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Bangwinji in Nigeria

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Bangwinji in Nigeria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
12,000 Bangwinji Ethnic Religions 15.00 % 10.00 % No   

Bangwinji in Nigeria

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Introduction / History
The Bangwinji inhabit the Kaltungo district in southeastern Bauchi state, Nigeria. They speak Bangwinji, an Adamawa language from the Niger-Congo language family. Since the Hausa are a large, influential group in this part of Nigeria, many Bangwinji also speak Hausa as a secondary or trade language.

According to their oral history, the Bangwinji migrated from the Tula hill country many years ago, settling at Bangnatana Hill near the town of Kaltungo. They left the area, however, because of the many wars in the nearby mountains. Attacks from the Dadiya forced the Bangwinji to move to higher hilltops or to live with other tribes such as the Billiri and Loh.

When peace finally came in the 1920s, some of the hill dwellers settled in the plains near the hills. Today, those Bangwinji live a lifestyle that has been influenced by the Hausa. However, the Bangwinji who remain in the hills maintain their traditional way of life.

What are their lives like?
The Bangwinji are farmers who grow guinea corn, beans, millet, and cotton on both the hills and the plains. The farm work is done collectively, each man helping his neighbor. The women have plots of ground on which they plant their own crops, and the produce from these plots is theirs to do with as they wish. Both men and women participate in the agricultural work. If a girl wishes to marry in a certain year, she must first finish helping with her father's harvest before she is allowed to marry.

Bangwinji men are free to choose their own wives, and girls may have as many as five suitors competing for their hand in marriage. The suitors must help the girl's family with the farm work and must present gifts to the girl's parents on a regular basis. At the Tangbe festival, the girl will decide which of the suitors she chooses as a husband. A wedding day is set for a time after harvest, and the couple will then begin to live together as husband and wife.

Bangwinji boys around the age of two are taken to a shrine by their parents. Fowl and beer are brought along as offerings. At the shrine, a priest names the boys, prays for them, and presents them to their ancestor spirits. These spirits are believed to care for them throughout their lives. As the boys grow, offerings for protection are continually made at these shrines. The naming of a girl follows basically the same procedure, but the girls are taken to a diviner's house where the naming and an initiation occur.

The chief among all the Bangwinji is the Lealuwe, whose office is hereditary and comes from the royal Bikwakulep clan. If the chief has more than one son, the people may vote on which son will become chief after him. This is done by each person lining up behind the candidate he chooses.

Although most Bangwinji villages have paths or roads leading to them, some can be reached only by foot or motorcycle. Fortunately, most villages have easy access to water, with mountain springs running down to the valleys.

What are their beliefs?
Although less than half of the Bangwinji have become Muslim in recent years, most are still ethnic religionists, retaining their ancient religion and traditions. The Bangwinji worship ancestor spirits as well as various gods. Lett is the most revered deity among them. Every seven years, the Lett cult offers sacrifices to this god in a special festival. The people carry farm products to present in thanksgiving for seven years of good harvests. During the festival, a flute (the symbol of the cult) is played once and then hidden.

What are their needs?
The Bangwinji have no health facilities, and their schools are poorly supervised. Perhaps Christian doctors and teachers could use their skills to minister to them. In addition, no Christian resources are available in their language and no missions agencies are currently working with them. Evangelistic work, practical helps, and continual prayer are needed to meet both the physical and spiritual needs of the Bangwinji.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send Christian doctors and teachers to minister to the Bangwinji of Nigeria.
* Pray that Christian radio broadcasts and evangelical literature will be made available to the Bangwinji.
* Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Bangwinji who will boldly declare the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
* Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Bangwinji.
* Pray for completion of Bible translation in this people group's primary language.
* Pray for Gospel messages to become available in audio format for this people group.

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Country: Nigeria
Continent: Africa
Region: Africa, West and Central
Persecution Rank:12 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Location in Country:Gombe state: Balanga, Billiri, and Kaltungo LGAs.
(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: Bangwinji
People Name General: Bangwinji
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 100994
Joshua Project People ID: 10655
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 12,000
Population all Countries: 12,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Adamawa-Ubangi
People Name General: Bangwinji
Ethnic Code: NAB66c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Bangwinji (12,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bsj    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Naaban
Dialect Code:7733
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity15.00 %(Evangelical: 10.00 %)
Ethnic Religions60.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam25.00 % 
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]   Evangelicals have a modest presence.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 2008
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
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bangwinji
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

Bangwinji in Nigeria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Adamawa-Ubangi     Africa, West and Central    
      Bangwinji Nigeria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bangwinji in Nigeria          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Bangwinji  
    All Religions                              

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