Introduction / History The Barain live in the Guera, a mountainous region in Central Chad. They are mainly farmers, living in about 30 small villages in a remote area of the Melfi District, south of Bitkine. Their round huts are built with sun dried mud bricks and covered every year with fresh straw. They rely on good rain during rainy season (July to October) to grow their crops, mainly millet, beans, and peanuts. They work the hard red soil with metal hoes fixed on a strong, short branch. During dry season (November to June) water becomes a problem, since there are very few wells in the whole area. Women of several villages have to walk over 4 kilometers to reach a source. The Baraïn have frequent contacts with Arab nomads, exchanging millet for meat and dairy products. The people call themselves Jalkia, Guilia or Dakne according to the different dialectal regions. Their neighbors are the Baguirmi to the west, the Sokoro to the northwest, the Saba to the northeast and the Boua to the souththeast and south.
The Barain traditional religion consists of bringing offerings to the margay, the spirits of nature. All blessings and curses are attributed to the spirits' activity. The spirits of the mountains are the most powerful and feared ones. The religious centers are Djili (at the bottom of Mount Jeddo) and Balili. A majority, however, converted to Islam, often still involving traditional religious practices. This people group has not been reached with the Gospel yet.
The literacy rate for the Guera region is very low. In Baraïn country the literacy rate is likely lower for there are few schools in the whole area, none of them offering the complete primary education. Children would have to go to Melfi or Bitkine. This is possible only if they have family members living there. There is also no clinic or medical supply in the whole area. Rural exodus to the bigger centers such as Bitkine, Mongo or N'Djamena is increasing, due to the harsh living conditions.