Jola-Kwatay in Senegal

Jola-Kwatay
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  Anonymous
People Name: Jola-Kwatay
Country: Senegal
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 9,500
World Population: 9,500
Primary Language: Kuwaataay
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 20.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.62 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Atlantic-Jola
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Kwatay are an agricultural people living in southwest Senegal, along the coast south of the Casamance River, extending to Guinea-Bissau. They raise rice as their main staple food. The Kwatay live in cement or mud brick houses with thatched or aluminum roofs. Extended families live together in neighborhoods.

Little is known about the origin of the Kwatay, but they are related to the larger family of Jola groups. Protestant missions began work in the 1960s. Catholicism and Islam entered the area in the early 1900s, although many resisted their influence. Today, most of the Kwatay who practice Catholicism or Islam also retain their traditional beliefs.

Economically, the Kwatay rely on rice for their livelihood, but also sell palm wine, fish, and vegetables. When the rice growing season is over, jobs are scarce, and people often move away from their villages to find employment. Health care needs improvement, and the infant mortality rate is high.

The Kwatay are monogamous. Neighbors often work together by age groups to do cooperative farming.

Text Source:   Anonymous