Introduction / History
The Arundhatiyar are also called the Madiga and include the Madiga, Madari and Pagadai communities. Their name is derived from the mythical woman Arundhaty.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Their traditional occupation is making leather goods. The villagers compensate them for their services by giving them a fixed quantity of grain. They are also engaged in rearing pigs, goats and sheep, or working in industries, construction and other kinds of manual work. Some of the Arundhatiyar are artists, painters, craftsmen, and engaged in leather and embroidery work, while others are teachers, businessmen and in the defense industry. Today their occupations are much more varied and include jobs in many areas. Arundhatiyar women participate in economic activities and also contribute to the family income.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They permit marriages between cross-cousins and uncle and niece. Their marriage rituals are performed at the bridegroom's place. The elders of the community officiate at the social functions.
The majority of the Arundhatiyar are treated as having low status. They have separate wells and burial grounds.
In spite of the implementation of various developmental programs for education, they have not made much progress and have a literacy rate of only 15 percent. They are known to adorn their bodies with tattoo designs. Both men and women consume local made alcohol.
They worship their community deity Matamma. The Arundhatiyar people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Arundhatiyar people need to accept the warm embrace of the only savior so they can enjoy spiritually meaningful lives.
Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.
Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.
Scripture Prayers for the Arunthathiyar in India.
India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar, Copyrighted © Used with permission