Korwa in India


Population
479,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Korwa are one of the scheduled tribes of central India. They live in the hills, valleys, and forests of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Madhya Pradesh. They speak a Munda language, also called Korwa, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic language family.

According to popular legend, the Korwa were the original inhabitants of the Surguja district in Madhya Pradesh. In the early 1900s they were leaders in the region and were dubbed as chiefs until more powerful and numerous conquerors invaded. They were later regarded as a wandering gang of looters. There remain two very distinct Korwa tribes: the Diharia (or Kisan), who are farmers, and the Paharia (or Benwaria), who live in the hills. These two tribes do not intermarry.

The Korwa are distinguished from other tribes by their savage appearance. They are short with stocky legs, appearing to be strong; yet, they are malnourished. The average height is only five feet three inches for men, and four feet nine inches for women.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Korwa are primarily farmers and gatherers. They formerly used slash and burn agriculture, moving every two or three years to cultivate newly cleared plots. Rice, millet, and vegetables were the principal crops. Their income was supplemented by selling forest products, particularly firewood. In recent years, many have become settled farmers. The geographical isolation of the Paharia Korwa (hills dwellers) and the lack of communication have reduced most of them to the position of farm servants. Few of them own their own land. A major portion of their farm lands has been mortgaged to the neighboring tribal and non-tribal communities.

The Korwa in Surguja were once notorious lawbreakers known for robbing, stealing cattle, and even murdering. The state authorities compelled them to settle in the plains by supplying them with seed, land, and cattle. Today, the plains dwellers are relatively better off than those living in the hills, due to the fact that they have more contact with advanced ethnic groups. Still, the plains are not fertile and their annual yield is too small to be profitable, which accounts for their low standard of living.

The Korwa farmers have very little agricultural surplus to take to market. When they do go to market, cunning merchants often take advantage of their simplicity, lack of education and illiteracy, buying their products at absurdly low prices and making them loans at extremely high interest rates.

The Korwa wear very simple clothes. The women are tattooed, and neither the men nor women ever cut their hair. The plains dwellers live in villages that are mixed with other tribal groups. Wooden or bush fences surround their farms or homesteads. The Korwa who live in the hills still lead a semi-nomadic lifestyle.

The family is the basic social unit among the Korwa. They have a traditional family structure in which the father's word is law and is respected by all. Men and women are free to choose their own marriage partners, but a heavy bride price is required. Newlywed couples live with the grooms' parents until they are able to set up their own households. Men usually marry later in life because they have no means of supporting a family.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly one-third of the Korwa are Muslims, having been converted to Islam by Muslim merchants. The rest are ethnic religionists who have been heavily influenced by Hinduism. Their main tribal god is called Dulha Deo. Those who live in the Surguja district worship Khuria Rani, a goddess who requires animal sacrifices. They also practice ancestor worship, calling on the spirits of their ancestors for blessings and guidance. They regard fire as sacred. In fact, fires are kept burning 24 hours a day in their houses to keep evil spirits away.


What Are Their Needs?

Prayer is the key to seeing these precious people reached with the Gospel.


Prayer Points

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Korwa.
* Pray that God will raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the spiritual soil through worship and intercession
* Ask God use the small number of Korwa believers to share the Gospel with their friends and families.
* Pray for the salvation of key Korwa leaders who will boldly proclaim the Gospel among their own people.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Korwa
People Name in Country Korwa
Population in India 479,000
World Population 481,400
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 9
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Arasamakkalu, Diharia Korwa, Dihariya, Erakala, Ernga, Gangedula, Jangali, Kaikadi, Kisan Korwa, Kodaku, Kormakar, Kormangta, Korua, Korvi, Singli, कोरवा
People ID 17273
ROP3 Code 112644
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Munda-Santal
People Group Korwa
Ethnic Code AUG04z
Total Subgroups on file 8
Largest Subgroups
Kodaku
9,700
Samadwar
8,400
Agaria Korwa
1,200
Dhari Korwa
1,200
Kharia Sadri
1,200
Pahar Korwa
1,200
Sinduria Korwa
1,200
Makadwale
100
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Munda-Santal
People Group Korwa
Ethnic Code AUG04z
Total Subgroups 8
  Kodaku 9,700
  Samadwar 8,400
  Agaria Korwa 1,200
  Dhari Korwa 1,200
  Kharia Sadri 1,200
  Pahar Korwa 1,200
  Sinduria Korwa 1,200
  Makadwale 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 20
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Telangana
156,000
Chhattisgarh
129,000
Karnataka
55,000
Assam
48,000
Madhya Pradesh
38,000
Jharkhand
36,000
Uttar Pradesh
8,100
West Bengal
2,700
Arunachal Pradesh
1,500
Maharashtra
1,300
Odisha
900
Goa
900
Manipur
500
Bihar
500
Nagaland
400
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 20
  Telangana 156,000
  Chhattisgarh 129,000
  Karnataka 55,000
  Assam 48,000
  Madhya Pradesh 38,000
  Jharkhand 36,000
  Uttar Pradesh 8,100
  West Bengal 2,700
  Arunachal Pradesh 1,500
  Maharashtra 1,300
  Odisha 900
  Goa 900
  Manipur 500
  Bihar 500
  Nagaland 400
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Telugu (146,000 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 35
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Hindi
145,000
Korwa
58,000
Kannada
52,000
Assamese
35,000
Chhattisgarhi
20,000
Bengali
11,000
Kurux
2,600
Odia
2,000
Tamil
1,800
Marathi
1,400
Konkani
1,300
Santhali
1,200
Gondi, Northern
800
Konkani, Goan
600
Punjabi, Eastern
500
Other People Groups Speaking Telugu
Primary Language Telugu (146,000 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 35
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Hindi 145,000
  Korwa 58,000
  Kannada 52,000
  Assamese 35,000
  Chhattisgarhi 20,000
  Bengali 11,000
  Kurux 2,600
  Odia 2,000
  Tamil 1,800
  Marathi 1,400
  Konkani 1,300
  Santhali 1,200
  Gondi, Northern 800
  Konkani, Goan 600
  Punjabi, Eastern 500
People Groups Speaking Telugu

Primary Language:  Telugu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1818-1989)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1854-2002)
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 Fathers Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Telugu
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 Telugu
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Pearl of Great Price (Indigitube.tv)
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
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.01 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
1.09 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
97.60 %
Islam
0.08 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.02 %
Unknown
1.21 %
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.




Copyright © 2018 Joshua Project.  A ministry of Frontier Ventures.