Jakattoe is spoken by the Jorto people living in the town of Dokan Tofa. Dokan Tofa is found in the Plateau State of central Nigeria. Some Jorto people have relocated to other areas in search of employment.
The Jorto people trace their origin back to Yemen. Their oral history records their migration from Yemen through to Doewmai and then most recently to the town of Dokan Tofa. This understanding of their origin and migration is typical of many groups in this part of Nigeria. Doewmai remains a sacred place for the Jorto, and they continue to hold their cultural festivals in Doewmai.
Farming is the primary occupation of the Jorto people. Their main crop is millet, and they also grow rice, beans, guinea-corn, and yams. Some are entrepreneurs and some work with the government in unofficial capacities.
Being a speaker of Jakattoe is part of the identity of being Jorto, at least in Dokan Tofa. Their language has a place in most social interactions. Children learn Jakattoe by speaking it at home and in the community with parents, grandparents, family, and friends.
While they prefer their language of Jakattoe, Jorto people are multilingual. Jorto parents speak to children in their homes in Jakattoe, Goemai, Hausa and English. Goemai is the language of the dominant people group in the area. Hausa is an official language in the state. Children learn Hausa and English at school and at church. They are discouraged from using the local languages in school so they will be able to learn and understand English better. Other languages are learned through contact with neighbors who speak those languages. Literature is available in either English or Hausa. This literature includes Christian Bibles, novels, magazines, and textbooks used by primary and secondary schools’ students. Muslims have copies of the Quran in Arabic.
According to a 2020 study, the majority of Jakattoe speakers are Christians. Church denominations in the area include the Church of Christ in Nations (COCIN), the Roman Catholic Church, and the Baptist Church. Many follow Islam. Some practice African Traditional Religion and believe that natural physical entities such as animals, plants, and even inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence.
A sociolinguistic survey conducted by SIL describes Jakattoe as a “threatened” language. This means that it is used for face-to-face communication within all generations but is losing users. The community needs to determine their desire for language development. They can pursue training in language development from SIL Nigeria. Luke Initiative (LIST) could help them implement a limited Scripture translation goals project, giving them an opportunity to assess their commitment to development efforts. However, due to the lower vitality of this language, language developers might assist the community in developing other realistic linguistic short-term goals, such as language documentation. Or they might focus their efforts on assisting Jakattoe speakers to shift to another language to meet their spiritual needs if that is what the community prefers.
Pray Jorto community leaders will take responsibility for pursuing language development and setting short term goals to determine if Bible translation is needed for their people group.
Pray Jakattoe speakers will engage with Scripture that is available in other languages and assess their level of understanding of those Scriptures.
Pray that all Jorto people will have access to God’s life-giving word and be transformed by the renewing of their minds.
Pray to the Lord of the harvest to thrust workers into the harvest field, to help the Jorto to translate the Scriptures into their language.
Scripture Prayers for the Jorto in Nigeria.
A Sociolinguistic Profile of the Jakattoe [jrt] Language of Plateau State, Nigeria, with Reference to Jorto
Peoplegoups.org – Jakattoe
|Profile Source: Joshua Project
|People Name General
|People Name in Country
|Population this Country
|Population all Countries
|Frontier People Group
|1 (per PeopleGroups.org)
|Pioneer Workers Needed
|Africa, West and Central
|National Bible Society
|6 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
|Location in Country
|Plateau state: Shendam LGA, Dokan Kasuwa. Source: Ethnologue 2016