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Aiton in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
4,300 Aiton Buddhism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Aiton in India

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Introduction / History
The ancestors of the Aiton originated in northern Myanmar, where they lived for centuries along with other Tai-speaking groups. 'In the latter part of the eighteenth century, the Aiton entered Assam as political refugees from the Shan State in Burma…. They speak the Aiton language among themselves and Assamese, Hindi and English with others.
The Aiton ethnic group inhabits villages in the Jorhat and Karbi-Aleng districts of Assam State in north-east India. The Indian government does not recognize the Aiton at all, so reliable information about them is scarce. The linguist Anthony Diller in 1990 estimated that there were 'several thousand speakers and semi-speakers' of Aiton.

What are their lives like?
The Aiton language is part of the Northwest branch of the Southwestern Tai family. It is one of nine different languages that share this affiliation, including Ahom, Khamti, Tai Phake and Khamiyang, all of which are spoken by other ethnic groups in this part of India. Aiton is believed to be similar to the Shan language spoken in Myanmar, China and Thailand, but after more than two centuries of separation from their homeland, the Aiton language, culture and identity have gradually been assimilated.
Elders among the Aiton are responsible for handing the oral traditions, folk tales and songs about their origin and migration down to the next generation. Their songs tell of oppression in their original homeland, which led to their long and difficult journey across the mountains into India.
Until the past decade all Aiton were farmers, fishermen and hunters, but in recent years an increasing number of people have become businessmen, teachers and labourers in the nearby townships in both the government and private sectors.
Despite their small population, there are 14 different clans among the Aiton. These days the people use their respective clan names as their surnames. The strict marriage customs of the Aiton mean that a young man must marry his maternal uncle's daughter. A bride price is required, whereby the family of the groom must pay an agreed-upon amount of cash and goods to the family of the bride. In part this is an expression of gratitude to the bride's family for their years of expense in raising her. Buddhist monks are called upon to officiate at the wedding ceremony, which is held at the bride's house. After giving birth an Aiton woman must not interact with other members of the community for a full month, as she is considered polluted. After the month has passed a ritual is performed and the new mother is free to return to society.

What are their beliefs?
All Aiton are followers of Theravada Buddhism, which they brought with them when they migrated into India more than 200 years ago. They also worship Medham Medhphi, their deity, every morning and evening. The vyas-chow chanq, the diviner, is called for treatment of the indisposed. God has not forgotten them and desires that they may know him as Lord and Savior.

What are their needs?
These people need to put their hope and identity in the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Prayer Points
Pray for workers to go to the Aiton people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their Savior.
Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.

Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest Copyrighted © Used with permission

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-31
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-08-23
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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:4,300
Largest States:
Assam (4,300)
Location in Country:The Aiton ethnic group inhabits villages in the Jorhat and Karbi-Aleng districts of Assam State in north-east India.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Aiton
People Name General: Aiton
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 111299
Joshua Project People ID: 16191
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 4,300
Population all Countries: 4,300
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Buddhist
People Name General: Aiton
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Aiton (4,300 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): aio    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism53.42 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism40.22 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown6.36 % 
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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Aiton in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Buddhist     Asia, South    
      Aiton India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Aiton in India          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Aiton  
    All Religions                              

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