The Alagwa of Tanzania
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:
Please pray for opportunities to share Jesus with family groups. Sometimes it can be hard to find times when everyone is together. Pray that as families discover the love of God they can choose to follow together and support one another.
Please pray for the Alagwa involved in the translation week last month. Pray especially for those who are not believers; may the word of God continue to impact their lives and turn their hearts to him.