Birifor, Northern in Burkina Faso

Joshua Project has identified the Birifor, Northern only in Burkina Faso





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The people name is Birifor and the language they speak is Birifor which is found in two dialects, the northern dialect, spoken in the Malba region, and the southern dialect, spoken in the Batie region. It is a Voltaic language related to the Dagara language with which it shares part of the vocabulary. The Birifir are found in the south west of Burkina Faso, and also in the north west of Ghana, in the Wa region. Their Birifor dialect again is different. It is believed that the Birifor in Burkina migrated from Ghana many years ago.

What Are Their Lives Like?

They live in extended families, in very large mud houses. At some point the sons with their wives and children move away from their father's house and start living on their own. They live off the land and sometimes have small cattle and chickens. Their economy is one of exchange; on the market that takes place every fifth day, they sell their surplus goods and buy what they need. Main products are local home-made goods and livestock. Some goods are still paid for with cowry shells. Malaria is common.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The main religion is Animism. Mission activity took place from 1961 onward and a Protestant evangelical denomination is now established in Burkina Faso as well as in Ghana. The language was analyzed and exists in writing. Literacy classes are organized every year in many villages. The New Testament is translated in the northern Birifor dialect (1993) and in the Ghanaian dialect.

What Are Their Needs?

Primary needs are economic. Harvests are not sufficient to feed the people all year round. Many other needs stem from this economic need.

Prayer Points

* Strengthening of the leadership in the church
* Discipling of new believers
* Better crops and larger harvests
* Good health care

Profile Source:   Albert Aartsma  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Birifor, Northern
People Name in Country Birifor, Northern
Population in Burkina Faso 202,000
World Population 202,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Malba
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Gur
People Name General Birifor, Northern
Ethnic Code NAB56a
People ID 10870
Country Burkina Faso
Region West and Central Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Southwest, Poni Province.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Birifor, Malba: Birifor
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Birifor, Malba: Birifor
For Primary Language: Birifor, Malba

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes   (1994)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Birifor, Malba Film / Video
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 6.00 %)
16.00 %
Ethnic Religions
82.00 %
0.00 %
2.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
3.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
20.0 %
Roman Catholic
77.0 %
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Albert Aartsma  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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