The Alagwa of Tanzania

Population: 40,000

Location and Background: The Alagwa live in in a geographically remote area at 4,000-6,000’ elevation in the hills and mountains of central Tanzania. They live in 15 villages, and although the Bubu river runs through the lower lands, the  higher regions suffer from lack  of water and they often must walk miles to find water to meet the needs of their families.

History: The Alagwa are a Cushitic group, who migrated south from the horn of Africa. They believe they are descended from Habesh, who was the 10th generation from Noah’s son Ham, and are still living with the curse put on their ancestor.

Culture: The Alagwa are subsistence farmers, growing maize and millet. They also keep cows, goats and sheep. They are very community oriented, living in houses made of burned brick with roofs of thatched grass. The Alagwa speak both Alagwaisa and Kiswahili.

Religion: A tribal legend says that once when some Alagwa visited Mecca they were rejected by the Muslims for having ‘no religion’—only animistic beliefs. They later embraced Islam, so that now well over 90% are Muslims. However, they seamlessly blend their traditional beliefs with their Islamic ones. Allah, Mungu and Lala’a are all used to refer to God. So although they are called Muslims, their beliefs and practices are strongly steeped in their traditional ways of life.


Latest Prayer Updates:

Jesus at work

Please pray for S. He was sick with a cold and fever and came to seek prayer, even though previously he had been nervous and not wanted to even come in to our house. This time he did come in, and we prayed for his healing in Jesus’ name. And Jesus healed him! Since then he’s made multiple visits to share with our family. Yesterday he told us about similarities between what the Bible says about Jesus and what his faith says about Jesus. Please join our prayer that he will continue to see and seek these connections, and to tell others about what he is learning as Jesus works in him.

Desire and Excitement

Please pray for an Alagwa man who has been listening to and learning the Bible stories. He now wants to gather his two best friends and share the stories with them. He has a desire and excitement to share Jesus with his friends and then the community. Thank God for his passion and please pray that the Holy Spirit enables him to persevere with his plans.

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