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Bhumij in India

Bhumij

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Population [2] Language Religion % Christian % Evangl Online NT Jesus Film Progress
1,273,000 Bengali Hinduism 1.13 % Unknown   

Bhumij in India

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Introduction / History
The Munda-Santal of northeastern India and Nepal are comprised of nine different, but very closely related people groups. They are distributed politically throughout the states of Bihar, West Bengal, and Orissa, India. Most of the tribes live in the hilly areas of the Chotanagpur Plateau, located in southern Bihar. Others prefer living in the plains. Beyond this region, they have spread widely throughout India as agricultural and industrial laborers.

The seven groups who occupy territory farther north include the Santal (of India and Nepal), the Bhumij, the Koda, the Mahili, the Ho, and the Agariya. The two remaining groups, the Juango and the Gadaba, are located in the southern portion of India, nearer to the coast of the Bay of Bengal. The native language of the Munda-Santal, called Munda, belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.

Tribal culture among the Munda-Santal is quickly changing under the impact of external influences such as industrialization, new communication links, tribal welfare schemes, and community development projects.

What are their lives like?
Traditions regarding the origin of the Munda-Santal tribes are uncertain; but originally, the forested area of Chotanagpur was ruled by chiefs of various native tribes. Gradually, British authority was established in the plains.

There are records of a Munda revolt in 1831-1832 and a Santal rebellion of 1855-1858. Of the nine Munda-Santal groups, only the Bhumij have been rulers. For this reason, they claim a higher social status than the others.

Most of the Munda-Santal population depends on farming for survival. Some rural families depend on village or cottage industries such as weaving. They supplement their meager agricultural earnings with hunting and gathering.

Today, the government is trying to preserve forests, so cultivation shifting is limited. There is also an increase in the amount of irrigated land. As a result, other sources of income have been developed. They include such jobs as working in the tea plantations of the Northeast, working in the steel industry, or working as day laborers for local Hindu landowners. Since the Chotanagpur Plateau is the richest mineral belt in India, some of the Munda-Santal earn wages by mining. Both men and women work to bring home adequate income for their families.

Although very few of the tribes live by trade, some have traditional artisan or specialist occupations. Two such groups are the Koda, who are ditch diggers, and the Gadaba, who are known for their wall-paintings. Generally, though, Hindu artisans supply most of the tribes' needs.

The weekly market plays an important part in the economy of these tribes. For example, some Mahili sell their bamboo basketry in local markets.

Munda-Santal settlements are usually located in river valleys; deforested, eroded areas; and mineral and industrial belts. The majority of the people live in clustered villages or villages with one street.

The Munda-Santal are divided into clans who recognize a common ancestor. The clans often marry those who are from other tribes; however, there are smaller sub-tribes who are permitted to marry only those within their group. There is also a bachelor's dormitory, dhumkuria, in all Munda-Santal groups except the Juango.

The Munda-Santal have a rich artistic heritage, especially in music and dance. Most tribal villages have a dance floor where worship is offered by a village priest. Though the villages are run by "headmen," the panchayat (religious scholar or monk) is consulted concerning the most important matters. Most conflicts within the tribes concern land rights or marriage.

What are their beliefs?
The Munda-Santal tribes tend to preserve their own beliefs, values, and separate identity. In all of the groups, most are Hindus, while the others practice ethnic religions.

In Don Richardson's "Eternity In Their Hearts," we learn about their ancient God called Thakur Jiu, or "Genuine God." They thought that He had forgotten them because they had turned away from Him in fear of the Maran Buru, or "spirits of the great mountains." Their ancestors had made an oath with the Maran Buru when migrating to their present lands. They began to practice spirit appeasement, sorcery, and sun worship.

Today, their supreme god is the sun god. However, they have also adopted the Hindu deities in addition to tribal gods and goddesses. The Hindu village priest is the ritual specialist, and they observe many Hindu festivals. They do have a firm belief in an almighty creator and also in "mother earth."

What are their needs?
In places where the Gospel is being preached to the Munda-Santal, the listeners almost immediately receive after the village council talks it over. These precious tribes are ripe unto harvest; they simply need people to show them the way back to the Genuine God!

Prayer Points
* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and Nepal and share Christ with these tribes.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften their hearts towards the Gospel.
* Ask God to call out prayer teams to break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to encourage and protect the small number of Hindus who have converted to Christianity.
* Pray that God will complete the work begun in the hearts of these believers through adequate discipleship.
* Ask the Lord to raise up a triumphant Church among each of the Munda-Santal tribes for the glory of His name!

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Prayer Links  
PrayerGuard.net
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-10-26
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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:1,273,000
Largest States:
West Bengal (436,000)Odisha (337,000)
Jharkhand (239,000)Assam (238,000)
Tripura (13,000)Bihar (5,600)
Arunachal Pradesh (2,000)Andaman and Nicobar Islands (1,600)
Delhi (500)Meghalaya (100)
Total States on file:15
   
 
Maps
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Ethnolinguistic Map:University of Texas or other map
 
  Peoples [3]
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People Name in Country: Bhumij
People Name General: Bhumij
Alternate People Names:
Bhumij DesuaBhumija
BhumjiaChai Bin
Desua BhumijKisan-Bhumij
भूमीज़
ROP3 Code: 111603
Joshua Project People ID: 16447
Indigenous: Yes
Population in Country: 1,273,000
Population all Countries: 1,302,000
Least-Reached: Yes
   
 
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
People Cluster: Bengali
People Name General: Bhumij
Ethnic Code: CNN25l
Ethnic Relationships: Affinity Bloc -> People Cluster -> Peoples Ethnicity Tree
   
 
Language
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Primary Language: Bengali (555,000 Speakers)
Language Code (ISO): ben    Ethnologue Listing
Secondary Languages:
Odia (177,000)Assamese (174,000)
Mundari (151,000)Ho (42,000)
Hindi (38,000)Santhali (27,000)
Munda (18,000)Kuvi (1,700)
Bhojpuri (700)Bhunjia (600)
Note: Only 10 largest secondary languages listed
Total Languages: 60
   
 
Religion [4]
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Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religions:
Buddhism0.01 % 
Christianity1.13 %(Evangelical: Data not available)
Ethnic Religions0.00 % 
Hinduism91.22 % 
Islam0.07 % 
Non-ReligiousUnknown 
Other / Small0.01 % 
Unknown7.56 % 
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
GSEC Status:Level 2   Less than 2% Evangelical. Initial (localized) church planting within past 2 years
 
 
Bible Translation Status
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Bible Portions: 1800-1980
New Testament:
1801-1984Audio
Complete Bible: 1809-2000
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 RecordingsBengali Bible stories
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Bangla Version (F ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament - Mussolmani Versio ...
Audio RecordingsOnline New Testament- Common Version (FC ...
Audio RecordingsOnline Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio RecordingsOral Bible stories in Bengali
Audio RecordingsStory of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project ...
Film / VideoFollowing Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / VideoGod's Story Video
Film / VideoI Am Guilty (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoJesus Film: view in Bengali
Film / VideoMagdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoMy Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / VideoRivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / VideoStory of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / VideoThe Burning Heart (Indigitube.tv)
Film / VideoThe Prophets Story (Indigitube.tv)
GeneralBible Visuals
GeneralFour Spiritual Laws
GeneralGods Simple Plan
GeneralGot Questions Ministry
Text / Printed MatterBible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed MatterBible: Mussulmani-Bangla, Kitabul Mukkad ...
Text / Printed MatterBible: Standard Bangla Common Language
Text / Printed MatterBible: কিতাবুল মোক ...
Text / Printed MatterBibles, Bible League
Text / Printed MatterChrist for the Nations
Text / Printed MatterEasyBibles
Text / Printed MatterInternational Bible Society
Text / Printed MatterOneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed MatterWorld Missionary Press Booklets
 
 
Ministry Activity
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Data Notes
Data Sources
 
 

Bhumij in India

Peoples
               
Geographic
Global                 Global
           
  Affinity Bloc             Global  
           
   
People Cluster
       
Region
   
    Bengali     South Asia    
     
People-Group-Across-Countries
   
Country
   
      Bhumij India    
            People-by-Country (Profile)          
            Bhumij in India          
      Religion Language  
      Hinduism     Bengali  
    Global    
Language
 
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Direct link:  http://legacy.unreachedresources.org/people-profile.php?peo3=16447&rog3=IN