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Eloyi, Afo in Nigeria

Eloyi, Afo

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Eloyi, Afo in Nigeria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
41,000 Eloyi Ethnic Religions 6.00 % 2.00 % No No   

Eloyi, Afo in Nigeria

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Introduction / History
The Eloyi are found scattered among the Benue, and Plateau Provinces in central Nigeria. The principal geographic feature in their region is a fifteen mile range of steep rocky hills, in which most of the Eloyi lived until 1918.

In 1918, a revolt occurred, and most Eloyi were forced to leave their strongholds in the rocks and to settle in the plains at the foot of the range. Since then, some have moved back to the rocky hills, leaving them again isolated, even from their Eloyi brothers in the plains.

In 1932, the British divided the Eloyi into ten village areas, each under a village head. However, the Eloyi preserved their attitude of independence and refused to recognize the village head, feeling that their customs, traditions, and religion were being threatened. Today, though many of their customs persist, large numbers of Eloyi are working for wages as they gradually become integrated into a larger commercial economy.

What are their lives like?
In comparison to some other tribes in the Benue Valley, the Eloyi are more economically advanced. The Eloyi in the hills plant guinea corn, cotton, yams, and tobacco. They specialize in weaving and dyeing, since there is a high local demand for cloth. They travel far distances to trade their surplus goods. The Eloyi of the plains, however, are mostly farmers who trade only on a small scale. They obtain cash from the export of palm-oil and dried fish. Eloyi men hunt, clear the land for agriculture, and do most of the fishing and large-scale trading. Women trade at the local level, often making more money than do their husbands. They also help in cultivation and perform most household responsibilities, such as caring for children and preparing meals.

The Eloyi live in compact villages or towns; some of them walled. The larger villages are divided into wards, which are sometimes separated into distinct hamlets. In the hills, round huts with conical thatched roofs serve as Eloyi houses. They are grouped in a compound around a central courtyard, which serves as a place for social gatherings and relaxation. The plains people fortify their villages and construct large houses, adopting the Hausa pattern of compounds.

To most Eloyi, the village community is everything and the tribe, nothing. No tribal organizations have been found among them. Each village has a stubborn independence of the next, causing frequent tension between the Eloyi tribe as a whole.

Each village has a chief who is assisted by a council of elders. Together, they handle most village affairs and try cases. The gado is the father of the community and the final authority on Eloyi custom. He orders the performance of village planting and harvest rites, which are carried out on the grave of their ancestors. He also decides questions of law.

What are their beliefs?
Although a small number of the Eloyi have become Muslim, the majority continue to practice their traditional beliefs. The Eloyi believe in the impersonal god, Owo. The cult of Owo is personal and not a group affair. Owo is symbolized by either a white silk cotton tree or a fig tree, depending on the location in which a particular Eloyi lives.

Ancestor worship (the belief that the spirits of deceased ancestors are alive and need to be fed and cared for) is important in Eloyi life. Masked ancestor impersonation is central to their worship. Witchcraft, magic, and divination with strings, are also a part of Eloyi ethnic beliefs.

What are their needs?
The Eloyi have few Christian resources available to them; thus the need for Bible translators and literacy workers is great.

Continuing prayer and intercession is needed to reach the hearts of these people with the love of Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into central Nigeria to work among the Eloyi.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Eloyi.
* Pray that God will give the Eloyi believers boldness 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.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a growing Eloyi church for the glory of His name!
* 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.

View Eloyi, Afo in all countries.

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  Submit Update:
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:Nassarawa state: Nasarawa LGAs; Benue state: Agatu LGA, Benue river areas.
(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: Eloyi, Afo
People Name General: Eloyi
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 102903
Joshua Project People ID: 11743
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 41,000
Population all Countries: 41,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Benue
People Name General: Eloyi
Ethnic Code: NAB56b
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Eloyi (41,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): afo    Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect:Mbeci
Dialect Code:9537
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity6.00 %(Evangelical: 2.00 %)
Ethnic Religions89.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam5.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent50.00 %
Protestant40.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic10.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 5   Greater than or equal to 5% Evangelical
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1972
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 (GRN)
Ministry Activity
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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

Eloyi, Afo in Nigeria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Benue     Africa, West and Central    
      Eloyi Nigeria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Eloyi, Afo in Nigeria          
      Religion Language  
      Ethnic Religions     Eloyi  
    All Religions                              

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