People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Hamar in Sudan


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Hamar in Sudan map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
503,000 Arabic, Sudanese Spoken Islam 0.02 % 0.01 %   

Hamar in Sudan

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Hamar of Sudan are part of a larger group known as the Hammer-Banna. The Hammer-Banna, in turn, belong to a group of culturally very distinctive peoples known collectively as the Sidamo. Though racially very mixed, the Sidamo retain no traces of the original indigenous population of the area.

The Hammer-Banna are primarily herdsmen who inhabit the highlands east of the Omo River and north of Lake Turkana in southwestern Ethiopia. This area, called the Lower Omo region, has remained one of the most inaccessible and least developed parts of East Africa.

The Hammer-Banna consist of two separate ethnic groups (Hamer and Banna) that speak virtually the same language. They call themselves by their group name (either Hamer or Banna). Most of the Hammer-Banna in Ethiopia speak Hamer-Banna, but those in Sudan speak Baggari.

What are their lives like?
The Hamar of Sudan are primarily herdsmen. Their herds consist mainly of cattle, though there are some herds of sheep and goats. Camels are used for riding and as pack animals. Most Hamar also grow sorghum, the staple crop, and some plant sesame and beans. The crops are usually left unattended; thus, yields are low and insufficient.

The Hamar live in camps that consist of several related families. The families live in tents arranged in a circle, and the cattle are brought into the center of the camp at night. When the campsite is being set up, beds for the women and young children are built first; then the tent frame is built around it. The tents are constructed with flexible poles set in the ground in a circular pattern. The poles are bent upward, joining at the top, then tied. The structures are covered with thatch during the dry season and canvas mats during the rainy season. Men and older boys usually sleep on cots in the center of the camp, near the cattle.

Marriages are traditionally endogamous (marriage within a small social circle) and are frequently polygynous (having more than one wife). Bride-wealth, in cattle and other goods, is provided by the prospective husband, with help from his near relatives. The primary domestic unit is a woman and her young children, with a male protector. A man may be the protector of more than one household, depending on the number of wives he has. Also, men are sometimes assigned the responsibility of protecting a divorced woman, a widow, or the wife of an absent husband (usually his brother).

One striking characteristic of the Hamar men is that they indulge in elaborate hair-dressing. They wear a clay "cap" that is painted and decorated with feathers and other ornaments. Much time is spent in preparing the hair, and care must be taken to protect it from damage. This is one reason the men often sleep on small, cushioned stools. A well-dressed man will wear a toga-like cloth and carry a spear and a stool. Women also commonly wear colorful toga-like garments.

What are their beliefs?
The Hamar are practically all Muslim, but for many, Islam has not become internalized. Various elements from their old religion still exist. Before converting to Islam, they worshipped a supreme sky god. The belief that objects such as trees, springs, and rocks have indwelling spirits still lives on. They also believe in jinnis, or spirits that are capable of assuming human or animal form and exercising supernatural influence over people.

The Hamar celebrate life-stage transitions. Marriage celebrations include feasting, dancing, and courting opportunities for young people. Circumcision is important for both boys and girls.

What are their needs?
Northern Sudan is hostile towards the Gospel, and Christians there are undergoing severe persecution. Intense prayer is the first step towards seeing Sudan illuminated by the Light of Jesus.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to open the doors of Sudan to the preaching of the Gospel.
Ask God to anoint the spiritual ears of the Hamar as they listen to Christian recordings in their language.
Pray that God will protect the few Hamar believers and use them to share Christ with their own people.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that strong local Christian fellowships will be raised up among the Hamar.

View Hamar in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: Sudan
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, East and Southern
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Primarily north
(Source: Ethnologue 2010)
Submit Map:
Country Map:Political map
Linguistic Map:Ethnologue language map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Hamar
People Name General: Hamar
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 115330
Joshua Project People ID: 19361
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 503,000
Population all Countries: 503,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Arab World
People Cluster: Arab, Arabian
People Name General: Hamar
Ethnic Code: CMT30
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Arabic, Sudanese Spoken (503,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): apd    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.02 %(Evangelical: 0.01 %)
Ethnic Religions5.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam94.98 % 
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
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1927-1964
New Testament:
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 RecordingsArabic Bible Online
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Film / Video / Animation
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Arabic, Sudanese Spo ...
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralGospel resources links
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
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

Hamar in Sudan

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Arab, Arabian     Africa, East and Southern    
      Hamar Sudan    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Hamar in Sudan          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Arabic, Sudanese Spoken  
    All Religions                              

Direct link: