The Anuak trace their origin to the country of Dimo of the Shilluk; they were led northward and eastward by Gila, a mythic hero and brother of Nyikang, whom they call Akango. Gila was regarded as a powerful chief but not really a king; it is his grandchild, Cruvai, whom the Anuak consider their first sovereign.
One day, two Anuak women caught a large fish, which on being seized turned first to a snake, then crocodile, and then man. This river-man was taken to the house of Gila, where he stayed until he had gotten the younger daughter of Gila with child, when he went back to the river. She gave birth to Ucoda, who returned to his father in the river. Later, she brought forth Cruvai, also by the river-man, afterward recognized as the first king of the Anuak. Cruvai married his sister and sired a boy and a girl, whose descendants, for they too married, became the Anuak people. Soon there appeared from the river a mysterious stranger, Ucoda; he brought with him the Ucok and Gurmato necklaces, part of the insignia of royalty, and Cruvai gave him his daughter Kori Nyairu in marriage. See also: Nyikang.