Learn more about Shilluk
are a major Nilotic
ethnic group of southern Sudan
, living on the west bank of the Nile
around the city of Malakal
. They are the third largest minority ethnic group of South Sudan, after the Dinka
and their neighbors the Nuer
. They are led by a king (reth
) considered divine, who traces his lineage back to the culture hero
Nyikang, and whose health is believed to affect that of the nation; . Their society was fairly hierarchical, with castes of royals, nobles, commoners, and slaves. Like most Nilotic groups, cattle
-raising formed a large part of their economy; however, agriculture
were more significant than usual, and most were sedentary. Most Shilluk have converted to Christianity
, while some still follow the traditional religion. The Shilluk stayed on the sidelines for most of the Second Sudanese Civil War
, but were engulfed in fighting during 2004.
Their language, the Shilluk language, belongs to the Luo branch of the Western Nilotic subfamily of Nilo-Saharan.
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