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Kodaga in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
135,000 Kodava Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 % No No   

Kodaga in India

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Introduction / History
The Kodagu (also known as the Coorg) live in the Coorg district of Karnataka State, southwestern India. The word kodagu literally means situated to the west, and their district, Coorg, stands in the ridges of the Western Ghat Mountains. The forested area is rugged and hilly with a high annual rainfall. They speak a South Dravidian language that is also called Kodagu.

The Kodagu, known as a "little nation of warriors," have been praised for their courageous nature, honor, and loyalty. They have always been involved in political movements and fought bravely on the battle fields, gaining much respect for these efforts. It is said that war and agriculture are their twin occupations. For their bravery, the Kodagu have been honored with medals, swords, land, and money, both by the Indians and by the British. They are rugged, athletic, war-like people, who are proud of their lands and their ancestry.

What are their lives like?
In times past, every Kodagu village was self-sufficient. They had workers in many occupations, such as potters, blacksmiths, carpenters, goldsmiths, and barbers. Their prosperity waned, however, and they have since sought other jobs, such as working on coffee plantations or doing other types of agricultural labor. Both men and women are industrious and disciplined. In addition to their work in the home, the ladies also bear the brunt of the labor on the farms.

Modern individualism is adversely affecting the unity that was once found in Kodagu families. Traditionally, families were led by the fathers. However, today the discontented younger generation is continuing to breakdown this system by becoming more individualistic. It is also becoming more common for families to sub-divide their property in order to help maintain the land and pay the land taxes. In an effort to restore the "community spirit" that once existed, the Indian government has sponsored many community development projects.

Kodagu houses are typically situated beside the rice paddy fields and are surrounded by plantain, orange, and other trees. Their homes are raised off the ground and are always built facing the East. Large family houses, where families gather for rituals, are built of stone and mortar, with solid, carved wood work. High-walled lanes lead up to these buildings.

The Kodagu traditionally wear long coats with silk sashes tied around their waists, sheathed swords at their sides, and turbans on their head. On ceremonial occasions, knives are also worn at their waists. The women wear scarves on their heads. Kodagu women have a reputation for being industrious and hospitable.

There are innumerable castes within the Indian society, of which the Kodagu are a part. There are different families and ethnic tribal groups in every village that have formed strong ties with one another. Nonetheless, the Kodagu strictly observe the caste hierarchy and do not form relationships with those of other castes. Even food that has been cooked by someone of a lower caste is considered off limits.

What are their beliefs?
The Kodagu, like all Hindus, believe in the law of karma, which states that every action influences how the soul will be born in the next reincarnation. If one is born into a higher caste, it is believed to have been caused by his good works in a past life. They also practice ancestor worship, particularly the first member of their family who is known as the Karanova. They believe that the Karanova is God himself and that by worshiping him, they are worshiping God directly. In addition, each village has a presiding god to which animal sacrifices are offered.

What are their needs?
There only a few known Christians among the Kodagu. Prayer is the key to reaching these people with the Gospel.

Prayer Points
Ask God to encourage and protect the few known Kodagu Christians.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Kodagu towards the Gospel.
Pray that God will raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.
Pray that the Lord will raise up long term workers to join the few who have already responded.

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  Submit Update:
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:135,000
Largest States:
Karnataka (133,000)Maharashtra (200)
Andaman and Nicobar Islands (70)
Location in Country:Karnataka, Coorg (Kodagu) District, around Mercara, bordering on Malayalam to the south
(Source: Joshua Project)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Kodaga
People Name General: Kodaga
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 112594
Joshua Project People ID: 17228
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 135,000
Population all Countries: 135,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Forward Caste - other
People Name General: Kodaga
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Kodava (102,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): kfa    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Kannada (8,900)Malayalam (2,500)
Total Languages: 3
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism100.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
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 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: 1873
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Kodava
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Kodaga in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Forward Caste - other     Asia, South    
      Kodaga India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Kodaga in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Kodava  
    All Religions                              

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