Kanakkan in India

Joshua Project has identified the Kanakkan only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

In 1909, a British writer wrote that the Kanakkan people wore a sacred thread, which is normally reserved for high caste Brahmins. This is strange since this group is from a scheduled caste community.

Traditionally they worked as coconut pickers who also extracted toddy from coconut and palm trees.

Where Are they Located?

Almost all the Kanakkan people live in India's beautiful southwestern state of Kerala. They do not live in other countries.

What Are Their Lives Like?

This is an endogamous community, meaning that they only marry within their own. If you do some web searching, you will find that they have their own matrimonial sites. They commonly marry their cousins. When a Kanakkan couple gets divorced, they have a very simple procedure: they just separate, and everyone understands that they are divorced. Their children can stay with either parent. Nuclear families are becoming more common among them.

Most of them are landless agricultural laborers. They have a surprisingly high literacy rate given their low economic status.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all of them are Hindus, though there are a few who profess Christianity. They family deity is Nerachikavu Bhagvati. They also worship various village and other Hindu deities.

According to the seventh edition of "Operation World," their state, Kerala, was 19 percent Christian in one form or another. The Kanakkan people speak Kerala's language, Malayalam. It would be easy for them to have contact with Malayalam-speaking believers. That language includes all kinds of Christian materials such as the Bible, the JESUS Film, Gospel Recordings, and radio broadcasts. There are also vibrant Kerala-based mission organizations such as India Gospel Outreach (IGO) that can reach them.

Prayer Points

* Pray for spiritual hunger among the Kanakkan people.
* Pray for them to have ready access to the many Christian materials that are in the Malayalam language.
* Pray for Indian mission groups like IGO to reach out to them until there is a cascading church planting movement among them.

People Name General Kanakkan
People Name in Country Kanakkan
Population in India 250,000
World Population 250,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kanakar, Karnigar, Koinagar, Padanan, Padanna, Pandanna
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Malayali
People Name General Kanakkan
Ethnic Code CNN23b
People ID 17076
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 21  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  9  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (245,000) Tamil Nadu (5,600) Maharashtra (1,400) Delhi (600)
Karnataka (500) Telangana (200) Andaman and Nicobar (100) Odisha (100)
Pondicherry (10)
Total States on file:  9  (up to 20 largest shown)
Kerala (245,000) Tamil Nadu (5,600)
Maharashtra (1,400) Delhi (600)
Karnataka (500) Telangana (200)
Andaman and Nicobar (100) Odisha (100)
Pondicherry (10)
Languages & Dialects on file:  4  (up to 20 largest shown)
Malayalam (197,000) Tamil (53,000) Kanikkaran (2,000) Kannada (100)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Malayalam 197,000 Tamil 53,000
Kanikkaran 2,000 Kannada 100

For Main Lanugage: Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1811-1968)
New Testament Yes   (1829-1995)
Complete Bible Yes   (1841-2004)
Audio Bible Online
Format Resource
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Malayalam
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Gods Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed Matter Bible-in-Your-Language
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Text / Printed Matter International Bible Society
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible (Bibles India)
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.02 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
99.98 %
0.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
0.00 %

Christian Segments Percent
0.0 %
0.0 %
0.0 %
Other Christian
0.0 %
0.0 %
Roman Catholic
0.0 %
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source: Global Prayer Digest / Keith Carey 
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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