Sunday, September 24, 2006

A Brief History of the Lokoya of Sudan

The lokoya were initially known as the Ohoryok. During the many inter-ethnic wars of the past, the Ohiryok repeatedly attacked the Bari and raided their livestock. The Bari bluntly accused the Ohoryok of being thieves and called them Kolak. They said that the Ohoryok Akokoya stole their cattle, goats and sheep.

The word Akokoya was later on distorted to Lokoya. The Lokoya therefore lost their original name, Ohoryok, and became known as the Lokoya. The new name became popular among the Ohoryok neighbours. Consequently, ethnic groups such as the lotuho, Acholi, Lokoro, and Madi also took to calling them by the name, Lokoya.

It is generally accepted by the lokoya that they originated from East Africa. In the thirteen villages of their territory are found the clans of Ohoyo, Ohawore, Ohalla, Olodere, Olihino, Opeleri, Omoholon, Itanda, Thanufere, Isoru, Olala, Omurai, Omodoro, Lokokiri and Omoli. The foregoing clans constitute the Lotuho as the main ethnic group. The sub-ethnic groups of Lopit, Lango, Dongothono, Acholi and Bari are also represented. Clans from the neigbouring ethnic groups of Acholi, Bari, Lokoro and Madi include the Ohulanga, Onyathi, Ongarak, Ohinyau, Oti, Jago, and Iriri. All these groups have blood relationship with the Lotuho, the Bari and the Lulubo. When they moved into Liria they found the Ohalla (Omoholon and Adula), Ongole and Ohoyo clans living there. They inter-married with these clans. The Omoholon and Adula lived up the Opone Mountain while the Ongole and Ohoyo occupied the lower foot.

With continued contact, inter-marriage and other forms of societal interaction, the various groups merged to from one ethno-linguistic group know as the Lokoya. Their language is also known as Lokoya.