Identification. "Dinka" is a term that has been used for centuries to refer to a people who speak of themselves as "Moinjaang," or "the people of the people." They live over a wide area in southern Sudan, amid the many streams and small rivers that feed into the main channel of the Nile River. The ecological year is defined by a dry season of no rain (from November to April) and the season of daily, sometimes intense rain (from May to October).
Demography. At the time of the last official census, in 1950, the Dinka were estimated to number slightly over 1 million individuals, making them the largest ethnic group in southern Sudan. Population densities vary considerably, however, in association with local ecological variation and with the seasonal movements of the Dinka with their herds of cattle.
Linguistic Affiliation. The Dinka language is most closely related to Nuer and Atuot; these languages comprise a subfamily within the larger classification of Nilotic.