Maan in Liberia

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Maan live primarily in southern Guinea and northern Liberia. In Liberia, the Maan are considered to be Minimally Reached; however, in Guinea they are Unreached. The Maan in Liberia speak a language (also called Maan) with many dialects. Between the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, many Mande-speaking peoples (including the Gio, the Maan, and the Kono) migrated from the north. The Mandingo forced the Kpelle to move southward and they, in turn, forced the Mande-speakers farther southward. Most of the Maan settled in Guinea. However, many immigrated to Liberia at the end of the 1800s when the French occupied Guinea. Today, about a quarter of the Maan live in Guinea and the others are in Liberia.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Maan people in Liberia make their living as subsistence farmers. They grow rice as their staple crop, cultivating large plots of land outside their villages. Farming involves the entire family. Boys chase birds away or hunt them before they can kill the crops. The women weed the fields. Besides rice, the Maan grow pineapples, peppers, beans, okra, onion, maize, and bananas in their farm villages. In addition, they cultivate coffee and peanuts as cash crops. The Maan select a new farm site each year, cutting and burning the bush undergrowth and trees to prepare their fields. Hand-made fences surround the farmland to discourage threatening animals. After planting, they offer sacrifices to their tribal gods to ensure a good harvest. The Maan keep several kinds of farm animals, including cattle, goats and chickens. They do not milk their cows and they don't eat the eggs of their chickens. Most of their protein comes from fish; both men and women fish and they also buy frozen fish in the markets. The Maan also hunt; however, the introduction of firearms has led to a significant depletion of game animals in the forests. The Maan believe that no meal is complete without rice. They sometimes toast and eat winged termites as snacks. Although some Maan people in Liberia must sleep in the small, temporary farm villages during harvest season, most live in towns year-round. They locate their towns on high ground with water sources nearby. Maan communities range from as few as ten to as many as several hundred people. The towns are crowded, with the houses built close together. The Maan live in square homes with low-walled porches and thatched roofs. They usually build their houses on clay platforms to keep out the rain.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The great majority of the Maan of Liberia practice animism (believing that non-human objects have spirits). They worship Wala, the creator god who lives in heaven; however, they have little idea of what heaven or life after death is really like. The Maan believe that small men or goblins live in the bush. These goblins are friendly ghosts, but they might kill anyone who destroys their homes by clearing the land. They also practice witchcraft; witches often curse and sometimes kill their victims.

What Are Their Needs?

The New Testament and the JESUS Film have been translated into Maan, as well as several other gospel recordings and portions of an audio Bible. There is a need for additional evangelistic tools, Christian workers and continued prayer to see these precious people blessed by becoming part of Christ's heavenly family.

Prayer Points

Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies focusing on the Maan, leading gospel workers to people whose hearts are open. Pray for Christian radio and television broadcasts to be made available in the Maan language. Ask the Lord to give the Maan believers boldness to share Christ with their own people, and to draw entire families to Himself. Ask God to call Christian teachers and medical teams to go to Guinea and work among the Maan. Pray for a church-planting movement among the Maan that will result in churches and disciples multiplying to many generations.

Scripture Prayers for the Maan in Liberia.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Maan
People Name in Country Maan
Alternate Names Mano; Manon; Mawe; Ngere
Population this Country 365,000
Population all Countries 483,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 2
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 4  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 16121
ROP3 Code 106278
ROP25 Code 305154
ROP25 Name Mano
Country Liberia
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nimba county; Bong and Grand Bassa counties.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Liberia
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nimba county; Bong and Grand Bassa counties..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

No people group map currently available. Use the above button to submit a map.

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 2.00 %)
8.00 %
Ethnic Religions
92.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Maan (365,000 speakers)
Language Code mev   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Maan (365,000 speakers)
Language Code mev   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Maan

Primary Language:  Maan

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1946-1987)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1978)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT ( Online
YouVersion NT ( 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
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Mann Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
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: Maan YouVersion Bibles
Mobile App iOS Bible app: Maan YouVersion Bibles
Photo Source (Representative photo)
DFID UK - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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