SUPER UNADULTERATED BLACK BEAUTY: Ethnic Murle girl Pibor in South Sudan with a scarf covering her head. The Murle people are agro-pastoralist and a Nilo-Saharan-speaking ethnic group residing in Pibor County and Boma area, Jonglei State, in southeastern part of South Sudan, as well as in Ethiopia.The Murle are proud people who are very proud of their language and customs.
The Murle are extremely conscious of the spirits. Nevertheless, they do not distinguish between the religious and secular aspects of life. They emphasize the immanence of God as well as the significance of Jen. Anything they can not explain such as the rainbow, is considered to be ‘one of God’s things’. The supreme Being of Murle is Tammu. Tammu was the original creator of the world and of the Murle people. Tammu is not to a lower pantheon of spirits.
Murle people prayed directly to Tammu in time of need such as drought or famine. The people honored Tammu, but at the same time they feared Him in a respectful way. The term Tammu was their term for God, however, as a result of Nuer and Dinka dominance in South Sudan, the word “Jok” has been appropriated by Murle or has entered Murle vocabulary as the term for God.
Murle also worship nature especially Nyandit. Every Murle family undertakes – every 5 to 6 years – a pilgrimage to a sacred spot along River Nyandit to pay offerings to ‘Nyandit’. Nyandit was a sacred pool left behind by the Nuer peoples when they were pushed to the north by the Murle.