Introduction / History The Vagla people live in an area of about 800 square miles. The area is a crescent shaped chain of villages on the road linking Dabori, Tuna (the chief town), Swala, and Grup, in Bole district. Birifors and Ginjas share the villages with the Vagla people. The Vagla are farmers who live in compounds in villages. The compounds are joined together so the Vagla village appears to be a single construction. They raise yams, guinea corn, beans, groundnuts, okra, pepper and pumpkins. Often young men and women migrate in search of cash incomes, usually to Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso.
The people separated from the Sisaala over a quarrel about a fetish ceremony. They left the Sisaala region and most have settled in this Vagla region. This is thought to have occurred in the 1600s so the Vagla have been in their present homeland for over 3 centuries. Islam is quite strong in surrounding areas and was introduced to the Vagla before 1900. However Islam faces resistance because it is the religion of the dominant tribes in the area, the Gonjas. Christianity was introduced in 1942 and since then churches have been planted in the area.