Gurma people


Gurma / Gourma / Binumba / Gourmantche

The term "Gurma" is used to refer to a cluster os peoples living mainly in Burkina Faso, around Fada N'Gourma, and also in northern areas of Togo and Benin, as well as southwestern Niger and the Northern Volta of Kingdom of Dagbon, Ghana.

Gurma people


According Peoplegroups 2023, the global population is 2,614,000 distributed in Ghana, Benin; Burkina Faso, Niger, Nigeria and Togo.



Gurma is also the name of a language spoken by the Gurma (or bigourmantcheba - as they call themselves) people, which is part of the Gur language family. The Gurma language belongs to the Gur linguistic group. Is related to the Mossi language and belongs to the OtiVolta subgroup of the Gur languages.



The Gurma have preserved local traditional beliefs, although some practice Islam.



The Gurma live in a wooded savanna that becomes drier and grassier to the north; their mostly flat land is marked by occasional inselberg hills. Farming is the chief occupation (millet, rice, sorghum), but cattle are also raised.

Weaving, dyeing, pottery, and basketry are important crafts.



Hamlets consist of compounds of lineage members, clan members. Lived in scattered settlements of circular compounds that were composed of small earthen huts with straw roofs. The round mud-brick houses areb arranged in circular compounds that are enclosed by woven-straw fences.

A village is a collection of hamlets, and chiefdoms (today sometimes corresponding to the administrative categories arrondissements and cantons) include several, or occasionally many, villages; chiefs then recognize the morho naba, or paramount chief, in Fada N’Gourma, as well as the authorities of the Burkina Faso government.



Descent is patrilineal; a man and his one or more wives, perhaps a younger brother or an aging mother, and the children of all these live together.



The cosmology consisted of the creator god tienu and several types of spirits such as the ancestors and buli who mediated between god and human beings. Each person consisted of six physical and nonphysical components, i.e. gbannandi (physical body), yienu (godconsciousness), ciciliga (guiding spirit), naano (soul), cabili (destiny), and naali (ancestor form, which can incarnate). Different types of jingili altars existed in the compounds, i.e. semicircular stone altars, in which sacrifices were offered.