Yii a Mundari

Last update: 17/2/2020

We are Mundari – نحن موندري

Sisi ni Mundari – እኛ ሙንዳዊ ነን – Мы Мундари – 我们是蒙达里 – Nous sommes Mundari

Madang! (mean “Hello” in Mundari language) We, the Mundari people, also known as Mandari or Mondare / Mondari, our name are easily to confused with the Mundari ethnic group of Bangladesh, Nepal and East India in Asia, because both of our name are all the same spelling, but in fact the Mundari in Africa and in Asia are totally diffrent. The African Mundari are a small ethnic group of 64 ethnic communities in South Sudan and one of the Nilotic peoples (REF#2: Nilotic People Cluster Great Commission Status by Joshua Project). We live on the banks of the White Nile in Terekeka County of Central Equatoria State (In Mundari language we called it “Tergege”), north of the capital Juba, South Sudan in East Africa, we are bordered to the north by the Bor Dinka at Maliththoor, Anuet, and to the south by the Bari of Juba 12 km at the Ku’da River. Mundari land are bounded on the east by the White Nile and extend west to Laka Ma’di in Amadi state, an area roughly 100 by 75 kilometers in size. The main settlements in Mundari land are Terekeka, Gemaiza, Mangalla, Muni, Tombe, Tindalo, Tali, Rego, Tijor, Rijong, Koweri, and Nyori.




South Sudan (32 States – From 2017 to 2020)


A sketch map of Terekeka district
A sketch map of Terekeka district.   provided by Maring Swaka Yibi  2018

Like other Nilotic tribes, we are very cattle-oriented. We treasure our cattle so dearly, Our cattle and us are inseparable. We live and sleep amidst our cattle. We have a culture tradition of washing our hair with the cattle urine, turning it orange. Ashes from the burnt cow dung is also applied on the body to repel mosquitoes. Cattle serves as food, a form of currency and a mark of status. Marriages are arranged by the prospective groom offering cattle to the bride’s family and husbands may take as many wives as they can support. We also cultivate sorghum and catch fish using nets and spears.

Generosity and honesty is highly encouraged and respected among the Mundari. Unsociable behaviour in prominent elders such as habitually eating at home instead if sharing their food in the hamlet kraal, evokes criticism. The importance of sharing is emphasized in Mundari upbringing and the young learn to be generous by constantly exchanging pipes, necklaces or bracelets, and passing on to others anything that is not immediately.

Our culture is transmitted orally in songs, many of which are satirical for correcting misdemeanour in society, dance, poems and other body expressions that reflect good, generosity and other core values of the Mundari. We use wrestling both as a form of entertainment and show off power to their intended brides.

In common with other nilotic tribes in South Sudan and East Africa, both females and males Mundari, at least traditionally, will have the owl wing shaped scarification,  the typical scar pattern consists of two sets of three parallel lines, each on either side of the forehead, extending in a downward slope and unconnected in the middle. For no more than beautification reasons, though other forehead scars (vertical slits) will have resulted as a traditional treatment for headaches (which probably correlates with malaria). Sometimes, scars can be cut all over the body for decorative purposes.

We are highly religious. Our traditional God “Ngun” hears what men say and assesses people’s deeds. This belief helps shape one’s life and social behaviour. We also conduct rituals through mediums, landowning chiefs “Monye kak” who are responsible for the well-being of their chiefdoms. and the doctors “Buniton”, who are also diviners and treat sicknesses.

Our Language

In the Mundari language there are 27 alphabet with 8 vowels and at least 19 vowel glides that function in [ATR] sets, there are several different types of words: nouns, verbs, pronouns, adjectives, modifiers, demonstratives, connectors, and others.

Our past of colonized by Anglo-Egyptian Sudan and Republic of Sudan (1889-2011)

Anglo-Egyptian Sudan 1899-1956   Sudan 1956-1970   Flag_of_Sudan.svg

Flag_of_the_SPLA_(1983-1995).svg       Flag_of_the_SPLA_(1995).svg

“A Mandari Köbora youth in a cattle camp standing beside his display ox (sönö) which has large trained curving horns and dark mottled markings on a white base” by Jean Carlile Buxton 1958 (FILE: Pitt Rivers Museum, UK)
Former 10 states of South Sudan grouped in 3 historical provinces of Sudan
From 3 provinces of Sudan to 10 states of South Sudan



“Free at Last!” From Southern Sudan to Republic of South Sudan, after Independence day – July 9, 2011

After decades of conflict, Southern Sudan declared independence from the North on July 9th, 2011. People came to the John Garang Memorial in the capital from all over the country, many in traditional dress to sing, dance, play music and celebrate the historic occation..Juba, South Sudan. Photo © J.B. Russell (FRANCE)
South Sudan, independence from Sudan in 2011