Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in southern Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who speak Nilotic languages, a large sub-group of Nilo-Saharan languages. These include the Kalenjin, Luo, Ateker, Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk and the Maa-speaking peoples – all which are clusters of several ethnic groups. [ "Nilotic", The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language: Fourth Edition.] ]

The terms Nilotic and Nilotes were previously used as racial classifications, based on now widely discarded perceptions. [ The Forging of Races Cambridge University Press] THE FORGING OF RACES - by Colin Kidd Excerpt] The terms are now foremost used to distinguish "Nilotic people" from their ethnic neighbours (mainly Bantu speaking people), based on ethnolinguistic affiliation. [ [ Encyclopædia Britannica Article: Nilot] ] Etymologically, the terms Nilotic and Nilote (also spelled Nilot) derive from the Nile Valley, specifically the Upper Nile and its tributaries, where most Sudanese Nilotic speaking people live.

Linguistic divisions

Linguistically, Nilotic people are divided into three sub-groups:
*Eastern Nilotic
*Southern Nilotic
*Western Nilotic

Ethnic divisions

Nilotic people constitute a large part of the population of Southern Sudan. The largest of the Sudanese Nilotic people are the Dinka, which includes as many as twenty-five ethnic groups. The next largest group are the Nuer, followed by the Shilluk. [Helen Chapin Metz, ed. " [ Sudan: A Country Study.] " Washington: GPO for the Library of Congress, 1991.]

The Nilotic people in Uganda include the Luo group (Acholi, Alur and Jopadhola), the Ateker (Iteso and Karamojong), and the Lango and Kumam (who are linguistically affiliated with the Luo, but are often culturally grouped with the Ateker).

In Kenya, the Nilotes are often categorised in three subgroups:
*The Plain Nilotes, who speak Maa languages: The Maasai, Samburu and Turkana
*The River lake Nilotes: The Joluo, which is part of the larger Luo group
*The Highland Nilotic or Kalenjin, which includes several smaller groups: Elgeyo, Keiyo, Kipsigis, Marakwet, Nandi, Pokot, Sabaot, Terik, and Tugen


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  • Nilotic — Ni*lot ic, a. [L. Niloticus, fr. Nilus the Nile, Gr. ?: cf. F. nilotique.] Of or pertaining to the river Nile; as, the Nilotic crocodile. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • nilotic — NILÓTIC, Ă adj. al Nilului. (< fr. nilotique) Trimis de raduborza, 15.09.2007. Sursa: MDN …   Dicționar Român

  • Nilotic — [nī lät′ik] adj. [L Niloticus < Gr Neilōtikos < Neilos, the Nile] 1. of the Nile or the Nile Valley 2. of the peoples living in the valley of the White Nile, including the Dinkas n. a group of Chari Nile languages spoken in the upper Nile… …   English World dictionary

  • Nilotic — adjective Etymology: Latin Niloticus, from Greek Neilōtēs, from Neilos Nile Date: 1653 1. of or relating to the Nile or the peoples of the Nile basin 2. of, relating to, or being the languages of the Nilotic people …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • Nilotic — /nuy lot ik/, adj. 1. of or pertaining to the Nile River or the inhabitants of the Nile region. 2. of or pertaining to the Nilotic group of languages. n. 3. a group of languages belonging to the Eastern Sudanic branch of Nilo Saharan, and… …   Universalium

  • Nilotic — 1. adjective /nʌɪˈlɒtɪk,naɪˈlɑdɪk/ a) Of or pertaining to the Nile river or the people who live on its banks. b) Of or pertaining to the Nilotic languages or the people who speak them. 2. noun /nʌɪˈlɒtɪk,naɪˈlɑdɪk/ A group of languages spoken in… …   Wiktionary

  • Nilotic — adj. of or pertaining to river Nile or to the Nile region in Africa; of or pertaining to the Nilotic group of languages (spoken in Egypt, Sudan, Kenya and Tanzania) n. large group of language spoken by people living in the Nile valley …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Nilotic — /naɪˈlɒtɪk/ (say nuy lotik) adjective 1. of or relating to the river Nile or the inhabitants of the Nile region. 2. of or relating to the Nilo Saharan group of languages spoken by the Nilotic peoples. {Latin Nīlōticus, from Greek Neilōtikos} …  

  • Nilotic peoples — Nilotic redirects here. For for the river, see Nile. Areas where Nilotic Languages are spoken Nilotic people or Nilotes, in its contemporary usage, refers to some ethnic groups mainly in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya, and northern Tanzania, who… …   Wikipedia

  • Nilotic landscape — is term used to describe artistic representations of landscapes which emulate or are inspired by the Nile river in Egypt. The term was coined to refer primarily to such landscapes created outside of Egypt, especially in the Aegean, though it is… …   Wikipedia

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