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Mahara in India

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Mahara in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
5,900 Odia Hinduism 0.00 % 0.00 %   

Mahara in India

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Introduction / History
At one time the Mahara people, also known as the Mahar, were considered the lowest status. Today they are regarded as one of the common basket-making castes, though they consider themselves to have higher status than the others. They have Scheduled Caste status.

Where are they located?
The Mahara people live in Odisha, a state in eastern India. Usually they live in the western, inland districts within Odisha.

What are their lives like?
Unlike most other Hindu communities, the Mahara people bury their dead rather than cremate them.

This community does not do a variety of tasks; they are almost always basket-makers. Men and women are involved with this work along with children as young as age 10. They make and sell bamboo baskets to other communities, which means they have much contact with others. The Mahara people do not dress any differently than other rural peoples, so it might be hard to identify them.

Perhaps partly because men and women both do basket weaving work, the women are not looked down upon by the men. Their marriages, though arranged by family members, are characterized by cooperation, mutual help, respect, and understanding. When the couple marries, they settle in with the husband's family (a patrilocal pattern) until they have a home built. Childbirth takes place in the home of the husband's family, and an elderly woman from their community delivers the baby.

This community is poor, and their literacy rate is low. They are usually dependent on money-lenders which can potentially saddle them with life-long debt.

What are their beliefs?
These Hindus worship a variety of gods, but their primary deity is Biswarkarma. Only low-ranking Brahmans officiate at Mahara spiritual events. The Maharas consult an astrologer before deciding on an auspicious day for their weddings.

What are their needs?
The Mahara people need new markets for their baskets that will help them to flourish economically.

Prayer Points
Pray for an abundant blessing of Mahara families and communities as they embrace Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords.
Pray for a movement to Christ that will spiritually enrich the Mahara community.
Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ that will not be hindered by the false belief in religious institutions rather than the person, Jesus Christ.
Pray for an unstoppable disciple-making movement during the 2020s.

Peoples of India: Odisha, vol XVI, part 2, pp. 1080-84, K.S. Singh

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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:5,900
Largest States:
Assam (2,000)Odisha (1,800)
Chhattisgarh (1,600)Manipur (200)
Meghalaya (100)Arunachal Pradesh (100)
Mizoram (40)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Mahara
People Name General: Mahara
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 112801
Joshua Project People ID: 17401
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 5,900
Population all Countries: 22,000
Least-Reached: Yes
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
People Name General: Mahara
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Odia (1,500 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ory    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Assamese (1,300)Chhattisgarhi (1,000)
Bengali (900)Hindi (300)
Bhatri (60)
Total Languages: 6
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism3.24 % 
Christianity0.00 %(Evangelical: 0.00 %)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism96.60 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.16 % 
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
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1811-1956
New Testament:
Complete Bible: 1815-2021
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 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 Odia
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
Film / VideoMagdalena video
Film / VideoMy Last Day video, anime
Film / VideoRivka video
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children
GeneralBible for Children
GeneralBiblical answers to your questions
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel resources links
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralGospel website in this language
GeneralZume Training
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: Odia
Text / Printed MatterChildren and youth resources
Text / Printed MatterJesus Messiah comic book
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

Mahara in India

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

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