Bokoruge in Sudan

Bokoruge
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Map Source:  Joshua Project / Global Mapping International
People Name: Bokoruge
Country: Sudan
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 8,800
World Population: 109,800
Primary Language: Daju, Dar Sila
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Ouaddai-Fur
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

Daju is a cluster or related Eastern Sudanic languages. The five Daju speaking groups make up some of the oldest communities in western Sudan and eastern Chad. Their history is one of independent rule and war with their neighbors. During the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, the Daju migrated from the east and established rule over a number of tribes in the Dar Fur region of Sudan. In the sixteenth century, this dynasty was overthrown. Fortunately for the Daju, however, their King escaped and set up a small kingdom in the Dar Sila region of Chad. The Daju take great pride in their past war victories. They have a reputation among their neighbors and former French and British colonial administrators as being an explosive, warlike people. This is partially due to their mountainous homeland which has made them difficult to control. Today, some of the Dar Sila have moved back into Sudan, while the once-ruling Dar Fur of Sudan have mostly migrated westward to the oases of the region.
The Daju in Chad call themselves "Daju Sila," and those in Sudan call themselves "Fininga." Some of the other groups are either named after the regions they occupy or after the distinct dialects of Daju they speak. One of these Daju subgroups is the Bokoruge who live in Sudan, but mostly in Chad.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Bokoruge children attend village classes where they are taught to chant the Koran in Arabic. Consequently, most of them grow up bilingual.
Most of the Bokoruge are farmers, and their economy is primarily based on grain production. Their staple crops include millet, sorghum, and corn. From the forests they gather other foods such as cereals, grasses, berries, honey, and wild fruits and they also hunt for wild meat.
The homes of the Daju villages are usually round and have cone-shaped roofs. Town homes are generally rectangular in shape, with mud-brick walls and flat roofs. Boys and girls of the villages become members of social groups and work groups. They perform community chores such as keeping the villages clean and organizing village dances.
The Daju are a patriarchal society in which the families are dominated by the older men. All parents desire to have a male heir, so sons are pampered while they are young. When a boy reaches adolescence, his "representative" will approach the parents of a girl and propose marriage. Young men are given many responsibilities such as preparing the fields for cultivation, planting the crops, buying the livestock, and trading in the market.
Bokoruge women are subordinate to the men. A woman's responsibilities include sowing the millet and sorghum, grinding the grain, preparing the meals, buying dry meat in the marketplace, selling chickens and eggs, and bearing as many children as possible. Wives are expected to please their husbands and to raise the children without their help. At one time, a sultan (Muslim ruler) had total authority over all of the Daju tribes. Today, however, sultans only possess nominal authority, such as presiding over religious ceremonies. The sultanate is passed down from father to son, and the family of a sultan is granted special rights and privileges. The Daju tribes are subdivided into clans (extended family groups), and each clan has a leader called letuge. The letuge is responsible for assisting the sultan, as well as helping to give direction during times of war.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Daju have been a Muslim people since the fifteenth century. They revere the Koran, and all oaths and commitments are made according to its writings. Newborn babies are even given water that has been used to wash a board with Koranic scriptures written on it. It is believed that if a person swears, he must do so by Allah, or otherwise remain silent.
Although the Daju are almost entirely Muslim and follow Islamic teachings daily, they do not do so in the strictest sense. For example, Friday prayer at the mosque is not attended by all, and they often ignore Islam's restriction on alcohol. They have also kept many of their traditional animistic beliefs and mixed them with their Islamic beliefs. Despite being officially Muslim, they still worship spirits and some even practice witchcraft. They equate their high god Kalge with Allah, which would be frowned upon by orthodox Muslims.

What Are Their Needs?

There are no believers among the Bokoruge Daju in Sudan or Chad. Someone needs to go to them with the transforming gospel.

Prayer Points

Pray for abundant rain and a huge harvest for the Bokoruge Daju people as a testimony of the Lord's love and kindness.
Pray that the Lord will thrust out workers to the Bokoruge Daju people in Sudan and Chad.
Pray for Bokoruge Daju leaders to have a thirst for the living water that only Jesus can provide.
Pray for a movement to Christ among the Bokoruge Daju that cannot be stopped by any effort.

Text Source:   Joshua Project