Gourma in Nigeria

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The lives and the history of the Gourma, or Gorma, people does not stand out among the many peoples who inhabit West Africa. Yet unlike many of their neighbors, the Gourma people are in a state of spiritual transformation. They embrace traditional religion, but they will probably either wind up Islamic or Christian in the decades to come.

SIM International has translated the New Testament, along with some commentaries for this people group. An Old Testament translation is being done by nationals, with United Bible Society (UBS) supervision.

Where Are they Located?

The eastern sixth of Burkina Faso is home for the Gourma people where they make up the third largest ethnic group. There is a smaller number who live in Nigeria, Niger, Benin, and Togo.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The physical climate of the Gourma's homeland poses great challenges. The lack of adequate water is a stark reality for most Gourma people. Some women must walk as much as five kilometers for water from a dam or a small well. These sources of water have been known to dry up before the rainy season begins. For this reason, it is very difficult for the Gourma people to grow crops.

Education poses another great challenge for the Gourma people, yet there is hope as there has been a growing interest in learning to read and write in their own language, largely through the efforts of a professor from the University of Ouagadougou. There is a great interest in using literacy to help meet practical needs. Publications in their own language include health pamphlets and a monthly newspaper.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gorma people as a whole remain strongly tied to traditional practices including sun worship, and sacrifices to the spirits. Many syncretize their traditional religion with Islam, believing in a powerful God who has no time for individuals.

What Are Their Needs?

Like other people groups in rural West Africa, the Gourma people would greatly benefit from running potable water and electricity. They also need good schools that will prepare their children for the changes of the 21st century. On a spiritual level, there is a need for them to hear the gospel and have a chance to respond to it.

Prayer Points

Pray for spiritual openness among the Gourma people of Nigeria.
Pray that their elders and clan leaders will decide to allow their people to follow Jesus Christ.
Pray for a disciple-making movement to flourish among the Gourma people of West Africa.

Scripture Prayers for the Gourma in Nigeria.



Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Gourma
People Name in Country Gourma
Alternate Names Bigulimanceba; Gourmance; Gourmancheba; Gourmantche; Gulmachema; Migulimancema
Population this Country 45,000
Population all Countries 1,773,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 12004
ROP3 Code 103587
ROP25 Code 302887
ROP25 Name Gurma (Gourma)
Country Nigeria
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 6  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Nigeria
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 6  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Map of Gourma in Nigeria Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.40 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
53.00 %
0.00 %
42.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Gourmanchema (45,000 speakers)
Language Code gux   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Gourmanchema (45,000 speakers)
Language Code gux   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Gourmanchema

Primary Language:  Gourmanchema

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1947-2016)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1958-1990)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2003-2005)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories Story Runners
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gourmanchema Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Android Bible App: Bible Gourma Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App Android Bible app: Gourmanchema YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file Faith Comes by Hearing
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Gourmanchema YouVersion Bibles
Text / Printed Matter Children and youth resources One Hope
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language eBible.org
Text / Printed Matter Topical Scripture booklets and Bible studies World Missionary Press
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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