The Maba of Chad
Location: Mostly Eastern Chad and some in Sudan. The Maba are one of the largest non-Arab people groups in Chad. They are the dominant tribe of the Wadai mountains. The Wadai region is hot and dry most of the year, characterized by broad flat grasslands and plateaus.
History: Long ago the Maba overthrew the Christian Tunjur dynasty in Wadai and formed the backbone of the Islamic Wadai Empire, which dominated Eastern Chad in the 1800s. In modern Maba society, chiefs and members of the royal class still possess a high degree of prestige and power, although the French abolished the sultanate in 1912.
Culture: Although they are Muslims, people live in fear, using amulets and charms to ward off evil and sickness. They are primarily farmers, growing millet and wheat, as well as raising horses, goats, sheep, and chickens. The Sultan serves as head of state of the region and rules through governors and district chiefs. The Queen Mother is highly esteemed and has great influence.
Religion: Folk Islam
Latest Prayer Updates:
A group of us will travel on Saturday 22nd to assess the suitability of a Maba town as a base for a Maba team. Please pray for wisdom in decision making, for safety in travel (with no water in Wadis) and for good contacts there. Above all pray that we will find new people to work there! The workers are few!
There has been fighting again between the Arabs (who started it this time) and the Maba. Houses and grazing land were burned and 23 died. The government finally has things under control but there is no doubt that ill will remains. Arabs here think surely the Maba started it as they hear little reliable news. Pray that the truth will come out and more importantly pray that this violence will bring people to think about the One Way to God.