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:

Sharing Jesus

One of the disciples who attended the discipleship training last month is traveling to share Jesus today with several other villages. He’s been invited to pray with a family whose child is 4 years old yet unable to walk. Please pray with us for traveling mercies, open doors, and open hearts on his journey. May Jesus be praised!

You prayed…He answered

On Mar 29, 2018 you prayed for this request: “Praise God for the ladies’ Bible study group in one area, which came out of the desire of a ‘secret’ believer that many other neighbours would hear God’s Word. Pray for this believer, that she would grow in Jesus and would seek to run this group completely on her own.” God answered this way: “She is quick to pray for salvation and health for those around her. And she is bold and outspoken, as well as being very compassionate. When discussing studying God’s Word with others, she said ‘I will be a teacher’. Since that day, with a couple of groups listening to Bible stories, she has begun owning the role of teacher!”

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