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What you need to know about Riang-nhom of Tonj State

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• Riang-nhom is the Dinka name of a place to the East of Central Bahr El region slopping to the western bank of the Nile, the name Riang-nhom developed from “Riang” (field) and “nhom” (yard not head) combined together as Riang-nhom which in direct English translation stands as “field-yard” equivalent to “Riang-nhom” in Dinka. It is a dry land (clay type of the soil) with less number of trees.

People living in Riang-whom are called “Riong-nhim”. Riang-nhom is the land to the East of Tonj State that borders Gok state and Western lakes state to South East and Southern Liech state to the north.

• Riang-nhom composes of Luac-Koth, Akook, Jalwau, Thiik, Luacjang and some fewer parts of Lou Paher, Ajak leer and Apuk-Juwir communities of Tonj State.

Ring-nhom was well-known for being the land of the wealthy and rich pastoralists, Expensive marriages, and Famous chiefs across the former Warrap state territorial zones and Bahr El Ghazal region as a whole. Among the richest men in the area were Dut Agok, Mading Dior, Bol Malek, Majok Makom, Akal Guer and many other uncounted medium rich men over the land (Riang-nhom).

With favourable lands for pastures, Riang-nhom has rainy seasons and dry season, it also has more conducive cattle camps that accommodate more than,2,000,000 herds of cattle, 1,000,000 goats, and 1,500,000 sheep.

During the dry seasons, pastoralists move to swampy areas along the Savannah climatic region and spend much of their time there pasturing till the rainy season comes and return back to the usual places during the summer and springs.

Most of the types of rainfalls in the area are characterizes by convectional and Savannah high tropical rainfalls in the southern part.
Rains usually come in April or may vary from time to time till November. There are dry season cattle camps and rainy season cattle camps.

Among the well-known cattle camps (both rainy and dry seasons) in Riang-who are mideer, Angotek, Panyanbec, Abyiei thiik, Ngadiang, Aliet, Gok-ken, Awet, Buul (Bul Adel and Bul Gum), Wun-Kuei, Aghardit , Tur, pahany, wunkot, Pabiklir, Rom-ngic, Cin-yarabiu and so on.

The marriage system in this area is done by paying cows as dowries to the bride’s party. Dowries approximately ranging from 60-700 cows. The bridegroom can pay much than that. The marriage ceremony is usually conducted traditionally.

• On the other hand, Riang-nhom is also Agriculturalists, they cultivate crops like Sorghum, Maize, Millet, Groundnuts, and vegetables eg. potatoes in small quantity. Cultivations and land preparations are mostly done at the beginning of the rainy season in the months of April, May, and June while harvest starts in the months of October, November, and December. The fast-growing crops like maize and Groundnuts harvest begin in the months of July, August, and September. Other crops grown include maize and tobacco; obviously grown at the cattle camp, because of the cow dug which provides them fine manure for the fast quality grows.

• The administration of Riang-nhom is inline with the country-wide administration’s hierarchy that starts at the national, state or provincial, County, Payam and Boma level. Chief is regarded as the community leader follow by sub-chiefs and down to the gold leader. Chief named as Alam-this, and gold leader as nhom-gol. At the time of the British rule, nhimgal (gold leaders) were the policemen and alam-col (clerks) as the tax (atap) collectors.

Some of the famous leaders of Riang-nhom who were acting as the chiefs of the provincial local administration include Bol Malek of Luac-Koth, Mading Dior of Jalwau (Pakor, Kongor, Bach, and Ador), Majok Makom of Thiik , Deng Achuil of Akook and Aguer Adel of Luacjang.

• During the 19th-20th century, Riang-nhom was having a unique societal festival yearly organizes by the community chiefs and Youth leaders. The festival was to bring together the communities as the kind of unity and federal socialization that keeps them stands side by side during the times of conflicts with the bordering communities, to create strong relations, peace, joy and unity among the youths and to promote intermarriage among the communities.

As the results of their unified aims, Riang-whom stands at the tiptoes of strength and that gave the occupants (Riong-nhiim) leaders a voice to share in the regional affairs of Bahr El Ghazal region along with other chiefs in the region since the British rule to the New Sudan era.

The annual festival after some few decades was later abolished due to the sectional conflicts occurred during the event up to now, the festival is no longer effective.

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