Daasanach in South Sudan

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Daasanach are a people with a recent history. Their ties to one another have resulted from a common place of residence rather than from heredity. Exiles from many groups around the area of north Lake Turkana have united in support of one another in this hostile, arid environment. They have developed a unique tradition and culture, and are open to the inclusion of other immigrants who are willing to abide by Daasanach customs and values.
Until the turn of the century, very little was known of the Daasanach, sometimes called the Merille. At that time, formal borders were created for many African countries, and the Daasanach found their traditional lands divided between Sudan, Ethiopia and Kenya. Since then, these semi-nomadic people have moved as freely as possible across the borders of these countries, but this movement is being more and more restricted by border posts and entry formalities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Daasanach are known for their fighting prowess and are feared by many neighboring groups, such as the Gabbra and Turkana. Raids to obtain more cattle are celebrated, and Daasanach warriors are proud of the number of enemies they have killed. Their unique culture is valued, and the Daasanach are reluctant to adopt outside technology. Irrigation systems to aid in agriculture were introduced to this area by American missionaries in the 1960s, but these systems have been disregarded since foreigners were expelled from Ethiopia after the overthrow of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Today church work is being carried out in Kenya where only ten percent of the Daasanach people live. Here there are very few Daasanach Christians. What is left of earlier church work in Ethiopia is unknown.

What Are Their Needs?

The Daasanach people need loving Christian workers and the spiritual discernment to chose Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for Bible translation work to bear good fruit among the Daasanach people. Pray for the Daasanach people to put their faith in Jesus Christ rather than their traditional gods. Pray for the Lord to protect and guide workers among the Daasanach people. Pray for a movement to Christ to flourish.

Scripture Prayers for the Daasanach in South Sudan.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Daasanach
People Name in Country Daasanach
Pronunciation dah-sah-NAHCH
Alternate Names Daasanech; Galeba; Guleb; Marille; Merille; Reshait; Reshiat
Population this Country 4,800
Population all Countries 113,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 14549
ROP3 Code 108362
ROP25 Code 307001
ROP25 Name Reshiat (Daasanach)
Map of Daasanach in South Sudan
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
82.00 %
0.00 %
15.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Daasanach (4,800 speakers)
Language Code dsh   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Daasanach (4,800 speakers)
Language Code dsh   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Daasanach
Photo Source Rod Waddington - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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