The Laarim of South Sudan
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:
Pray for the young men Jacob has discipled, specifically Lokolong, and the others on the team and in the community whom he encourages in their ministries—former police chief Marino and the blind evangelist Logwe.
And please intercede for the renewal of faith and revival in the lives of Mary Marko and Mary Paulo, both of whom had been following the ways of God.
Noblesse, serving in the northern location of Chauwa, sent us a video of the believers’ gathering this past Sunday morning. Kleava, the farmer who sought out the Word of God and is applying it, along with a few men and numerous youth were present. Two teenagers (Logemet and Lokorai), whom he has been mentoring, are taking more leadership. Praise God for how He is building His Church!
Ask God for people of peace in the communities of Ngarahac (up in the mountain) and Lotopocho (the “wild west”), where Noblesse is seeking to spread seeds of the gospel.