Before the British gained control over India in the early 1800s, the Dangi Bhils lived a typical tribal lifestyle, hunting, fishing and gathering food from their richly forested lands. The British wanted to harvest the wood and sell it. Their attempts to subdue the Dangis were unsuccessful, so they resorted to unscrupulous methods to obtain rights to the land. By 1911, the British controlled two-thirds of the land formerly occupied by the Dangis. After the British left India in 1947, the Gujarat state government continued to fight for more and more of the Dangi forests. Today the Dangis live in the rocky, hilly forests of western central India, especially Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan. A small number live over the border from Rajasthan in Pakistan.
They respect all animals, and since they live so close to nature, they are often called "the children of nature." Dangi Bhil lives are built around their search for food that they gather. Their homes are one-room bamboo huts made with thatched roofs. Their climate is moist and warm, so they wear very little clothing. They love their freedom, and their poverty has made them people of sturdy character. 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. 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. Tattooing has become an art among the Dangs.
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." They believe he is a spiritual man who communicates with the gods. They consider him a friend, a philosopher, a guide, and a healer.
Food gathering is dying out in both India and Pakistan, so this Bhil tribe needs to find ways to earn a living that involves the modern economy. Perhaps compassionate believers can help train them in useful skills so they aren’t impoverished in the future.
* Scripture Prayers for the Dangi in Pakistan.
Ask God to raise up prayer teams who will break up the soil through worship and intercession. Pray the Dangis Bhil people in Pakistan be lifted out of poverty. Pray that the Lord will send forth laborers to live among the Dangis tribes and lead them into a movement to Christ. Ask God to grant wisdom and favor to mission agencies focusing on the Dangis Bhil. Ask God to give the Dangis believers boldness to share the gospel with their own people.
|Profile Source: Joshua Project|
|People Name General||Dangi|
|People Name in Country||Dangi|
|Population this Country||19,000|
|Population all Countries||732,000|
|Progress Scale||1 ●|
|Frontier People Group||Yes|
|Pioneer Workers Needed||1|
|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|
|National Bible Society||Website|
|Persecution Rank||5 (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)|
|Specialized Website||South Asia Peoples|
Primary Language: Saraiki
|Bible Translation ▲||Status (Years)|
|Possible Print Bibles|
|Forum Bible Agencies|
|National Bible Societies|
|World Bible Finder|
|Resource Type ▲||Resource Name|
|Audio Recordings||Audio Bible teaching (GRN)|
|Audio Recordings||Oral Bible|
|Audio Recordings||Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)|
|Film / Video||Jesus Film: view in Saraiki|
|General||Got Questions Ministry|
|Text / Printed Matter||Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)|