Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Denka (Dinka), a large and formerly very powerful Negroid nation of the White Nile, whose territory extends from Mount Denka, lat. 12° N., along the right bank southwards to about lat. 5° N. They are thus conterminous with the Shilluks in the east, the Bari and Nuers in the south, and the Makarakas (Niam-Niam) in the west. There are a great many tribal groups, of which the most important, going southwards, are the Abyalang, Ader, Abuyo, Donghiol, Bor, Aliab, Kich, Janghi, Rek, Aral, Ghok, Angach, Fuver, Jerut, Affot, Mandari, Nyal and Yom, all speaking closely related dialects of the common Denka stock language, and numbering about two millions. The Denkas are physically one of the finest races in Negroland, well made, tall (averaging 5 feet 10 inches), of chocolate complexion and modified negro features. They are exceedingly brave, as shown by the long wars they have sustained, armed only with spear, club, and shield, first against the Arab slave-hunters (1820-70) and again against the Egyptian forces led by Lupton and other European officers (1882-84). Their watery domain yields little but fodder, and they have long been famous as stock-breeders, possessing a magnificent breed of cattle, humped, like the zebu, and probably of Indian origin, though now widespread throughout the Sudan. Like the Hindus they never kill their cattle, which, according to Chaille-Long, are even worshipped with divine honours. (See Schweinfurth, Heart of Africa, Beltrame, Grammatica della Lingua Denka, and Junker, Travels in Africa, vol. iii.)