Introduction / History
The Basa-Gurmana people refer to themselves as the Koromba. The live in Burkina Faso "the country of honorable people," formerly the Republic of Upper Volta until 1984. In 1896 the area was colonized by the French and did not become a self-governing country until 1958. There have been many coups since 1958. In 1991 a new constitution was drafted; the result of which helped form a stable coalition government. Unfortunately, most citizens remained economically suppressed. French is the official language, although it is estimated that only 10% of the population are fluent.
Where Are they Located?
They live in the provinces of Yatenga, Zondona, Lorum and Sowm, which are all located in the northern area of Burkina Faso.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Koromfe area, home of the Koromba people, is predominately Muslim. Christians are somewhat tolerated, but conversion carries dire consequences. People who convert risk shunning, discrimination and outright persecution. In recent years, Boko Haram has become more active in the area and violence against Christians and other minorities are on the rise. The area is poverty stricken, and basic healthcare in the outlying areas is almost non-existent. The economy is largely based on traditional farming. The illiteracy rate is over 90 percent, and it has the unfortunate distinction of being the second most illiterate place on the planet. Young people are pulled away from their ancestral villages, and into population centers, by poverty. Because of the quality of healthcare and the ongoing HIV epidemic, almost 50% of the country is under the age of 14. A high population density and few natural resources make the journey out of poverty very difficult.
What Are Their Beliefs?
According to their tradition, the Koromba descended to earth in a metal box, in one version, or by a thread in another version. Their traditional religion is animalism, but over half their population have converted to Islam. The Koromba have also intermarried extensively with the Mossi people of Burkina Faso and are adopting more and more of their language and traditions.
Please pray that the Word will reach more people in this area. Christians are being attacked and persecuted in this area so pray that they will have protection and the continued freedom to spread the Good News.
Roger Blench: Basa Languages (rogerblench.info)
Burkina Faso (Wikipedia)
Language Maintenance and Language Shift in Burkina Faso: The case of the Koromba (Ideals.illinois.edu)
|Profile Source: Anonymous|