About the People
About 150,000 Otammari live in Northern Benin and Togo. They are famous for their masonry and their traditional homes that resemble mud castles. Most are subsistence farmers and hunters.
Illiteracy is high among this group. Many people only read French, the administrative language of Benin. Very few can read or write their heart language, Ditammari. Most cling to Animism and ancestor worship and have resisted both Islam and Christianity. Each household has a family altar called the fetish where the father of the household makes sacrifices and appeals to the spirits of the ancestors. Participation in initiation ceremonies is of highest importance for teenage boys and girls.
The whole Bible is translated into Ditammari, but it is out of print. It is clear that the Holy Spirit is moving among these people who have traditionally been extremely resistant to outsiders. Evangelical Christians of several denominations have noticed a dramatic change in their openness in recent years.
About the Project
AFM missionaries have been ministering to the Otammari people since Linden and Michelle St. Clair launched the project in 1996. Today, Ulrike Baur-Kouato leads the project, assisted by her husband Toussaint and three local evangelists. They are working to nurture the church in Natitingou and a growing number of groups in surrounding villages. Suzy Baldwin worked on the Otammari Project for many years and now serves on the Pendjari Project.
- Population: 150,000
- Language: Ditammari
- Religion: Animist