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(From New Vision (Uganda) - AAGM)
Because they are such a small tribe, only 161,601 according to the 2002 census report, many people will usually lump the Kumam together with the Iteso or do not know about them altogether.
Currently they are mostly found in Kaberamaido, parts of Soroti and Kioga County in Lira. They have long been held to be different from the Iteso given their Luo-like tongue, while at the same time being one with them given their similar culture. But because language is usually the first outward expression of one's identity, the Kumam can claim their place among the individual tribes in Uganda.
In order to understand the Kumam properly, it is important to look at the migratory history of the people known as the Plain Nilotes or Nilo-Hamites from whom the Kumam, the Iteso, Karimojong and the Langi are said to have descended.
The Kumam are said to have come into Uganda around AD 1600 together with the Ateso speakers who are believed to have originated from the northeast in the direction of Abyssinia (present day Ethiopia). They came down through Lake Rudolf (Turkana) and Mt. Moroto and met Luo-speaking people around Mt. Otukei who were also migrating from the north.
This interaction gave birth to the Langi and Kumam who …