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.
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.
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.
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.
* 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|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||No|
|GSEC||2 (per PeopleGroups.org)|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|Alternate Names||Diola; Dyola; Feleupe; Felupe; Fogny|
|Region||Africa, West and Central|
|Persecution Rank||Not ranked|
|Location in Country||Cacheu region: Sao Domingos sector. Source: Ethnologue 2016|
Primary Language: Jola-Fonyi
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Bible-New Testament||Yes (2011-2012)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|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|
|Major Religion ▲||Percent|
|Christianity (Evangelical 0.00 %)||
|Other / Small||
|Christian Segments ▲||Percent|