This indigenous tribe of South Sudan are said to be the tallest people on Earth.

How tall are you? We’re guessing at least a meter and a half (5 feet 6 inches) thereabout. Or are you taller? Whatever. Are you towering over 2 meters (7 feet)? If not, you’re not a giant. Through adolescence, you always dreamt of having the ideal height enough to walk and not feel dwarfed by others, though you didn’t wish to be too tall, either. We certainly don’t know your height, but you’re certainly not up to 2 meters. Dear friends, meet the Dinka tribe of South Sudan — arguably, they are the tallest people in the world.

Welcome To The Dinka Tribe

Most people think of the tallest people in Africa (and even the world) as the Tutsi from Rwanda, or natives of Ethiopia. Truth is, the natives of these tribes will be dwarfed if they ever stand next to a Dinka. Like literally! The Dinka tribe is a Nilotic ethnic group native to South Sudan who are located along the Nile from Jonglei to the Abyei region of the Ngok Dinka, some 924.1 kilometers (574.2 miles) north of the capital Juba.

The origin is actually from the Gezira — in present-day Sudan up north — and were once ruled by the Kingdom of Alodia — a Christian multi-ethnic empire who were mostly Nubians. The word Dinka literally means “people,” and its one of several the Nilotic language of eastern Sudanic origin, which was written in Latin alphabets with a few extensions.

Meet The Tallest People In The World

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

They make up a third of all Sudanese, and are one of the major three ethnic groups that were the original settlers. They manage to resist slavery by slave merchants and also successfully defended their territory against the Ottoman Turks who intended to convert them to Islam in the mid-1800s; and ever since the Dinka tribe spread all over the Nile region. The majority of the Dinka people generally appear to be dark in complexion, slim, and ridiculously tall (more on that later).

They are believed to be a hospitable tribe who find pride in their culture and in being the tallest people in the world. Their physiological features make them stand out in many way that has made them a huge tourists attraction. They have an ample diaspora community worldwide, and are often known as “The Tribe of Basketball.” According to the 2008 Sudan census, the Dinka tribe made up about 18 percent of the 4.5 million of South Sudan’s population.

(Fun fact: Did you know that South Sudan is indeed the youngest country in the world? Its not even a teenager yet).

So How Tall Are You Against A Dinka?

Image: Shutterstock / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Short answer: a dwarf, or at least a midget, in comparison. No offense. The average Dinka teenager is ridiculously tall — towering over 183 centimeters (6 feet) tall. And you’ll be completely dwarfed simply by their presence. According to a report from 1953 – 1954 by Roberts and Bain Bridge, the average height of a Dinka male is roughly 182.6 centimeters (5 feet 11.9 inches) tall, and the average height of a Dinka female is roughly 181.3 centimeters (5 feet 11.4 inches) tall.

Interestingly, the tallest player in the history of the National Basketball Association (NBA), also happened to be (you guessed it) a Dinka man. No wonder. He was named Manute Bol, and was a giant who towered a staggering 2.31 meters (7 feet 7 inches) tall. He played for the Miami Heat, the Golden State Warriors, and the Washington Bullets. In comparison, the tallest man in recorded history was 2.72 meters (8 feet 11 inches) tall. Quite close! But was he a Dinka? Spoiler: he wasn’t.

Now here’s the all important question we want to ask. What on Earth is making the Dinka people such ridiculous giants? Short answer: their diet? Not really. Whatever they’ve been eating, you’ve been eating that as well, even better. And there’s been a lot of speculation about their nutrition which is mostly dairies and organic food. Nonetheless. And it seems other neighboring tribes also follow the same diet, but aren’t as tall as the Dinka. So let’s blame it on genetics, or whatever. The towering height of the Dinka tribe has made them one of the world’s iconically admired people.

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Written by: Nana Kwadwo, Tue, Nov 09, 2021.


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