Tradition: Meet Latuka, a village in South Sudan where men kidnap women for marriage

Latuka people are a Nilotic ethnic group whose traditional home is the Eastern Equatoria state of South Sudan. Their population is between 500,000 to 700,000. Oronyo, Oudo, Langairo, Tirangore, Kiyala, Obira, Abalua, illieu, Ifwotu, Imurok, Offi, Oming, Oguruny, illoli, Murahatiha, chalamini, Burung, Haforiare, Hutubak, Oriaju are some of the Otuho villages. They speak the Otuho language, according to Wikipedia.

In Latuka, men kidnap the women they want to marry,then go and propose to the father. If the father accepts the proposal,he will beat the man up as a form of acceptance ceremony, if the father refuses, the man can still marry the girl without consent.


Like many traditions in Africa, the marriage rite of the Latuka tribe reeks of patriarchy. Kidnapping a woman and giving her no say in whom she gets to spend the rest of her life with takes us back decades in the progress achieved by feminism. Culture is not static; it should and must change when it is found to be harmful.

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