Aweer in Kenya

Photo Source:  Jeff Nelson 
Map Source:  People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Aweer
Country: Kenya
10/40 Window: No
Population: 21,000
World Population: 21,400
Primary Language: Aweer
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 2.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.30 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Khoisan
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aweer are a remnant hunter-gatherer group living along the Kenyan coast in Lamu District on the mainland. A small number are in Somalia, but most live on the Kenyan side of the border.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In Kenya today, they are a vulnerable group, struggling to survive, in search of a new identity. Traditionally they depend on their elders for leadership and do not normally meet for village discussion. There are some men who have more than one wife, and each wife has her own house in which she lives with her children. The husband does not have his own home but periodically lives with each wife. The Aweers live under extremely difficult conditions. They have no running water, plumbing, natural gas or electricity. Rainfall is unpredictable. Their wells are dug near the Indian Ocean, so their drinking water is sometimes brackish. As a result, Aweer women frequently must walk long distances to obtain fresh water. Only five per cent of Aweer children have access to any education. According to recent sources, very few Aweer are literate. The Aweer have no opportunity to receive modern medical treatments, and their life expectancy is only 45 years. They practice a combination of Islam and folk religion.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Aweer people combine some parts of Sunni Islam with traditional religious beliefs. They depend on the spirit world for their daily needs since they regard Allah as too distant. Allah may determine their eternal salvation, but the spirits determine how well we live in our daily lives. For that reason, they must appease the spirits. They often use charms and amulets to help them deal with spiritual forces.

What Are Their Needs?

The Aweer people need the chance to find the only Savior, the one who offers life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for the few Aweer followers of Jesus to be effective in demonstrating how Jesus blesses and heals families and communities. Pray they will accurately understand the gospel of grace, not having it mixed with requirements of works. Pray they will be obedient to follow Christ's teachings and commands, in response to grace.

Text Source:   Joshua Project