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Tai Man in India

Tai Man

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Tai Man in India map

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
6,900 Phake Buddhism 21.91 % Unknown No No   

Tai Man in India

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Approximately 3,500 people belonging to the Man ethnic group live in north-east India According to the 1991 census, 2,582 Man people lived in Assam State, dispersed in the Karbi Arleng District and North Cachar District. A small number may live in Tinsuria. An additional 585 Man people live in the state of Meghalaya, primarily in the West Garo Hills.

The name Man literally means 'a Burmese immigrant '. K S Singh says, 'Legend has it that they came to this part along with an invading army, and were afterwards recruited as sepoys to fight the Garos in the second decade of the nineteenth century. Those who settled down in the Garo hills after relinquishing their duty as sepoys took women from other communities as their wives and formed a separate community. They married Koch, Hajong, Assamese and Bengali women, but they never encouraged marriage with the Muslims.'

Over time, as a consequence of their mixing with other communities, the Man emerged as a distinct people group, and all links to their origins in Myanmar have long been forgotten. Their Tai language has also been lost. They have 'completely forgotten their original language and have adopted Assamese as their mother tongue and use the Assamese script. They sometimes use Bengali and Hindi to communicate with others. The Man have been Assamised to a large extent into the greater Assamese culture. '

Although the majority of Man people say they are Buddhists, Hinduism has influenced their religious belief system and is gradually taking over. 'The life cycle rituals they perform demonstrate much similarity with those of the neighboring caste Hindus of Assam and Meghalaya. The marriage, however, is solemnized by a Buddhist monk or pathak reciting hymns from the Pali scripture. '

Despite growing Hindu influence, approximately half of the Man continue to profess Theravada Buddhism. In most of their families the goddesses Lakshmi and Saraswati are venerated. The 1981 census returned 92.04 per cent of the Man in Meghalaya as followers of Buddhism, 3.45 per cent Hindus, 2.55 per cent Christians, 1.05 per cent 'other religions' (i.e., animism), 0.6 per cent Muslims and 0.31 per cent did not state their religion. The 1991 census revealed the inroads Hinduism has made, with the majority of Man in Assam at that time professing Hinduism.

There are approximately 250 Man Christians today in India, a remnant that does not have the resources or motivation to reach the rest of their ethnic group. The 1991 census returned 133 Man Christians living in the Karbi Arleng District and 97 Christians in the North Cachar District, both in Assam State.

Because they do not appear on most missionary lists of ethnolinguistic peoples from India, few Christians have ever heard of the Man and fewer still have tried to reach them with the gospel. About 50 per cent of Man have never heard the gospel in a clear way such that they could intelligently either accept or reject the claims of Christ.

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Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2014-06-02
Prayer Links
Shan State
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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:6,900
Largest States:
Assam (3,500)Mizoram (1,500)
Meghalaya (1,200)Delhi (400)
Arunachal Pradesh (200)West Bengal (40)
Maharashtra (30)Andaman and Nicobar Islands (10)
Gujarat (10)
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Tai Man
People Name General: Tai Man, Shan
Alternate People Names:
Burmese ShanCha Shan
DaiGreat Thai
Red ShanSen
ShyamTai Jai
Tai LongTai Luang
Tai NeuaTai Yai
ROP3 Code: 113721
Joshua Project People ID: 18205
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 6,900
Population all Countries: 4,614,000
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: Southeast Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Shan
People Name General: Tai Man, Shan
Ethnic Code: MSY49c
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
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Primary Language: Phake (4,200 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): phk    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Assamese (1,000)Mizo (200)
Boro (200)Karbi (80)
Khamyang (60)Dimasa (40)
Garo (30)Bengali (30)
Rabha (Unknown)Punjabi, Eastern (Unknown)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 18
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism76.06 % 
Christianity21.91 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism1.60 % 
Islam0.21 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.07 % 
Unknown0.15 % 
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 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: Help start a Bible Translation
New Testament: None Reported
Complete Bible: None Reported
Ministry Resources [7]
Audio RecordingsMegaVoice Audio Bible and Stories
Audio RecordingsAudio Bible teaching
Ministry Activity
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Networking: Visit for networking possibilities.
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Data Notes
Data Sources

Tai Man in India

Global                 Global
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
People Cluster
    Shan     Asia, South    
      Tai Man, Shan India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Tai Man in India          
      Religion Language  
      Buddhism     Phake  
    All Religions                              

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