The Boin of Guinea
The 14,700 Boin of Guinea are commonly regarded as a sub-group of the Tenda. They are located in the Koundara region and around Youkounkoun, extending to the border of Senegal. Their language, also known as Boin, is a member of the Niger-Congo language family. The various peoples of this region of Africa are collectively known as the Sene-Gambians because most reside in Senegal and Gambia. Some, however, live in Guinea, Mali, and Mauritania.
Guinea is composed of many diverse ethnic groups. As a result, the country has eight national languages: Malinke, Susu, Fulani, Kissi, Basari, Loma, Koniagi, and Kpelle. The most numerous of the people groups, the Fulani, are concentrated mainly in the Fouta Djallon region and compose about 35% of the population. The other major peoples belong to the Mande group. They include the Malinke of northeastern Guinea (about 30%) and the Susu of the coastal area (about 20%).
What are their lives like?
Like most of the people of Guinea, the Boin are farmers. They grow a variety of crops, using very basic tools. Maize, manioc and rice are the staples, but squash, melons, sweet potatoes, peppers, and tomatoes are also grown. Major tree crops include bananas, coconuts, mangoes, and papayas. The Boin raise cattle, sheep, and goats but do not use their milk. Dogs and chickens are seen in almost every village. Hunting is of less importance than agriculture, but there is considerable gathering of wild fruits and roots; berries; and kola, shea, and palm nuts.
The Boin live in extended family compounds, each consisting of a cluster of huts usually arranged in a circle around an open space. Often, the entire compound is surrounded by a fence, a hedge, or a wall. The compounds usually adjoin to form compact villages. In general, the dwellings are round with mud walls and cone-shaped, thatched roofs. However, many local variations exist.
In the Boin community, men hunt, fish, clear the land, and tend the cattle. The women do the gathering and help some in the agricultural work. Chiefs exercise political authority in the villages. Succession usually passes to the next brother or to the oldest son of the deceased chief's oldest sister.
Circumcision of males is practiced among the Boin, and some female circumcision is also continued. These practices are mainly associated with initiation ceremonies at puberty, and typically involve a period of instruction in an isolated "bush school." In years past, the Tenda (of whom the Boin are a sub-group) had been known to practice ceremonial cannibalism.
The Boin tolerate premarital sexual freedom for girls and prefer cousins as marriage partners. A bride-price in livestock, commonly pigs, is paid, and often, premarital bride-service is also required. Polygyny (having more than one wife) occurs to only a limited extent. In such cases, however, each wife has her own hut, and the husband spends a fixed period with each on a rotation basis.
The mineral wealth of Guinea makes the economy of the country potentially one of the strongest in Africa. More than one-fourth of the known reserves of high-grade bauxite ore is found in Guinea. Sizable deposits of iron ore also exist. Other known mineral resources include diamonds, gold, cobalt, nickel, uranium, petroleum, and platinum. Unfortunately, this potential wealth has not yet been developed, and the quality of life in Guinea is still very poor.
What are their beliefs?
The great majority of the population of Guinea is Muslim; most of the remainder follow traditional ethnic beliefs. Christians form only a very small portion of the total population. Among the Boin, 80% are Muslim, and 20% practice traditional beliefs.
What are their needs?
The Boin are without any Christian resources in their own language, and there are no known Christians among them. Fervent prayer is the key to seeing them reached.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send missionaries to share the Good News with the Boin of Guinea.
- Pray that Christian radio broadcasts, evangelical literature, and the Jesus film will be made available to the Boin.
- Ask the Lord to raise up qualified linguists to translate the Bible into the Boin language.
- Pray that God will supernaturally reveal Himself to the Boin through dreams and visions.
- Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Boin who will boldly proclaim the Gospel.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Boin bound.
- Ask God to raise up prayer warriors who will stand in the gap for the Boin.
- Pray that strong local churches will be raised up among the Boin by the year 2000.
See also the following related Group:
The Biafada of Guinea-Bissau
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Boin
- Country: Guinea
- Their language: Boin (Lyan)
- Largest religion:
- Christians: 0%
- Church members: 0
- Scriptures in their own language: None
- Jesus Film in their own language: None
- Christian broadcasts in their own language: None
- Mission agencies working among this people: 0
- Persons who have heard the Gospel: 1,000 (7%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 13,700 (93%)
- Country: Guinea
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 10
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Bethany World Prayer Center
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