Viswakarma in Sri Lanka

Population

130,000

Christian

Evangelical

0.00%

Largest Religion

Main Language

Progress


Introduction / History

Vishwakarmas are also known as Vishwabrahmins. They are followers of Vishvakarman, the Hindu presiding deity of all craftsman and architects, from whom all Vishwakarmas claimed to have descended from. Hence, today the term Vishwarkama denotes a community or group of castes of artisans from India. These castes are the goldsmith, carpenter, blacksmith, copper-smith, stone-mason.

Aside from being known as Vishwabrahmins, they are also called Panchal meaning "specialized in five different works;" Kavi, Madhvi, Suhastasour and Narashansha identical castes in ancient Vedic reference; Rathakar, because they used to make the chariot for ancient kings; and Karmmalar in the Madras. Depending on which side - Northern or Southern side of India- the reference is made, there are many more names associated with the Vishwakarmas.


What are Their Lives Like?

The Vishwakarmas played a vital role in the Indian village economy where their communities are widely spread across the country. They considered themselves "missionaries of civilization, culture and religion" as they spread Hinduism through their art. They have contributed greatly to Indian civilization and culture as city and temple builders, engineers, architects, and artists. In ancient India, Vishwabrahmins where highly regarded. However, they are not as highly esteemed by the Brahmins - the priestly castes. The origin of such feud is largely unknown, but one reason was the refusal of Brahmins to recognize the status of the Vishwakarmas to be at par with their status. The Vishwakarmas has also rejected the "pastorship" or "leadership" or "supremacy" of the Brahmins and have set themselves up as spiritual guides and religious teachers.

Their communal identity has always been strongly tied to their profession. With industrialization and more recently, globalization, the traditional artisan trade has been greatly affected. The economic and technological forces are buffeting their profession to extinction. This has contributed to a sort of identity crises - being unable to identify with the upper castes or the lower castes. They also have a rather unpopular history (until the 1980's) of identifying with the communists. Their socio-economic status varies from a very high level to the low level in different parts of India as they earned high wages in towns because of their factory employment and low in villages.


What are Their Beliefs?

Their claim of "Brahmanism" is based on their claims of lineage from the Hindu God, Vishvakarman who is claimed to be the lord of creation. Also, they claimed that it was the Vishvakarmas who are the real architects of the Indus Valley and the Brahmins are only usurpers of the glory.



Profile Source:   Toni Tagimacruz  

People Name General Viswakarma
People Name in Country Viswakarma
Population in Sri Lanka 130,000
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Unengaged or Unknown Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Achari, Akkasale, Asari, Asari Oddi, Brahmalu, Chettian, Chola, Kamar, Kammalan, Kammiyar, Kamsala, Manu, Mukkuvar, Ojali, Ozuu, Panchal, Panchal Brahma, Pandithattan, Pandya, Pathuria, Shilpi, Sozhia, Sthapathi, Thocher, Vaddra, Viswabrahma, Viswabrahman, Viswajana, Vojali, Waggai
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Telugu
People Name General Viswakarma
Ethnic Code CNN23d
Country Sri Lanka
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution rankinging, )
People Group Map Viswakarma in Sri Lanka PDF Version



Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tamil (130,000)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Tamil 130,000
Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible Portions Yes   (1714-1956)
New Testament Yes   (1715-1998)
Complete Bible Yes   (1727-2002)
Category Resource
Audio Recordings Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources
Audio Recordings Global Recordings
Audio Recordings Online scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India)
Film / Video General Ministry Resources
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tamil
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
Scripture Bible-in-Your-Language
Scripture Bibles, Bible League
Scripture EasyBibles
Scripture World Missionary Press Booklets
Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2010-09-30

Major Religion Percent
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source: Anonymous  
Map Source: Joshua Project / Global Mapping International  
Profile Source: Toni Tagimacruz  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
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