Kamar in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 7

Subgroup Name Population
Bhanjabhumia Unknown
Chand Unknown
Chaupua Unknown
Kansari Unknown
Lohar Unknown
Pitole Unknown
Sonar Unknown

Introduction / History

The Kamar are one of the scheduled tribes of India. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of central India, primarily in the Raipur and Rewa districts of Madhya Pradesh. They continue to speak their native language, also called Kamar, despite outside influences. According to popular legends, the Kamar are the original inhabitants of the area in which they live, south of the plains of Chhattisgarh. The Kamar are said to be related to their neighbors, the Gond, who conquered them.

The Kamar consider military service their traditional occupation, and say that they converted to farming and manual labor jobs through force of circumstances. Sadly, their lives are aimed entirely at physical survival and the fight against natural disaster and starvation.

In Bengal and Chota Nagpur, Kamar is an occupational term meaning iron worker.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Kamar earn their income by making bamboo items, which they sell and trade in the weekly markets. Many engage in basketry throughout the entire year, and they are well known for this skill. Their fine bamboo baskets can be traded for goods such as rice, tea, and liquor.

Farming is the secondary occupation of the Kamar, followed closely by hunting and fishing. Recently, many Kamar have become workers in large scale industries near their homes. They may supplement their incomes by collecting forest products, especially certain types of leaves, which are sold to contractors. The women do much of the strenuous work in the fields and forests.

Many of the smaller Kamar villages consist of settled farmers, but all Kamar believe that it was their destiny to practice the slash and burn method of agriculture. Even those who work on permanent plots burn off the land and practice crop rotation. The fields are worked with pick axes and spades, and iron sickles are used to harvest the crops.

The Kamar are dispersed in approximately 200 villages, which are generally mixed with other tribal communities. The settlements consist of scattered huts with no definite pattern. The larger villages are located near the foothills or deep in the forests, while the smaller settlements are found along roadsides.

The Kamar typically live in two-room mud huts. One of the rooms is for storage and for the household god. Their houses are very neat and clean. Various kinds of fishing traps are found in every home, since all Kamar love to fish. Many have a shed for socializing, as well as a separate cattle shed. Most houses also have a bari, or small vegetable garden, which is an important factor in their survival.

The Kamar tribe is divided into a number of clans, or gots. The gots are endogamous, meaning they only marry within their own clan. Cross cousin marriages are preferred, and males initiate the marriage negotiations.

The Kamar wear very simple clothes. They do not wear shoes, and they tie cotton cloths, or phundras around their heads. There are noticeable differences between the traditional and modern styles. For example, young Kamar girls wear saris (wrap-around dresses) made from elaborate prints; whereas, the traditional clothes were plain white. They also wear petticoats, glass bracelets, and elaborate hair pins.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kamar are ethnic religionists who have been heavily influenced by Hinduism. Each home has a family god in the form of iron chains decorated with peacock feathers. The Pujari (priest) offers goat sacrifices to the local gods and deities on ceremonial occasions. The villagers believe that punishments for evil behavior, such as incest, are carried out supernaturally by the gods.


What Are Their Needs?

Prayer is the first step toward seeing these precious people reached with the light of the Gospel.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Kamar.
* Pray that the Lord will grant wisdom and favor to missions agencies focusing on the Kamar.
* Ask God use the small number of Kamar believers to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
* Pray for the salvation of key Kamar leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel among their own people.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Kamar
People Name in Country Kamar
Population in India 31,000
World Population 32,600
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Barhai, Karmakar, कमर
People ID 17066
ROP3 Code 112404
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Hindi
People Group Kamar
Ethnic Code CNN25g
Total Subgroups 7
  Bhanjabhumia 0
  Chand 0
  Chaupua 0
  Kansari 0
  Lohar 0
  Pitole 0
  Sonar 0
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 11
Largest States
Chhattisgarh
27,000
Maharashtra
1,600
Madhya Pradesh
1,000
Jharkhand
500
West Bengal
400
Uttar Pradesh
300
Karnataka
200
Tripura
80
Odisha
80
Gujarat
70
Punjab
30
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 11
  Chhattisgarh 27,000
  Maharashtra 1,600
  Madhya Pradesh 1,000
  Jharkhand 500
  West Bengal 400
  Uttar Pradesh 300
  Karnataka 200
  Tripura 80
  Odisha 80
  Gujarat 70
  Punjab 30
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Kamar (17,000 speakers)
Language Code keq   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 20
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Chhattisgarhi
5,400
Hindi
4,800
Marathi
1,300
Bengali
1,000
Odia
500
Telugu
400
Gujarati
200
Gondi, Northern
200
Kannada
80
Mal Paharia
70
Halbi
60
Korwa
20
Punjabi, Eastern
10
Zo
10
Khandesi
10
Primary Language Kamar (17,000 speakers)
Language Code keq   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 20
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Chhattisgarhi 5,400
  Hindi 4,800
  Marathi 1,300
  Bengali 1,000
  Odia 500
  Telugu 400
  Gujarati 200
  Gondi, Northern 200
  Kannada 80
  Mal Paharia 70
  Halbi 60
  Korwa 20
  Punjabi, Eastern 10
  Zo 10
  Khandesi 10
People Groups Speaking Kamar

Primary Language:  Kamar

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Translation Need Questionable
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.08 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.04 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
98.75 %
Islam
0.41 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.11 %
Unknown
0.62 %
Photo Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Map Source Bethany World Prayer Center  
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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