Introduction / History The Glavda people live in northeastern Nigeria. Historically they are hill-dwellers, who resisted the Fulani Islamic holy wars. Today, some have become Muslim and wear traditional Islamic dress. However, the majority are split between traditional religious beliefs they have held for centuries and Christianity which has come through missionary efforts in the last 70 years. Most of the Glavda are farmers who raise peanuts, maize, and millet on hillside terraces. A man's work includes farming, crafting leather, making baskets, spinning, weaving, and building. Women make clay objects, train the small children, prepare the meals, and do other household activities.
Most Glavda believe in a single god who is the creator of all things and who keeps his creation in order. They believe this god only intervenes with creation when order has been disturbed. The Glavda do not pray to this god, but rather to their ancestors, who they believe will intercede on their behalf. The Glavda believe that the Earth is the "mother goddess" who has birthed all other supernatural beings, including thunder and lightning, black snakes, crocodiles, and certain inanimate objects.
Although the Glavda have shown some interest in Christian teachings, only a small percentage of them have accepted Jesus as Savior. A few of the ethnic groups in the area are being targeted by mission agencies; others have no missionaries working among them. Only the gospel of Mark has been translated into their language. Today no Christian radio or television broadcasts are being aired in the Glavda language. Most of the Glavda have never heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Additional laborers and evangelistic materials are needed. The Glavda people must have the whole Word of God translated in their own language to know that the Creator is not an impersonal god, but rather a loving Savior who cares for them and wants their freedom from slavery to the spirits through fear.