Kaniyan in India

The Kaniyan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 2

Subgroup Name Population
Tinta 5,500
Vellala 200

Introduction / History

The Kaniyan are a tribal people who live in South India. Their name means astrologer, their traditional occupation. The Kaniyan do horoscopes, cast out demons and perform magic rituals for their livelihood. Many Hindus and even some Muslims hire their services to set a propitious date for a wedding, plant crops or begin a business venture. Many of the Kaniyan are illiterate and thus unable to compete for jobs in modern Indian society.

The Kaniyan are a OBC group, meaning that they are entitled to public jobs and special consideration for university admission. The primary language of the Kaniyan is Malayalam. Some also speak Tamil and Kannada so they can communicate with people outside of their group.


Where Are they Located?

The large majority of the Kaniyan live in the Indian state of Kerala. Smaller groups live in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.


What Are Their Lives Like?

South Indians know the Kaniyan for fortune telling, practicing black magic and for a festive art form called Kaniyan Koothu. This art includes music, dancing, special costumes and chanting. Only Kaniyan men can perform this rite. Two Kaniyan men dress up as women and dance in a frenzied fashion to fast, loud music. Koothu art honors Sudalai Madan, the graveyard god and offspring of Shiva and Parvathi who was banished to earth after it was discovered that he preferred eating human flesh to the nectar of the gods.

The Kaniyan tend to marry within their group. What little property they possess it passed on from fathers to sons. The Kaniyan are not looked upon has diligent workers because of their reputation as beggars.

The main food of the Kaniyan is rice. They also eat vegetables, fruit and grains. As Hindus, they will not eat beef.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Kaniyan practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon especially the destroyer god Shiva and his son, Sudalai Madan. 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 Kaniyan visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
The main yearly holidays of the Kaniyan people are Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights, Navratri, the celebration of autumn and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.


What Are Their Needs?

The Kaniyan desperately need the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, to shine into their hearts. They need help in educating their children and in learning new job skills. The gospel will have to be presented to them in oral form since so many of them cannot read.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Kaniyan in India.

* Pray that Indian Christians are moved to share the love and mercy of Christ with the Kaniyan in practical ways.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to work powerfully through those ministering to the Kaniyan people.
* Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing the spread of His Gospel among the Kaniyan.


References

thehindu.com/society/the-art-form-kaniyan-koothu-of-tamil-nadu-is-dedicated-to-the-graveyard-god-sudalai-madan/article24287788.ece
https://www.peoplegroups.org/explore/PeopleDetails.aspx?rop3=112424


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Kaniyan
People Name in Country Kaniyan
World Population 99,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names Ganka, Kani, Kanisan, Kanisu, Kaniya, Kaniyar, Kanyan, Kashi, Rashi-Panikar, कनियाँ
People ID 17084
ROP3 Code 112424
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
Kerala
92,000
Karnataka
4,400
Tamil Nadu
2,300
Delhi
100
Andhra Pradesh
10
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  Kerala 92,000
  Karnataka 4,400
  Tamil Nadu 2,300
  Delhi 100
  Andhra Pradesh 10
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Malayalam (92,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
Kannada
4,300
Tamil
1,800
Telugu
100
Marathi
Primary Language Malayalam (92,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 5
Secondary Languages
  Kannada 4,300
  Tamil 1,800
  Telugu 100
  Marathi 10
People Groups Speaking Malayalam

Primary Language:  Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1811-1968)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1829-1995)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1841-2004)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Malayalam
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible
Text / Printed Matter Bible Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed Matter Bible: മലയാളം - Malayalam
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.48 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.50 %
Islam
0.01 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source David Kugel  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
* Religion Values From latest India census data.  Current values may differ.