Musahar, Hindu traditions in Nepal






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Musahar are considered one of the lowest of the Dalit groups within India and suffer tremendously from their status in society. Their name is derived from two words meaning "rat catcher" and is likely attributed to them for their tendency to eat rodents in times of dire need. They are short in stature with a long narrow headshape and broad nasal features.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Numbering two million in mostly in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh they have large families and live with several generations in the same household. A Musahar village is almost always filled with children. Though they will frequently speak Hindi, the local trade language, they will speak Angika or Awadhi at home.

Land ownership is rare and most will work as agricultural laborers, day laborers or forest and fishing. The women also work in agriculture or other unskilled labor such as stitching leaf-plates.

Education is not valued and literacy is extremely low with literacy rates running 2-6%. Often times they will drop out at the primary level due to social or economic factors. Modern development programs have had little impact on them as few if any of the sparse allocated resources designated for them every reach them in their need. Many times their wages are paid in crops and they trade in the market place through barter.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Traditionally they follow their tribal faith and will worship their family deity, the village deity as well as the gods of the wider Hindu faith.

What Are Their Needs?

Due their extreme poverty they live far from towns and cities which have proper health care. Nor do they have the capacity to travel to avail themselves of these facilities. The result is a desperate health care situation. Child mortality and maternal mortality are high and the life span is short which is exasperated by high rates of alcoholism among the male population.

Much of their condition is a result of their low position in the caste hierarchy. They are considered untouchables and treated with disdain by all other sections of society. Any attempts at economic advancement will be taken away from them or destroyed and they have little or no capacity to retain property rights. Their constitutional rights of education and food subsidies are routinely denied through corruption and caste based policies. They are powerless and voiceless, unable to change their situation alone. Sadly many Musahar women are kidnapped or sold into prostitution in the major metropolitan cities. Without recourse this becomes their new life, oppressed, abused and forced to suffer in silence.

Profile Source:   GSCC  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Musahar, Hindu traditions
People Name in Country Musahar, Hindu traditions
Population in Nepal 232,000
World Population 3,021,000
Countries 3
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Banmanus, Banraja, Bhuiya, Gaur, Gonr, Musahar Bhuiya, Mushar, Mushr, Palamau Bhuiya
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Name General Musahar, Hindu traditions
Ethnic Code CNN25c
People ID 17711
Country Nepal
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Total States on file:  12  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sagarmatha (81,000) Janakpur (59,000) Kosi (54,000) Narayani (27,000)
Lumbini (6,100) Mechi (3,100) Bheri (900) Bagmati (300)
Seti (300) Mahakali (90) Gandaki (90) Rapti (50)
Total States on file:  12  (up to 20 largest shown)
Sagarmatha (81,000) Janakpur (59,000)
Kosi (54,000) Narayani (27,000)
Lumbini (6,100) Mechi (3,100)
Bheri (900) Bagmati (300)
Seti (300) Mahakali (90)
Gandaki (90) Rapti (50)
Languages & Dialects on file:  9  (up to 20 largest shown)
Maithili (200,000) Bhojpuri (26,000) Nepali (3,400) Angika (2,900)
Magahi (1,500) Hindi (700) Rajbanshi (200) Bengali (100)
Kumaoni (60)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Maithili 200,000 Bhojpuri 26,000
Nepali 3,400 Angika 2,900
Magahi 1,500 Hindi 700
Rajbanshi 200 Bengali 100
Kumaoni 60
For Primary Language: Maithili

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes
New Testament Yes   (2010)
Complete Bible No
Audio Bible Online
Resource Format
Audio Bible teaching (GRN) Audio Recordings
Bible: jivən səndesh Text / Printed Matter
God's Story Video Film / Video
Got Questions Ministry General
Jesus Film: view in Maithili Film / Video
My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime) Film / Video
Online Bible (Bibles India) Text / Printed Matter
Online Bible text (Scripture Earth) Text / Printed Matter
Online New Testament (FCBH) Audio Recordings
Oral Bible stories in Maithili Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project) Audio Recordings
Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project) Film / Video
World Missionary Press Booklets Text / Printed Matter
Primary Religion: Hinduism

Major Religion Percent
0.59 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.50 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
98.91 %
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 %
Photo Source: Isudas   Copyrighted ©   Used with permission
Map Source: Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source: GSCC  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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