People-in-Country Profile

People Selector:
Print version:
Step 1 - Select a Country:   Send us your updates!
Step 2 - Select a People:  

Khowa in India


Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Khowa in India map

Flash Map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,700 Bugun Buddhism 21.09 % Unknown No   

Khowa in India

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Approximately 800 people speak the Khowa language, which is commonly called Bugun, in north-east India. About half of all Khowa people 'reside in the two villages of Wanghoo and Singchung near the district headquarters at Bomdila in West Kameng District '. These communities are on the hillsides along both sides of the Rupa River (also known as Enga). 'The upper reaches of their land are lined by oak forests. The climate of the area is cold. In the upper reaches of the area, snowfall occurs in the months of January and February. The area experiences heavy rainfall in the months of May to August. '

The 1981 Indian census listed 625 Khowa people, down from a figure of 703 Khowa returned in the 1971 census. The Khowa 'are surrounded by the Sherdukpen on the west, with whom they share part of the Tanga valley, by the Monpas on the north, the Mijis or Dhamais on the east, and the Hrusos or Akas on the south '.

The Khowa language—which is an unclassified part of the Tibeto-Burman family—was first studied in the winter of 1913–14, when the British authorities compiled a 100-word list. Little research has been conducted since, except for brief reports by Ivan Simon (1976) and Rinchin Dondrup (1990). J N Chowdhury (1983) briefly mentions that the Khowa have 'a distinctive language which they zealously preserve '.

The Khowa say they originated in the north, in today's Tibet, before they moved southward in search of a new place to live. Locals believe that they arrived in the area before the Sherdukpen. For many years the Khowa were oppressed by the Aka tribe, who used to plunder them on the pretext of collecting taxes. The Khowa responded by relocating away from them. The Khowa are a colourful people. 'Their dresses during day-to-day occasions are very colourful which they also use during dances and festive occasions. That means they do not have any special dress for their dances and festivals, since they are colourful round the year. '

When the 1981 census was conducted, 606 of the 625 Khowa people stated that Buddhism was their religion. Two individuals said they were Hindus, eight were followers of 'other religions' (i.e., animists), and the remaining nine people did not state their religion. Other sources say that the Khowa believe in a mixture of traditional animism and Tibetan Buddhism. One researcher has found that the Khowa 'believe in one Supreme being who created the universe and life therein. They respect the Supreme God but do not worship [him].' Fear of demonic forces plays a major role in everyday Khowa life. For example, children are named immediately after birth, because 'the Khowas believe if there is a delay, some evil spirit will name the baby, and as a result the baby will suffer. When the child grows up to 16 to 17 years, the parents hold a worship called chhoacshao. This ritual is performed to please the spirit responsible for the welfare and betterment of the children. '

There has never been a known Christian among this small tribe. Gospel audio recordings are available in the Khowa language, but are rarely utilized.

View Khowa in all countries.

Prayer Links
  Submit Update:
Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: Asia, South
Persecution Rank:11 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:1,700
Largest States:
Arunachal Pradesh (1,700)
Location in Country:About half of all Khowa people reside in the two villages of Wanghoo and Singchung near the district headquarters at Bomdila in West Kameng District.
(Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004)
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Khowa
People Name General: Khowa
Alternate People Names:
ROP3 Code: 112536
Joshua Project People ID: 17180
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,700
Population all Countries: 1,700
Least-Reached: No
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
People Name General: Khowa
Ethnic Code: CNN25
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Bugun (1,400 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): bgg    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Adi (70)
Total Languages: 2
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religions:
Buddhism49.86 % 
Christianity21.09 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism4.54 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown24.51 % 
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
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: Yes
New Testament:
Complete Bible: None Reported
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
Film / VideoLUMO film of Gospels
GeneralGospel resources links
Text / Printed MatterBible: Bugun
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit 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

Khowa in India

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

Direct link: