If you were born into the Borgu Maba ethnic group, the most important question would be, “Who is your mother?” That is because inheritance, and your very identity, is determined by your mother’s side of the family. This ethnic group has a male sultan who serves as the head of state and governs through a hierarchy of officials. He is usually the son of the “Queen Mother” who is the widow of the previous sultan. She has high status and much influence among the Maba people.
Marriage is most common among boys in their 20s and girls in their late teens. Polygamy is common since it is allowed in Muslim cultures. According to Muslim tradition, a man may have a maximum of four wives. Only the man’s first wife lives with him. She has authority over the other wives who live in separate huts. Marriage ceremonies occur in March following the annual spring festival. The bride receives offerings of the new harvest and is taken to her husband’s home, usually located near a maternal uncle of the bride. The maternal uncle normally pays her dowry.
Only a few Scripture recordings exist in their language. A New Testament translation is in progress, but the literacy rate among the Mabas is very low. Most Maba people have never heard a clear presentation of the gospel.