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Saharia in India

Saharia

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Saharia in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
789,000 Hindi Hinduism 0.02 % Unknown   

Saharia in India

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Introduction / History
Most of the Saharia (or Sor) of India live in the state of Madhya Pradesh. They may also be located in the hills of the Ganjam district of southern Orissa, as well as in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, and the Plains division of Assam. They speak a Munda language that belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.

The Saharia are a tribal people who have had little contact with the outside world. Between 1864 and 1866, the hills region was brought under control by the British expeditionary forces, who executed or transported the Saharia leaders. When the British began collecting taxes, the Saharia rebelled. Even today they have a reputation as being extremely fierce, although anthropologists have not found this to be true.

The Saharia who live in the hills have recently become aware of Indian national party politics. The younger generation is now learning to read and write their own language; however, most of the Saharia remain illiterate.

What are their lives like?
The hills Saharia are divided into five sub-tribes: the Jati, Arsi, Muli, Kindal, and Kumbi. This classification is based primarily on occupation. The Jati are farmers; the Arsi are weavers; the Muli are iron workers; the Kindal are basket makers; and the Kumbi are potters. The sub-tribes are divided into approximately 17 territorial units rather than clans. They are free to marry within these divisions, and they generally live as extended family units.

The Saharia farmers use the "slash and burn" method of cultivation along the hill slopes. This has brought them into tremendous conflict with the Forestry Department. Their main crops include gourds, millet, sorghum, and wild rice.

During the early 1900s, many of the Saharia migrated to other areas and took temporary wage-paying jobs on tea plantations or as road builders. Many remained in their new locations and became farmers or field workers. The most specialized occupation is the shaman. Shamans are religious leaders who cure the sick by magic, communicate with the spirits, and control events. There are also hereditary positions, which include village heads, deputy heads, pyre lighters (those who burn corpses at funerals), and priests of the village deity. Public opinion and gossip are the main forms of social control.

Saharia villages generally contain several quarters called longlongs. Each longlong is inhabited by one patrilineage (the line of descent as traced through the male's side of a family) called a birinda. Several houses belonging to close relative may be joined together on one terrace. Conversations can be held between houses over the dividing walls. The houses have thatched roofs and are built of stone plastered with red mud. During the autumn, the villages are largely deserted; the people move to widely scattered "baby houses" in order to guard their crops against wild animals.

The Saharia eat most kinds of animals. Their diet is based on a watery porridge that is sometimes garnished with vegetables or meat. Palm wine is a popular beverage. They prepare all of their food by boiling it. The villagers obtain necessary items in the weekly markets, which are located where the plains meet the hills. They exchange forest produce and millet for clothes, iron ax heads, plow tips, salt, chilies, jewelry, and buffalo for sacrifices.

What are their beliefs?
The Saharia practice their traditional ethnic religions. However, they are also aware of Hindu values and use them in defining their own identity. As a non-literate culture, they associate literacy with the power of the shaman's familiar spirits. All illnesses and deaths are believed to be caused by the spirits of the dead.

What are their needs?
Since most of the Saharia are illiterate, there is a great need for the Gospel to be presented to them through radio broadcasts and the Jesus film. Increased intercession and missions efforts are necessary for reaching the Saharia for Christ.

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Saharia.
* Ask God to use the small number of Saharia believers to share the love of Jesus with their friends and families.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Saharia towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of India's governmental leaders to the Gospel.

View Saharia in all countries.

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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:15 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:789,000
Largest States:
Madhya Pradesh (602,000)Rajasthan (95,000)
Uttar Pradesh (46,000)Bihar (24,000)
West Bengal (20,000)Uttarakhand (600)
Jharkhand (600)Chhattisgarh (400)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands (40)
Total States on file:10
   
 
Maps
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Saharia
People Name General: Saharia
Alternate People Names:
BakhariaBamrawat
BanrakhaHarauti
SaharyaSahni
SoprahiyaSuraiya
साहरिया
ROP3 Code: 113489
Joshua Project People ID: 17997
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 789,000
Population all Countries: 793,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Hindi
People Name General: Saharia
Ethnic Code: CNN25c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Hindi (673,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): hin    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Haroti: Harauti (28,000)Bundeli (26,000)
Bengali (18,000)Angika (5,900)
Maithili (2,400)Magahi (2,000)
Marwari (500)Dhundari (500)
Kumaoni (300)Garhwali (200)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 32
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.02 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism99.69 % 
Islam0.01 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.27 % 
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 1   Less than 2% Evangelical. Some evangelical resources available, but no active church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1806-1962
New Testament:
1811-1998Audio
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 RecordingsHindi Bible stories
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoA Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoA Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoAasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoCoconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoCreation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoFathers Love Letter
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoHaqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoTen Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoThe Final Prodigal (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video: View in Hindi
Film / VideoThe Price of Life (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoYeshu Satsang (Indigitube.tv)
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGods Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
GeneralYeshu Samaj
Text / Printed MatterBible: Hindi Holy Bible
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 MatterOnline Bible (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Description: Register your ministry activity among this people group. Contact the Adopt-A-People Clearinghouse and Unleashed for the Unreached to learn about others that might be focused on this people group.
 
Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Saharia in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Hindi     South Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Saharia India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Saharia in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Hindi  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

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