Lugbara - Orientation



The Lugbara people live on the plateau of the Nile-Zaire watershed in northwestern Uganda and northeastern Zaire. In the 1950s they numbered 244,000, of whom 183,000 lived in Uganda. They speak a cluster of dialects of the Eastern Sudanic Language Group, closely related to Madi, Logo, 'Bale (Lendu), and Keliko and distantly related to Azande and Mangbetu. They and the Madi, to their east, are the only representatives of this language group in eastern Africa. They refer to themselves today as "Lugbara" but also as "Urule'ba" ("High people") and "Andrale'ba" ("Low people"), others of the former being the Keliko and Logo to their west and others of the latter being the Madi to their east. Their plateau is very distinct from the landscapes of most of their neighbors, and they are conscious of their singular identity geographically, linguistically, and culturally.


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