Pari (Paeri) or Jo-Pari (people of Pari)
Area of residence:
Lafon County (formerly Torit District).
History of Pari Land
In the past Pari lived in Lipul Hill (Jebel Lafon) in Wiatuo, Bura, Puchwa, Pugeri, Kor and Angulumere.
In 1993 all the villages were burnt down in the war, which left people scattered and now live in various settlements along the Hoss ‘Atondi’ river to the east and the Hinyetti ‘Chol’ river to the east.
Dhi-Pari (mouth of Pari).The Pari people are a Luo speaking people of the Nilotic language group.
The Pari clearly recognize their Luo origin. Oral tradition has it that all Luo used to live together at ‘Wi-Pach’ somewhere in eastern Bahr el Ghazal. They then dispersed because of the quarrel among the three brothers: Nyikango, Dimo and Giilo. There is another story of fight among two brothers, Uthienho and Giilo. The latter was killed by the former because of jealousy. It seems that this story refers to an event of more ancient times.
Society and traditions
There are two traditional political systems among the Pari: chieftainship and mojomiji, a graded age-set system. A village is a political and territorial unit and each has its own hereditary chief (rwath). But the chief of Wiatuo, the largest village, is recognized as the chief for the entire Pari. He is the ‘rain-chief’ (rwadhi-koth) whose main role is to bring enough rain for the whole community. Apart from him, there is a ‘bird-chief’ (rwadhi-winyo) whose job is rather specific: to get rid of weaver birds that may destroy sorghum. He is from Puchwa village, but is responsible for the Pari as a whole.
The Pari believe in jwok (pl. juu). There are many places of jwok, including Lipul, where offerings and sacrifices are made. They also say that Jwok is like the wind and is therefore, everywhere. This is both good and bad for human beings. There are traditional healers-diviners or witch doctors. They are both men and women and called ajwa (pl. ajuu). A dying person makes either a blessing (gweth) or curse (cien). The power of a curse is very much feared, as it may bring disasters not only to individuals but to the entire community.
References,Images and further reading: Gurtong