Shempire Senoufo in Mali


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The various Senoufo groups live in the Middle Volta region of West Africa which includes parts of Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. They are divided into three groups: Northern, Central, and Southern, according to the three distinct language divisions. As a whole, the Senoufo tribes speak over thirty dialects, one of which is Shempire.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Senoufo are subsistence farmers. They have been admired as skilled agriculturists, cultivating dry rice, yams, peanuts, and millet in the grasslands that are prevalent in their region. One of the most important ways for a male to gain prestige is to become a sambali, which is a "champion cultivator." A sambali is respected throughout his lifetime and upholds the honor of his residential settlement before the entire village and surrounding district.
One important aspect of Senoufo society is its concept of "community." The Senoufo think of themselves as one group, with all of their ideas pointing in the same direction. The concept of the "individual" is known only in limited circumstances; thus, no man stands alone. Instead, each person is thought of as part of an extended family, a member of the village, the elder or younger brother, etc. Everyone eats as a group and dips into a common dish. The fields are worked collectively, food is stored collectively, and each family contributes to the village. A Senoufo is always aware of his place in the society as it relates to others in the group. To the Senoufo, the good of the community always comes before the good of the individual. Unless the entire tribe makes a change, such as converting to a different religion, no one does.
Another important feature of Senoufo life is the poro or "male secret society." The poro prepares men for leadership in the community, so that they might attain wisdom, accept responsibility, and gain power. It begins with the child's grade of "discovery," followed by extensive training and service. It ends with the ritual death of the child and the final graduation of the "finished man." Dramatic ceremonies, dances, and visual displays mark the passage from one grade to the next. When the man reaches about 30 years of age, the initiation is complete, and he is considered an adult. He then becomes one of the elders with whom the chief consults on major decisions. Poro sanctuaries are hidden inside dense groves of trees outside the Senoufo villages. These sacred groves are used as schools, meeting houses, and places of worship.
Since World War II, the Senoufo region has become more commercialized and urbanized. Today, the young men have opportunities to move to the cities and earn more money. This has weakened the influences that Senoufo fathers formerly had over their sons. The importance of the communal nature of their society has also declined. Unfortunately, the weakening of these two areas has allowed Islam to begin seeping into the cracks of this rapidly changing society.


What Are Their Beliefs?

About one-fourth of the Senoufo are Muslim, although that figure is steadily increasing. The remainder continues to practice their traditional ethnic religions. The belief in various gods, ancestral spirits, and bush spirits, along with participation in witchcraft, magic, and cults, are all a part of daily life for most Senoufo.


What Are Their Needs?

Today, Senoufo societies are rapidly changing. The Senoufo need an opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel before a total conversion to Islam takes place. They need a relationship with Jesus Christ to fill their spiritual voids.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call loving and bold workers to share Christ with the Senoufo.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Senoufo towards the gospel and Jesus Christ, the only way to salvation.
Ask the Lord to give Shempire Senoufo believers courage to share the gospel with their own people.


Scripture Prayers for the Senoufo, Shempire in Mali.


References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Senufo_people
https://www.kanaga-at.com/en/trip-info/ivory-coast/the-ancestral-traditions-of-the-senoufo/
https://www.wikidata.org/wiki/Q36325


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Senoufo, Shempire
People Name in Country Senoufo, Shempire
Natural Name Shempire Senoufo
Alternate Names Diamala; Senufo; Shempire Senufo; Shenpiré; Syempiré
Population this Country 26,000
Population all Countries 217,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 11550
ROP3 Code 114928
ROP25 Code 307381
ROP25 Name Senoufo
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sikasso region: Kadiolo circle, Bagoe river west bank to Cote d’Ivoire border, and Bafini river south bank.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 14  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Sikasso region: Kadiolo circle, Bagoe river west bank to Cote d’Ivoire border, and Bafini river south bank..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.15 %)
6.00 %
Ethnic Religions
64.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
30.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Senoufo, Shempire (26,000 speakers)
Language Code seb   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Senoufo, Shempire (26,000 speakers)
Language Code seb   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Senoufo, Shempire

Primary Language:  Senoufo, Shempire

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
None reported  
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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