Tubu in Chad

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

Since Chad's independence from France in 1960, the country has seen a series of military dictatorships, civil wars, and politician assassinations. Chad is one of the poorest and most corrupt nations in Africa. As bad as life is in Chad, thousands of Sudanese refugees fled into Chad because of ethnic cleansing in the Darfur region of Sudan. Chad has few resources to help these people.

The Tubu (or Teda or Toubou) are called the "black nomads of the Sahara." Most of them live and roam the Tibesti Mountains of northern Chad and southern Libya. All Tubu men consider themselves warriors. Warfare, fights between clans, and revenge killings are part of Tubu culture and history. The Tubu are famous for their raiding of caravans and the taking and selling slaves.

There are three castes in Tubu society. The freemen own herds of animals and land, artisans, and slaves. Freemen do not marry persons into the artisan caste because they view them as inferior in status.

The Tubu live in the Sahel Desert states of Sudan, Chad, Niger, and Mali. There is also a small population in Nigeria.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Artisan Tubu live in circular wooden houses with palm-thatched roofs. These artisans also farm near oases. Dates, peanuts and grains are their chief crops. The artisans also mine and sell salt and natron, sodium carbonate, a substance used in many areas of the economy. Artisans make goat hide tents and do metal and woodwork.

Livestock is the major source of income for most of the Tubu people. They determine their amount of wealth by the number of camels or goats one owns. There are frequent feuds over pastureland and wells. Men take care of camels, hunt, and trade with other clans. Women take care of children, the home, and goats. Women make clothing and gather wild fruits and roots after the rainy season. Nomadic Tubu live in goatskin tents when they are following their herds.

Clans arrange marriages with the consent of the young people. A family must pay a bride price in livestock to the clan of the young woman.

In a shame-based society like the Tubu, a man would prefer death to see his family or clan disgraced. Violence, fighting, stealing and revenge killings are regular parts of Tubu life. Only the Lord can change people from the inside.

The Tubu people have an oral culture. Few have literacy skills. Some boys attend Muslim schools for a few years to learn the Koran and Arabic. They learn by chanting and other oral methods.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Tubu became Sunni Muslims in the 18th century. They keep many of their animist beliefs in their practice of Islam. Sunnis try to obey the teachings of the Koran and the prophet Mohammad. Sunnis believe that by following the Five Pillars of Islam that they will attain heaven when they die. However, Allah, the supreme God of the universe, determines who enters paradise. Sunnis pray five times a day facing Mecca. They fast the month of Ramadan. They attend mosque services on Friday. If a Tubu has the means, he or she will make a pilgrimage to Mecca once in his or her lifetime. Orthodox Sunni Muslims must refrain from eating pork, gambling, deceiving, slandering, and making idols.

The two major holidays for Sunni Muslims are Eid al Fitr, the breaking of the monthly fast and Eid al Adha, the celebration of Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son to Allah.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tubu have both spiritual and physical needs. They need a regular source of water for their animals, which new wells could provide. Radio programs in Tegeda language could introduce the Tubu to their Savior. Medical teams can bring modern medicine to the Tubu. Their children need to learn literacy skills to take part in the 21st century economy.

Most of all the Tubu need to hear and understand the good news of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to raise up additional Christian workers to join the few who are already working among the Tubu of Chad.

Ask the Holy Spirit to grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies focusing on the Tubu.

Pray the Lord sends Christian teachers to the Tubu to teach them and their children literacy skills.

Pray that a strong network of local churches will be raised up by the Holy spirit among the Tubu in this decade.

Ask the Lord to bring a just and lasting peace to Chad.

Scripture Prayers for the Tubu, Teda in Chad.

Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Tubu, Teda
People Name in Country Tubu, Teda
Natural Name Tubu
Pronunciation tuh-BOO
Alternate Names Gorane; Tebou; Tebu; Teda; Tibbu; Toda; Todaga; Todga; Toubou; Tubu; Tuda; Tudaga
Population this Country 100,000
Population all Countries 149,000
Total Countries 5
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 15316
ROP3 Code 109917
ROP25 Code 308037
ROP25 Name Teda
Country Chad
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Far north desert, Tibesti region: Bardai area; Borkou, Ennedi, and Kanem regions.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Chad
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Far north desert, Tibesti region: Bardai area; Borkou, Ennedi, and Kanem regions..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Primary Religion: Islam
Religion Subdivision: Sunni
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
0.00 %
100.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Tedaga (100,000 speakers)
Language Code tuq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tedaga (100,000 speakers)
Language Code tuq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tedaga

Primary Language:  Tedaga

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Needed

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.

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