Introduction / History The Burkanawa or Barke are a people group which is adopting the culture and lifestyle of the dominant Hausa-Fulani. The Hausas and Fulanis are merging. They are dominant people in northern Nigeria. As that process continues, the Burkanawa people may lose their own language and culture and adopt folk Islam like the Hausa-Fulani. Gospel recordings are available in the Mburku language but no written Scripture.
Where are they located? The Burkanawa are majorly found in Darazo Local Government Area of Bauchi State in northeastern Nigeria.
What are their lives like? Illiteracy is high among the Burkanawa people of Nigeria. Most still live in rural communities and farm the land surrounding the village.
Most people groups in rural Nigeria like the Burkanawa enjoy music, story telling and dance as a form of entertainment and communication. These art forms are very meaningful in rural Nigeria. Those who want to take the gospel to the Burkanawa people should find ways to communicate using these art forms.
The Burkanawa or Barke are an agricultural people. They grow yams, rice, maize, beans, millet, and melons. They also raise goats and cattle for their meat, milk and hides. Chickens provide eggs and meat.
Village elders settle legal disputes and deal with outsiders.
What are their beliefs? The Burkanawa people adhere to a mixture of Islam and folk religion religion. They depend on the spirit world for their daily needs even though they may call themselves Muslims. The Burkanawa often use charms and amulets in an attempt to control spiritual forces. They believe that spirits inhabit the objects of nature such as animals, trees, rock, mountains, rivers, and the sky. The evil spirits must be appeased or they can bring disaster upon the community. The Burkanawa live in fear of these evil spirits.
What are their needs? The Burkanawa people need abundant rain for their crops and their livestock so they can live lives free of want and poverty. They need medical care and good schools that will help the next generation to thrive in a rapidly changing world.
The Burkanawa people need the blessings of the Risen Christ, who has conquered death, and can give them abundant life if they are willing to accept His guidance. They need the gift of faith in Jesus Christ, who alone is the judge of all mankind. Jesus will separate the sheep from the goats on Judgment Day.
Prayer Points * Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Burkanawa people teachable and understanding hearts.
* Pray that a strong movement of the Holy Spirit will bring entire Burkanawa families into a rich experience of God’s blessing.
* Pray for the Burkanawa culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Burkanawa people.
* Pray for Burkanawa families to be drawn by the Holy Spirit to seek forgiveness through Christ alone, and to understand the adequacy of Christ’s work on the cross. * Pray for translation of the Bible to begin in this people group's primary language. * Pray for the availability of the Jesus Film in the primary language of this people.
Nigeria Evangelical Missions Association (NEMA)