Bon Gula in Chad

Bon Gula
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Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Bon Gula
Country: Chad
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,800
World Population: 3,800
Primary Language: Bon Gula
Primary Religion: Ethnic Religions
Christian Adherents: 0.42 %
Evangelicals: 0.42 %
Scripture: Translation Started
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: No
People Cluster: Adamawa-Ubangi
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Bon Goula (Gula) people live in the southeastern region in Chad. This area is isolated and the nearest paved road is over 500 kilometers away. The climate is arid and very hot. The region is flat with rocky outcrops and is rich in wildlife. Draughts are common in this portion of Chad. When the rains fail, the Bon Gola can face starvation.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Bon Gula live in 4 or 5 small villages consisting of round mud brick huts. There are no modern medical services or electricity. Ibir has a school, which lacks both teachers and materials. The Bon Gola society is close-knit and very traditional. The Bon Goula live by subsistence farming, cultivating millet, beans, maize, peanuts and sesame seeds. They raise chickens and goats to supplement their diets. The Bon Gola live near or in Zakouma Wildlife Park. This fact has led to a settlement of wildlife wardens in Ibir. The park provides employment for some Bon Gola in administration in Zakouma. In spite of this contact with other cultures, the Bon Gulas retain their traditional ways. The Bon Gula consider themselves to be of the same ethnic group as the Zan Gola people who speak a different, but related language. There is frequent intermarriage between these groups. Families arrange marriages. Parents tend to have a large number of children. Sons inherit the land and property of their fathers.

Their culture is strongly hierarchical and male dominated. Elders run their villages. There are currently no Christian resources in the Bon Gula language.

What Are Their Beliefs?

In spite of being Sunni Muslim by name, the vast majority of the Bon Gola people are fierce adherents of the traditional, pre-Islamic Marghai religion. The Bon Gula are the only ethnic group of the region that wasn't relocated after the establishment of the Zakouma Nature Reserve. The Bon Gula have strong religious bonds to certain mountains. They revere sacred snakes. Even the few Bon Gola people who live in urban areas are traditional and not open to outsiders.

What Are Their Needs?

Like all other peoples who live in this region, the Bon Gula need safe drinking water. They need adequate wells, schools and hospitals.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to send workers to the Bon Gula of Chad.
Pray that Christian resources are translated into the Bon Gula language.
Pray the Bon Gula would be able to provide for their children.
Pray the Lord raises up a movement to Christ among the Bon Gula people of Chad.

Text Source:   Joshua Project