Tipera in India

Population

658,000

Christian

4.8%

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center


Introduction / History

The Tipera are primarily concentrated in the Tripura Plains, which are located in the state of Tripura, northeastern India. As their name suggests, they are indigenous to this area. They are the largest tribe in the state, and their land once extended over much of Bengal, Assam, and northern Burma. The ruling family over this vast region belonged to the Tipera tribe.

The Tipera's native language, Kok Borok, is a Baric language belonging to the Tibeto-Burman language family. The phrase kok borok literally means "language people." Kok Borok is the mother tongue of a majority of the tribes in Tripura, and it is the language used in primary schools. There are three main dialects of Kok Borok: Debbarma, Riang, and Halam.

The Bodo, who are ancestors of the Tipera, were once the most important Indo-Mongoloid people in all of eastern India. Even now, their Tiperan descendants have special legal privileges.


What are Their Lives Like?

In Tripura, many of the state services are reserved for "scheduled tribe" candidates. (The scheduled tribes formerly belonged to a class known as "the untouchables." When India became independent in 1947, "untouchability" was abolished by law.) Today, due to the official state policy of favoring indigenous tribes in matters of social justice and economic affairs, the Tipera have preference in public services, education, land grants, and resettlement projects.

The Tipera are primarily farmers. Traditionally, they lived as semi-nomads and used the "slash and burn" method of farming. However, in 1976, the government moved the Tipera to the plains and introduced them to settled cultivation. They are still trying to adjust to this new lifestyle. Those living in the plains grow jute, rice, wheat, and sugar cane. Their biggest fear is the seasonal cyclones that flood the area and cause much damage to the crops and villages.

Not all of the Tipera are farmers or farm laborers; some work in the state's industries. They include weaving cloth, milling rice and flour, canning fruit, and producing bamboo and leather items.

The Tipera are known as poor, careless, and not at all industrious. Without a medical college in Tripura State, their state of health is understandably poor. In addition, they have no access to pure drinking water.

There are very few towns in the plains region. The Tipera generally live in small village settlements that are located near the river valleys. Their tiny, one-room houses are made of temporary materials-usually mud or bamboo. A few houses have tin walls, and there is occasionally a home made of wood with a tile roof. Each village is divided into clans and castes, and is run by a headman.

The Tipera only marry within their own tribe. Polygamy is permitted, but rare. Young people are free to choose their own marriage partners, although they must first receive permission from their parents. Promiscuity before marriage is freely tolerated among the Tipera, but accidental pregnancies lead to immediate marriage. Married couples usually do not have their own homes until they have had several children.

Tipera women are especially fond of wearing jewelry, which can be bought from Bengali craftsmen.


What are Their Beliefs?

The Tipera practice ethnic religions, which include worshiping the gods of fire, water, and the forest. The Tipera believe that they must appease these spirits in order to have bountiful harvests. They believe that they are surrounded by spirits that affect their welfare and health. They also believe that after death each man goes to the "underworld" and begins re-living his previous life.


What are Their Needs?

The Tipera living in the plains have a greater exposure to technology than those in the more remote regions. However, they also have more exposure to other religions; they are surrounded by Hindus, Buddhists, and Lamaists. Christian laborers are needed to go into the plains and share the love of Christ with this tribe.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Tipera.
* Pray that the Tipera believers will have opportunities to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of the Tipera towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of India's governmental leaders to the Gospel.
* Pray that God will raise up teams of intercessors who will stand in the gap for these precious people.



Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center Copyrighted ©: Yes Used with permission

People Name General Tipera
People Name in Country Tipera
Population in India 658,000
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kok Borok, Kokbor, Tippera-Bengali, Tipperah, Tripura, Tripuri
Affinity Bloc Tibetan-Himalayan Peoples
People Cluster Garo-Tripuri
People Name General Tipera
Ethnic Code MSY50s
Country India
Continent Asia
Region South Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kok Borok (661,000) Bengali (20,000) Assamese (3,100) Chin, Falam (800)
Rakhine (400) Hindi (200) Munda (100) Oriya (100)
Kurux (100) English (100) Tamil (90) Santhali (60)
Naga, Inpui (50) Nepali (30) Malayalam (30) Koch (30)
Mizo (20) Garo (20) Tibetan, Central (20) Tulu (20)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Kok Borok 661,000 Bengali 20,000
Assamese 3,100 Chin, Falam 800
Rakhine 400 Hindi 200
Munda 100 Oriya 100
Kurux 100 English 100
Tamil 90 Santhali 60
Naga, Inpui 50 Nepali 30
Malayalam 30 Koch 30
Mizo 20 Garo 20
Tibetan, Central 20 Tulu 20
Largest Religion Hinduism
Buddhism
0.18%
Christianity
4.8%    ( Evangelical  0.00% )
Ethnic Religions
0.00%
Hinduism
95.01%
Islam
0.03%
Non-Religious
0.00%
Other / Small
0.00%
Unknown
0.03%
Photo Source: Anonymous
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center
Profile Source:
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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