Introduction to Lanngo age-set

Lanngo youth with scarifications of AK-47s, to reflect his sub-group. Kong Kong River, Pibor May 2015

By Lauryen Oleyo

Langgo age-set is one of the Murle age-sets that emerged from Bothothnya age-set in 2005. Langgo age-set started first from Irit village in Greater Kubal region (Gumuruk County) and spread to other bomas within Greater Kubal up to 2007. They were first
known as Nuknuknya and later changed their name to Langgo. The spliting process went to other regions of Murle land like Greater Lilot later in 2007-2008, continued to Greater Pibor in 2008-2009 and
Greater Kengen (Vertet County) respectively and finally Jebel Boma Region (Jebel Boma County) in 2015.

Langgo age-set chose a Kobus kob as their token animal because of its quality of being peaceful and beautiful. The calmness of kobus kob animals attracted the youth of Langgo age-set to name themselves after that animal. The yellow colouration of a Kobus Kob signifies brightness and attractiveness of the animal. The characteristics of whistling while patroling their territories and fend off other kobs and lek out to defend their territories and to attract female Kobs are some of those qualities that Langgo have seen from the kobus kob. Apart from the Kobus Kob, Langgo age-set are also known by other animals with similar yellow colours to kobus kob. These include the lion, snake fish, and several yellow birds that include the goldfinch bird, yellow warbler bird, golden weaver bird, a canary, golden oriole and many others.

Photograph of a young man from Lanngo age-set wearing Lanngo beads (yellow and black) and several images of scarification, notably on the left side: a ‘lanngo’ (kobus kob). Below the wrist watches reflect the sub-group/kem he belongs to. Boma town, 2014.

Divisions within Langgo age-set

Langgo age-set is divided into two: the oldest part of Langgo are known as Tolong which means the old male kobus kob with horns bending downwards their face; and the youngest Zemunet referring to the young male kobus kob with small horns. Langgo age-set are further divided into segments of sub-groups/teams, known as kem or nyakenet. The division of teams/nyakenet varies from region to region, or village to village. For example, in Thangnyang boma of Greater Kubal region, Langgo are divided into three sub-groups: 1) Thujun, 2) Akimane, and 3) Abash. The divisions is show when Langgo conduct ceremonies of slaughtering their special bulls or Oxen/Ox, or when they conduct dancing.

Identification: beads and images

Langgo age-set uses yellow beads to reflect the colour of their animals: kobus kob, lion and others. They mix yellow beads with small black beads to show some strip colours of goldfinch, gold weaver, golden oriole and so on.

Girls wearing Lanngo beads at a Lanngo age-set dance called nyakara occurring in Kong Kong River, May 2015. Nyakara is a ‘spontaneous’ dance organised by the age-set sub-group/kem.

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