Jola-Fonyi in Guinea-Bissau

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Jola are a friendly people who are very relaxed and known for their charm towards strangers. They have no caste system like some do in Mauritania. Their subgroups speak different dialects. One of these dialects is Jola-Fonyi.

Those who speak this dialect live in southwestern Senegal in isolated, forested regions of the Casamance region with smaller concentrations in the southern part of the Gambia and northern Guinea-Bissau. A small number live in Mauritania.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Using basic tools they grow rice, millet, corn, mangoes, and peanuts. They also raise sheep, cattle and goats. Women gather kola nuts, berries and palm nuts. The women are responsible for gardening, rice, food preparation and care of the house and children. The men cultivate and produce cash crops. They strongly depend on each other for their survival.

Family is central to the Jola culture. Polygamy is common. They prefer to marry cousins and ask for the bride price in the form of livestock. They take young people to "bush schools" when they reach puberty, at which time they circumcise them.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The great majority of the Jola claim to be Muslim, although African traditional practices are mixed with it. They have changed the traditional Islamic beliefs from the true meaning in order to fit pre-existing fears and beliefs. Their desire to follow Allah is out of fear, not love for him.

The Jola-Fonyi also believe in both good and evil spirits. The good spirits protect houses from curses and other troubles while the evil ones demand sacrifices. Shrines are also very prevalent, with various meanings attached to each one. A small percentage are Christian.

What Are Their Needs?

Pray that the medical and nutritional needs of the Jola-Fonyi people will be met.
Pray that the Lord of the harvest will send out laborers to the Jola people.
Pray that the Jola-Fonyi people will hear and understand the word of God in their heart language.
Pray that respected leaders and elders of Jola-Fonyi villages will lead their people to Christ.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Jola-Fonyi in Guinea-Bissau.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Jola-Fonyi
People Name in Country Jola-Fonyi
Population this Country 600
Population all Countries 481,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Diola; Dyola; Feleupe; Felupe; Fogny
People ID 11568
ROP3 Code 102625
Country Guinea-Bissau
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Cacheu region: Sao Domingos sector.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Guinea-Bissau
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Cacheu region: Sao Domingos sector..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Language Jola-Fonyi (600 speakers)
Language Code dyo   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Jola-Fonyi (600 speakers)
Language Code dyo   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Jola-Fonyi

Primary Language:  Jola-Fonyi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2000)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2011-2012)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Jola-Fonyi
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
General Gospel resources links
Mobile App Download audio Bible app as APK file
Text / Printed Matter Literacy primer for Jola-Fonyi
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
3.00 %
Ethnic Religions
38.00 %
0.00 %
59.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
2.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
18.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
70.0 %
Photo Source Link Up Africa 
Map Source Anonymous  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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