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Feb 9, 2007

Facts about the Ik

Name of Language: Icetot (lit. Ik-speak)

Name of People: Ik

Name of Area: Kwarikik (lit., ‘mountains of the Ik'). The Ik live exclusively in the northern part of what is now Kaabong district (formerly Kotido District), in Dodoth County, Kalapata and Kathile sub-counties.

Location within country: The Ik inhabit approximately 60 villages strung along the escarpment between Timu Forest in the south and Kidepo National Park in the north. Longitude: 34.12° to 034.32°E; Latitude: 3.65° to 03.74° N

Altitude: Between 1,500 meters (4,875 ft.) and 2000 meters (6,500 ft.) above sea level

Geography: Mountain slopes and mountain mesa with a semi-arid bush/savannah, and a few forests.

Climate: Occasional rains occur between April and October, while the period from November to March is often very dry. The temperatures are relatively high during the day but greatly reduce at night due to the altitude.

Populaton: 10,000 (the 2002 census identified more than 16,000 who call themselves Ik)

Diet: The Ik traditionally live off the land, practicing subsistence farming of tobacco, maize, sorgum, millet, finger millet, bullrush, beans, cabbage and pumpkins, milling their grain on grindstones. They also keep bees, gather white ants and do some hunting. In some areas they rear goats for the Dodoth, a neighboring tribe. They do not own livestock. Due to frequent droughts in the area, the Ik often face famine.

Religion: The Ik, when asked, would almost exclusively say they are Christian, but this should be qualified. Their only connection to Christianity has been through the Roman Catholic Church which does not have a physical presence in the area-no church buildings, no pastors/priests.

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