Nao in Ethiopia

Joshua Project has identified the Nao only in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Nao People Group are part of the Gimira cluster which includes the Dizi, the Tsara, the Benesho and the She. They and the Nao and the others in the Gimira cluster, inhabit the extreme southern and southwestern reaches of the densely forested Kaffa highlands of southwestern Ethiopia. They reside in an altitude of 1500-2500 meters which is not easily accessible. As opposed to the Dizi, the Benesho and others who are migrants to the area, the Nao together with the Tsara were the indigenous inhabitants of the land. They speak Nayi language, an Omotic language which has 58% lexical similarity with Diizin.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Nao subsist by farming. They supplement their diet through fishing and also gathering fruits and vegetables. The Nao were strong and numerous people and had their own kingdom before their active colonization by the Kaffa Kingdom in the mid 19th century. They are now reduced to a fewer number through the war and slavery they were subjected to. The active "Kaffanization" of their culture and language has played a role in their near extinction as a people group.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are followers of an ethnic religion.

Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to reach these marginalized and geographically inaccessible people for His glory.
* Pray to the Lord to send laborers to the field. Pray to the Lord to provide evangelistic resources in their language.

Profile Source:   MANI 

People Name General Nao
People Name in Country Nao
Population in Ethiopia 14,000
World Population 14,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 2.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster Omotic
People Name General Nao
Ethnic Code CMT33d
People ID 13951
Country Ethiopia
Region East and Southern Africa
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 22  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country Decha Awraja, Kafa region, and scattered in Kafa area; Shoa Bench Wereda, Dulkuma village; Sheko Wereda: Aybera, Kosa, and Jomdos villages.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Nayi: Nao (14,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Nayi: Nao 14,000
For Primary Language: Nayi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Orthodox

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.90 %)
60.00 %
Ethnic Religions
40.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
75.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
25.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: MANI 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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