their lives. Descent is patrilineal, and when a man marries he receives more cattle from his father (see marriagemarriage,
socially sanctioned union that reproduces the family. In all societies the choice of partners is generally guided by rules of exogamy (the obligation to marry outside a group); some societies also have rules of endogamy (the obligation to marry within a group).
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 and kinshipkinship,
relationship by blood (consanguinity) or marriage (affinity) between persons; also, in anthropology and sociology, a system of rules, based on such relationships, governing descent, inheritance, marriage, extramarital sexual relations, and sometimes residence.
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). There is no centralized political authority, but rather a number of autonomous village communities. Spiritual leaders, known as leopard skin chiefs, are employed in the mediation of disputes. E. E. Evans-PritchardEvans-Pritchard, Edward Evan,
1902–73, English social anthropologist. He made several expeditions to Africa. His major contributions lie in the fields of social anthropology and comparative religion.
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's ethnography (1940) is the standard work on the Nuer.

Nuer

 

(self-designation, Tog Naat), a people living in the region of the lower course of the Sobat River and to the southwest of the river, in the southern part of Sudan, and also in the border regions of Ethiopia. Population, about 700,000 (1970, estimate). The Nuer language is Nilotic. Feudal-patriarchal relations and tribal-clan religious cults have survived among the Nuer. The basic social unit is the large patriarchal family. The Nuer engage in distant-pasture livestock raising (cattle) and hoe farming (millet, corn, garden crops, and tobacco); a small number of Nuer work in enterprises of the lumber industry and on state plantations.


Nuer

 

the language of the Nuer. It is spoken in southern Sudan and extreme western Ethiopia, where it is called Abbigar. Nuer is spoken by about 700,000 persons (1970, estimate). Nuer belongs to the Nilotic language group. There are two dialect groups, Nuer proper and Atwot. Phonetic features include pharyngealized vowels and a system of three tones.

Nuer is an inflected language. The means of expressing grammatical meanings include internal consonantal, vocalic, and tonal inflection of the stem, prefixation, and to a lesser degree, postfixation. There are two main cases, nominative and genitive. Accusative and locative meanings are sometimes expressed formally. The word order is verb-subject-object, with postpositive attributive. Possession is expressed by combination of the construct form of the possessed with the genitive of the possessor. Nuer is a written language and is used to a limited extent as a language of the school and administration.

REFERENCES

Crazzolara, J. P. Outlines of a Nuer Grammar. Vienna, 1933.
Kiggen, J. Nuer-English Dictionary. Mill Hill, 1948.
References in periodicals archive ?
The white army, a section of youth from the Lou Nuer tribe, allied with rebels headed by former vice president during the crisis and many died at different fronts during the crisis.
Fighting quickly turned ethnic with Dinka soldiers loyal to Kiir accused of massacring members of Machar's Nuer tribe in the capital Juba.
A political crisis erupted in the country on December 15 when President Kiir, supported by government forces loyal to his Dinka tribe, accused his rival Machar, supported by troops loyal to the Nuer tribe, of staging an attempted coup.
Many of those from the Nuer tribe, feeling at a disadvantage to the dominant Dinka, sought safety on two sprawling bases of the United Nations peacekeeping mission.
The unrest in South Sudan, the world's newest nation, has left thousands dead and displaced close to 900,000 people, including tens of thousands who have crammed into UN bases in fear of ethnic attacks by either President Kiir's Dinka tribe or rebel leader Machar's Nuer tribe.
Kiir belongs to the Dinka confederation of tribes; but a branch of the Dinka backs Machar, who belongs to the Nuer tribe.
It is to mention that an infantry battalion of Nuer tribe have entered into Sudan territories on January 9, fleeing after the South Sudan People Army advanced towards Bentiu, therefore the Sudanese Armed Forces have seized weapons of 54 of the infiltrators, who will be treated as refugees, while others withdrew to south Sudan territories.
On January 9 a force of Nuer tribe, about an infantry battalion, crossed into the Sudanese territories near Higlieg area.
During the past two weeks, South Sudan has witnessed clashes between two military factions, one descending from the Dinka tribe, to which South Sudanese President Kiir belongs and the other descending from the Nuer tribe, to which Machar belongs, who is accused of plotting to topple the government.
Western powers and east African states, which want to prevent the fighting from destabilising a fragile African region, have tried to mediate between Machar, who hails from the Nuer tribe, and PresidentSalva Kiir, a Dinka.
Last week a group of 6,000 fighters from the Lou Nuer tribe attacked the towns of Lukangol and Pibor, home to the Murle tribe, which was blamed for attacks on Lou Nuer areas in August, setting fire to huts and prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee.
A group of 6,000 fighters from Lou Nuer tribe attacked the towns of Lukangol and Pibor last week, setting fire to huts and prompting tens of thousands of civilians to flee.