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Wala in Ghana

Wala

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Wala in Ghana map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
94,000 Wali Ethnic Religions 3.00 % 1.50 % Not available   

Wala in Ghana

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Introduction / History
The Lobi-Wala occupy the Black Volta region where the countries of Ghana, Ivory Coast, and Burkina Faso meet. They actually form two separate groups: the Lobi (named for their language), and the Wala (named for the area, Wa, in which most of them live). Because the Lobi and Wala share many similarities in language, location, history, and culture, researchers often group them as one people: the Lobi-Wala. Both groups speak their own dialect of the Gur language, which belongs to the Niger-Congo language family.

In the 1600s, the Wala lived in Mamprusi and established control over the Dagari and Lobi peoples. They settled in Wa, northwestern Ghana. In the late 1700s, the Lobi migrated from Ghana to their present location due to pressure from larger groups in the area. The Lobi-Wala continue to migrate today, but to a lesser extent, either for better land or to find jobs in the cities. Because of continued invasions and raids from other groups, the Lobi-Wala developed their characteristic fortress-type houses and poison arrow weapons. They remain an aggressive people.

What are their lives like?
The Lobi-Wala are primarily farmers who migrate continually in search of adequate farm land. They raise cereals such as sorghum, millet, and maize, as well as yams, squash, beans, peppers, and a little rice. They sell some of their crops in local markets, especially sorghum beer. Most families also raise cattle, sheep, goats, and chickens. Wage-paying jobs have recently attracted some of the Lobi-Wala to parts of southern Ghana or Ivory Coast.

On the farms, men do most of the work in the fields, but women help with the planting and harvesting. Women cultivate their own vegetable gardens, collect forest products, gather firewood, and haul water. They also prepare the meals and make the beer. Both men and women build the houses.

The Lobi-Wala live in village settlements that consist of several compounds. The settlements are widely scattered in order to leave room for farming and for each family's herds. Larger bush farms are located farther away from the settlements.

Children are cared for by their mothers and are breastfed until they can walk. At that time, children are considered to have become human and are entitled to a proper burial. Toddlers are cared for by their older sisters. Young girls play house around the compounds and sometimes help their mothers carry water or grind cereals. The boys help their fathers herd the cattle. Lobi girls, unlike girls from other tribes in the region, may also help their fathers and brothers with the herding.

Various ceremonies are held each year at the household shrines. For instance, at the end of the farming season, the abundance of grain is celebrated with dancing. Ceremonies also accompany events such as births, marriages, and deaths. The most important ceremonies, however, center on initiations into secret societies.

The Wala are noted for their expert xylophone players who perform at funerals and dances, while the Lobi are noted for their mask-making abilities. Both groups carve ancestor shrines, animals, gods, and stools.

What are their beliefs?
A majority of the Lobi follow their traditional animistic beliefs (belief that non-human objects have spirits), while most of the Wala have partially adopted the dominant religion of the area: Islam. Their "conversion" resulted in the eighteenth century when Dyula Muslim traders were absorbed into the Wala state and began to speak Wali instead of their Mande language. The Muslim Dyula subsequently became part of the Wala group and brought Islam with them.

The non-Muslim Wala have beliefs and practices that are very similar to those of the Lobi. The animistic religion of these groups is centered on deceased ancestors and objects of nature, both of which are worshipped. The earth is believed to watch over the community and bring fertility to the soil. The spirits of the ancestors are thought to watch over the lineage and to be involved with household matters. The people believe that these ancestral spirits need to be fed and cared for. The spirits are said to become hungry and dissatisfied when they are not properly appeased, turning into evil spirits. The animists also believe that spirits in animals and objects can be "caught," after which time a shrine is built in their honor.

What are their needs?
Although the Lobi-Wala have the New Testament written in their language, very few have become Christians. Most of them have never yet heard a clear presentation of the Gospel message. Increased missions efforts, additional laborers, Christian broadcasts, and evangelistic literature are greatly needed to effectively reach the Lobi-Wala with the Gospel. However, prayer is the first step toward seeing them reached.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Lobi-Wala.
* Ask God to raise up additional long term missionaries to join the few who have already responded.
* Pray that signs and wonders will follow the Lobi-Wala believers as they share Christ with their own people.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of West Africa through intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Lobi-Wala.

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-02-22
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-02-21
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Country: Ghana
Continent: Africa
Region: West and Central Africa
10/40 Window: No
Total Provinces on file:2
Location in Country:Upper West region: Wa town south; Northern region, northwest.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
   
 
Maps
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Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Wala
People Name General: Wala
Alternate People Names:
Waali
ROP3 Code: 110638
Joshua Project People ID: 15833
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 94,000
Population all Countries: 94,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Gur
People Name General: Wala
Ethnic Code: NAB56a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Wali
Language Code (ISO): wlx    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 1.50 %)
Ethnic Religions67.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam30.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent30.00 %
Protestant30.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic40.00 %
 
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
   
 
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1968
New Testament:
1984
Complete Bible: 2009
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
 
 
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Wali
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Wala in Ghana

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Gur     West and Central Africa    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Wala Ghana    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Wala in Ghana          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Wali  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.unreachedresources.org/people-profile.php?rog3=GH&peo3=15833