Introduction / History
The 55,000 Jambuvulu people are a scheduled caste community who used to tan hides using indigenous methods. Now they are spared from this unpleasant job. They purchase hides from merchants and make them into leather goods like slippers, shoes, water bags, and drum heads.
Where Are they Located?
Most live in either Andhra Pradesh or Tamil Nadu. For this reason, they speak the main languages of these states, Telegu and Tamil. Many also speak Kannada, the language of neighboring Karnataka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
There are two Jambuvulu subgroups, and they usually marry their cousins from the opposite subgroup. They practice both child and adult marriage. Their marriages are monogamous, and they have nuclear families. Though most of them make leather goods, some of them work as agricultural workers. They cremate their dead. Those who are not married at death are buried. The Jambuvulu people have a wonderful oral tradition. Only their men participate in their dance performances. They are poor, so they have the unenviable habit of depending on money-lenders and shop owners for credit.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Each year they worship their ancestors, but their main spiritual activity revolves around Hinduism. Sacred specialists from other communities perform their marriage rituals and death rites. A few of them became Christian a couple of decades ago in order to get employment at Christian hospitals and schools.
What Are Their Needs?
The Jambuvulu people have a low literacy rate, so printed gospel materials would do little good. They love to listen to the radio, watch TV, and attend meetings, and there are many Christian materials in all of these mediums available in their languages. Someone needs to take materials like gospel recordings and the JESUS Film to their communities.
Because they are dependent on money-lenders, Christians would do well to lend to them without charging high interest rates.
* Pray for many oral Christian materials to find their way into Jambuvulu communities and homes.
* Pray for Christian businessmen to go to them to help the economy of their communities.
* Pray for spiritual openness to the Lord and Savior.