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:
Last month Joel got out to a village called Thuguru for an exploratory trip in hopes of finding some new places to take Bible stories. After finding his old neighbour’s new home, he and his friend set off to meet the village chief. By the end of the day, Joel had been invited by the three compounds he visited to return with either the Jesus Film or to teach God’s Word! Thank God for Lolepo, Abraham and Lolar, the men of peace God led Joel to that day – pray for them and many others from these homes to follow Jesus.
Lift up Dan and Joel’s relationships with the people whose garden is near their house (Louren, Lopiir, Nadukuo, Rebekah, Nangide, Teresa). Pray the Lord will open their ears and hearts to the gospel as Dan and Joel greet them when they come to the gardens. Pray for boldness (and language skills) for Dan and Joel to share truths from God’s Word with them.