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Na in India


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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
100 Na Unknown 15.79 % Unknown No No   

Na in India

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The Na ethnic group live in the Gumsing, Taying, Esnaya, Lingbing, Tongla, Yeja, Reding, Redi and Dadu villages of the Taksing Circle in the Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh, India. The Na area—which is lined with beautiful pine trees—is situated at an altitude of 2,300 metres (7,500 ft.) above sea level. The Subansiri River, known locally as the Nyrsi, flows through the western part of their habitation. Because of the high altitude, the Na area is cold all year round.

The 1981 Indian census did not list a separate population for the Na, but in 1995 a Na village headman stated that there were 978 people in the community. The earlier 1971 census did have a category for the Na, but they returned a figure of only 238 people.

The Na say that their progenitor was a god named Shiju. 'As stated by the people themselves, there was a placed called Lung in the north, which is at a distance of three to four days by foot from Taksing. The Chadar clan of the community first migrated to Taksing and settled there. They were followed by other people via the Sarli route.'

After arriving in their present location in India the Na were oppressed by the Tibetans, who objected to them leaving Tibet. This may suggest that the Na were formerly serfs of the Tibetans, before they fled to safety. 'It was the Nishings who took the initiative to bring about amity between the Tibetans and the Nas. Consequently the Nas even started barter trade with the Tibetans. '

The Na language falls within the Tani branch of the Tibeto-Burman family. It is related to Tagin, a language spoken by more than 30,000 people in Arunachal Pradesh. The Na speak their language in their own villages, but they use Hindi to communicate with outsiders. Some of the educated Na are able to speak English.

Although all Na people claim that they follow Tibetan Buddhism, their religious practices seem more akin to shamanism and spirit appeasement than to orthodox Buddhism. One source notes, 'They worship various spirits at home. The nyibu (shaman) is called for the rituals. One of their prominent deities is called Yulo. Earlier lamas were also called to drive away evil spirits by reading the chhu (sacred prayers) from the Buddhist scriptures. The Nas visit the monastery at least once a week for prayers. The lamas are now called for religious functions and festivals. '

Almost every part of Na society is strongly influenced by these Buddhist shamanist beliefs and practices. Even when selecting a partner for marriage, the Na summon a shaman to perform divination to determine whether the match will be blessed by the spirits. 'The final selection of the groom and bride depends on confirmation through the divination of eggs and chicken liver.' The shaman kills a chicken and inspects the lines and patterns on the liver. He is supposed to be able to predict the future by these signs.

There are no known Christians among the Na people. Their remote area has experienced very little gospel witness throughout history. A recent source states that there are 975 Christians out of a total population of 50,086 in the Upper Subansiri District, but most of these Christians are from the Adi and Tagin people groups.

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Global Prayer Digest: 2007-08-28
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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:100
Largest States:
Arunachal Pradesh (100)
Location in Country:They live in nine villages of the Taksing Circle in the Upper Subansiri District of Arunachal Pradesh.
(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: Na
People Name General: Na
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 113187
Joshua Project People ID: 17731
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 100
Population all Countries: 100
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Na
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Na (100 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): nbt    Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages: 1
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Unknown
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity15.79 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism0.00 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown84.21 % 
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]   Evangelicals have only a very small representation among all who claim to be Christians.
Least-Reached: No
GSEC Status:Level 0   No evangelical Christians or churches. No access to major evangelical print, audio, visual, or human resources
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]
None Reported
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Na in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    South Asia Tribal - other     Asia, South    
      Na India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Na in India          
      Religion Language  
      Unknown     Na  
    All Religions                              

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