Luwo people

Total population
Regions with significant populations
 South Sudan193,000
Luwo language or Dhe Luwo
Christianity, African Traditional Religion
Related ethnic groups
Nilotic peoples, esp. Luo peoples

The Luwo (also called Jur Chol and Luo of Bahr el Ghazal) are a Nilotic ethnic group that live in the western parts of South Sudan. They are part of a larger group of ethno-linguistically related Luo peoples of East Africa.[citation needed] They speak the Jur language which is a Northern Luo language.[1][2]

They are related to the Dholuo speaking Joluo of Kenya and Tanzania. The date of divergence is estimated to have been about eight centuries ago.[3] their closest relatives however, are the Anyuak and Pari


The Luwo are known to the Dinka as Jur Chol which is an exonym taken from the Dinka language (compare Jur Beli). Some Luo politicians object to the name.[3]


The Luo reside in their lands Piluwo or Luwo Land in the Jur River and Wau counties of Western Bahr el Ghazal State and in Aweil Center County of Northern Bahr el Ghazal State. The Luo are also sedentary, meaning they have a centralized living area. They grow sorghum, cassava, sweet potatoes, and beans. They can fish, hunt, and beekeep, making them a well-rounded society.[2]


The Luwo are one of the smaller tribes of South Sudan with population about 171,000 - by some accounts the Luo are the 8th largest ethnic group in South Sudan. They may be found in Aweil, Wau and Tonj states or in Tonj and Western Bahr el Ghazal and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states by the pre-2015 organisation.[2][4]

A census conducted in 1983 put their population at 80,000.[1]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "Luwo". SIL International. Retrieved 2 August 2013.
  2. ^ a b c Trust, Gurtong. "Jurchol (Luo)". Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  3. ^ a b "There Is No Jur Chol Tribe But Luo Tribe In Western Bahr El Ghazal State: Speaker". Gurtong Trust. Retrieved 2016-10-24.
  4. ^ "Distribution of Ethnic Groups in Southern Sudan (as of 24 Dec 2009)". Refworld. UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA). 6 January 2010. Retrieved 27 October 2016.
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