The Laarim of South Sudan

Population: 7,000-10,000

Location and Background: Also known as the Boya or Narim, the Laarim are a Nilotic people living in the Boya Hills. It’s a rugged and hilly terrain with rich savanna, high grasslands and scrub bushes. They live in small settlements, with the main town being Kimatong.

History: The Laarim are close relatives of the Didinga, Murle and Tenet. They believe they came from Ethiopia in the 18th c as part of a group that separated from others because of a dispute over gazelle soup. Cattle-rustling continues to fuel hostilities with the Toposa, and efforts for peace and reconciliation have borne no fruit, though they continue to look for ways to end the long-standing conflict.

Culture: Social and cultural life is centered around cattle, with livestock being their only known natural resource. They breed them, eat their meat, use them as dowry to get a bride, drink their blood and milk, and sleep on their hides. Raiding and stealing of cattle is a question of honor and valor. The do also grow some food, and also hunt and fish. Hereditary chiefs are highly respected. The Laarim share the same rainmaker as the Didinga and perform rain-making rituals in common. The culture is patrilineal, with strong ties of community solidarity.  Initiation rituals are followed for passing into adulthood, and dowries are paid for brides.

Religion: The Laarim practice Africa Traditional Religion with some Catholic influence. They are highly aware of spiritual forces,  and believe in a supreme being who controls all of life, including the health of their cattle. They believe spirits of their departed ones roam the earth and they can communicate with them through prayers and offerings which they perform collectively in designated ritual places.

Latest Prayer Updates:

Another baptism

Nakai and Napir, two Laarim girls, were baptized this morning. Praise God for building His church among the Laarim! Pray for these two girls to grow strong in the Lord and share with others the good things God has done.

Treasure ready for distribution

On team day, we dedicated 80 Treasures, loaded and ready to give away. This is a huge milestone that required many hours of Bible story crafting, translation and recording, editing, and choosing/adding memory verses for each one. In addition, almost 200 chapters of scripture were recorded by various Laarim readers. Also 21 original Laarim songs were carefully recorded and included. Despite its small size the Treasure has a speaker that is easy for a group of 20 people to hear well. We are pleased. Now we are planning and praying for the right people to give them to. We consider these to be 80 little digital missionaries to take the Word of God to the Laarim in ways we cannot. Please pray for many Laarim to hear the Word and respond in faith.

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