Surma, Suri in Ethiopia

Joshua Project has identified the Surma, Suri only in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Surma people live in the remote southwest corner of Ethiopia. The Surma have a basic subsistence and barter economy. Their wealth is based on their cattle, and the main food source is the produce from their own crops. There is very little outside trade. The Surma are a highly monolingual and homogenous society, living beyond most of the influences of the modern world and its technology. Their tenuous relationship with neighboring ethnic groups often erupts in fighting and loss of life.

The girl pictured here shows some of the typical Surma characteristics for both men and women: large earplugs, decorative body painting, the hair shaved in patterns. Women wear a leather garment fastened at one shoulder which encircles the waist like a skirt. Men and children typically wear no clothing. Surma women are noted for the large clay lip plates worn in the lower lip.

Mission work was initiated among the Surma in the early 1970's. Due to various outside pressures, however, this Christian outreach lasted only a few years before leaving. A church was not established and today, there are no known Christians. The language has no written form and there is no Gospel witness among the Surma. Christian missionaries are in the beginning stages of making contact and initiating a new outreach to the Surma people.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Surma, Suri
People Name in Country Surma, Suri
Population in Ethiopia 40,000
World Population 40,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.2
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Dhuri, Kachipo, Tirma
Affinity Bloc Sub-Saharan Peoples
People Cluster Nilotic
People Name General Surma, Suri
Ethnic Code NAB62y
People ID 15130
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 Southwest Kafa region toward Sudan border; west of Mizan Teferi.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010
Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Suri (40,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Suri 40,000
For Primary Language: Suri

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (2007)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Jesus Film: view in Suri Film / Video
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.40 %)
0.60 %
Ethnic Religions
99.40 %
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 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Anonymous  
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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