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:

Outreach report

Thank you for praying for the Global Disciples training. It was very much enjoyed by the trainees. During the second two weeks doing outreach in a nearby area, they found that some people were willing to listen and discuss but others were not- trainees were chased away by people with sticks. Please pray for courage and the encouragement of the trainees, and softening of people’s hearts towards the Gospel.

Spiritual Forces

“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavens.” Eph 6: 12 Please pray against the unseen spiritual forces of evil which hold many in bondage and inhibit them through fear and deception. May the Spirit of Lord bring freedom! May many Alagwa step out and follow Jesus.

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