Jaluo Dot Kom header image;

Jaluo Kama Jaluo rade gi joluo wete gi… East African, international, news, politics, culture, business & economy, environment, arts, are discussed by contributors in Africa and world wide. Writers call for social justice, better governance, quality investment.


East Africa: Brief correction about Luo family tree and lineage, and migration from Sudan to Kenya

From: Leo Odera Omolo


I have been reading a lot of concocted stories about the Luo family tree lineage by one Ajos Wuod Atiga Nyar-Ocholla., and although I am not disagreement with him, I should like to put forward the following corrections.

We start from Wau Province now one of the states in Southern Sudan.

There was a serious outbreak of anthrax {Opere} which whipped out the entire livestock that were owned by the Lwos {Luo}. Following this incident, which experts says took place around 1300 the community resorted to fishing along the River Nile for survival. And this is how it earned the derogatory names Jo-Oluo-Aora ( Meaning Luos}.

Previous the Lwo group had briefly occupied Nuba Hills, which are located North of Khartoum, the present of the Nubians {Wanubi},small community of Negroes believed to be the closest cousins of the Lwo Speaking groups. This the first stop after Egypt, a country which the group had conquered and ruled for some times.

The Chieftain at the material time was Sinakuru.He is the father of Podho{1} who in turn fathered Ringruok,who is the father of Owat,and Owat is the father of Twaifo, the of Jok {1}.Jok [1} fathered a son called Nayo,and it was Nayo fathered Jok {11} who is the father of Ramogi [1}.

Rampgi {1} had two sons Aruwa and Podho{2}.

Aruwa and Podho were involved in a serious dispute after Podho speared an elephant to scare away a herds of elephants which were destroying the family farm of sorghum. Aruwa is reported to have insisted in getting back his very spear, though he knew that the animal had escaped with the spear sticking on its body to the thick forest and the spear was irretrievable and the issue was near impossible.

The two brothers disagreed and got separated each choosing and following his own path. Podho chose to move eastwards, while Aruwa move westward.

Today the descendants of Aruwa are the varius community and tribes scattered all over Africa, most of them have settled In Centra and West Africa. They include the communities like the Acholis, Gang. Chopi, Aluru, Langi {Lang’o}Kwa. Lughbuara, Madi, Kuku, Mondo, Lukoya,Lubira, Yom. Others are Siluk and Dinka and Nuer.

The descendants of Aruwa are scattered all over Africa, though the majority lives in Southern Sudan, Uganda and Central African Republic. But few of these people could be traced in Chad, Cameroun, Ghana and Nigeria.

After the two disagreed and separated, Podho who moved eastwards got several sons who included Ramogi[2} Lang’ni, Omia, Okombo, Didandand Muwiru.

Ramogi {2} had two sons, Nyaluo and Ramogi{3} who is commonly known as Ramogi Ajuwanbg”. He earned the extra name Ajuwang’ because his father Ramogi {2} died while he was still in his mother’s womb.

Nyaluo fathered Omolo {1}who is the father of Ochielo and Ochiel {Ochiel} had two sons Ragem{Gem} and Migenya {Ugenya}. And Migenya became the father of Anam Lwanda, Omolo [2}, Gor, Deje, Waljack {Kager}, Nyamwot, Rachiewo and Nyiner.

The Southern Luo got scattered while they were travelling eastwards. Some of their people lost their way while travelling through Uganda and got lost and melted into some other tribes in that country..The Ugenya and Jok group settled in a place called Band in Busoga, while Owiny, Muwiru and Omolo group came through Tororo and Mt Elgon.

It was Ramogi [3} or Ramogi Ajuwang” who arrived in Kenya and temporarily settled and built a home in a place called Ligala in Bunyala.The place is still called by that name t-date. He then crossed Rwambwa and Yala Swamp to Got Ramogi in what is the presently called Yimbo-Kadimo.

When Ramogi Ajuwang’ reached Got Ramogi he had his eldest son Jok [3} And Jok got a son there who was called Imbo.

Imbo had nine sons, namely Mumbo, Dimu {Dimo}, Nyinek, Iro, Magak, Nyiywen, Nyikal. Rado and Julu.

Mumbo is the father of Muljwok, and Uyawa and Muljwo is the father of Alego, Chwanya, and Omia.

IT WAS Alego who the first to moved eastwards from Got Ramogi’s ancestral home. He crossed River Yala and settled in a place called Nyandiwa .Here Alego faced the stiffest resistance from some concocted smaller Bantu tribes which had sworn not to allow the Joka=Owiny and Joka-Ramogi to set foot in this territor, but Alego had somehow superior force which overcome the Kombe Kombe group as they were called then. These are the people who run across River Yala and settled in Yimbo and form parts of the 54 sub-tribes living in Yimbo today.But they were later overturned and conquered by the Domo, Owil, Nyiywen and Wareje group which were part of Joka-Owiny.

It is arguably that nearly all the Luo sub-clans living in Nyanza might have settled in Alegoi before moving to their present land.

I am kindly requesting your historian Ajos Wuod Atiga Nyar-Ocholla to do some home work and studies. He could either endorse my version or dispute these historical facts and open up public debate.

I could go further, but let me pen off here and allow him time to respond. Although agreed with him on many other facts, but most of his facts stands to be corrected and I should like to encourage him to go ahead and do much serious research before posting some stories to the website or compare notes with other writers.



Comments (63) Trackbacks (0)
  1. We are given names. The name Chollo , Sholok or Collo as well as Acholi were given by Arabs and mean thte same thing. because it is abusive am not going to explain . This name was found in the diary of the late Fr.P Carazollara who carried out extensive research of the Luos in Northern Uganda and Sudan. The late John Alfred Oroch together with Fr. Carazollara who carried out research on Luo history and met elders and other traditional leaders among the Nuer, Shilluk, Jurchol, Anyuak, Joluo of Kenya and Tanzania, DR Congo and Uganda luos. They gathered a lot of information about Luos. They were in Egypt to see Aswan before most historical evidence was destroyed when the place became a dam. it was from the traditional leaders that we are able to get our oral history that luos originated from the ancient Nuer not the current ones.

  2. Linguistic approach for the study of our history is essential. As a luo there are names of peoples and places though they may have some omissions and changes in letters that have meanings in most Luo languages. Take for example names like kerma, thombos, kom ombo in Sudan; Cairo (kairo), Carthage ( or kartek), Dier al Habar (can be pronounced Dier Abar ) in Egypt and Adana, Konya, Adiyaman, Cikcilli in Turkey. These could lead us to discovering the luo trail,
    The Shilluk, Nuer and Dinka elders interviewed in late 1950s and rhe Joluo (Jur chol) claim that they once had an organized royal kingdom which they claim they lost it. Their views were that their leptong or lebtong (royal spear head) went south and this is being geld by the Alur king. The leptong was saved from destruction by the Arab invaders. The story of the movement of the royal kingdom south wards is reserved to another post.
    Apart from the Jaluo of Kenya and Tanzania there are three tribes in Southern Sudan calling themselves Joluo . These are the Jur Chol, Luo Bori (Belanda Bor) and Thuri (Boodho/Shatt). This reinforces the claim that in Wau where King Uluo Atyak reigned as Luo King there remained some traces of the luo presence even after many centuries of separation of the luos.

  3. Where luos originated from will remain a puzzle unless we get deeper in our research. At the foot of the mountains (there-got or te-got or sometimes the-got)) has been taken by historians as Nuba Mountains and others think it is Zagros Mountains. The civilization at Aswan where luos seemed to have lived for a long time has not been mentioned or properly explained in history books/articles. Archaeology at Aswan will uncover a lot about luo history. Archaeology at Bar el Ghazal especially Wau will also yield more results of luo past. We know some of the edifices built and left by luos were destroyed by invaders and are buried in the sand dunes in Egypt and Sudan. For some us luos kidi refers to a stone not a rock or mountain.

  4. Technology is moving fast especially in field of communication; I do not know whether anything is being done to enhance genealogical studies. I do hope that a conclusion will be arrived at pointing at exact origin of the luo people. I know it is a motivation to go that length and bring out discoveries. I think it can also be rewarding to involve the wider anthropology fraternity other than relying on folk tales alone. I have been to Egypt and saw how they tried to recreate history of ancient Egypt, bringing out the Moses’ errors to the visitation by Mary and the child Jesus, they call the place pharaonic village, somewhere within the swamp on the Nile River. I would love to read published papers on luo genealogy based on scientific facts, I hope we have folks who teach and treasure history, although I have met many luos who are Engineers and math experts, Otherwise, my leanage from my mother’s side stops with Ja lei, as they crossed the Nile at pakwach into the current nebbi district.

  5. I agree that we have many history professors and scholars but as we know research is expensive and needs proper guidance. People usually concentrate on formal award researches because of what they yearn to achieve. This brings in the point of interest for the study. Several people like the late John Alfred Oroch, Professor Ogot have done some works on Luo geanology. In the absence of archaeology oral tradition or history which sound like myths shows us the way, except that sometimes there will be need for deep examination and deciphering. The fraternity of luo anthropologists need to have interest and to be proud to be known as luo and agree to work together. The issue of lack of funding has left many works still in scripts and those typed have not yet been published. Interested readers are left without valuable and interesting materials to read. Sometimes poorly researched work get published and bring uncalled for excitement or untruths.

  6. The untruths we speak are the unsupported statements we make drawn from our personal or collective imagination on the Genesis of the Luo.

    The Question of Origin of a people relates to deep ancestry.

    Without the strict guidance, limitation and direction of scientific principal and fact, what we say we remember could easily be drawn from the Deep Dark Depths of Conjecture to an unwarranted or unsurpassed degree.

    Most importantly what we need is an interrogative, inquisitive and open mind to allow us to seek, question and digest the information we come across and not wait for some else to do it for us.

    Without this, the truth may arrive in a Blue Mercedes-Benz at 10 past noon, smack each one of us in the face and we will never know who accosted us.

    Research Funding is not required beyond your internet subscription to your ISP, several genealogical investigations have so far been undertaken and their findings are available online.

    Don’t wait to be spoon fed.

    Read and tell us about what you found where you get stuck just ask here on this forum for assistance.


    Do Not Lose your story,,,, Luo is from Iran.

  7. Wow, for sure this has been a little good news, a blue Benz in the 10 past noon hour!!. Some links will help those interested to move on with knowledge search about the Luo origin. But to say Luos were from Iran is also not enough, Iran is not the origin of man kind and that’s where we want to go.. far beyond what we can envisage. I believe all through human dispensations literature were recorded and through geological, archeological and what ever means those literature can be unveiled. The motivation here is to get those historical facts about luos and hence, humanity as a whole. And this is where money comes in, because tools will be needed, experts will be hired from all parts of the world, engagements of all kinds …. However, one fact is true, that the first man and woman on earth were Adam and Eve and no historical facts has established that linkage, I need to be shown that resource!!!

  8. The best option is to start with ancient sudanic people along midle nile,Thebes and others like Alodia, Nobatia etc.The word pharao is europian corruption of the word `paru`(wuon paru), which to all luo speakers means ,the head of the home.The male head of the home as understood by luo and nilotes of sudan is responsible for performing rituals at the time of planting season.Any luo person knows the ritual very well,I dont have to exlain this because as I write the ritual is strictly observed in Nyanza.The same ritual is practised in South Sudan by the nilotes much the same as their ancestors did.This was also the role of ancient pharaos, in fact it is what gave them the power to control people and eventually became the ruler of het-pta,later called aegpta by Mycenians and Ionians.It is supposed to be pronounced in modern dholuo as od pta,meaning the house of pta(or temple).Het is house in ancient egyptian language which in modern luo is ot.Tta is an ancient deity for whom the ancients built the temple at Karnak(later called Abidios by Greeks).The temple was an important place for initition.Now, in modern dholuo nak means initiation.The place where initiation is done is called karnak.The importance of linguistic aproach is evident from this brief analysis.Take another example…..the word `love` in egyptian is ler,i.e lera means love me.In luo ,love is her and so love me is hera.Old age in egyptian is `ti`,which is identical with the luo word for the same.What more evidence does one need to identify the luo as the fouders of ancient egypt ? I am kindly requesting leo omolo odera to write to me and share with me his great wealth in luo history.I am an amatuer in luo history but i am greatly interested in this great race of men.There wonderfull achievements give me the greatest inpiration,particularly when the greate philosopher,Bertrand Russell,records in his book how Thebes brought Sparta to its end.I wonder how luo speakers crossed the deseart and meditereniean sea and finish the mighty european city state.What kind of men were they?

  9. Which factor determines Kinship.

    Is it Language ?

    If people speak in the same language then, therefore they are related. Easy…

    Is it Culture ?

    If people do things in the same way and for the same reason, then they are one and the same.

    Then I don’t understand, that if this were the case why are Luo not counted amongst the ranks of English Gentry.

    Because if they speak the Queens English, worship her Deity in the same mode as she does in Westminster Abbey, then why are they not related to the House of Windsor.

    Kinship Must therefore stem from something else.

    Use of a Language.

    Practice of a culture

    Does Not dictate Kinship between people.

    Why because we know that there are reasons other than birth that cause people to speak in a given language or practice a similar culture.

  10. I’ very inspired by what I read about Luo’s it is very interesting. Linguistically, there is a lot of connection. I was reading of the words like Cairo (Kar iro), a place of smoke. Khartoum (Kar thum), apparently it was a place for entertainment. We have Bar el Gazar and Bar is all over Luo nation. It literally means a glade (a grass land surrounded by tall bushes or forest. It is where herbivores graze and carnivores hunt. If you go the existing forests like in Aberderes, Kakamega, mount Kenya then you clearly see the glades (what the Luos call “Bar”)

  11. am researching on this…….

  12. You are a single individual.

    You have

    2 parents,
    4 grand parents,
    8 Great Grand parents
    16 Great Great Grand parents.

    Given a Generation time of 25 years time to child bearing) we can calculate the number of ancestors you have between now and a given time in history.

    The mathematical expression describing the exponential relationship to the number of ancestors you have in a given generation is

    2n = x 2 exponentiated to the nth


    2 is the Number of Persons in a Reproductive Pair.
    n is the Number of Generations Back
    X is the total Number of Ancestors in that Generation

    (25n – Year of Birth) = Gregorian Year of the Generation
    Lets say you were born in 1972

    1972 n=0 x=1 You
    1947 n=1 x=2 Parents
    1922 n=2 x=4 Grand Parents
    1897 n=3 x= 8 Grate Grand parents

    An so on and so forth

    10 generation ago = 25 x 10 = 250 years – 1972 = 1722 Gegorian Year
    210= 1024

    Generations Ago 10
    Year 1722
    No of Ancertors 1024

    Generations Ago 25
    Year 1347
    No Of ancertors 33,554,432

    Generations Ago 40
    Year 972
    No of Ancestors 1,099,511,627,776

    Generations Ago 79
    Year 3 BC
    No of Ancestors 604,462,909,807,314,587,353,088

    These figures are subject to a phenomenon called Repetition ie one person acting in more than one role, such as in an incestuous parentage which also is known to have taken place..

    They are the exact no of acts of Sexual Intercourse that gave rise to you.

    Of greatest significance is that, these figures demonstrate the fact that

    1) Luo had parents other than the Southern Sudanese as there are not enough of them to have made you.

    2) Nile valley Peoples of whatever Colour Creed or Race played a part in are part of the genetic fabric of the Luo.

    3) The peopling of North Africa (how human beings got to North Africa) also contains the story of how the Luo migrated back into Africa from Eurasia.

    4) Dholuo as spoken today is not their language but rather one amongst several they have spoken in the past.

    5) The East African Luo as Many as they may seem to be are actually the Minority there are More of you elsewhere… and for reason of adherence to Race (Black Africans) and language (Dholuo ) as a beacon to direct you to your beginnings you are unable to discern your relatives because you changed colour but your parents did not.

    Cassites and Elamites gave rise to you.

    Do not be derailed by your current race and look for your ancestors where they are not to be found.

    R1b V88 ( Muzungu ) Arian.

    Luo is from Iran.

  13. ……Bounus……


    This is a Short Grammar of the Shilluk Language By Fr D Westermann Published in 1913 or thereabouts.

    Any similarities to a language you may know or maybe speak ?

    To me it appeared to be 85-90% Similar to Dholuo.

    How about Identity and beliefs in Juok of the owner of this language, are they the same as the Luo’s ?

    In Dholuo there is a Word – Chillo.

    Since the Chollo’s Languge and dholuo are mutually intelligible does it mean the same in Shilluk or Chollo, does this language even have this word. You may have to research beyond Fr Westermann’s book.

    If Shilluk language has this word and it means the same thing, then no problem,.. end of story that word has no other sinister connotations to them. But if a different word is used to describe what the Luo call by that word then you add 1 + 1 and remember not to forget to add the word Ja-Juok in to the same calculation.

    Then ask yourself, is Luo same as Shilluk and is Shilluk same as Luo ?

    This book gives a wonderful insight into the Dholuo language for those who may wish to explore further.

    For those of you who like myself who are curious about the Group of Luo’s that ( in antiquity) headed towards the west. May I humbly drop two names on your ears for your further investigation.

    1. Don Cheadle – Actor Hotel Rwanda.

    2. T.D . Jakes – Evangelist

    Find out about their African ancestry. It may be of interest to you and germaine to the discussion of where Luo are from, especially No 1’s.

    Enjoy your reading.

    God Bless you all.

Leave a comment

No trackbacks yet.