Mahafaly in Madagascar

Photo Source:  Bob Allen 
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People Name: Mahafaly
Country: Madagascar
10/40 Window: No
Population: 437,000
World Population: 437,000
Primary Language: Malagasy, Tandroy-Mahafaly
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 25.00 %
Evangelicals: 1.09 %
Scripture: Portions
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Malagasy
Affinity Bloc: Malay Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Mahafaly people arrived in southern Madagascar from southeastern Africa in the 1100s. They built massive tombs called volamena to honor their dead kings and chiefs.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Mahafaly are usually cattle herders and farmers. The youngest son is usually put in charge of tending cattle.
Their society is patriarchal meaning that the line of descent comes from the father’s side. If there is a divorce the husband retains control of the children. A husband can have more than one wife. Male family members must live close to one another.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Mahafaly people are mainly involved with their traditional ethnic religious practices, but there is also a Christian presence among them. There are stories from the Bible being translated into their Tandroy-Mahafaly Malagasy language. Some are being played over the radio. They can listen to these as a group.

What Are Their Needs?

The Mahafaly people are in bondage to witchcraft. They need to put their faith in Jesus Christ alone.

Prayer Points

Pray for Christian radio broadcasts to help the Mahafaly people to understand the gospel message and how to live a Christian life.
Pray for Mahafaly disciplers to disciple others who will disciple others as well.
Pray for them to put Jesus Christ first in their spiritual practices.

Text Source:   Joshua Project