Introduction / History The Mokoulou of Chad are located in the foothills of the Massif of Guera, living in Bao, Krim-Krim, and Dadjile. Scholars relate them to the Ngambaye, who are themselves a sub-group of the Sara.
Many of the groups of this region share various similarities in culture and lifestyle, and it is difficult to tell them apart. Despite these likenesses, they are aware of clan loyalties and are generally hesitant to intermarry. Although they attempt to keep separate identities, the groups maintain peaceful relationships with one another. In the past, they have even rallied together to protect their independence from outside forces.
The Mokoulou speak a Chadic language, also called Mokoulou, from the Afro-Asiatic language family. Very little specific detail is known about the Mokoulou; thus, some assumptions have been made concerning their lifestyle and culture, based on that of neighboring groups.
What are their lives like? The Mokoulou are primarily farmers who attempt to cultivate the rocky ground of the region. Some, however, have moved to the cities and taken jobs in construction or in the government. The main crop grown is millet; but some cotton, okra, beans, and corn are also grown, along with a variety of fruits and vegetables. Their main diet consists of a millet paste, eaten with a sauce made from wild leaves, meat, or dried fish.
Most of the Mokoulou receive income from selling surplus millet and from transporting goods for others. They trade with the nearby Arabs on a regular basis in order to purchase items they cannot otherwise obtain. In these trades, millet is given for milk, meat, and items made by Arab blacksmiths.
The Mokoulou make only a few handicrafts, most of which are for their own use and not for sale to others. Some of the crafts include woven palm leaf mats, clay jars for transporting and storing water and grain, and cotton thread and fabric.
Most Mokoulou women wear colorful print fabrics, either wrapped around their bodies or tailored into dresses. Head coverings are worn when they are outside their compounds. The men wear Western-style pants with shirts, or long robes with or without pants.
Most of the Mokoulou live in villages composed of several clans, each living in its own neighborhood of the village. A number of huts housing an extended family forms a compound. Each village has a chief or headman who is primarily in charge of settling disputes within the village. Each village also has a "chief of the land," who holds the religious power of the village. Houses in the villages are round mud-brick huts with cone-shaped, thatched roofs. In town, however, dwellings are rectangular in shape, are made of mud-brick, and have flat roofs.
Many Mokoulou villages have a primary school, but teachers are generally inadequate. Many children who attempt school soon drop out. In addition to schools, there are other evidences of modernization among the Mokoulou. Kerosene lanterns and flashlights are used in each compound, but sparingly. Short-wave radios and digital watches are not uncommon. Some Mokoulou even own bicycles or mopeds. Other modern features, such as electricity, telephones, clean water, and health care facilities, are not present.
What are their beliefs? Though the Mokoulou have completely converted to Islam, their pre-Islamic beliefs are still practiced to some degree.
What are their needs? The Mokoulou and other neighboring groups were the object of repeated slave raids by the Fulbe and especially the Arabs. As a result, much bitterness remains in their hearts. In recent decades, the southern ethnic groups have joined against the northern and eastern groups, who perceive them as inferior.
Not only do the Mokoulou need better education and health care facilities, they need to know Jesus as their Savior. Much evangelistic work and prayer are still needed to bring the Gospel to the Mokoulou.
Prayer Points * Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to work among the Mokoulou of Chad.
* Ask the Lord to call Christian doctors and teachers to minister the love of Jesus to the Mokoulou.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Mokoulou towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Mokoulou who will boldly declare the Good News.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Chad through worship and intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Mokoulou. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.