Dangi in India

The Dangi have only been reported in India
Population
710,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Dangs Bhil live in the rocky, hilly forests of western central India. They are primarily located in the Dangs district of Gujarat State. Dangi, their native language, is the language of trade in this region. Dangi is a sub-group of Khandesi, which belongs to the Indo-Aryan language family.

The Western Chalukya were the first people to establish political control throughout the region. Later, the Rashtrakuta gained control and brought the Dangs under submission to local chiefs, who were mostly Bhil. The forest wealth exploited by the Dangs enticed the Bhil, as well as the British, causing constant conflicts between the groups. Eventually, the Dangs were forced into slavery.

Later, the people who lived on the plains joined forces with the invading tribes. The Dangs, however, granted shelter to those who were ousted from their homes. For years the Dangs remained isolated, living in poor physical conditions. However, in 1947, plans were initiated to improve their circumstances.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Dangs were originally very poor, having few material possessions and survived by gathering food from the forests. They had no time for intellectual pursuits, but sought only to survive. They lived a hard, monotonous life in the mountainous forests, causing them to become individualistic and somewhat introverted. Nevertheless, their love of freedom has made them a people of sturdy character.

Today, the Dangs Bhil continue to live in extreme poverty, and their social lives are built around the search for food. They have always lived close to nature, depending on it for survival. Animals are respected and treated as equals. For this reason, they are often called the "children of nature." The Dangs district contains many protected forests that the Dangs are allowed to use for cultivation and residence. They live in one-room bamboo huts made with thatched roofps.

The family is the basic unit of social and religious life among the Dangs. Their society is patrilineal, meaning that the line of descent is through the males. Young newlyweds typically live near or with the husband's family. Social and religious order is maintained by an institution known as the panch.

Due to the warm, moist climate of the Dangs district, the people wear very little clothing. The women like to wear grass ornaments.

Despite their poverty, the Dangs enjoy singing and dancing. However, their animated tribal dances are no longer as significant as they once were. The villagers are skilled in creating objects out of stone, wood, and clay. Hindu artisans often help them with such crafts. Tattooing has also become an art among the Dangs.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The majority of the Dangs practice ethnic religions, and all of them are involved in ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors). Their lives revolve around rites, rituals and folk beliefs. Many are animists, believing that all objects have spirits. Trees, animals, demons, serpents, and spirits are worshipped through magical rituals. Wagh-Dev, the tiger god, is their sacred animal god and their emblem of worship.

The Dangs believe in magic, witchcraft, and sorcery, along with their many tribal gods and Hindu deities. They believe that the supernatural world contains both good and evil. Their constant fear of the spirits keeps them revolving around a circle of prayers, rituals, offerings, and sacrifices. The Bhagat (priest and medicine man) is thought to be the ultimate "good man." He is believed to be a spiritual man who communicates with the gods. He is considered a friend, a philosopher, a guide, and a healer.


What Are Their Needs?

More missionaries and humanitarian aid workers are needed to work among the Dangs.


Prayer Points

* Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the soil through worship and intercession.
* Pray the Dangs Bhil be lifted out of poverty.
* Pray that the Lord will send forth laborers to live among the Dangs tribes.
* Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Dangs Bhil.
* Ask God to give the Dangs believers boldness to share the Gospel with their own people.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-10-18
People Name General Dangi
People Name in Country Dangi
Population in India 710,000
World Population 710,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 14
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Bagalu, Batalian, Bhut, Dangri, Dharne, Harbansia, Hir, Jalaria, Kaushal, Manadia, Manem, Marbansia, Masaun, Mehton, Mule, Mulepoto, Nagia, Parmar, Patel, Sangutva-Sial, Thunalia, डांगी
People ID 16671
ROP3 Code 111886
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster South Asian, other
People Group Dangi
Ethnic Code AUG06a
Total Subgroups on file 4
Largest Subgroups
Bagal
600
Godhe
300
Kunbi
300
Kasar
100
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster South Asian, other
People Group Dangi
Ethnic Code AUG06a
Total Subgroups 4
  Bagal 600
  Godhe 300
  Kunbi 300
  Kasar 100
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 8
Largest States
Madhya Pradesh
389,000
Rajasthan
281,000
Jharkhand
26,000
Uttar Pradesh
8,200
West Bengal
2,400
Maharashtra
2,000
Odisha
1,400
Chandigarh
40
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 8
  Madhya Pradesh 389,000
  Rajasthan 281,000
  Jharkhand 26,000
  Uttar Pradesh 8,200
  West Bengal 2,400
  Maharashtra 2,000
  Odisha 1,400
  Chandigarh 40
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (502,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 16
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Mewari
95,000
Marwari
70,000
Malvi
21,000
Dhundari
21,000
Bagri
7,100
Bundeli
5,700
Odia
4,500
Kudmali
3,100
Bengali
2,200
Haroti: Harauti
1,400
Punjabi, Eastern
1,100
Marathi
1,000
Nimadi
200
Bagheli
200
Merwari
50
Other People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (502,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 16
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Mewari 95,000
  Marwari 70,000
  Malvi 21,000
  Dhundari 21,000
  Bagri 7,100
  Bundeli 5,700
  Odia 4,500
  Kudmali 3,100
  Bengali 2,200
  Haroti: Harauti 1,400
  Punjabi, Eastern 1,100
  Marathi 1,000
  Nimadi 200
  Bagheli 200
  Merwari 50
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2000)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video A Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Aasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Coconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Fathers Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Haqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Ten Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video The Final Prodigal (Indigitube.tv)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
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 Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.




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