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God of the Shilluk, tribesmen living on the upper reaches of the River Nile. Shilluk cosmology represents the universe as the two divine loaves, opunne, the heaven and the earth, divided by the great river, the Nile. Juok, a deity of many facets, is omnipresent; he gave the Shilluks cattle, millet, and fish for their sustenance, and is still the giver and sustainer of life through his breath. He also ‘liftest up’ the sick.

Nyikang, a semi-legendary king, is usually invoked as an intermediary when Juok is addressed in prayer. Possibly Nyikang acts as a manifestation of the supreme deity on the earthly loaf. Society appears to have been established by this ancestor, who is never spoken of as having died. Nyikang either ‘went up’, or ‘became the wind’. His successors, later occupants of the ‘divine throne’, are said to have continued his mission, the upholding of human society. The Shilluk call their king ‘child of god’, ‘last-born of god’, and ‘reflection of the ancestors’.

Subjects: Religion.

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