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Karmali in India

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Karmali in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
120,000 Hindi Hinduism 1.11 % Unknown   

Karmali in India

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Introduction / History
The Karmali of India are a Scheduled Tribe in the state of Jharkhand. They are mostly in Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Santhal Parganas and Singhbhum.

What are their lives like?
The Karmali build their homes with mud walls and with tiles and bamboo. Their houses are rectangular in shape and they themselves make the wooden doors. They breed and eat pigs and, as a result, other tribes regard them as untouchable and do not accept food and water from them. The Karmali weave baskets and the women wear ornaments. The Karmali are monogamous. When the women cannot have children through barrenness, bigamy and trigamy is permitted and is also allowed for men and women whose marriage partner has died. They are endogamous and have clan exogamy. This means they marry within the group but not within their same clan. Marriage between tribes is not permitted.

In marriage there is a bride price paid in cash or with goods by the father of the groom. The fathers or guardians arrange the marriage. The boy's father contacts the girl's father at marriage time. The village priest helps to arrange the date of the marriage. A soil digging ritual is performed by the females in both houses. The couple has bathing and food regulations. Oil is put on the couple and they are blessed by the families. They have a feast. The bride stays for a week and the father of the bride takes her home where she stays for a year.

The Karmali make, sharpen and repair tools and they sell to tribes who are involved in agricultural tribes and castes. They make house and agriculture tools such as axes and sickles. Now they are having difficulty in getting raw materials and daily wage earning has become a way of making money.

The Karmali have a community Panchayat and all family leaders are members. The leader is called Mahato and is also the village chief. Cases such as divorce, adultery, rape and unfaithfulness in marriage are listened to and then a decision is given.

The Karmali kinship goes according to parentage and marriage. The lineage is through the fathers. Kin are classed by how near and distant they are.

What are their beliefs?
The Karmali are Hindus. The main god they worship is Singbonga. Their religious priest is Pahan. They worship other gods too. They believe that spirits of the ancestors live in the house and along with the priest they give sacrifices to the gods and spirits. They believe in witchcraft. They celebrate festivals.


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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:120,000
Largest States:
Jharkhand (64,000)Odisha (52,000)
West Bengal (3,200)Bihar (300)
Delhi (100)Uttar Pradesh (60)
Total States on file:7
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Karmali
People Name General: Karmali
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 112444
Joshua Project People ID: 17102
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 120,000
Population all Countries: 123,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Munda-Santal
People Name General: Karmali
Ethnic Code: AUG04c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Hindi (62,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hin    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Odia (29,000)Santhali (17,000)
Kui (3,500)Kurux (2,100)
Bengali (1,300)Maithili (800)
Magahi (700)Juang (300)
Kuvi (300)Mundari (300)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 20
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.11 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism93.14 % 
Islam0.05 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.01 % 
Unknown5.68 % 
Christianity Segments:
Anglican0.00 %
Independent0.00 %
Protestant0.00 %
Orthodox0.00 %
Other Christian0.00 %
Roman Catholic0.00 %
(Evangelicals distributed across Christianity segments)
Progress Indicators [5]
Progress Scale[6]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1806-1962
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1818-2000
Possible Bible Sources: Forum of Bible Agencies
 World Bible Finder
 World Christian Resource Directory
 Gospel Go
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoA Beautiful Hope (
Film / VideoA Pilgrimage (
Film / VideoAasha - Hope (
Film / VideoCoconuts (
Film / VideoCreation to Christ (
Film / VideoFathers Love Letter
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoHaqeeqat Episode 6 (
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoTen Virgins (
Film / VideoThe Final Prodigal (
Film / VideoThe Hope Video: View in Hindi
Film / VideoThe Price of Life (
Film / VideoYeshu Satsang (
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
GeneralYeshu Samaj
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible
Text / Printed MatterBible: Hindi Holy Bible
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterChrist for the Nations
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterHindi Bible
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterOnline Bible (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Karmali in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Munda-Santal     South Asia    
      Karmali India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Karmali in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Hindi  
    All Religions                              

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