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Red Bobo, Bwa in Burkina Faso

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
123,000 Bomu Ethnic Religions 28.00 % 12.00 %   

Red Bobo, Bwa in Burkina Faso

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Introduction / History
The Jula word Bobo-Oule means Red Bobo and differentiates it from the Black Bobo. They call themselves Bwa or Bwaba. They speak Bwamu which is a Voltaic language.

Their neighbors are the Bobo, the Bamana, the Lobi and the Marka Dafing. In their history they show no record of earlier peoples in the land where they live.

The Bamana of Segou occupied much of the land in Mali in the 1700s. This weakened the Bwa. When the power of the Bamana lessened, the Fulani came into the Bwa country destroying things and making slaves of the people. When the French came in 1897, they used the Fulani to help them conquer the region. Many Bwa came against the French but the fight against them came to nothing as the French defeated them in six months and the Bwa had to rebuild.

Where are they located?
They live in Mali and Burkina Faso. Some of the main towns of the Bwa are Boni, Bagassi, Dossi and Hounde.

What are their lives like?
The Bwa live in villages that do not have central political authority. They do not like outside control. Decisions are made by a council of male elders from their peoples. The Bwa are very receptive to changes that they find of help to their own needs. They want to remain faithful to ancestors. The Bwa are now paid individually for their crops and cooperative work in the fields has come to an end causing problems for them.

They are mainly farmers, cotton being the main crop they sell. They also have crops such as rice, millet, peanuts and yam. They speak in Bwa. Some speak Jula and French is spoken too.

What are their beliefs?
The god they believe in is called Wuro (or Difini or Dobweni). The Bwa especially in the north worship Dwo who they believe is a go between with man and nature. The religious leader of every village is the oldest man of the village named the Labie.

The Bwa use masks. The northern Bwa use leaf masks more than wooden ones, the southern Bwa prefer wooden masks. The Bwa in the south in particular use masks to do with the Nuna religion which they decided to be followers of late.


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Country: Burkina Faso
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Boucle du Muhoun region: Mainly Banwa province,: Sami department; Hauts-Bassins region: Houet and Kenedougou provinces.
(Source: Ethnologue 2016)
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Country Map:Political map
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Red Bobo, Bwa
People Name General: Red Bobo, Bwa
Alternate People Names:
Red BoboWestern Bobo Wule
ROP3 Code: 101820
Joshua Project People ID: 11056
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 123,000
Population all Countries: 411,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Gur
People Name General: Red Bobo, Bwa
Ethnic Code: NAB56a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bomu (123,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bmq    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity28.00 %(Evangelical: 12.00 %)
Ethnic Religions47.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam25.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent4.00 %
Protestant35.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian1.00 %
Roman Catholic60.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have a significant presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1937-1994
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 2005–2013
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bomu
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Red Bobo, Bwa in Burkina Faso

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Gur     Africa, West and Central    
      Red Bobo, Bwa Burkina Faso    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Red Bobo, Bwa in Burkina Faso          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Bomu  
    All Religions                              

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