Karmali in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Where Are they Located?

The Karmali of India are a Scheduled Tribe in the state of Jharkhand. They are mostly in Bokaro, Hazaribagh, Ranchi, Santhal Parganas and Singhbhum.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Karmali build their homes with mud walls and with tiles and bamboo. Their houses are rectangular in shape and they themselves make the wooden doors. They breed and eat pigs and, as a result, other tribes regard them as untouchable and do not accept food and water from them. The Karmali weave baskets and the women wear ornaments. The Karmali are monogamous. When the women cannot have children through barrenness, bigamy and trigamy is permitted and is also allowed for men and women whose marriage partner has died. They are endogamous and have clan exogamy. This means they marry within the group but not within their same clan. Marriage between tribes is not permitted.

In marriage there is a bride price paid in cash or with goods by the father of the groom. The fathers or guardians arrange the marriage. The boy's father contacts the girl's father at marriage time. The village priest helps to arrange the date of the marriage. A soil digging ritual is performed by the females in both houses. The couple has bathing and food regulations. Oil is put on the couple and they are blessed by the families. They have a feast. The bride stays for a week and the father of the bride takes her home where she stays for a year.

The Karmali make, sharpen and repair tools and they sell to tribes who are involved in agricultural tribes and castes. They make house and agriculture tools such as axes and sickles. Now they are having difficulty in getting raw materials and daily wage earning has become a way of making money.

The Karmali have a community Panchayat and all family leaders are members. The leader is called Mahato and is also the village chief. Cases such as divorce, adultery, rape and unfaithfulness in marriage are listened to and then a decision is given.

The Karmali kinship goes according to parentage and marriage. The lineage is through the fathers. Kin are classed by how near and distant they are.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Karmali are Hindus. The main god they worship is Singbonga. Their religious priest is Pahan. They worship other gods too. They believe that spirits of the ancestors live in the house and along with the priest they give sacrifices to the gods and spirits. They believe in witchcraft. They celebrate festivals.



Profile Source:   Anonymous  

Video Links:
A Pilgrimage
People Name General Karmali
People Name in Country Karmali
Population in India 135,000
World Population 138,000
Countries 2
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Kamalia, Karnalia
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Munda-Santal
People Name General Karmali
Ethnic Code AUG04c
People ID 17102
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:  6  (up to 20 largest shown)
Jharkhand (71,000) Odisha (51,000) West Bengal (12,000) Bihar (600)
Delhi (100) Uttar Pradesh (60)
Total States on file:  6  (up to 20 largest shown)
Jharkhand (71,000) Odisha (51,000)
West Bengal (12,000) Bihar (600)
Delhi (100) Uttar Pradesh (60)
Languages & Dialects on file:  28  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hindi (72,000) Oriya (28,000) Santhali (18,000) Bengali (4,300)
Kui (3,500) Kurux (2,200) Mundari (1,500) Maithili (800)
Kharia (600) Marathi (400) Kuvi (300) Juang (300)
Ho (200) Munda (200) Bhojpuri (100) Nepali (40)
Urdu (40) Panjabi, Eastern (30) Assamese (20) Bodo (20)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hindi 72,000 Oriya 28,000
Santhali 18,000 Bengali 4,300
Kui 3,500 Kurux 2,200
Mundari 1,500 Maithili 800
Kharia 600 Marathi 400
Kuvi 300 Juang 300
Ho 200 Munda 200
Bhojpuri 100 Nepali 40
Urdu 40 Panjabi, Eastern 30
Assamese 20 Bodo 20
For Primary Language: Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1806-1962)
New Testament Yes   (1811-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1818-2000)
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible Visuals General
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bible: Hindi Holy Bible Text / Printed Matter
Bibles, Bible League Text / Printed Matter
Christ for the Nations Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
EasyBibles Text / Printed Matter
Fathers Love Letter Film / Video
Following Jesus (India, JF Project) Film / Video
God's Story Video Film / Video
Gods Simple Plan General
Got Questions Ministry General
Hindi Bible Text / Printed Matter
Hindi Bible stories Audio Recordings
International Bible Society Text / Printed Matter
Jesus Film: view in Hindi Film / Video
Magdalena (Jesus Film Project) Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.89 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
93.54 %
0.42 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
5.14 %

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  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Anonymous  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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