Introduction / History
The Bwamu Laa Laa dialect group is an example of a people ethnically the same as a larger community-the Bwaba- but different enough in speech that they need a separate translation. Speakers of Laa Laa dialect number 60,000. They are found in the country's southwest region, in an area marked by chains of hills.
Most of the Laa Laa speakers are subsistence farmers, growing millet, sorghum, and peanuts as their staple crops. In recent decades, farmers have grown cotton as a cash crop, and have sheep, goats, and chicken as livestock.
The Bwaba in general are known as a proud and independent people, and the speakers of Laa Laa are no exception. Each village governs itself for there is little central authority. Families have strong internal ties, often depending on one another for food, child care, and money. The Bwaba are hospitable to outsiders, yet they avoid close contacts with neighboring groups, clinging tightly to cultural traditions.
The Bwaba are generally highly motivated to attend school and learn French. However, the lack of money prevents many children, especially girls from completing primary school. A further hindrance for girls attending school is the fear that education will erode adherence to traditional culture.
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