Introduction / History
The Mamprusi are part of the Na Gweba people originally from what is now Togo. Of the four people groups descended from Na Gweba, the Mamprusi are the leaders. They had their own kingdom starting in the 13th century, the oldest in West Africa. Royalty is still an important part of their culture.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most Mamprusi live in their homeland, Mamprugu, an area of northeast Ghana between the Dagbani in the south and Frafra in the north. There are also small communities of Mamprusi in southern Ghanaian towns.
The Mamprusi people try to eke out a living by growing yams, maize, millet, and sorghum. Farming is becoming more difficult because of environmental changes and a lack of rain. Sheep, goats, pigeons, and chickens are their main farm animals. Those with wealth have cattle and horses.
Men and women both do farm work. It's the women who trade grain and yams, cooked food, beets, kola nuts, smoked fish, and imported manufactured goods. Some men are engaged in trading full time instead of farming.
Traditionally, the Mamprusi people did not own land; they considered the land to belong to their ancestors. Today they are more flexible in this. The Mamprusi people sometimes sell homes and other property.
They believe it is best to marry a cross-cousin on the mother's side. Two-thirds of marriages are polygamous. Men prefer to have over one wife. The first wife has authority over the other wives, and she can assign all household chores. The Mamprusi people make divorce difficult for both husband and wife.
Can you imagine not being able to read and write? Unfortunately, only 15% of the Mamprusi people of West Africa are literate.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They give children both Mamprusi and Muslim names. They identify as Muslims, but also practice the religion of their ancestors. Naa-wuni is the traditional supreme god, and people communicate with their ancestors through sacrifices and offerings.
What Are Their Needs?
The low literacy rate of the Mamprusi people is a major barrier to the gospel if it comes only in written form. Scripture is available in their language, and there are audio recordings of the New Testament. The JESUS Film and God's Story video are also available. There is a need for workers to take these resources to the Mamprusi people.
Pray the Christian believers among the Mamprusi will regularly fellowship together, and that teachers and pastors will be sent to them, to teach and shepherd. Pray the literacy rate for these people will gradually rise in years ahead. Pray for good schools for the children, and for literacy classes for adults.
Scripture Prayers for the Mamprusi in Ghana.