The Daffo-Batura of Nigeria
The Daffo-Batura (also known as the Chala) live in the Ron and Monguna districts of the Pankshin division of Plateau State, Nigeria. They speak a Chadic language similar to that of the Ron tribe and are closely related to the Gera tribe. The area in which the Daffo-Batura live is beautiful, with waterfalls and undulating highlands. The climate is temperate almost year-round and the many streams and rivers make the land fertile and suitable for large-scale agriculture.
The Daffo-Batura have become somewhat modernized in recent years and education has become more important. Most parents now desire their children attend school. Many have moved to the cities in search of wage labor and some have become businessmen.
Most Daffo-Batura (60%) are pagan in religion. However, many have been heavily influenced by the Fulani and Hausa Muslims in the area; about 35% of the Daffo-Batura have become Muslim.
What are their lives like?
Since their homeland is conducive to agriculture, many Daffo-Batura are farmers, growing millet and guinea corn as well as raising livestock. They live in compact villages protected by hedges or walls. Huts are round with conical thatched roofs and mud walls, and are grouped in enclosed family compounds. A village headman handles affairs at the local level.
Each sub-group of the Daffo-Batura has its own nallo (ruler). The nallo has his own council that helps him make decisions, along with the elders of the town. When a nallo dies, the elders bring men from the royal family before the people. From these men, the people will elect the new nallo.
Boys between the ages of seven and nine are circumcised together in a group. They are taken to the bush for a month, where elders and the dodo (masked occult figure) initiate the boys into religious life and manhood. After the month of training is complete, there is a seven-day feast, and the boys are brought back to their parents by the dodo, who dances with the village people upon their return.
After this time, the boy's father will begin to look for a wife for him by approaching a girl's father with a marriage proposal. If the girl agrees, courtship begins when the boy reaches the age of seventeen. At this time, the boy begins working on the farm of the girl's father. He labors there for five years to satisfy the payment of the bride-price to the girl's parents. After payment, a feast is held, during which time the girl is taken to the groom's house where another celebration will begin. That evening, the groom arrives home and the couple begin living as husband and wife.
According to Daffo-Batura custom, when a woman gives birth to her first child, she must remain in her husband's house until the seventh day after the baby is born; then a naming ceremony takes place. Afterwards, the woman and child are taken to the home of the maternal grandparents, where they will remain for two years. This is done as a means of birth control.
What are their beliefs?
Although 35% of the Daffo-Batura are Muslim, most still practice their traditional ethnic religion in conjunction with Islam. Kpa is the name of their invisible supreme god who lives in heaven. Each Daffo-Batura family chooses an object to represent Kpa, such as a stone or a tree. Sacrifices and prayers are made at these objects.
The dodo is the embodiment of a strong supernatural power who has several functions. Among other things, he prays to Kpa on behalf of the people for good crops and a blessed rainy season.
Priests among the tribe are believed to commune with the spirits and know what is going on at all times by spiritual means.
What are their needs?
There are no Christian resources available to the Daffo-Batura and no missions agency is currently working among them. However, there are 559 known Daffo-Batura believers. Evangelistic work and prayer are greatly needed to impact these people with the Gospel.
- Ask the Lord of the harvest to send forth laborers into Nigeria.
- Pray that God will give the Daffo-Batura believers boldness to share Christ with their own people.
- Take authority over the spiritual principalities and powers that are keeping the Daffo-Batura bound.
- Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
- Pray that Christian radio broadcasts, evangelical literature, and the Jesus film will be made available to the Daffo-Batura.
- Ask the Lord to save key leaders among the Daffo-Batura who will boldly declare the Gospel.
- Pray that God will reveal Himself to the Daffo-Batura through dreams and visions.
- Ask the Lord to bring forth a triumphant Daffo-Batura church for the glory of His name!
Latest estimates from the World Evangelization Research Center.
- People name: Daffo-Batura
- Country: Nigeria
- Their language: Daffo-Batura
- Largest religion:
- Christian: 5%
- Church members: 559
- 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: 2,800 (25%)
- Persons who have never heard the Gospel: 8,400 (75%)
- Country: Nigeria
- Major peoples in size order:
- Major religions:
- Number of denominations: 114
© Copyright 1997
Bethany World Prayer Center
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