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Korwa in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
531,000 Telugu Hinduism 1.07 % Unknown   

Korwa in India

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Introduction / History
The Korwa are one of the scheduled tribes of central India. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.

According to popular legend, the Korwa were the original inhabitants of the Surguja district in Madhya Pradesh. In the early 1900s they were leaders in the region and were dubbed as chiefs until more powerful and numerous conquerors invaded. They were later regarded as a wandering gang of looters. There remain two very distinct Korwa tribes: the Diharia (or Kisan), who are farmers, and the Paharia (or Benwaria), who live in the hills. These two tribes do not intermarry.

The Korwa are distinguished from other tribes by their savage appearance. They are short with stocky legs, appearing to be strong; yet, they are malnourished. The average height is only five feet three inches for men, and four feet nine inches for women.

What are their lives like?
The Korwa are primarily farmers and gatherers. They formerly used slash and burn agriculture, moving every two or three years to cultivate newly cleared plots. Rice, millet, and vegetables were the principal crops. Their income was supplemented by selling forest products, particularly firewood. In recent years, many have become settled farmers. The geographical isolation of the Paharia Korwa (hills dwellers) and the lack of communication have reduced most of them to the position of farm servants. Few of them own their own land. A major portion of their farm lands has been mortgaged to the neighboring tribal and non-tribal communities.

The Korwa in Surguja were once notorious lawbreakers known for robbing, stealing cattle, and even murdering. The state authorities compelled them to settle in the plains by supplying them with seed, land, and cattle. Today, the plains dwellers are relatively better off than those living in the hills, due to the fact that they have more contact with advanced ethnic groups. Still, the plains are not fertile and their annual yield is too small to be profitable, which accounts for their low standard of living.

The Korwa farmers have very little agricultural surplus to take to market. When they do go to market, cunning merchants often take advantage of their simplicity, lack of education and illiteracy, buying their products at absurdly low prices and making them loans at extremely high interest rates.

The Korwa wear very simple clothes. The women are tattooed, and neither the men nor women ever cut their hair. The plains dwellers live in villages that are mixed with other tribal groups. Wooden or bush fences surround their farms or homesteads. The Korwa who live in the hills still lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

The family is the basic social unit among the Korwa. They have a traditional family structure in which the father's word is law and is respected by all. Men and women are free to choose their own marriage partners, but a heavy bride price is required. Newlywed couples live with the grooms' parents until they are able to set up their own households. Men usually marry later in life because they have no means of supporting a family.

What are their beliefs?
Nearly one-third of the Korwa are Muslims, having been converted to Islam by Muslim merchants. The rest are ethnic religionists who have been heavily influenced by Hinduism. Their main tribal god is called Dulha Deo. Those who live in the Surguja district worship Khuria Rani, a goddess who requires animal sacrifices. They also practice ancestor worship, calling on the spirits of their ancestors for blessings and guidance. They regard fire as sacred. In fact, fires are kept burning 24 hours a day in their houses to keep evil spirits away.

What are their needs?
Prayer is the key to seeing these precious people reached with the Gospel.

Prayer Points
Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Korwa.
Pray that God will raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil through worship and intercession
Ask God use the small number of Korwa believers to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
Pray for the salvation of key Korwa leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel among their own people.

View Korwa in all countries.

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Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:10 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:531,000
Largest States:
Telangana (184,000)Chhattisgarh (153,000)
Karnataka (66,000)Assam (59,000)
Jharkhand (42,000)Madhya Pradesh (10,000)
West Bengal (3,500)Uttar Pradesh (1,800)
Arunachal Pradesh (1,700)Maharashtra (1,600)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Korwa
People Name General: Korwa
Alternate People Names:
ArasamakkaluDiharia Korwa
Kisan KorwaKodaku
ROP3 Code: 112644
Joshua Project People ID: 17273
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 531,000
Population all Countries: 535,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Korwa
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Telugu (152,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tel    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Hindi (114,000)Kannada (53,000)
Korwa (53,000)Assamese (36,000)
Chhattisgarhi (20,000)Bengali (11,000)
Kurux (2,600)Tamil (1,800)
Marathi (1,800)Odia (1,700)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 40
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity1.07 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism97.41 % 
Islam0.07 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.01 % 
Unknown1.43 % 
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 3   Less than 2% Evangelical. Widespread church planting within past 2 years
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1812-1966
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1854-2022
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
Audio RecordingsLove letter to you from scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline Audio Scripture
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus video
Film / VideoGod's Story video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Telugu
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoWorld Christian Videos
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralZume Resources
GeneralZume Training
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app as APK file
Mobile AppDownload audio Bible app from Google Pla ...
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible: Telugu
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterLiteracy primer for Telugu
Text / Printed MatterOnline New Testament (Bibles India)
Text / Printed MatterThe Ancient Path
Text / Printed MatterTools for faith conversations
Text / Printed MatterTopical Scripture booklets and Bible stu ...
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Korwa in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Hindu - other     Asia, South    
      Korwa India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Korwa in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Telugu  
    All Religions                              

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