Introduction / History When asked regarding the origin of their group, the leaders in Naga Tayara noted that they had come from the village of Jaya Doungous, located at the foot of the nearby mountain. Beyond that, they were not able to provide any other information. It seems that this move to Naga Tayara by some of the Jaya occurred in 1979 during the Chadian civil war, during which other Jaya moved to Sara Arabe (20 km northwest of Bitkine) and to Mongo. The neighboring languages of the Jaya include Naba (spoken by the Medogo and Bilala people) to the north and west, Kenga to the south and southeast, and Dangaleat also to the southeast. People speaking Chadic Arabic live immediately bordering the Jaya on the east.
Where are they located? The Jaya people live in the sub-prefecture of Bitkine, in the northern tip of the Kenga canton. Geographically, their territory is situated in an area approximately 50 km north-northwest of Bitkine. The ten Jaya villages are Bidga, Doua, Doungous (principal village), Falga, Komada, Kossoye, Kourmi I and II, Lélé, and Naga Tayara. In the 1993 census their population was about 2,000 people. Today there might be about 7-8,000 people over all of Chad.
What are their lives like? Jaya people make a living from hunting and from cultivating mainly millet, sorghum and peanuts. Their cultivation depends heavily on rainfall during rainy season (July-October). Other water resources are scarce except in the Kourmi village.
What are their beliefs? In 2005 a missionary moved to one of the Jaya villages. He works as a teacher. He is well received and respected as a man of God. Some of his students have become Christians and meet secretly for biblical teaching and for prayer. The missionary is not allowed to preach openly, however he can talk about his faith whenever people come to him and ask questions.