Introduction / History
"Which way do we go to get to this big wedding?" Rasul and Ibraghim, the two young Chamalal fellows, asked their older friend. "Take the river road along the Andiskie Koisu all the way up from Cherkata. It's three hours to Agvali. At Agvali turn west high up into the mountains till you reach Gadiri village. That's where the big wedding is."
Rasul and Ibraghim were two young Chamalal men from an urban region of Dagestan, but they were under instructions to find a Chamalal wife. The most hopeful settings for such a find were large weddings in Chamalal mountain villages where hundreds of young people gathered for two days of dancing.
Where Are they Located?
Agvali and Gadiri are two of the 14 Chamalal villages in the high mountains of extreme western Dagestan. In these 14 villages, plus eight more across the ridge in the adjacent mountains of southeastern Chechnya, the distinct Chamalal language is spoken by approximately 10,000 Chamalal people.
In Chamalal Region in Dagestan:
7. Verkhni Gakhvari
8. Nizhni Gakhvari
In southeastern Chechnya:
What Are Their Beliefs?
All Chamalal people consider themselves proudly Muslim and follow traditional Sunni Islam mixed with ancient animistic practices. Pray that the rich but harsh heritage of Chamalal culture will be graced with the mercy of Jesus and the Fruit of the Spirit. To date there are no known Chamalal believers.
* Pray that trained linguists will befriend the Chamalal people and honor their ancient complex language, and in so doing open the door for oral recordings of the good news of Jesus in the Chamalal language.
* Pray that young Chamalal such as Rasul and Ibraghim will connect with Dagestani followers of Jesus in urban areas and become messengers to their own people.
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