Gayil in Ethiopia

Joshua Project has identified the Gayil only in Ethiopia





Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Galila people of southwest Ethiopia are considered to speak Gayil, a dialect of a language called Aari. The 65,000 or more Galila call themselves Gayil whereas outsiders call them Galila. This is a group which does not have the Bible in their own language and cannot understand the Aari New Testament scriptures. In 1960 Christianity was introduced to Gayil and it is likely that over 35% of the Gayil people are now Christians. The Gayil live in a high-altitude location (almost 9,000 feet or a little over 2700 meters), an hours drive beyond a town called Basketto.

Subsistence farming is their way of life where they raise crops of wheat, barley, t'ef (an Ethiopian grain), korarima (an expensive Ethiopian spice often exported outside the country), corn, and false bananas. They also raise livestock such as cows and sheep. They have not succeeded in raising tomatoes due to a tomato disease and they cannot grow other fruit due to the high altitude and often cold weather. In the highlands of Galila, there are thatched round huts for sleeping and cooking. There are springs for a water source, but they are not managed and are contaminated by animals and people before becoming drinking water. The Gayil desire outside help with needs such as working with their language and community development which includes water management and sustainable crops to create a more balanced diet. There is a genuine need and desire for the Bible among the Gayil people.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  

People Name General Gayil
People Name in Country Gayil
Population in Ethiopia 72,000
World Population 72,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names
Affinity Bloc Horn of Africa Peoples
People Cluster Omotic
People Name General Gayil
Ethnic Code CMT33d
People ID 19793
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, South Omo zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State (SNNPR), North Aari Wereda.   Source:  Ethnologue 2010

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Enthologue Language Map

Languages & Dialects on file:  1  (up to 20 largest shown)
Gayil (72,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Gayil 72,000
For Primary Language: Gayil

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions No
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
None reported  
Primary Religion: Christianity
Religion Subdivision: Orthodox

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 46.50 %)
62.00 %
Ethnic Religions
38.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
75.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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