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Nat (Hindu traditions) in India

Nat (Hindu traditions)

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Nat (Hindu traditions) in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
449,000 Hindi Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Nat (Hindu traditions) in India

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Introduction / History
The Nat of India are professional dancers, singers and acrobats by tradition. They like to be known as Raj Nat as they claim to have Rajput origins and originate from Rajasthan. They are also called Bhanmati, meaning something amazing. The Nat are classed as a Scheduled Caste except in Delhi, Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh. They also live in Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Haryanna, Punjab, West Bengal and Chandigarh.

What are their lives like?
The name Nat comes from the word nata meaning dancer. They speak Bagri (Nati) which is their own language as well as Hindi and languages from the regions they live in. The higher Hindu castes do not accept food and water from them and the Nat do not accept these things from some lower castes.

Some of the Nat do agricultural and other manual work. Others do such as metal work, selling herbal medicines, rickshaw pulling, repairing watches and radios or working in musical bands.

The Nat eat all meat except beef. They also eat wheat and rice. Alcohol is a main part of their lives socially. They smoke Bidi and cigarettes. The Nat use modern and local medicine and some do family planning. They have generally a low literacy level, so there is a need for the Gospel to reach them in oral form.

The Nats do not marry except in their own community and have clan exogamy (They do not marry within the same clan in their community). They are happy to marry Rajputs though, because of the Rajput high status. Monogamy is the usual way and marriage is done by discussion by parents and elders. Bride price is paid in cash. Divorce is allowed for adultery, cruelty and for difficulty in adjusting. Divorcees and the bereaved can marry again.

The Nat mostly live in hamlets that border towns and villages. Only sons can inherit family property and the oldest son becomes in charge of the family but must discuss important matters with his mother. The women contribute much in religious and social matters. The Nat have caste councils to judge on marriage and property disputes for example. Punishments are by fines and social boycotting.

What are their beliefs?
The Nat are generally Hindus but there are some Muslims in Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh. The Hindu Nats worship Rama, Shiva and the other Hindu gods and goddesses. Some claim to be fortune tellers, exorcists or healers. They celebrate the main Hindu festivals and many of them worship ancestors too.

What are their needs?
The low caste position of the Nat means they are denied many benefits and their work and partly nomad lifestyle has caused them problems such as poverty.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the problems the Nat are having will lead them to Jesus Christ.


View Nat (Hindu traditions) in all countries.

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-10-13
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-08-28
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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:449,000
Largest States:
Uttar Pradesh (212,000)Madhya Pradesh (90,000)
Rajasthan (49,000)Bihar (43,000)
Karnataka (11,000)Haryana (8,400)
Delhi (6,700)West Bengal (5,700)
Maharashtra (4,600)Chhattisgarh (4,100)
Total States on file:22
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Nat (Hindu traditions)
People Name General: Nat (Hindu traditions)
Alternate People Names:
BajaniaBajania Nat
ROP3 Code: 113224
Joshua Project People ID: 17763
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 449,000
Population all Countries: 467,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Rajasthan
People Name General: Nat (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code: CNN25o
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Hindi (328,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hin    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Bhojpuri (27,000)Kanauji (9,000)
Marwari (8,900)Kannada (8,700)
Awadhi (7,500)Dhundari (6,900)
Bengali (6,100)Magahi (5,600)
Malvi (5,600)Tamil (3,500)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 38
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.02 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.96 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.02 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
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 6   Greater than or equal to 10% Evangelical
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

Nat (Hindu traditions) in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Rajasthan     South Asia    
      Nat (Hindu traditions) India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Nat (Hindu traditions) in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Hindi  
    All Religions                              

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