Jula, Dyula in Côte d'Ivoire

Jula, Dyula
Photo Source:  Alfonso Castellanos  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location from IMB. Other map data / geography from GMI. Map by Joshua Project.
People Name: Jula, Dyula
Country: Côte d'Ivoire
10/40 Window: No
Population: 2,644,000
World Population: 4,928,400
Primary Language: Jula
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.60 %
Evangelicals: 0.50 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malinke-Jula
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Jula (aka, Dyula) peoples were traders of gold and kola nuts in the 1500s. They were also skilled craftsmen. For centuries the Jula groups have had high status as merchants. Their trading posts eventually morphed into market villages and cities.

Like many other African peoples, the Julas held slaves, usually prisoners of war from other tribes. Some of the Jula people were part of a prestigious warrior class called tuntigi.

Where Are they Located?

The Koyaga Jula people live mainly in the Woroba District of Cote d'Ivoire.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their traditional hierarchical society involved nobles and vassals, but that is eroding in today's world. The people whose ancestors were kings and generals do not always have higher status than those whose ancestors were farmers. Some Koyaga Jula people today are farmers like most of their neighbors, though most are still involved with commerce.

The Koyaga Jula people are fiercely loyal to their clans, making one wonder if any disciple making movement might need to be done at the clan level. They maintain their cultural history through the oral traditions of dance and storytelling. These mediums are probably the best for presenting the gospel as well, since the people already have an affinity for this way of communicating.

Their social structure is patrilineal and patriarchal, which means that older males hold the highest status and most of the decision-making power. Men and women reside in separate homes, which are made of mud or cement. Some men have multiple wives, though this is frowned upon.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Jula peoples, including the Koyaga Jula, have been Muslim since the 1400s. They had good relations with non-Muslim neighbors, and tried to convert them to Islam by setting a good example rather than by force. Today the more prestigious members of this people group send their sons to Islamic schools where they become more entrenched in Islamic theology. Like most Muslim peoples of Africa, they have maintained pre-Islamic beliefs which involve amulets, charms and a complex spirit world.

What Are Their Needs?

The Koyaga Julas have put their faith in the spirit world and the mercy of Allah instead of the atoning blood of Jesus Christ. They need someone to show them the way to the cross so they can experience God's forgiveness.

Prayer Points

* Pray for believers to go as His ambassadors to the Koyaga Jula people of Cote d'Ivoire.
* Pray for the Lord to give the gift of faith to many within this people group.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge in their homes, villages, and even in their mosques.

Text Source:   Keith Carey