Thursday, May 4, 2017

Names For The Days Of The Week In Four Nilotic (African) Languages: Kalenjin, Luo, Maasai, and Turkana

Edited by Azizi Powell

This pancocojams post provides information about Nilotic people and languages as well as information about and names for days of the week in four Nilotic languages: Kalenjin, Luo, Maasai, and Turkana.

This post is part of an ongoing pancocojams series that provides information about and lists for day names in various African languages. Click the "African languages days of the week" tag to find other posts in this ongoing series.

The content of this post is presented for linguistic, cultural, and educational purposes.

All copyrights remain with their owners.

Thanks to all those who are quoted in this post.

"Nilotic peoples are peoples indigenous to the Nile Valley who speak Nilotic languages; this is a large sub-group of the Nilo-Saharan languages spoken in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania.[1] In a more general sense, the Nilotic peoples include all descendants of the original Nilo-Saharan speakers. Among these are the Luo, Sara, Maasai, Kalenjin, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk, Ateker, and the Maa-speaking peoples, each of which is a cluster of several ethnic groups.[2]

The Nilotes constitute the majority of the population in South Sudan, an area that is believed to be their original point of dispersal. After the Bantu peoples, they constitute the second-largest group of peoples inhabiting the African Great Lakes region around the Eastern Great Rift.[2] They make up a notable part of the population of southwestern Ethiopia as well.

The Nilote peoples primarily adhere to Christianity and traditional faiths, including the Dinka religion.

The terms Nilotic and Nilote were previously used as racial sub-classifications, based on anthropological observations of the distinct body morphology of many Nilotic speakers. Twentieth-century social scientists have largely discarded such efforts to classify peoples according to physical characteristics, in favor of using linguistic studies to distinguish among peoples. They formed ethnicities and cultures based on shared language.[3] Since the late 20th century, however, social and physical scientists are making use of data from population genetics.[4]

Nilotic and Nilote are now mainly used to classify "Nilotic people" based on ethnic identification and linguistic families. Etymologically, the terms Nilotic and Nilote (singular nilot) derive from the Nile Valley; specifically, the Upper Nile and its tributaries, where most Sudanese Nilo-Saharan-speaking people live.[5]

Ethnic/linguistic divisions

Linguistically, Nilotic people are divided into three sub-groups:
Eastern Nilotic - Spoken by Nilotic populations in southwestern Ethiopia, eastern South Sudan, northeastern Uganda, western Kenya and northern Tanzania. Includes languages like Turkana and Maasai.

Southern Nilotic - Spoken by Nilotic populations in western Kenya, northern Tanzania and eastern Uganda. Includes Kalenjin and Datog.


Western Nilotic - Spoken by Nilotic populations in South Sudan, Sudan, northeastern Congo (DRC), northern Uganda, southwestern Kenya, northern Tanzania and southwestern Ethiopia. Includes Dinka and Luo.


Excerpt #1:
"The Kalenjin are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting much of what was the Rift Valley Province in Kenya. They are estimated to number a little over 4.9 million individuals as per the Kenyan 2009 census.[2] They include Kipsigis, Nandi, Tugen, Keiyo, Terik, Injems, Marakwet, Sabaot and Pokot sub Ethnic groups in Kenya."...

Excerpt #2:
"The Kalenjin languages are a family of a dozen Southern Nilotic languages spoken in Kenya, eastern Uganda and northern Tanzania. The term Kalenjin comes from a Nandi expression meaning 'I say (to you)'. Kalenjin in this broad linguistic sense should not be confused with Kalenjin as a term for the common identity the Nandi-speaking peoples of Kenya assumed halfway through the twentieth century...

The Kalenjin languages are generally distinguished into four branches. There is less certainty regarding internal relationships within these.
Elgon (Sebei)
Nandi–Markweta (Kalenjin)

Excerpt #3
Kalenjin days of the week
"Sunday: Kotisap (Kts, T)
Monday: Kotaai (Kot, T)
Tuesday: Koaeng’ (Koo, O)
Wednesday: Kosomok (Kos, S)
Thursday: Koang’wan (Koa, A)
Friday: Komuut (Kom, M)
Saturday: Kolo (Kol, L)"

Excerpt #1:
"The Luo (also spelled Lwo) are several ethnically and linguistically related Nilotic ethnic groups in Africa that inhabit an area ranging from South Sudan and Ethiopia, through northern Uganda and eastern Congo (DRC), into western Kenya, and the Mara Region of Tanzania. Their Luo languages belong to the Nilotic group and as such form part of the larger Eastern Sudanic family.

Luo groups in South Sudan include the Shilluk, Anuak, Pari, Acholi, Balanda Boor, Thuri, Maban, and Luo of Dimo, and those in Uganda include the Alur, Padhola, and Joluo.

The Joluo and their language Dholuo are also known as the "Luo proper", being eponymous of the larger group. The level of historical separation between these groups is estimated at about eight centuries. Dispersion from the Nilotic homeland in South Sudan was presumably triggered by the turmoils of the Muslim conquest of Sudan.[citation needed] The migration of individual groups over the last few centuries can to some extent be traced in the respective group's oral history.


Kenya and Tanzania

Between about 1500 and 1800, other Luo groups crossed into present-day Kenya and eventually into present-day Tanzania. They inhabited the area on the banks of Lake Victoria. According to the Joluo, a warrior chief named Ramogi Ajwang led them into present-day Kenya about 500 years ago.

As in Uganda, some non-Luo people in Kenya have adopted Luo languages. A majority of the Bantu Suba people in Kenya speak Dholuo as a first language and have largely been assimilated.

The Luo in Kenya, who call themselves Joluo (aka Jaluo, "people of Luo"), are the fourth largest community in Kenya after the Kikuyu, Kalenjin and Luhya. In 2010 their population was estimated to be 4.1million. In Tanzania they numbered (in 2001) an estimated 980,000 [1]. The Luo in Kenya and Tanzania call their language Dholuo, which is mutually intelligible (to varying degrees) with the languages of the Lango, Kumam and Padhola of Uganda, Acoli of Uganda and South Sudan and Alur of Uganda and Congo."...

Excerpt #2:
"Days of the week: Luo

Mok tich – Monday (work day one)

Tich ariyo – Tuesday (work day two)

Tich adek – Wednesday (work day three)

Tich angwen – Thursday (work day four)

Tich a bich – Friday (work day five)

Chieng Nyasaye (sandei) – Sunday (Day of God)"

Excerpt #1:
"The Maasai (Kenyan English: [maˈsaːɪ]) are a Nilotic ethnic group inhabiting southern Kenya and northern Tanzania. They are among the best known local populations due to their residence near the many game parks of the African Great Lakes, and their distinctive customs and dress.[3] The Maasai speak the Maa language (ɔl Maa),[3] a member of the Nilo-Saharan family that is related to Dinka and Nuer. They are also educated in the official languages of Kenya and Tanzania, Swahili and English. The Maasai population has been reported as numbering 841,622 in Kenya in the 2009 census,[1] compared to 377,089 in the 1989 census.[4]


The Maasai speak a Nilo-Saharan language. They inhabit the African Great Lakes region and arrived via the South Sudan.[8] Most Nilotic speakers in the area, including the Maasai, the Samburu and the Kalenjin, are pastoralists, and are famous for their fearsome reputations as warriors and cattle-rustlers.[8] Like the Bantu peoples of the region, the Maasai and other groups in East Africa have adopted customs and practices from the neighboring Cushitic-speaking groups, including the age set system of social organization, circumcision, and vocabulary terms.[9][10]"...

Excerpt #2
Days of the week
"Monday: Kazi nabo(from swahili kazi)
Tuesday: Kazi are (from swahili)
Wednesday: kazi uni
Thursday: Kazi ogwuan
Friday: Kazi emiete
Saturday: Kazi Eile
Sunday: Kazi navishana"
The Swahili word "kazi" means "work". Used here the word "kazi means "work day".

Excerpt #1:
"The Turkana are a Nilotic people native to the Turkana District in northwest Kenya, a semi-arid climate region bordering Lake Turkana in the east, Pokot, Rendille and Samburu people to the south, Uganda to the west, and South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north. They refer to their land as Turkan.
According to the 2009 Kenyan census, Turkana number 855,399, or 2.5% of the Kenyan population, making the Turkana the third largest Nilotic ethnic group in Kenya, after the Kalenjin and the Luo, slightly more numerous than the Maasai, and the tenth largest ethnicity in all of Kenya....

The language of the Turkana, an Eastern Nilotic language, is also called Turkana; their own name for it is ŋaTurkana or aŋajep a ŋaTurkana.

The Turkana people call themselves ŋiTurkana (The Turkana). The name means the people of Turkan."...

Excerpt #2
From "Culture and Language of the Turkana, NW Kenya"
"he Days of the Week

Originally, the Turkana did not use the days of the week in the European sense. This classification is an artificial innovation created by the British administration. Previous to this time the month was divided into moons making possible the exact calculation of the days of the week. I shall not attempt to explain this very complex system which is still being used by the older generation.

Akwar naekingaren the first day (Monday)

Alomar nangarei the second day (Tuesday)

Akwar nangauni the third day (Wednesday)

Akwar nangomon the fourth day (Thursday)

Akwar nangakan the fifth day (Friday)

Akwar nangakan-ka-apei the sixth day (Saturday)

Akwar nangakan-ka-arei the seventh day (Sunday)"

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