Where Are they Located?
The 306,000 Dewar people live mainly in the eastern Indian states of Orissa and Chhattisgarh. They once were nomadic, but most of them are now settled.
What Are Their Lives Like?
What do they do for a living? Some say that they raise pigs, and their livestock make up the bulk of their possessions. Others say they beg or entertain by singing and doing tricks with monkeys. Still others say they are a fishing community that sell fish and fish products in the markets. Others say that their women do tattoos. Whatever they do, it is not lucrative, and they would prefer to have more educational opportunities for their children. They can't afford better education because of their poverty.
Most of their marital practices are like other scheduled castes. However, they have one custom that might be interesting to watch: the groom must forcefully open the bride's hand to put the wedding ring in it. One wonders what would happen if she has exceptionally strong hands.
What Are Their Beliefs?
These Hindus worship the goddess Andhimata and her 21 sisters. In the days when they moved about as nomads they would move the images of their deities in a basket over their heads. They believe that Andhimata would be annoyed if they stopped procreating, so they have large families which they can't afford to support.
* Pray for the Dewar people will tire of worshipping lifeless goddesses and give their full devotion to the One who is the Father of life.
* Pray for the Lord to raise up workers to help them develop their economic lives so that He will be glorified.
|Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey|