Kulango, Bouna in Côte d'Ivoire

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Kulango originated in the northeastern part of Cote d'Ivoire near Bouna. They eventually occupied Bondoukou (south of Bouna) as well. Some have since moved across the border from Bondoukou into the central western regions of Ghana. The Kulango in Cote d'Ivoire are called Bouna Kulango and also as Bondoukou Kulango. The Kulango speak Kulango Bouna (or Nkurange), a Gur language from the Niger Congo language family.

The Kulango are closely related to the Lobi, their former enemies. The two groups occupy the same region and share similar languages, customs, religious beliefs, and lifestyles. The Kulango live in a very hot region with only one annual rainy season. They sometimes suffer from dry spells, which makes farming quite difficult. While most of the Kulango continue living as farmers, many of the young people have migrated southward in search of work in the cities.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kulango are primarily farmers, growing yams, maize, beans, peanuts, okra, peppers, cotton, bananas, papayas, and watermelons. Some of the farmers also breed goats, sheep, and cattle. The women gather wild fruits and nuts, while the men do most of the agricultural work. The women also tend small vegetable gardens at home.

The once fertile Kulango region has become almost entirely bush; therefore, the Kulango and other groups in the region are migrating southward in search of new farm land. When a man finds a plot he wishes to farm, he settles there and works until he has earned enough money to build a house for his family, who then joins him. Some of the Kulango have moved to the cities and found wage-paying jobs as mechanics, taxi drivers, or office clerks.

Each Kulango village is made up of several small settlements. The settlements consist of a number of mud huts with cone-shaped roofs made of palm leaves or thatch. The huts are grouped around a center court, which serves as a meeting place. Every settlement is made up of several extended families, each of which is its own economic unit. The male head of each extended family is responsible for offering sacrifices to the ancestral spirits. He is succeeded by his oldest sister's eldest son. All disputes and community affairs are handled by the village headmen and the religious chief.

Most Kulango girls are betrothed while they are quite young. Marriages are arranged by either the girl's father or the extended family head. When a man marries, his bride may either join him or remain in her father's home. If she remains with her father, her daughters live with her, and her sons join their father when they are able to walk and talk.

The Kulango celebrate many festivals, such as the annual yam festival. This is a time when parents and children exchange gifts, and then eat a meal of mashed yams and soup. There is also a festival for the dead, in which the gods and ancestors are asked for guidance and prosperity. Dances and singing are part of both festivals.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Throughout the centuries, Dyula Muslim traders have come into the Kulango region with the intention of converting the locals to Islam. However, the Kulango have resisted, and today, only a fairly small percentage are Muslim. The majority continue to practice their traditional ethnic religions. They believe in a supreme god who is not worshipped but is addressed in association with mother earth. The earth god, Tano, is a god of the whole tribe. There is a shrine set up for Tano, and a yearly festival is held in his honor. During disasters or hard times, the Kulango pray to the spirits of their ancestors and make offerings of mashed yams. The spirits are believed to inhabit certain wild animals as well as various objects of nature: thunder, lightning, water, etc.

What Are Their Needs?

Though some of the Kulango have accepted Christ, most of the others have not yet heard a clear presentation of the Gospel. Bible resources and other evangelistic tools are needed to see these people reached for Christ.

Prayer Points

Ask God to raise prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil of Cote d'Ivoire through worship and intercession.
Ask God to save key Kulango leaders who will boldly declare the Gospel in their villages.
Pray that the Lord will strengthen and encourage the Kulango who have given their lives to Christ.
Ask the Holy Spirit to complete the work begun in the hearts of these believers.
Pray that strong local churches will be planted among the Kulango.

Scripture Prayers for the Kulango, Bouna in Côte d'Ivoire.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Kulango, Bouna
People Name in Country Kulango, Bouna
Alternate Names Bouna Kulango; Kulangé; Nkurangé
Population this Country 296,000
Population all Countries 333,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 6
People ID 10955
ROP3 Code 101642
ROP25 Code 304340
ROP25 Name Kulango
Country Côte d'Ivoire
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Zanzan District, Nassian subprefecture.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Côte d'Ivoire
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Zanzan District, Nassian subprefecture..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Kulango, Bouna in Côte d'Ivoire Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.80 %)
4.00 %
Ethnic Religions
70.00 %
0.00 %
26.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kulango, Bouna (296,000 speakers)
Language Code nku   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kulango, Bouna (296,000 speakers)
Language Code nku   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kulango, Bouna

Primary Language:  Kulango, Bouna

Bible Translation Status:  Unspecified

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Photo Source (Representative photo)
Hanay - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group location: SIL / WLMS. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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