Kharia in Bangladesh






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Kharia (Lewa Kunbi) people live in the Western Vidarbha region of Maharashtra. They have gotras such as Shendilya, Kashyap and Bharadwaj. They are known as Lewa Patil.

They speak the Marathi and Telegu languages and use the Devanagari script. A few of them also speak Hindi. The incidence of colour-blindness is reported in 5 percent of the Kharia population.

The Kharia men are non-vegetarian but their women are vegetarian. Jowar is their staple cereal and they eat rice occasionally. The economy of the Lewa Kunbi is mainly based on agriculture. They either cultivate their own land or work for others on a share-cropping basis. They participate in the local weekly markets. The problem of alcoholism is prevalent among the men.

The Kharia generally follow monogamy. The women contribute to the family economy as wage earners and take part in socio-religious activities. In a marriage a series of rituals are performed simultaneously at the bride and groom's residences. Marriage rituals include the thread wearing ceremony, the exchange of garlands and circumambulating the sacred fire seven times.

The Kharia have an association, which looks after the socio-economic development of the community. They cremate the dead and observe death pollution for ten days.

The Kharia worship both family and village deities. The Brahmin officiates as a priest at their rituals. Their traditional customs prevent them from exchanging water and cooked food with certain communities, such as, the Bhangi, Chamar and Mahar. Ancestor worship is also prevalent among them. Diwali is the main festival celebrated by the Lewa Kunbi.

Alternate names: Kunbi Khaire, Kunbi Lonari, Kunbi Tirole, Kunbi Hindre.

Prayer Points

* For the salvation of the Kharia people and that God may send several Christian workers to work among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* That the LKharia people may be freed from alcoholism, ancestors' worship, colour-blindness and be able to accept all the communities without caste prejudice.

Profile Source:   India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Kharia
People Name in Country Kharia
Population in Bangladesh 11,000
World Population 808,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 2.1
Least-Reached No
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Haria, Khaire Kunbi, Kharvi, Kulu, Kunbi
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Munda-Santal
People Name General Kharia
Ethnic Code AUG04z
People ID 17153
Country Bangladesh
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 43  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file:  6  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sylhet (8,900) Rangpur (1,700) Rajshahi (100) Chittagong (100)
Dhaka (40) Barisal (10)
Total States on file:  6  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sylhet (8,900) Rangpur (1,700)
Rajshahi (100) Chittagong (100)
Dhaka (40) Barisal (10)
Languages & Dialects on file:  3  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sylheti (6,600) Bengali (2,900) Chittagonian (60)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Sylheti 6,600 Bengali 2,900
Chittagonian 60
For Primary Language: Sylheti

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1993)
New Testament No
Complete Bible No
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
God's Story Video Film / Video
Jesus Film: view in Sylheti Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.51 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
7.40 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
65.96 %
0.62 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
25.50 %
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: India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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