Songhai-Koyraboro in Mali


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Songhai Empire of West Africa of the 15th and 16th centuries was based on trade. Textiles, weapons and horses came North Africa. Slaves, salt and gold came up from the south. After the Songhai Empire fell to an army from Morocco, the majority of the common people stayed in Mali and Niger while many nobles traveled south to start a new life. Today the Songhai-Koyraboro make up about five percent of the Malian population. Songhai people speak many dialects; Koyraboro is one of them. Mali gained its independence from France in 1960. Unfortunately, since 1960 Mali has seen many military coups, dictatorships and human rights violations. Mali saw a drought from 1968-1974 in which thousands of people died. Mali is one or the poorest nations in world despite having gold mines. The profits from gold mining seldom reach the Malian people. A number of Jihadist groups operate in Mali often destroying villages and murdering or kidnapping the Malian people.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Songhai live in the south savannah region of Mali near the Niger and Senegal Rivers. Men work the fields growing millet, grains, ground nuts, manioc, and maize. Women take care of children, have small plots of land and grow fruits and vegetables. Some families also raise cattle and goats for their meat, milk and hides. Some Songhai make a living by fishing in the rivers and lakes. A Koyraboro Songhai man may marry up to four wives if he can afford them. Most men have only one wife. Songhai parents encourage their sons to get a secondary education. Most girls may only attend primary schools for a few years before they begin working with their mothers to support the family. Young men get married in their middle twenties. Girls marry in their early or middle teens. First born sons often are pressured to marry a cousin in order to keep the wealth in the family. Elders rule village life making the judicial decisions and conducting affairs with outsiders. Songhai society was traditional with sons following the profession of their fathers. In previous times there were three castes among the Songhai community, nobles, peasants and slaves.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all Koyraboro Songhai in Mali are Sunni, the largest branch of Islam. Their Islam is highly influenced by folk religion or a belief that spirits inhabit the objects of nature. Each village has a shaman who performs rituals to stop the evil spirits from bringing drought and harm to the village harvest and animals. The shaman also gives out charms and amulets to protect the people. The Songhai try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Muslim has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Muslims are also prohibited from drinking alcohol, eating pork, gambling, stealing, using deceit, slandering, and making idols. The two main holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah. Friday is the day of rest in which Songhai attend the local mosque.


What Are Their Needs?

Most Songhai-Koyraboro live simple, adequate lives except in times of drought. Unfortunately, these droughts occur regularly and have left many children as orphans in refugee camps. Malnutrition is a problem for many Songhai. A majority of the Songhai-Koyraboro have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel in their heart language. Christian workers can come and share the love of Jesus with the Songhai in practical ways.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Songhai-Koyraboro in Mali.

Ask the Lord to send Christian agricultural workers, educators, and medical personnel to serve the Songhai-Koyraboro of Mali. Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom to mission agencies focusing on the Songhai-Koyraboro. Ask the Lord to save key Songhai-Koyraboro leaders who will boldly proclaim the good news. Pray that God will strengthen, embolden, and protect the very few groups of Songhai believers. Ask the Lord to raise up a Disciple Making Movement among the Songhai-Koyraboro of Mali in this decade.


Profile Source:   JoshuaProject  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-01-23
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-02-23
People Name General Songhai-Koyraboro
People Name in Country Songhai-Koyraboro
Population this Country 1,081,000
Population all Countries 2,038,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 22
Alternate Names East Songhai; Gao; Singhai; Songoy; Sonrhai; West Songhai
People ID 14989
ROP3 Code 109404
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Gao region: Gao town area along Niger river; Tombouctou region: Niafunké to Niger border.   Source:  Ethnologue 2018
Country Mali
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 28  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Gao region: Gao town area along Niger river; Tombouctou region: Niafunké to Niger border..   Source:  Ethnologue 2018
Primary Language Songhay, Koyraboro Senni (1,081,000 speakers)
Language Code ses   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Songhay, Koyraboro Senni (1,081,000 speakers)
Language Code ses   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Songhay, Koyraboro Senni

Primary Language:  Songhay, Koyraboro Senni

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2004)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2014)
Bible-Complete Yes  (2014)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Songhay, Koyraboro Senni
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
General Resources in Songhay
Mobile App Scripture files - download
Text / Printed Matter Bible: Songhai de Gao - Koyraboro Senni Songhai
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
99.80 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
80.0 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2021  International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source JoshuaProject  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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