Introduction / History
The Damor are a tribal people who live in west central India. Their main occupation is agriculture with some owning their own land and others working as sharecroppers. Sharecroppers rent the land and give a percentage of their crop to the landowner. They also make bamboo items to supplement their incomes. They raise animals for their meat, milk and hides.
Where Are they Located?
Unfortunately, most Damor are unable to read or write. They are classified as a Scheduled Caste meaning they are eligible for special preference in public jobs and education. The Indian government is currently working to educate the Damor.
The primary language of the Damor is Bhili. Many of the men can speak some Hindi so they can communicate with outsiders.
The vast majority of the Damor live in the Indian state of Rajastan. Smaller numbers live in Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Most Damor lives in rural villages like their ancestors with agriculture their means of survival. A village council made up of elders makes the legal and major economic decisions for the people. Most Damor lack the modern conveniences of electricity, access to pure water and indoors plumbing. They will use modern medicine if it is available to them. For most of their pains and illnesses they consult the local shaman.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Damor marry only within their tribe but will not marry anyone in their clan or gotra. They do not marry cousins. Families arrange marriages. The bride price is paid to her family. The newly married couple lives in a separate house near the groom's parents. The Damor have elaborate ceremonies for important life events such as births, weddings and funerals.
The Damor are not vegetarians but they will not eat beef. Their main foods are rice, wheat, dairy products, vegetables and fruit.
The Damor practice Hinduism mixed with folk religion. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. Their patron god is the Sun god Surya. They also worship Rama, Krishna, and Sarpdevta, the serpent god. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Damor visit Hindu temples and village shrines to offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. They sacrifice goats and chickens to their gods.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Damor people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the celebration of autumn.
The Damor need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need help in educating their children and in obtaining the benefits of modern society.
* Pray that the Lord sends Christians workers to befriend and help the Damor with their spiritual and physical needs.
* Pray the whole Bible becomes available in their language and that the Damor are motivated to read it.
* Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing the spread of His Gospel among the Damor.
* Pray that the few Damor Christians would grow and share the gospel with their brothers and sisters.