Chaari in Nigeria

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People Name: Chaari
Country: Nigeria
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,000
World Population: 1,000
Primary Language: Cha'ari
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 20.00 %
Evangelicals: 10.00 %
Scripture: Translation Needed
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Chadic
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Speakers of the Chaari language live in four villages in Plateau and Bauchi States. Chaari is the predominant language of the home, but the Chaari are multilingual, also speaking Hausa, and English. All age groups can use Chaari, but the children are more proficient in Hausa. Children and young adults also have limited proficiency in English. Hausa is used in health clinics and markets.
The language area is remote. The only access to Danshe village is by a barely motorable road through rough terrain, which becomes virtually impassable during the rainy season.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Agriculture is the main occupation of the Chaari people. They raise cattle and other stock and grow crops, including cotton, ground nuts, millet, tomatoes, and yams. The government has introduced advance irrigation schemes to increase production.
Festivals are held in Danshe, their most populated village, which is also where the paramount ruler lives. Hausa and Chaari are used during festivities. Government educational policy states that: “Every child shall be taught in their own mother tongue or in the language of the immediate community for the first four years of basic education.” But little progress has been made in implementing this policy. Children are allowed to use their heritage language on the playground but not in the classroom.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Chaari are Muslim. A few Chaari practice African traditional religion and believe that natural physical entities such as animals, plants, and even inanimate objects possess a spiritual essence.
Some Chaari are Christians. Local denominations include Evangelical Church Winning All (ECWA), the Apostolic Church, and the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG). Hausa is used in church for preaching, singing, prayers, and youth services. At the close of church, the young adults often explain the sermon in Chaari to the elderly who may not have understood it well enough.

What Are Their Needs?

A recent sociolinguistic survey conducted by SIL classified Chaari as a threatened language, meaning it is used for face-to-face communication within all generations, but is losing users. Many are switching to the use of Hausa and English. The survey report recommended that leaders from the different religions in the Chaari community conduct activities that would help them to see if a unity of purpose can be achieved for language development. If there is interest expressed in language development, then leaders might consider attending an event called the Community-Based Language and Identity Development (CBLID) planning workshop, which is hosted jointly by SIL Nigeria and the Conference of Autochthonous Ethnic Community Development Associations.

Prayer Points

Pray that community leaders from different religious backgrounds will willingly meet and discuss whether they desire to pursue language development.
Pray Chaari speakers will engage with Scripture that is available in other languages and assess their level of understanding of those Scriptures to determine their translation needs.
Pray that every obstacle to understanding and obeying Christ will be removed.

Text Source:   Joshua Project