Introduction / History
The Nawdba, according to their oral history, had settled in Niamtougou of northeast Togo long before the German colonial period (1890-1914). Since then, Nawdba have migrated to central and southern Togo to farm in the cocoa plantations of Ghana and to seek other forms of employment in Côte d'Ivoire. Presently, there are about 25,000 Nawdba in Niamtougou also known as the home area and the rest of the population is spread out over other areas of Togo, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire.
The Nawdba are subsistence farmers and also raise livestock. Their cash crops are peanuts, palm nuts and palm oil, manioc, and cotton. Some Nawdba work as masons, carpenters, tailors, blacksmiths, cooks and civil workers. Some of the women have cooperatives making soap. Young men work in the fields or weave baskets and hats. Girls make donuts to sell in the market, care for children and also make and sell millet beer. There are some schools in the area. The language of instruction is Nawdba and French while all the textbooks are in French. There is a high dropout rate from school. Nawdba have a strong sense of belonging to their individual group, be it their clan, quartier or village. Each dialect group considers itself superior to the other. They celebrate carnival in February with costumes and traditional dances, and observe rituals for the whole village to ensure good crops.
The Evangelical Churches of West Africa first introduced Christianity to the group in 1937. In 1940 the Catholics came and in the 1980's the Assemblies of God Church began working in the Nawdm area.
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