Introduction / History
The ancestors of the Bathudi emigrated from Bakua in the Similipal hills, following the course of the Godavari River. After a time of bitter conflict and tribal warfare with the Gond, the Bathudi were eventually defeated. The Bathudi live primarily in the districts of Mayurbhanj, Kendujhargarh, and Balasore in the state of Odisha. Most are bilingual, speaking their native language, Bathudi, and Oriya. Bathudi is an unclassified language that is perhaps unlike all other tribal languages.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Today, the Bathudi live among the Santal, the Gond, the Munda, and the Ho people groups. They share the same villages, though the Bathudi live in a separate section. At one time they were fishermen but today most are either farmers or farm laborers. Bathudi women weave plates out of date palm materials which they sell. Bathudi houses are arranged in two rows alongside the main street. Their mud-walled huts generally have two rooms. The inner room is used for sleeping and cooking, while their goats and chickens roam freely nearby. The Bathudi usually paint the walls of their homes red or white. They sleep on palm leaf mats, and you rarely find their homes containing wooden furniture.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Bathudi are mostly Hindu, and their beliefs and practices are the same as those of the neighboring Hindu tribes. They believe they came from the arms of Brahma, the supreme Hindu god, which means they consider themselves to be from the Kshatriya caste. The village gods are worshipped by the village priest, who serves as a mediator between the villagers and the gods. The Bathudi have not yet completely lost their belief in magic and witchcraft. In fact, some believe their traditional religion is more important to them than Hinduism. In recent decades they have given up eating beef to accommodate Hinduism.
What Are Their Needs?
There is a need for workers to be thrust out to the Bathudi people and for intercessors to pray for them until something happens.
* Scripture Prayers for the Bathudi in India.
Pray for an abundant blessing of Bathudi families and communities as they embrace Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords. Pray for a movement to Christ that will enrich the Bathudi community. Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ that will not be hindered by the false belief in religious institutions rather than the person, Jesus Christ.