Kachin, Jingpho in Myanmar (Burma)

Population

1,020,000

Christian

Evangelical

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


The Kachin

Source Asia Harvest                                                Download

Identity

The Singhpo (Kachin) are one of the most intriguing tribes in South Asia today. The name 'Singhpo' is a variation of 'Jingpo'. The Jingpo are a large ethnic group living in northern Myanmar and areas of western Yunnan Province in south-west China. The Jingpo in these two countries are predominantly Christians or animists, with very little Buddhist influence. Among the Singhpo of India, however, Buddhism is a stronghold and almost all people follow it. The Singhpo migrated into India about a century before the gospel was first introduced to their cousins in Myanmar and China, and they consequently have missed out on believing in Christianity to this present time.

The Singhpo (Kachin) tribe primarily live in Myanmar and China as well as in the Changlang and Lohit districts of the north-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh. They 'inhabit the plain regions of these districts, and the area is drained by the Tengapani and Nao-Dihing rivers. Their habitat is surrounded by dense forests of the tropical moist deciduous type.' In addition a small, unspecified number of Singhpo people live across the border in the Margherita Subdivision of Tinsuria District in Assam State, as well as in the Lakhimpur and Sibsagar districts.

The Singhpo (Kachin) of India have experienced strong population growth. The 1961 Indian census listed 982 Singhpo people. The population increased to 1,567 in 1971; to 2,353 in 1981; and to 3,569 in 1991. This group has an extremely high birth rate. The average number of children born to a Singhpo woman is 5.6, although only 3.95 survive past infancy.


History

The forefathers of the Singhpo migrated from northern Myanmar in 1793, settling in the plains of Tirap District in Arunachal Pradesh. The reason for their migration is unclear, although one source says that 'They arrived at their present habitat when a reign of terror was let loose by the Ahom king, Gaurinath Singha.' Arriving in their present location, the Singhpo 'drove out the Khamtis from the lowlands under the Patkoi hills'.

In more-than two centuries since their arrival, the Singhpo have lost connection with their counterparts in other nations, and they have gradually developed distinct linguistic, cultural and religious traits. Due to their close interaction with the Khamti tribe, who speak a language from the Tai family, the Singhpo language has changed markedly from its original Tibeto-Burman form. One source states that now Singhpo only shares a 50 per cent lexical similarity with Jingpo in Myanmar. This figure makes more sense when we compare English and German, which share a 60 per cent lexical similarity.


Religion

The 1981 census of India records 98.51 per cent of Singhpo as followers of Theravada Buddhism, 0.72 per cent as Hindus and just three people as Christians. The 1991 census, however, returned 70 Christians. One source notes, 'The Singhpo religion is a peculiar blend of Buddhism and their traditional religion. Besides Lord Buddha, they worship some benevolent and malevolent spirits. Their traditional and Buddhist priests are known as disamba and chowsra, respectively.' There are a very few Singhpo Christians today. One survey of Arunachal Pradesh concluded, 'They are more open to the gospel now than ever before.


Profile Source:   Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Kachin, Jingpho
People Name in Country Kachin, Jingpho
Population in Myanmar (Burma) 1,020,000
Progress Scale 3.2
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Chingpaw, Chingpo, Dashan, Dashanhua, Indian Kachin, Jinghpaw, Jingpaw, Jingpo, Ka Khyen, Keqin, Marip, Nhkum, Singfo, Sing-fo, Singhpo, Singpho, Singpo
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Miri-Kachin
People Name General Kachin, Jingpho
Ethnic Code MSY50f
Country Myanmar (Burma)
Region Southeast Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 23  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution rankinging, )
Location in Country Kachin state
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Jingpho (Unknown) Singpho (Unknown)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Jingpho Singpho
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1895-1912)
New Testament Yes   (1912-2004)
Complete Bible Yes   (1927-2009)
Audio Bible Online
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Jingpho
Printed Matter Fathers Love Letter
Scripture World Missionary Press Booklets

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
10.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 37.00 %)
64.00 %
Ethnic Religions
26.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
Anglican
4.0 %
Independent
11.0 %
Orthodox
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
Protestant
70.0 %
Roman Catholic
15.0 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Video Source: Asia Harvest
Profile Source: Peoples of the Buddhist World, Paul Hattaway  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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