Dinka JiengJang Tribes

22 Aug

According to my personal analysis: here are some of the problems we have in South Sudan when it comes to dealing with communities, bomas, lineages, clans, Payams, Counties and tribal naming issues.



(a) In former times, whoever was a leader in South Sudan’s government would use nepotism to name all the communities, clans and tribes through their own lineages’ names. This has become an issue today; because people are starting to acknowledge the mess that has been made by biased people during their times of leadership. So now most of the lineages, communities, clans and tribes are trying to fix this issue of naming. However, there is a long way to go for them to reach the truth, because of the extremists who are still maintaining the mindset of the old eras of truth denying. They are ignoring the facts, and even some people are not abiding by the truth of the matter. These extremists are always trying to support their own related folks that have violated the ethics of the social leadership positions they were holding. Even though they know the facts, still their stubborn hearts of division through nepotism, communalism, clannishness and tribalism do allow them to hold on to the negative and baseless truth. They just want to promote their own communities, clans and tribes names as proud symbols of their domination over any social organized groups, in my studied opinion. These extremists use propaganda as their way to deny the legitimacy of the truth, and they just hide behind their dishonesty.

(b) Educators in those former days were the ones who put those controversial names on the official documents, even though they were aware that it was the wrong thing for them to do. Still they were possessed by the evils of nepotism, clannishness, tribalism, etc. I would call it a mistake made by most of the South Sudanese scholars; to me, this issue was not the Northerners’ problem or propaganda against the Southerners in whatsoever. Northerners were just documenting what was given to them by our Southern intellectuals who were representing us in Khartoum’s government. Personally, I do not point my finger toward the Northerners for the messes that much. I do blame our Southerners, who were our intellectuals and leaders at that particular period of time. Again, they dishonestly violated the ethics of their leadership posts and their professional class acts, which was given to them by the people whom they were representing in government. Furthermore, their misuses of honors and names recognition many years ago is right now becoming a critical problem that needs to be addressed it, so that the controversies of naming of places, regions, tribes or sub-tribes are not allowed to become a disaster against peace and unity down the line. To me, it is easy to solve it if everybody is really open to the truth and not neglect or ignorant the issue. And if they don’t accept the truth, it becomes a complicated issue rooted in stereotyping and propaganda.

(c) The merely heart of selfishness and tribal bias were the most driving forces behind this controversial issue of naming within most of the South Sudanese’ communities, clans and tribes. The mistake was done by our own Southerners, who were leaders in Sudan’s government. These individuals’ ideology of division or bias was behind their leadership concentration when it came to their own interests of close lineages, communities, clans, tribes, etc. That is what I believe was a primary source behind their leadership objectives, where an individual had the power to promote his own section’s name as the combination name for other lineages, communities, clans, tribes, Payams (Districts), Counties (Provinces), even States if I am not mistaken.

(d) Popularity did play a significant role then too; especially for personalities who were well known during all those past days autocracy, chiefdoms and king systems of leadership, because their popularity was a very basic accelerator to this issue. Now it becomes harder to deal with because of those extremists who are not always abiding by the truth, even when they actually knew that they were totally wrong in supporting this controversial issue of names. Back then too, those people didn’t respect the integrity of the offices they were occupied. So my message to those extremists is this: please, you should honor the truth for the well being of our people’s integrity, peace, liberty, prosperity and harmony. Be a person with class acts by considering our late father of freedom, Dr. John Garang. His mission before he died was to straighten out these zigzag roads, and now it is time for us who are alive to make those roads straighter for our freedom. Furthermore, my mission here which God (Nhialic) has given me is to tackle the truth. And I hope those who are blessed with the vision of advocating for truth are going to join me for the sake of our people’s peace, freedom, liberty, prosperity and unity.

In conclusion, my final piece of advice to those who want to be catalysts behind this messy situation of names among most of our lineages, communities, clans, and tribes in South Sudan: Please! Please! Please! Take a deep breath and think beyond the depth of your propaganda based on truth denial that could cause more divisions, nepotism, clannishness, tribalism and so forth. Because now it is time we (South Sudanese) need to be civilized rather than going back to the old days’ ideology of truth twisting or truth neglections. We just need to strengthen our unity in South Sudan; that is what I think should be a legitimate pathway to freedom, liberty, peace, unity, harmony, prosperity, etc. Again, our journey of strengthening things out was started by our late Dr. John Garang de Mabior. And we shouldn’t be going back, in my opinion, when it comes to those controversial ideologists who are unsuitable for our unity in South Sudan. I don’t think we can afford the resumption of that road, ladies and gentlemen. We just need to correct all those issues that are capable of undermining our harmony and our peaceful state and nation. Let us all join our hands and solve this issue through a peaceful way, abiding by truth and honoring the facts, as a group or individually. Extreme pretense will not lead us into a successful society, nor will an evil heart of denial that might create unresolved divisions, biases, nepotism, communalism, clannishness and tribalism lead us into a better society. The only oil for the engine of our society’s future development and prosperity always for us is to rely on the acceptance of truth.


“People should know that, historically; Dinka (Jiëŋ/Mɔnyjäŋ) tribe culturally is based under clannish systems of governance. There is no clan name that combines other names.”



South Sudan tribes map

Southern Sudan Counties map


1954 Map – Tribes of Sudan




2 Responses to “Dinka JiengJang Tribes”

  1. Aleu Majok May 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm #

    Hello Brotherene,
    Thank you for your understanding of the naming system wr ongly adopted in our socities/communities. I agree with you in the point that originality of the people must be maintained and forwarded to the next generations. I don’t just believe in telling the truth but also in demonstating truth in our dealings, seeking and defending it[truth]. It came as a pleasure to me when I landed on your opinion on this site as I was making a research on certain things about the Jieng or Muonyjang people, their culture and language.
    In short what motivated me to leave this comment here is the idea that I share with you, ”
    conserving and reviving the originality of the people for the generations and generations to come”. I noted in your opinion, with keen interest, something that I have been wishing to see people talking about or finding people with whom to talk about. However, you need not think of renaming a particular group of Jieng or Muonyjieng arbitrarily and unnecessarily. I mean, renaming the Jieng or Muonjieng of Jonglei as JiengJang as you suggested is to me not a good idea. It’s actually one of the ways of changing the authenticity born in the people’s tribal or sub-tribal name and culture. Making such a change would be considered only and only if, something negative or backward is associated with the former name and which is now not the case. By attempting to rename the Jieng or Muonjieng of Jonglei state, you do not only appear concerned with that particular section alone instead of the whole tribe and even other wrongly renamed tribes in the south in which case I first concieved you to be concerned about but you also contradict yourself saying that people should honour and maintain truth in their dealings.
    For me I think the Jieng or Muonyjieng of Jonglei should remain the same as known way back before British or Arab colonial era. That is, they should be called with thier sub-tribal names; Bor, Twic, Nyarweng, Hol, etc sub-tribes just as they were in the beginning and as they had always been known. This same idea should likewise be applied in other Jieng or Muonyjang sub-tribes that got or which are about to get thier original names distorted. In doing this, the origial tribal name, Muonyjang(singular noun and adjective), Muonyjieng(plural) and Jieng(singular and plural)as our grand parents knew and as I first learnt should be restored and conserved as our official tribal names instead of Dinka which was given to us by foreigners and was not known by our grandparents and is still unknown as meaning Jieng, Muonyjang or Muonyjang by others deep down there in the villages and as such does not have any original meaning in our language, Thong Muonyjang or Thong Jieng or Thuong Jang as different sub-tribes call it. Leecdie ke yin

    • jiengjang May 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm #

      Hello! Aleu Majok

      I do really appreciated your Splendid respond to my article. Its show you are really the man of truth causes and principals.

      However, concerning about your comments about the name “JiengJang.” This name is only my suggestion, and it was driven from either prefix or suffix of the name Jieng, parts of Muonjang, Thuongjang, Thongjieng, etc.

      Again, it was just a suggestion name that may helps united every Jieng or muonyjang in Jonglei State. I am not imopsed this name to others.

      Thank you very much,


      N/B: For your additional information:

      In next couple weeks or so I am going to release two books:

      (a) One Book about John Garang de Mabior
      (a) Book about Jieng (Dinka) Twic East tribe


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