What UAH members should know is that, after the Ateker group split from Lake Turukana area, one group went South-East wards (The Kalengin), while another group came South-West wards into the present day Karamoja area, all these people were called Lango (The word Lango means warrior).

The Langi who went into the present day Kenya were very aggressive fighters, so when the Arab slave traders tried raiding them, they instead raided the Arabs which made the Arabs to refer to them as “Wanandi” which is an Arab word for raiders, Wanandi eventually became Nandi (Lango of Kenya).

While some of the group that came to Karamoja drifted further Southwards to the present day Teso, it should be noted that these people were mostly young people who were tired of the harsh environment in the present day Karamoja, so they set off telling the old people to stay, “Nga Kar Imojong” , while the elders told these young people that they were going to die or going to their graves, Atec”, so their names started from Atec to Ateco then Teso, whle the Langi who remained become the Karamojong.

From Karamojong, there was no serious split but gradual expansion south-west wards, this was mostly by warrior section of the community who drifted slowly to the present day areas of Lira, Oyam, Apach etc, these people after finding a greener pasture which don’t require wandering with cattle like in Karamoja eventually decided to settle and practiced both cattle keeping and crop cultivation, but since this areas were occupied by the Luos, the Luos referred to them as foreigners (“Omiru” refer to Obargots statement above”), finding themselves uncomfortable neighboring cattle keepers, the Luos decided to move on to the present day Nyanza /Kisumu area in Western Kenya.

It should be noted that, much as the Langi (Lira, Apach etc), uses a language similar to Luo’s, every other aspects of their system are the same with Karamojong aand some aspects of Teso, like there are same clans in Lango, Karamoja and Teso (Atek in Lango, Ikitek in Teso, Okarowok in Lango, Ikarogwok in Teso, Arak in Lango, Irarak in Teso, whereas Inomo in Lango practices some local medicine, so does Ikinomo in Teso, all these same clans are found in Karamoja).

As for Luo names, not all names starting with “O’ among Langi are Luo names, but just had Luo influence, for example, because of Luo influence, the letter “L” was removed from their names to leave names starting with “O”, here are examples of names from Karamoja with equivalent of the Lango, but with letter “L” removed, Lokodo in Karamoja, Okodo in Lango, Lokii in Karamoja, Okii in Lango, Lotee in Karamoja, Otee in Lango, Ngole is in Karamoja as its Ngole in Lango, Langiro in Karamoja, Angiro in Lango.

So for those who think Lango is a hanging community should re-think again, there is actually no difference between Langi and Karamojong except a change is life style contributed by time and distance between the two communities, and that why in most instances if you find one touting himself as a Karamojong, there is 9/10 chance that he is actually from Lango.

“Dyang” is a singular while “Dok” is plural for cows, one cow is called DYANG, while many are called DOK.You should know that the Langi in Lira, Apach, etc are actually called Lango Jie, while the Karamojong are Lango Dyang or Lango Olok.
Lango Dyang simply means Langi who predominantly keep cattle.

Thanks and God bless you all.

Pyerarama Stewart



2 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Godfrey SSekabira,

    Thanks fo the wonderful research and enlightment. am married to a Langi whose mother is a Luo

  2. Fred,

    There is no such thing as a Langi. Lango is singular and Langi is plural.

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