Photo Source: Edward Mendell
Map Source: Anonymous
|People Name:||Wamei, Konyagi|
|Primary Religion:||Ethnic Religions|
|Christian Adherents:||3.00 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|Affinity Bloc:||Sub-Saharan Peoples|
The Wamei or the Konyagi people originated in Guinea. They migrated to Senegal and The Gambia to work in the bamboo belt, settling mainly along the major roads from Tamba to Dakar, and from Velingara to Kolda. Most live in Senegal but some are located in Guinea.
They are very proud of their way of life. The Wamei people are hard workers. They earn better than the average wages. From May to December, they raise millet, fonio, peanuts, rice, and mangos and herd cattle. The Wamei make and sell bamboo mats for use as house walls, roofs and beds. They also make and sell millet and palm wine, and a pure alcohol beverage called "soum soum." The Catholic Church provides them with jobs, education, and training in skills such as sewing. Ninety percent of their time is devoted to work, and ten percent is play. Friday is their festival day.
The Wamei social structure is hierarchical. Those belonging to an older age group are responsible for teaching and disciplining the group that is below them. Belonging and conforming to the group is very important, and they hold initiation rites which are very important to them. These rites are so central to their identity that the government once banned them. They still perform these initiation rites, which are exclusively for men. They include secret ceremonies that women should not know about, and outsider should never hear about. They hold kinship very tightly and even if living apart.
They value education because it leads to good jobs. The Wamei people are more apt to finish high school than neighboring ethnic groups. Those involved in the Catholic Church have a greater appreciation for the need of literacy. They desire to learn French, the trade language in Guinea.
Though there is a Roman Catholic minority, most of the Wamei people in Guinea are entrapped in traditional religion. They worship and serve spirits that are in rebellion against the King of kings. Only Christ can set them free and provide them with abundant life.
The Wamei people have tremendous potential. With guidance from the Holy Spirit, they can help take Guinea to a higher level. First, they must accept Christ, who offers the Holy Spirit as a "helper" and "guide."
Pray for spiritual hunger that will lead the Wamei people to embrace Jesus Christ and his ways.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will stay with them until they have a movement to Christ.
Pray for these capable people to learn to lean on Christ alone.