Text source: Karen Hightower
Introduction / History
Lakshadweep Islands of India consist of almost 40 islands; the capital is Kavaratti. Ten of the Lakshadweep islands are inhabited.
Lakshadweep Islands have had several different rulers in history including the Portuguese and the British. Lakshadweep people are cultural inhabitants of Kerala, and speak Malayalam, the same language.
Where are they located?
The Lakshadweep Islands are in the Arabian Sea.
What are their lives like?
The Lakshadweep people like spicy vegetarian food with coconuts. The non- vegetarians eat fish in particular and also meat.
The main work of the inhabitants is fishing, coconut cultivation. Tuna fish is the main export product. Women are given a yearly maintenance payment when married, by their husbands. The wife can divorce her husband if she does not receive these payments and she may remarry. Widows may also remarry.
Aminidivi people, who live on Amini Island, are friendly and well liked for their craft work. They design beautiful flowers and plants on coral stones and also make walking sticks from coconuts and tortoise shells to be sold to tourists.
Koyas are land owners, cultivators and sailors. They live on the Kavaratti, Kalpeni and Andrott islands. Regarding important economic and social matters, someone from the Koya group gives the final verdict. Koyas are considered superior and make the major decisions for the Lakshadweep people.
Malmis islanders are primarily sailors. They transport essential products such as rice from one island to another.
Melacheris people live on Amini Island. They collect nuts from coconut trees. They are the lowest of social classes on Lakshadweep.
The people are said to be honest and there is a lower crime level.
What are their beliefs?
Most people living on the Lakshadweep Islands are Muslims belonging to the Sunni sect. There are a small number of Wahabi mosques in Kavaratti and Agatti. A small number of Ahamadiya (an Islamic religious movement founded in Punjab, British India) are also in Kalpeni. Animism is also part of this island culture.
What are their needs?
Bible resources exist in the Malayalam language, however, Christian influence is minimal.
Their family, community, and inter-tribal involvement may be an opportunity for those who know God's truth of the gospel to earn eventual acceptance and privilege to speak.
Tourism may be a door of opportunity to meet and develop friendly relationships and offer educational and life-skills help.
Prayer PointsView Lakshadweep in all countries.
Pray that Almighty God would strengthen, encourage, and protect those who would be church planters and disciplers among these needy island people who do not yet know their Savior.
Pray that tourists who are believers will be kind and considerate to islanders as seed planters of God's love.
Ask the Lord to raise up strong local churches among the island people.