Introduction / History The Banda-Bambari or Banda-Linda as they are also called are situated in the center of the Central African Republic (CAR) right in the center of this huge continent which is large enough to encompass three times the area of the United States including Alaska.
"If someone becomes rich, he will certainly die!" This is a common belief among the Banda-Linda people of the CAR. Perhaps it is a justification for the bitter poverty they endure despite discovery of gold in their area. Most income generating activities are controlled by outsiders who come to set up trade in the area.
Ancestors of the Banda-Linda came to CAR from Sudan. Today their descendants survive by raising small gardens to feed their families. Most people plant manioc, peanuts and corn. They also raise goats and poultry. If they have more than their families need, farmers sell the surplus which enables them to purchase other goods.
What are their beliefs? Missionaries introduced the Banda-Linda to Christ in the 1920s. Today, about one-quarter of the population claims faith in Christ. Unfortunately, more than half of those who claim Christianity simply add that profession to well-established African traditional beliefs which include practices counter to God's Word. Committed Christians, however, seek reconciliation rather than retribution through revenge or ritualistic practices. They also avoid using fetishes to protect their fields, trusting God will provide for their needs. Another major religion, Islam, is strong in the Banda-Linda region, attracting about 75 percent of the population. The followers have little understanding of what they espouse; most combine that major religion with long-standing traditional practices.