Maasina Fulani in Burkina Faso

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Many centuries ago, the vast number of Fulani tribes migrated from northern Africa and the Middle East into Central and West Africa. Today, most of them are semi-nomadic shepherds who travel with their flocks, always searching for better grazing land. The Sahara Desert forms their northernmost boundary, while the tsetse flies limit their movement to the south. Over the years, some of them have moved from being exclusively shepherds, to being scholarly, influential leaders in their communities.

The Fulani tribes are grouped and named according to their locations, occupations, and dialects. The Liptako Fula are a branch of Fulani living in the Macina district of central Mali and northern Burkina Faso. They have lighter skin, thinner lips, and straighter hair than other African groups that live near them. They speak Masina, a Niger-Congo language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The hot, tropical climate of the Macina district provides wet and dry seasons, and these seasons dictate the lifestyle of the Liptako. They are a semi-nomadic people, mixing farming with shepherding. During the dry season, which lasts about four months, the young men usually move the herds of cattle, sheep or goats to the flood plains in search of better grazing land. They camp in portable shelters made of poles or branches covered with straw, leaves, or mats.

While the young men are migrating with the herds, their wives, and the younger children stay at the homestead with the family elders, tending to the gardens. They raise a variety of vegetables, but their staple crops are rice and millet. A few animals such as horses, donkeys, chickens, and dogs also live on the farms.

In the wet season, the herds and the families remain in the villages. Villages are made up of extended families who form a compound. Their homes are made of flexible poles and a center post supporting a thatched roof. Around every compound is a thorn fence. Each of the Liptako bands, whether nomadic or settled, is governed by an elder. The elder answers to a village chief who lives in the center plaza of the village.

The herds are a very important asset to the Liptako. Milk from the cattle and goats provides the main portion of their diet. Butter is made and also sold at the markets. Meat is only eaten at important festivals or ceremonies. The Liptako raise both long-horned and short-horned cattle. Two types of sheep are also raised: one with hair and one with wool. The wool sheep are important for trade, and indicate the economic status of their owners.

Values such as valor, bravery, and strength are important to the Fulani. This is shown in one interesting Liptako custom known as sharo. This custom tests a young man's adulthood. If two young men desire to marry the same woman, they must beat each other with canes until the less persistent suitor is eliminated.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Virtually all of the Liptako are Muslims. Children are taught religious foundations in Islamic schools. However, the elders are responsible for teaching them tribal values and traditions. The elders thrive on telling tribal stories to the next generation. To the Fulani, children are the future. They do not believe in an afterlife, so children are the only means by which they can live on from generation to generation. They believe that through their sons, their names and features will remain. If a Fulani dies with no children, it is as if he dies twice.

What Are Their Needs?

The New Testament has been translated into Masina, the Liptako language. The Jesus film and audio recordings are also available. However, very few of the people have accepted Christ. Much prayer is needed to break the Islamic stronghold that is over their lives.

Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Fulani, Maasina in Burkina Faso.

* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray for God's wisdom and favor to surround missions agencies focusing on the Liptako.
* Pray that God will strengthen, encourage, and protect the Liptako believers.
* Ask the Lord to give these converts a vision to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of these precious people to the Gospel message.
* Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the Liptako Fula.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Additional Info
Link Up Africa
People Name General Fulani, Maasina
People Name in Country Fulani, Maasina
Natural Name Maasina Fulani
Population this Country 9,600
Population all Countries 1,772,000
Total Countries 4
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Fula Kita; Fula Macina; Fulani; Fulbe Maasina; Fulfulde Masina; Liptako; Maasina; Macina; Macina Fula; Macina Fulani; Niafunke; Peuhala
People ID 11773
ROP3 Code 103078
Country Burkina Faso
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Country Burkina Faso
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 32  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Primary Language Fulfulde, Maasina
Language Code ffm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Fulfulde, Maasina
Language Code ffm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Fulfulde, Maasina

Primary Language:  Fulfulde, Maasina

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1934)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2005-2016)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text 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 (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Fulfulde, Maasina
Mobile App Download Audio Bible app as APK File from FCBH
Text / Printed Matter Bible: New Testament: Gospel of Jesus the Messiah
Text / Printed Matter Download scripture in this language
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.15 %)
0.20 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
99.80 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
80.0 %
Roman Catholic
20.0 %
Photo Source Erik Laursen, New Covenant Missions 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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