Bagdi, Wagdi in India

Joshua Project has identified the Bagdi, Wagdi only in India






Largest Religion

Main Language


Introduction / History

The Wagdi belong to a much larger cluster of peoples known as the Bhil. The Bhil are the third largest and most widely distributed tribal group in India. Although the Bhil were once thought of as a single tribe, it is now clear that they consist of many subgroups, one of which is the Wagdi.

The name "Bhil" was probably derived from the word villu or billu, which in most Dravidian languages is the word for "bow." The bow has long been a characteristic weapon of the Bhil because the tribesmen always carry their bows and arrows with them.

The Bhil tribes inhabit some of the most remote and inaccessible areas of India. Unfortunately, their scattered settlement pattern has hindered government efforts to provide services for the people. It has also facilitated their general distrust of government officials. The Wagdi language, also called Wagdi, belongs to the Bhil branch of the Indo-Aryan language family.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Wagdi were traditionally hunters and gatherers. They relied primarily on bows and arrows for hunting, although spears, slings, and axes were also used. Edible plants, roots, and fruits were gathered from the forests. Unfortunately, extensive deforestation in this region has greatly diminished the forest resources. As a result, most of the Wagdi are now settled peasant farmers. Their primary crops include maize, millet, cucumbers, cotton, wild rice, lentils and barley. Some of the Wagdi have lost their land and now earn a living as hired laborers. Many of them have found jobs clearing forests or repairing roads. Since the Wagdi do not weave cloth, make pottery, or work with metals, they are dependent on trade to obtain these types of items.

The Wagdi mark their village boundaries by tying bundles of grass to trees along the paths. Each village usually contains from three to forty families. The villagers live in houses that are set far apart from each other. Most of the houses are built on hills with their fields surrounding them. Most villages also have some land that is reserved for community use.

The Wagdi live in wooden framed, rectangular homes that generally have two stories. The houses have bamboo walls daubed with plaster that is made of water, clay, and cattle dung. Such materials repel insects and keep the houses cool. The homes do not have windows, and have only a single entrance on the front wall. The roofs are usually thatched with grass or teak leaves and bamboo, materials that often require annual replacement.

The father is the head of his household, distributing the daily work among each of the family members and controlling all of the income. The mother assigns duties to her daughters and daughters-in-law, and supervises their work. These duties include preparing the family's meals and taking them to the men in the fields. Drawing water, milking cows, and gathering firewood are also part of the women's daily routines. Farm work such as plowing and sowing is done by the men. Hunting is also primarily a male activity.

The Wagdi are divided into clans, each of which is led by a chief. The chiefs have supreme power in matters concerning the clan. Since the clans are often geographically separated, the main purpose of the clan seems to be ensuring exogamous marriages (marriages between members of the same clan), and identifying the proper lines of descent.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Wagdi are animists (believe that non-living objects have spirits) who have been heavily influenced by Hinduism. In fact, most of their Hindu and animistic practices have been so intertwined that it is difficult to separate them. Ancestor worship (worshiping the spirits of deceased relatives) is also quite popular. The village shamans (priests) attempt to appease the gods and mud idols by making sacrifices to them on stone altars.

What Are Their Needs?

Christian laborers are needed to share God's love with these needy people. Prayer is the first step toward seeing them reached with the Truth of the Gospel.

Prayer Points

* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams to begin break up the spiritual soil of India through worship and intercession.
* Ask God to send forth many Christian laborers to live and work among the Wagdi.
* Ask God to use the small number of Wagdi believers to share Christ with their own people.
* Pray that the Holy Spirit will soften the hearts of the Wagdi towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Prayer Links
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-09-17
Video Links:
A Pilgrimage
People Name General Bagdi, Wagdi
People Name in Country Bagdi, Wagdi
Population in India 369,000
World Population 369,000
Countries 1
Progress Scale 1.1
Least-Reached Yes
Indigenous Yes
Alternate Names Bagari, Bagaria, Bagdi Joshi, Baghri, Bagri, Begadi, Vaghri
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Rajasthan
People Name General Bagdi, Wagdi
Ethnic Code CNN25o
People ID 18327
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:  15  (up to 20 largest shown)
Madhya Pradesh (310,000) Rajasthan (48,000) Haryana (5,500) Chhattisgarh (1,500)
Himachal Pradesh (1,400) Maharashtra (1,200) Punjab (600) Karnataka (600)
Gujarat (600) Delhi (200) Jammu and Kashmir (80) Goa (30)
Dadra and Nagar Have (20) Kerala (20) Pondicherry (20)
Total States on file:  15  (up to 20 largest shown)
Madhya Pradesh (310,000) Rajasthan (48,000)
Haryana (5,500) Chhattisgarh (1,500)
Himachal Pradesh (1,400) Maharashtra (1,200)
Punjab (600) Karnataka (600)
Gujarat (600) Delhi (200)
Jammu and Kashmir (80) Goa (30)
Dadra and Nagar Have (20) Kerala (20)
Pondicherry (20)
Languages & Dialects on file:  24  (up to 20 largest shown)
Hindi (285,000) Malvi (47,000) Marwari (12,000) Haroti: Harauti (6,300)
Mewari (1,600) Panjabi, Eastern (1,100) Bundeli (1,000) Merwari (1,000)
Bagri (900) Bagheli (900) Dhundari (900) Chhattisgarhi (900)
Haryanvi (400) Shekhawati (400) Nimadi (200) Kashmiri (200)
Kangri (100) Bilaspuri (100) Pahari, Kullu (50) Bhattiyali (30)
Languages & Dialects (speakers if known) - up to 20 shown
Hindi 285,000 Malvi 47,000
Marwari 12,000 Haroti: Harauti 6,300
Mewari 1,600 Panjabi, Eastern 1,100
Bundeli 1,000 Merwari 1,000
Bagri 900 Bagheli 900
Dhundari 900 Chhattisgarhi 900
Haryanvi 400 Shekhawati 400
Nimadi 200 Kashmiri 200
Kangri 100 Bilaspuri 100
Pahari, Kullu 50 Bhattiyali 30
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 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
100.00 %
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: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Map Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Video Source: Create International
Profile Source: Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources: Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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