Southern Senoufo in Côte d'Ivoire


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The various Senoufo groups live in the Middle Volta region of West Africa which includes parts of Cote d'Ivoire, Mali, and Burkina Faso. They are divided into three groups: Northern, Central, and Southern, according to the three distinct language divisions. As a whole, the Senoufo tribes speak over thirty dialects.
In the 1700s, Dyula traders settled among the Southern Senoufo. They eventually overpowered the Senoufo and raised up their own rulers. Kong became their Islamic capital, but Islam was once again limited to the elite.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most Senoufo are subsistence farmers. They have been admired as skilled agriculturists, cultivating dry rice, yams, peanuts, and millet in the grasslands that are prevalent in their region. One of the most important ways for a male to gain prestige is to become a sambali, which is a "champion cultivator." A sambali is respected throughout his lifetime and upholds the honor of his residential settlement before the entire village and surrounding district.
One important aspect of Senoufo society is its concept of "community." The Senoufo think of themselves as one group, with all of their ideas pointing in the same direction. The concept of the "individual" is known only in limited circumstances; thus, no man stands alone. Instead, each person is thought of as part of an extended family, a member of the village, the elder or younger brother, etc. Everyone eats as a group and dips into a common dish. The fields are worked collectively, food is stored collectively, and each family contributes to the village. A Senoufo is always aware of his place in the society as it relates to others in the group. To the Senoufo, the good of the community always comes before the good of the individual. Unless the entire tribe makes a change, such as converting to a different religion, no one does.
Another important feature of Senoufo life is the poro or "male secret society." The poro prepares men for leadership in the community, so that they might attain wisdom, accept responsibility and gain power. It begins with the child's grade of "discovery," followed by extensive training and service. It ends with the ritual death of the child and the final graduation of the "finished man." Dramatic ceremonies, dances, and visual displays mark the passage from one grade to the next. When the man reaches about 30 years of age, the initiation is complete, and he is considered an adult. He then becomes one of the elders with whom the chief consults on major decisions. Poro sanctuaries are hidden inside dense groves of trees outside Senoufo villages. These sacred groves are used as schools, meeting houses and places of worship.
Since World War II, the Senoufo region has become more commercialized and urbanized. Today, the young men have opportunities to move to the cities and earn money. This has weakened the influences that Senoufo fathers formerly had over their sons. The importance of the communal nature of their society has also declined. Unfortunately, the weakening of these two areas has allowed Islam to begin seeping into the cracks of this rapidly changing society.


What Are Their Beliefs?

In Cote d’Ivoire, the Southern Senoufo can be Christian, Muslim or animistic. Most likely the coming decades will determine which way they will go spiritually.


What Are Their Needs?

Today, Senoufo society is rapidly changing. The Senoufo need an opportunity to hear the truth of the gospel before a total conversion to Islam takes place. There is a great need for intense prayers and increased evangelism efforts.


Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to Cote d’Ivoire and share Christ with the Southern Senoufo.
Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Southern Senoufo towards the ways of Christ.
Ask the Lord to give the Senoufo believers courage to share the gospel with their own people.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local fellowships of believers among each of the Senoufo tribes.


Scripture Prayers for the Senoufo, Southern in Côte d'Ivoire.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Senoufo, Southern
People Name in Country Senoufo, Southern
Natural Name Southern Senoufo
Alternate Names Minianka; Senadi; Senari; Senufo, Cebaara; Southern Senufo; Syénéré; Tiebaara; Tyeliri Senufo
Population this Country 1,916,000
Population all Countries 1,923,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 4
Unreached No
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed
People ID 15066
ROP3 Code 109516
ROP25 Code 307384
ROP25 Name Senufo
Country Côte d'Ivoire
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Savanes District, around Korhogo city and west; many in Denguélé and Woroba districts; some in Vallée du Bandama District, west of Bandama Blanc river.   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 Savanes District, around Korhogo city and west; many in Denguélé and Woroba districts; some in Vallée du Bandama District, west of Bandama Blanc river..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 3.00 %)
6.00 %
Ethnic Religions
50.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
44.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Primary Language Senoufo, Cebaara (1,916,000 speakers)
Language Code sef   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Senoufo, Cebaara (1,916,000 speakers)
Language Code sef   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Senoufo, Cebaara
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  International Mission Board-SBC  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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