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Shanga in Nigeria


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Shanga in Nigeria map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
25,000 Shanga Islam 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Shanga in Nigeria

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Introduction / History
The Shanga, or Shangawa, live on the banks and islands of the Niger River near the city of Shanga in northwestern Nigeria. Shanga district is located in Yauri division of Sokoto state, an area in which the Hausa also live. As a result, the Shanga are dominated by the more powerful Hausa.

The Shanga are really an offshoot of the Kengawa people, with whom they comprised a part of the Songhai Empire from the thirteenth to sixteenth centuries. Moroccan invasions in the sixteenth century, however, forced the Shanga to relocate to Yauri as a place of refuge. Later invasions and slave raids caused the Shanga to retreat to their present-day location on the islands of the Niger River.

The Shanga still speak the Kengawa language, which is from the Niger-Benue division of the Niger-Congo language family. Therefore, they are linguistically related to the other groups in the area, such as the Dukawa, Reshe, and Kanberi.

What are their lives like?
The livelihood of the Shanga is based primarily upon agriculture, with fishing and trading being of secondary importance. Millet, guinea corn, and along the rivers, a variety of vegetables are grown.

The Shanga district has three seasons. During the cold season, farms and compounds are repaired, and friends are visited. During the hot season when temperatures are over 100 degrees F., very little work is accomplished. During the rainy season, temperatures are lower and the climate is pleasant. During this time, most social events take place. This is also the best time to fish.

While some Shanga marriages are arranged at birth, most Shanga have considerable freedom of choice when deciding upon a marriage partner. Selection often takes place during the inter-village wrestling matches, which are extremely important to the Shanga. A boy will begin wrestling when he reaches puberty and will continue until his first marriage.

Once a wife is chosen, the bride-service can begin. The young man must work with his work team (his wrestling partners) for seven years on the farm of the girl's father. As the service progresses, the young couple will earn more marriage rights. Only, the Muslim Shanga do not perform a bride-service, but instead follow traditional Islamic practices.

Some Shanga men have more than one wife, and a woman may decline marriage to a particular man, if she desires. How much real choice she has depends upon her value, determined by her performance in any previous marriages. To the Shanga, a good wife is one who remains faithful, tends to the fields, cares for the children, and shows proper modesty.

If a woman has been married over three years and has not conceived, she will go to a priest to obtain a magical aid, since children are important in Shanga life. Although children belong to the father's family, sons from the same mother tend to cluster together in play, work, and wrestling.

Ideally, family decisions are made by males; however, women have great influence in family matters. They may exercise that influence directly, or indirectly through adult sons. In Shanga society, great cooperation exists between men and women.

What are their beliefs?
Many Shanga have converted to Islam, and the number of converts is increasing each year. Even the Muslim Shanga, however, adhere to their traditional practices and beliefs, which involve the sacrifices of black animals such as oxen, goats, and chickens to help cure illnesses or to provide aid in time of crisis.

What are their needs?
The Shanga have few Christian resources available to them. The majority have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel of Christ. Missionaries need to be sent into their region. Above all, prayer is needed to open the hearts of the Shanga to the Gospel. A significant portion of the Bible has been translated into Shanga in the past few years. Resident missionaries are needed.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers to the Shanga of Nigeria.
* Pray that the Lord will call strong Nigerian believers to share Christ with the Shanga.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a strong local church among the Shanga.
* 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.

View Shanga in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-01-02
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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:4 villages: Sakaci, Sawa, Lopo and Tsamia, all close to the Niger river west of Yauri.
(Source: Web update)
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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: Shanga
People Name General: Shanga
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 108910
Joshua Project People ID: 14891
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 25,000
Population all Countries: 25,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster: Mande
People Name General: Shanga
Ethnic Code: NAB63z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Shanga (25,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): sho    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions8.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam92.00 % 
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]   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
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Bible Portions: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
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

Shanga in Nigeria

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Mande     Africa, West and Central    
      Shanga Nigeria    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Shanga in Nigeria          
      Religion Language  
      Islam     Shanga  
    All Religions                              

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