Lele in Guinea

The Lele have only been reported in Guinea
Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

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Introduction / History

The Lele are a small group of about 55,000 that belong to the Mande people cluster. They are related to the Maninka, also known as the Malinke people group, but speak a distinct language and have much in common with other forest peoples in the region. The most closely related people group in Guinea is the Kuranko, also one of the Mande peoples related to Maninka. Despite being a small group, the Lele speak roughly eight different dialects of the Lele language. They are located in Guinea, on the western coast of Africa. Most of their history is not recorded, because they pass down information by oral tradition.

Where Are they Located?

The Lele people are located in Upper and Middle Guinea to west and southwest of Kissidougou—encompassing an area from Massakoundou west to Yombiro and southwest to Seredou, south to Kongoté, northeast to Kassaadou, to Kassadou and northeast through Tangolto (Tankoloto on most maps), Kongola and Gbendikoro (Bendi Koro). Middle Guinea is filled with mountains, along with many rivers that run through them. This is where the Niger, Senegal and Gambia rivers begin, giving way to the prosperous farmlands surrounding them. Upper Guinea includes more savannas and plains than mountains. This is where most of the Lele are found, in smaller agricultural settlements in the river valleys. In the Lele culture, men are seen as the head of the lineage. Houses of men from the same clan are usually the ones in positions of authority in each village. The Lele do have a chief, but he does not have any political power.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Lele are primarily agriculturalists, with rice, palm nuts, peanuts and sweet potatoes being the most common crops. Poor transportation systems and harsh weather in rainy season often hinder the movement of materials and raise their costs. Both Lele men and women participate in the farming chores. Men do muchof the work to clear land and break up soil. Women help with planting, weeding and harvesting. Men spend much of their time in the fields or hunting. Women usually complete more time-consuming chores in the home such as hauling water, cooking, cleaning and child rearing. Traditionally, a Lele women is part of a polygamous marriage and has about five children, with at least one dying in their early years. The Lele emphasize manners among their children, believing that they represent the difference between man and beast. It is uncommon for a Lele child to contradict an adult. Children are raised by their elders in addition to their parents. It is socially acceptable for family, friends and people in the village to reprimand a child who misbehaves.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The two main belief systems of the Lele are Islam and ethnic religions. Five percent of the Lele are Christians, but a little less than two percent are evangelical. 80% of the population would claim to be Muslim, but many would mix in traditional animistic practices. About 15% of Leles practice only animism. The observance of Muslim holidays and regular prayers are a common occurrence among the Lele. However, Lele women do not generally live in seclusion or wear full coverings as they do in some other Muslim contexts. The Lele's animistic practices have been incorporated into their practice of Islam. Each Lele community usually has a male and a female religious leader. They oversee religious rituals, including but not limited to circumcision. Female excision is still practiced widely among the Lele as part of initiation ceremonies.

Prayer Points

Pray for the ongoing work being done to translate the Bible into Lele.
Pray also for the team doing literacy work and creating reading materials.
Pray that God will inspire people to create more audio clips of the Bible in Lele and that this will lead to a church planting movement.
Pray that God will bring an end to female circumcision (FGM) among the Lele.
Pray that existing churches will reach out to the rest of the Lele people.
Pray that Lele children will have more opportunities to attend school and to become literate.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Lele people this decade.

Scripture Prayers for the Lele in Guinea.

Profile Source:   Anonymous  
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Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-02-23
People Name General Lele
People Name in Country Lele
Alternate Names
Population this Country 56,000
Population all Countries 56,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 19001
ROP3 Code 114899
Country Guinea
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Faranah and Nzerekore regions: main centers are Yombiro, Tangalto, and Kassadou.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Guinea
Region Africa, West and Central
Continent Africa
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Faranah and Nzerekore regions: main centers are Yombiro, Tangalto, and Kassadou..   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Map of Lele in Guinea Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 1.62 %)
5.00 %
Ethnic Religions
15.00 %
0.00 %
80.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Lele
Language Code llc   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Lele
Language Code llc   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Lele

Primary Language:  Lele

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Started

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Anonymous 
Map Source People Group location: IMB. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Anonymous 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.