Ila in Zambia

Joshua Project has identified the Ila only in Zambia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Ila people live in east-central Zambia along the bend of the Kafue River. In the heart of their homeland is a rock on which, they say, is the footprint of all creatures including humans. The Ila say that God dropped man at that spot and from there they started migrating in other directions.

Most Ila grow enough food to feed their families and to cover expenses for physical needs and their children's educational expenses. More educational and career opportunities are available in the larger towns and village centers. Some Ila raise animals such as chickens, goats, or pigs on a small scale, and occasionally cows, though that is usually for tradition and prestige. In fact, the belief that cows are a sign of wealth and value undergirds an Ila funeral tradition. The funeral ceremony lasts several days. On the seventh day after burial, cows are slaughtered. It is believed that the more that are killed, the greater the value of the dead person in the eyes of the community. Afterward, everyone goes home with enough meat to compensate for the time spent at the funeral.

Many Ila describe themselves as Christians, but the Ila are without a clear translation in their language. Ten chiefs have voiced a desire to have a new translation. One even stepped forward as a reviewer. A translation team including local Ila churches is bringing that desire closer to reality. Team members are working on a complete translation of the New Testament that will bring the truth of the Gospel to the Ila people.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Ila
People Name in Country Ila
Population in Zambia 91,000
World Population 91,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Lumbu, Shukulumbwe
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Bantu, Central-South
People Name General Ila
Ethnic Code NAB57g
People ID 12208
Country Zambia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Central and Southern provinces, Kafue River west bend, west of Sala [shq]. With Tonga [toi] it predominates south.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
For Primary Language: Ila

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1907-1937)
New Testament Yes   (1915-1945)
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: The Gospel of Luke in Ila Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Ila Film / Video
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Protestant

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 17.00 %)
60.00 %
Ethnic Religions
35.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
5.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
20.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
55.0 %
Roman Catholic
25.0 %
Photo Source: Ken Sawka  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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