Profile Source: India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar
Introduction / History
The Arundhatiyar mainly comprise the Chakkiliyan of Tamil Nadu. They are also called the Madiga and include the Madiga, Madari and Pagadai communities. Their name is derived from the mythical woman Arundhaty.
Their traditional occupation is making leather goods. The villagers compensate them for their services by giving them a fixed quantity of grain. They are also engaged in rearing pigs, goats and sheep, or working in industries, construction and other kinds of manual work. Today their occupations are much more varied and include jobs in many areas. They are known to adorn their bodies with tattoo designs. Both men and women consume local made alcohol.
They speak the Dravidian languages and are also conversant with other regional languages. Their staple cereal is rice. The Arundhatiyar women participate in economic activities and also contribute to the family income. Some of the Arundhatiyar are artists, painters, craftsmen and engaged in leather and embroidery work, while others are teachers, businessmen and in defense personnel.
Marriages between cross-cousins and uncle and niece alliances are permitted. Their marriage rituals are performed at the bridegroom's place. The elders of the community officiate at the social functions.
The majority of the Arundhatiyar are treated as untouchable. They worship community deity Matamma. They have separate wells and burial grounds.
In spite of the implementation of various developmental programs for education, they have not made much progress and have a literacy rate of only 15 percent.
* For the salvation of the people of the Arundhatiyar people.
* That the Arundhatiyar people may receive help from the government and NGOs through educational and developmental programmes.
* That God may grant grace and strength for the missionaries and for churches to be planted.
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