According to one frequently quoted source concerning information on languages of the world or figures about number of speakers, the Ethnologue (www.ethnologue.com), there were around 1,100 speakers (with a question mark) for Tima for the year 1956 (the latest published source on the language in this respect). According to more recent information, based on interviews by the research team with speakers of Tima, the current number of ethnic Tima probably ranges around 7,000, most of them living in their homeland in the Nuba Mountains, around 10 miles southwest of the Katla area.

The name Tima is used as an ethnonym by other inhabitants of the Nuba Mountains, including Arabic communities, and possibly is based on the name of one of the villages where this language is spoken (t̪ɨ̀mʌ̀). The same community is also known as Tamanik or Yibwa amongst neighbouring groups. The Tima themselves call their language t̪àmáá dùmùrík, and refer to themselves as (singular) kùmúrìk, (plural) ìmúrìk. They call the area where they live lúmúrìk. As the name Tima does not appear to have any derogatory or negative connotations, it is retained here.

baker 01
the local bakery

the granary: effective against rodents and bad weathers – essential for surviving

at the waterpump

in the market

having done the laundry

a traditional Tima settlement