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Tenbo, Loron in Côte d'Ivoire

Tenbo, Loron

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Tenbo, Loron in Côte d
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
10,000 Teen Ethnic Religions 3.00 % 0.50 % No No   

Tenbo, Loron in Côte d'Ivoire

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Introduction / History
The Loron people, variously named Lorhon, Tenbo, Teguessie and Tuna, who are located in forested savannah region of northeast Cote d'Ivoire and southwest Burkina Faso, came originally from the Bouna region of Cote d'Ivoire. There are approximately 10-12,000 Loron people. Their language, which is called Teen, is 45% cognate with that of the Koulango people in the Bouna area, although their culture reflects that of the Lobi people.

At least 250 years ago, when many Loron people were killed in warfare with other tribal groups from the south of Cote d'Ivoire, the Loron fled the Bouna region. They moved north along the Black Volta river, and then west, and settled in the area that is now the town of Gaoua, Burkina Faso, about 100 miles (160kms) from Bouna, Cote d'Ivoire.

When the Lobi people moved into the Gaoua area from Ghana in the late 18th century, the Loron, like most other smaller ethnic groups in the region, adopted many of the customs of the dominant and more numerous Lobis. Although, to this day, the Loron people are still considered the 'Masters of the Land' in the Gaoua area.

To avoid conflict with their neighbouring tribes, the relatively timid Loron went in search of new pastures. Most of the Loron people gradually migrated south, to the mountains which form the border between Burkina Faso and Cote d'Ivoire, just below the Lobi town of Kampti. Approximately 100 years ago a large group of Loron people moved further south, out of the mountainous region and settled in a more fertile area, in Cote d'Ivoire, between Doropo and Tehini. This all happened, of course, before country demarcation lines were created by the French colonialists.

Where are they located?
The Lorhon/Loron people are now concentrated mainly in the Sub-Prefecture of Tehini in northeast Cote d'Ivoire; and the province of Poni in southwest Burkina Faso. With a total population of between 10-12,000, approximately 70% of the Loron live in Cote d'Ivoire, and 30% in Burkina Faso. The Loron in Cote d'Ivoire are scattered over an area of about 2,000 square miles, just north of the Comoe National Park. In Burkina they are located mainly in the mountain area between Kampti and the Cote d'Ivoire border. Around 5% of the Loron, mostly young Loron males, live and work on the cocoa and coffee plantations of southern Cote d'Ivoire. They usually spend 1-2 years there, before returning to marry and settle down in their natal village.

What are their lives like?
The vast majority of Loron people are subsistence farmers, living in small villages of between 50-100 people. Families normally live in homesteads separated from other families by small planting areas. As with the Lobi people, 'Two reaches of an arrow' represents an appropriate distance between two Loron family homesteads. The Loron in both Cote d'Ivoire and Burkina Faso are probably among the least developed people groups in their respective countries. They normally live in isolated areas with little or no access to schools, medical facilities, or potable water.

What are their beliefs?
The Loron people are animist in the sense that they believe that the inanimate objects that they create represent the spirit world. They fabricate fetishes, or idols, (punibo) from wood, clay or metal. Appeasing the demands of these 'gods' dominate every aspect of their lives. They believe God (Nyelye - sky) created everything, but 'it' has no further interest in people. They believe that a wide range of supernatural beings and invisible spiritual powers control and shape their lives. The Loron people offer sacrifices to their idols to ensure, among other things, an adequate food supply, protection from spirits which can harm or kill, healthy children and harmony in the community. The have many taboos and rituals that they need to respect throughout their lives in order to avoid sickness, death or misfortune.

What are their needs?
The recent war and continuing political uncertainty in Cote d'Ivoire has made a difficult situation for the Loron even worse. The few government schools which had been functioning in some of the Loron areas currently do not have appropriate staff or qualified teachers. Medical facilities are also very limited. Drinking-water pumps have recently been installed in a number of new areas, but most Loron still get their water from local swamps and water holes. The potable water situation is only slightly better in Burkina Faso.

Prayer Points
Evangelism and Church Planting: New Tribes Mission (NTM) missionaries started working among the Loron people of Cote d'Ivoire in 1984. Evangelism in the Loron language began in 1992, and since then, approximately 400 Loron people in Cote d'Ivoire have become Christians. There are 10 groups of Loron believers worshiping, teaching, and fellowshipping together in the Loron language. Pray for continued growth, but numerically and spiritually, of Loron believers and churches.

In Burkina Faso there are only a few isolated Loron Christians, and no functioning Loron churches. A series of chronological Bible lessons in the Loron language is currently being broadcast to the Loron people in Burkina Faso by RESO (Southwest Gospel Radio). Pray that many Loron people in Burkina Faso will respond to God's offer of salvation through Jesus Christ.

Literacy: Less than 100 Loron people are functionally literate, but 9 Loron literacy centres have been established in Cote d'Ivoire, and almost 200 people are learning how to read and write. Seventeen literacy teachers have been trained to teach the course. Some Loron villages in Burkina Faso have requested that literacy classes begin in their villages also. Pray that many more Loron people will become literate.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.

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Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Côte d'Ivoire
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
10/40 Window: No
Location in Country:Zanzan District.
(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: Tenbo, Loron
People Name General: Tenbo, Loron
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 109947
Joshua Project People ID: 15339
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 10,000
Population all Countries: 15,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Gur
People Name General: Tenbo, Loron
Ethnic Code: NAB56a
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Teen (10,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lor    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity3.00 %(Evangelical: 0.50 %)
Ethnic Religions96.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam1.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1984-1995
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
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
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
Data Notes
Data Sources

Tenbo, Loron in Côte d'Ivoire

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Gur     Africa, West and Central    
      Tenbo, Loron Côte d'Ivoire    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tenbo, Loron in Côte d'Ivoire          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Teen  
    All Religions                              

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