Balanta, Ganja in Guinea-Bissau

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Balanta means those who resist. Ganja is one of the Balanta dialects. They came to live in Southern Senegal in the 1800s, though some now live in Guinea-Bissau.

Where Are they Located?

People who speak the Ganja Balanta language live either in Guinea-Bissau or Senegal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Balanta have a council of elders who make big decisions. A person has to take part in an initiation ceremony to become an elder. The Balanta play a type of lute called a Kusunde. They are usually fishermen, farmers or cattle herders. They grow crops such as rice and nuts with cashews being their main crop.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Balanta people, be they in Senegal or Guinea-Bissau, have their own ethnic religion. This involves worshipping and appeasing spirits and spiritual forces that are at war with the Lord. They believe God is far away. Some are marginally Muslim.

What Are Their Needs?

Like most people in this part of the world, Balanta speakers in Guinea-Bissau need running potable water and electricity.

Prayer Points

* Pray that Balanta council of elders will come to Jesus Christ and lead others to Him.
* Pray that God will give them dreams and visions leading them to salvation.
* Pray for believers to go to them with the JESUS Film and tools for discipling them in the ways of Christ.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Balanta, Ganja
People Name in Country Balanta, Ganja
Population in Guinea-Bissau 1,900
World Population 103,900
Total Countries 2
Indigenous No
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Progress Scale 1
Alternate Names Alante, Balanta, Bandal, Belanda, Ganjawo, Kandawo
People ID 11819
ROP3 Code 103209

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Ethnologue Language Map

Primary Language Balanta-Ganja (1,900 speakers)
Language Code bjt   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Other People Groups Speaking Balanta-Ganja
Primary Language Balanta-Ganja (1,900 speakers)
Language Code bjt   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Balanta-Ganja

Primary Language:  Balanta-Ganja

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions No
Bible-New Testament No
Bible-Complete No
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.00 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
82.00 %
0.00 %
13.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
15.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
10.0 %
10.0 %
Roman Catholic
65.0 %
Photo Source Anonymous 
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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