Nara, Nialetic in Eritrea

Joshua Project has identified the Nara only in Eritrea

Population

114,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center


Introduction / History

The Nara live north of the Gash River in southwestern Eritrea. They have strong builds but are generally not as tall as other related groups. The Nara belong to the Prenilotes, the Sudanic peoples that migrated eastward into southwestern Ethiopia, introducing agriculture to that part of Africa. In the past, the Nara were one of the Sudanic tribes that were raided for slaves by other peoples.

The Nara language, also called Nara, belongs to the East Sudanic branch of the Nilo-Saharan language family. There is considerable dialect variation within their four main tribal sections and even from village to village. Tigre is used for intercommunication.

Ancient records exist referring to the Nara. Both an inscription in the fourth century and an Arab traveler's log in the ninth century document the location of the Nara on the borders of the Alwa Kingdom of the Nile Valley.


What are Their Lives Like?

The Nara economy is based on agriculture, although many people weave, trade, hunt, or breed animals to supplement their incomes. Their principal crops include sorghum (the universal staple), wheat, barley, millet, legumes, vegetables, fruits, sesame, linseed, tobacco, and the stimulant known as kat.

Gathering of forest products provides vines for ropes and baskets, as well as wood for stools. Men do the hunting, herding, and milking; but both men and women participate in the farm work. Surplus crops and woven crafts are traded for other items, such as spices, iron and iron works, jewelry, and clothing.

The Nara men practice polygyny, which means that they generally have multiple wives. The Nara require a substantial bride-price, which usually includes cattle and other valuables. The normal residential unit is an independent nuclear or polygynous family occupying a compound, within which each married woman lives in her own separate hut.

The Nara community consists either of a single compact village or a cluster of small settlements. The people live in round huts made from an interweaving of rods and twigs overlaid with clay. The conical, thatched roofs extend down to the ground, giving the hut a "beehive" effect. The dwellings usually have two entrances. They are commonly clustered together in sites away from the main trails and in areas that can be readily defended from bandits.

Nara women are usually unveiled, have considerable liberty, and are treated with honor. The men usually wear brightly colored pieces of cloth that are similar to togas. Most men also wear turbans. They smoke tobacco, and, to some extent, chew the stimulant kat. They drink liquor, even in public places.


What are Their Beliefs?

The Nara are almost exclusively Muslim, having been forcibly converted to Islam during the late nineteenth century. Numerous elements from their old religion, however, still flourish on among them. Islam, in many cases, has failed to become internalized, possibly because of the way in which it was forced upon them.

Villages usually have a mosque, which looks much like the other houses. Many villages have Imams, who teach the Koran. The Nara are not rigid in prayers or fasting, and few make pilgrimages to Mecca or other holy places. Moreover, few Nara, except those who are very religious, know in detail the Muslim proscriptions or the Koran; and most of them know little, if any, Arabic. However, they refuse to eat pork or the flesh of animals killed by someone of another religion.


What are Their Needs?

The spiritual needs of the Nara are many. Few Christian resources in their language exist. Since they are not as devout in their practice of Islam as are some other groups, perhaps their openness to the Gospel will be greater. Christian workers are greatly needed to take the Gospel to the Nara of Eritrea.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to the one missions agency that is focusing on the Nara.
* Pray for the Lord to soften the hearts of the Nara so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Eritrea through worship and intercession.
* Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Nara church for the glory of His name!



Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center

People Name General Nara
People Name in Country Nara, Nialetic
Population in Eritrea 114,000
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Barea, Barya, Nialetic, Pokau, Rer Bare
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Nara
Ethnic Code NAB62d
Country Eritrea
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Location in Country West, Barentu area and north, Kunama territory south
People Group Map Nara, Nialetic in Eritrea

Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nara (114,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nara 114,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Category Resource
None reported  
Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-01-09

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.80 %)
4.50 %
Ethnic Religions
3.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
92.50 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
0.0 %
Independent
0.0 %
Orthodox
90.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Photo Source: Eduardo Araia
Map Source: Hans van der Splinter
Profile Source:  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more  
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