Introduction / History
Traditionally the Tamudia were an oil-pressing community, though many of them are now farmers. Some own their land while others are sharecroppers. They are also known as Tamaria and Teli Bhamij, the latter indicating a tie with the more numerous Teli oil pressing community. They are considered to be a Scheduled Caste, giving them low, but not the lowest status in Hinduism. In the past they were at the bottom socially. There are no subgroups within the Tamudia people.
Where are they located?
This Hindu community lives in northern Odisha, a state in eastern India.
What are their lives like?
Members of the Tamudia community do not marry outside their caste. Within their gotras (clans) they have totems represented by animals, and they are not allowed to kill any of these animals, including crocodiles and pond fish. They claim to have a mystic tie with their totems and the animals that represent them.
Their families are nuclear and patriarchal. Thus, when a woman marries a man from another clan, she joins his clan. In the past they married off their children, but now only adults marry.
Marriages are almost always arranged; it is rare for a couple to have a "love" marriage. The marriage proposal comes from a mediator called a dandiadar, hired by leaders of the groom's family. If the other family wants to marry the girl to him, they agree to the wedding. The groom's father and maternal uncle later go back to her house. After seeing the girl and she meets their approval, there is a betrothal ceremony where they present her with gifts. The bride-to-be's father washes the groom's father and uncle's feet with water mixed with turmeric powder, and then there is a feast. Later the prospective groom washes her father's feet before they have another feast, and the all agree upon the date of the wedding. The bride price must be paid before the wedding. On an auspicious day, the groom's party comes to the bride's home for the wedding.
They have many opportunities to intermingle with members of other communities since they share the same water sources, villages and religious sites.
What are their beliefs?
This Hindu community worships a number of gods at the village level. Brahman priests help them in their worship rituals. They also appease ancestral spirits. During a crisis like an epidemic, the Tamudia people worship their gods at the individual and the community level.
What are their needs?
The Tamudia people need to be spiritually enriched by a relationship with Jesus Christ that will allow them to enjoy abundant life and a transformed community.
Pray for a "Book of Acts" type of movement to Christ among the Tamudia people.
Pray for the Tamudia people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.
Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Tamudia people to change their society from within.
Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers Tamudia disciples to make more disciples.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Tamudia communities.
ReferencesView Tamudia in all countries.
People of India, Odisha, vol. XVI, pp. 1458-64, K.S. Singh