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Koya in India

Koya

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Koya in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
786,000 Telugu Hinduism 0.81 % Unknown   

Koya in India

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Introduction / History
The Koya live in the forests, plains, and valleys on both sides of the Godavari River, which lies in the central Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Many also live in the states of Madhya Pradesh and Orissa. The Koya are said to have migrated to central India from their original home in Bastar, northern India. They believe their main deity still resides in a cave in the Bastar region. According to Koya mythology, life originated from water.

The Koya language, also called Koyi, is closely related to Gondi and has been strongly influenced by Telugu, the tongue of the neighboring Hindu population. The Koya are one of the few multi-racial and multi-lingual tribal communities in India. Most Koya speak either Gondi or Telugu, in addition to Koyi.

Since India's independence from the British in 1947, the Indian government has increased its influence over the Koya. As a result, the Koya have rebelled numerous times. The Koya resent the restrictions that have been placed on their use of reserve forests and distillation of liquor. They also resent the hydroelectric projects and rehabilitation of refugees in their land.

What are their lives like?
The Koya are primarily farmers. They once shifted from one plot to another, farming various areas. However, the government has now restricted their movement and has encouraged them to farm on fixed plots. They showed the Koya how to farm coconut and coffee. They also granted the Koya permanent ownership rights to their land if they would grow rice there.

In the hill regions occupied by the Koya, there are still no permanent farms. Crops are grown in small clearings for only two or three years. Rice and tobacco are the main cash crops for those in the hill regions. Their staple diet is sorghum. The Koya's consider the palm tree as a gift of nature, and every family owns at least four to eight of them. During the four month palm season, Koya families live almost entirely on palm juice.

Because the income from farming is very low, many of the Koya who do not own land work as hired farm laborers. Others weave bamboo baskets and sell them at the weekly markets to Hindu merchants. They also are excellent hunters. Good hunters are regarded as heroes. Hunting is valuable to provide food and protection from wild animals. Many still use bow and arrows for hunting and to attack their enemies. Koya gather forest produce to supplement the vegetables grown in their home gardens. Cattle are symbols of wealth, and they are kept for their dairy products, meat, fertilizer, and trade. They are also used in religious sacrifices.

The Koya usually live in villages. Occasionally, they can be found living with other tribal and non-tribal peoples. Koya villages are located near dependable water sources. The larger villages are situated near the rivers, while the smaller ones can be found in the hills and jungles. Their wood, thatch, and mud houses are built without windows. They usually have two rooms and a porch around the outside.

All Koya belong to one of five sub-divisions called gotrams. Every Koya is born into a clan, and he cannot leave it. Birth, marriage, and death are three important celebrations in Koya villages. The family group is called the kutum. Sons usually live separately from the family, but still work the farm with their parents and brothers. Monogamy is practiced. Most marriages among adolescents are arranged by the parents with the consent of the girl. Marriage ceremonies last for three days in the summer when palm juice is plentiful. They involve both the bride and groom's villages.

What are their beliefs?
The Koya practice their own ethnic religion, but also worship a number of Hindu gods and goddesses. Many Koya deities are female, the most important being the "mother earth." Sacrifices are carried out by the village priests. The Koya do not believe in heaven, hell, or reincarnation. When a person dies, his body is carried on a cot which is covered with grain, liquor, new clothes, money, and a cow's tail. At the appropriate place, the cot is faced towards the West, and the body is burned. The ashes are placed in a clay pot. The Koya believe that their spirits either linger about the clay ancestor pot, patrol the sky over the village, or wander about the village disturbing daily life.

What are their needs?
Cholera, smallpox, and malaria are big problems for the Koya. They need quality medical care as well as health and hygiene education.

The Bible is available in Telugu.

Prayer Points
* Pray that God will give missions agencies strategies for reaching the Koya with the Gospel.
* Ask God to give Koya Christians a burden to share the Good News with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Koya towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through worship and intercession.

View Koya in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-01
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-09-21
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-11-03
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-08-02
  Submit Update:
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:786,000
Largest States:
Telangana (489,000)Odisha (148,000)
Andhra Pradesh (105,000)Chhattisgarh (36,000)
Assam (5,700)Tamil Nadu (1,200)
Karnataka (900)Puducherry (700)
Maharashtra (500)Arunachal Pradesh (200)
Total States on file:16
   
 
Maps
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Koya
People Name General: Koya
Alternate People Names:
Bhumi RazaluKavor
KayaKoa
KoiKoitar
KoiturKoyato
KoyiManjulotilu
MayalotiluMila
OdavandluRajkoya
कोया
ROP3 Code: 112655
Joshua Project People ID: 17282
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 786,000
Population all Countries: 786,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asian, other
People Name General: Koya
Ethnic Code: AUG06z
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Telugu (362,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): tel    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Koya (293,000)Odia (49,000)
Gondi, Northern (28,000)Hindi (21,000)
Kuvi (17,000)Chhattisgarhi (11,000)
Halbi (4,000)Bhatri (2,900)
Assamese (1,900)Kannada (900)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 43
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.01 % 
Christianity0.81 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism98.76 % 
Islam0.22 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.02 % 
Unknown0.19 % 
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 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1812-1966
New Testament:
1818-1989Audio
Complete Bible: 1854-2002
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 RecordingsFather's Love Letter
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament (FCBH)
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Telugu
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Telugu
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Hope Video
Film / VideoThe Pearl of Great Price (Indigitube.tv)
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGod's Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Mobile AppDownload Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed MatterBible
Text / Printed MatterBible: తెలుగు - Telugu
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org for networking possibilities.
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
 
 

Koya in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    South Asian, other     Asia, South    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Koya India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Koya in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Telugu  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.joshuaproject.net/people-profile.php?peo3=17282&rog3=IN