Ilwana in Kenya

Photo Source:  Jeff Nelson 
Map Source:  People Group location: Anonymous. Map geography: ESRI / GMI. Map design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Ilwana
Country: Kenya
10/40 Window: No
Population: 23,000
World Population: 23,000
Primary Language: Kiwilwana
Primary Religion: Islam
Christian Adherents: 0.02 %
Evangelicals: 0.02 %
Scripture: Unspecified
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: No
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: Bantu, East-Coastal
Affinity Bloc: Sub-Saharan Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The name Malakote (meaning slave) was given to this people group by the Somalis. The Somalis introduced them to Islam and made them slaves. The people today prefer to be called Ilwana (meaning free men) closely related to the Kiswahili word muunguana translated by Krapf and Cust (1882) to be "a free man". A Christian community among the Ilwana has provided refuge to Muslim Background Believers and other Christians when fighting breaks out and persecution is intense.

Where Are they Located?

They live along the Tana River

What Are Their Lives Like?

Their livilihood is based on farming, fishing and bee-keeping.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They practice Islam mixed with animism and witchcraft. Evangelism efforts have met opposition.

Text Source:   Worker in Kenya, Pray for Kenya brochure