People-in-Country Profile

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

Banjara (Hindu traditions) in India

Banjara (Hindu traditions)

Send us a photo of this people.  [1]

Banjara (Hindu traditions) in India map

Flash Map
Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
6,379,000 Lambadi Hinduism 4.82 % Unknown Not available   

Banjara (Hindu traditions) in India

Profile Text
Submit Profile Text:

Introduction / History
The Hindu Banjara, who are known by 53 different names, primarily speak Lambadi or Lamani (53%), and Banjara (25%).

They are the largest nomadic group in India and are known as the root Romani of the earth. The Romani began traveling from India to different regions of Europe hundreds of years ago, and differing dialects evolved in the regions in which each group settled. The Banjara's name is derived from the word bajika, which means trade or business, and from banji, meaning peddlers pack. Many consider them descended from Jews who were exiled to Egypt, as they came to India from Egypt and Persia. Some believe they were expelled from their homeland by Muslim invaders. They are now located in over fifty percent of the districts of India.

What are their lives like?
Most Indian Romani have olive skin, dark hair, and brown eyes. Although we usually associate these groups with bands of fortune tellers traveling in colorful caravans from place to place, this is no longer the case with the Banjara. Historically they were nomadic and kept cattle, traded salt, and transported goods. Now, most of them have settled down to farming and raising cattle or grain. Others still trade in salt and other commodities. In some regions, a few hold white collar positions or work as government servants. They also sew intricately embroidered colorful clothes with shining discs and beads. They make ornaments and ornate jewelry, which the women also wear.

Not only do the Banjara usually have more than one occupation, they also use additional skills to supplement their incomes, depending on the societies needs at the time. Some specialize in making items such as broomsticks, iron tools, and needles. They may also repair tools or work with stone. Others believe that one does not have to work for a living and gain income by "religious begging." They sing and wear special make-up while begging in the name of a specific deity. The Banjara love music, playing folk instruments, and dancing. The Banjar are also acrobats, magicians, tricksters, story-tellers, and fortune-tellers.

Because they are poor, they eat what they have grown in their gardens along with dairy products. Many live in grass huts, often with extended families. The Banjara families are closely knit, having minimal relationships with other castes. The role of leader of the community is passed down to the leader's son. All biological sons get an equal share from parental property. Marriages may be arranged, especially to avoid the union of relatives to three generations back. In some groups, however, cousins are allowed to marry. Dowries can be as high as 20,000 rupees or almost $450.00. Married women wear ivory armbands.

What are their beliefs?
The majority of Banjara are Hindu; some have combined Hindu practices with their own animistic beliefs. Other groups follow Islam; yet others are Sikh. Romani often follow folk beliefs, and mixed with these religious beliefs are many "taboos" ( things one must never do.) One Hindu taboo is that a woman's hair must not be combed or let down long in the presence of men. Another is that a woman should not pass in front of a man who is sitting, but rather behind him. Even though Romani are unreserved in speech, many have high moral standards. For example, chastity is very important. In the past, some girls who were involved in prostitution were buried alive. Unmarried girls are still discouraged from going into the cities, and they usually wear veils over their hands and feet while sitting with strangers.

What are their needs?
Many Banjara live in poverty. Usually the only clothes a Romani owns are the ones on his back. An unsanitary lifestyle has created many physical needs among them.

Most children do not attend schools because their families are always on the move. Only 12% of men and 3.6% of women can read. The Banjara do not have a written language, so depending on whatever state of India they are in, if they read, it must be in that states' script.

Prayer Points
* Pray that the Banjara, rejected by society, would feel accepted by God.
* Ask God to provide creative ways to evangelize the Banjara, such as the Hosanna music tape with Lambadi songs and the Gospel message.
* Pray for witnessing opportunities to Banjara children.

View Banjara (Hindu traditions) in all countries.

Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2007-09-19
Global Prayer Digest: 2009-08-09
  Submit Update:
Country: India
Continent: Asia
Region: South Asia
Persecution Rank:15 (Only top 50 ranked, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
10/40 Window: Yes
Population in Country:6,379,000
Largest States:
Telangana (2,259,000)Karnataka (1,220,000)
Maharashtra (1,062,000)Madhya Pradesh (491,000)
Andhra Pradesh (423,000)Rajasthan (348,000)
Uttar Pradesh (187,000)West Bengal (92,000)
Tamil Nadu (76,000)Chhattisgarh (72,000)
Total States on file:28
   
 
Maps
Submit Map:
Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
Submit Update:
People Name in Country: Banjara (Hindu traditions)
People Name General: Banjara (Hindu traditions)
Alternate People Names:
BagoraBajari
BanjaraBanjare
BanjariBepari
BhanjaBhanjara
BrinjaraDaiya
DhariDhead
GavaraGawalia
GormatiGour Banjara
ROP3 Code: 111445
Joshua Project People ID: 16315
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 6,379,000
Population all Countries: 6,379,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Banjara
People Name General: Banjara (Hindu traditions)
Ethnic Code: CNN25f
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
Submit Update:
Primary Language: Lambadi (2,803,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): lmn    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Hindi (2,273,000)Telugu (577,000)
Kannada (188,000)Marathi (93,000)
Marwari (57,000)Bengali (45,000)
Dhundari (32,000)Chhattisgarhi (29,000)
Bagri (27,000)Gujarati (23,000)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 55
   
 
Religion [4]
Submit Update:
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.00 % 
Christianity4.82 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism95.18 % 
Islam0.00 % 
Non-Religious0.00 % 
Other / Small0.00 % 
Unknown0.00 % 
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]   Few evangelicals and few who claim to be Christians. Little, if any, history of Christianity.
Least-Reached: Yes
 
 
Bible Translation Status
Submit Update:
Bible Portions: 1963-1977
New Testament:
1999
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 (GRN)
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Lambadi
Film / VideoTransformation (Indigitube.tv)
Text / Printed MatterBible-in-Your-Language
 
 
Ministry Activity
Register Ministry Activity:
Networking: Visit LinkingGlobalVoices.org 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
 
 

Banjara (Hindu traditions) in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Banjara     South Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Banjara (Hindu traditions) India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Banjara (Hindu traditions) in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Lambadi  
    Global    
Language
 
    All Religions                              
   
Religion
                             

Direct link:  http://legacy.unreachedresources.org/people-profile.php?peo3=16315&rog3=IN