Lango - Orientation

Identification. The Lango are one of the largest of the non-Bantu ethnic groups in Uganda. They are often classified together with their western neighbors, the Acholi, although they have long regarded themselves as being distinct from them. In the past, the Lango were generally regarded as the residents of a rural hinterland and as people whose activities had little effect on the nation as a whole, but, since Ugandas independence, the Lango have become integrated into national political life.

Location. The Lango live between 1°30′ N and 2°44′ N and between 32°15′ E and 33°15′ E. Their territory covers 14,820 square kilometers, including 1,300 square kilometers of open water and swamp. The gently rolling savanna of Lango territory lies at an elevation of 900 to 1,200 meters. Neighboring ethnic groups are the Acholi to the west, the Iteso to the east, and the Karamojong to the north.

Demography. There are about 410,000 Lango in Uganda. The population is most dense in the southern part of Lango territory, in the area between Lira and Lake Kyoga, where it reaches about 48 per square kilometer. In the northern and western portions of the Lango District, the population density is about 16 per square kilometer.

Linguistic Affiliation. Lango is a Nilotic language that is mutually intelligible with Acholi. Lango, Acholi, Luo, and Alure are usually classified together as the Southern Luo languages, which means that the Lango are linguistically related to the Luo of Kenya.

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