Koshti in India

The Koshti have only been reported in India
Population
1,059,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Koshtis are a Maratha and Telugu caste of weavers of silk and fine cotton cloth. Their standard occupation is weaving fine silk-bordered clothe, which are worn by well-to-do persons. The cloth is usually white with borders of red silk. They dye their own thread with lac or flower of the "palas" trees. They are located in Nagpur and Chhattisgarh area. They consider themselves to be descendants of a famous saint, named Markandi Rishi. It is said that he wove cloth from the fibers of the lotus flower to cover the nakedness of the gods. In appreciation for clothing them, he was married to the daughter of Surya, the sun and received a giant named Bhavani and a tiger as a dowry. The giant was disobedient so, Markandi killed him and from his bones fashioned the first weaver's loom. The tiger remained obedient, so Koshtis think that the tiger still respects them as his descendants. For this reason a Koshti will never kill or injure a tiger. The caste has several subdivisions of different types such as Halbis, Lad Koshtis, Gadhewal, Deshkar, Onkule and Salewars.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In Nagpur, during the marriage ceremony, the bride and the bridegroom sit in a circle with their parents, and around them a long hemp rope is drawn seven times. The bride's mother holds a lamp, while the bridegroom's mother pours water from a vessel on to the floor. Widow remarriage is freely permitted. Divorce is allowed but is very rare, as a wife is a big help to the man at his loom. A wife is in reality a factory hand and a well-to do Koshtis will buy or occasionally steal as many women as he can. The Lingayat and Kabirpanthi sects bury their dead while the others cremate them. Mourning is observed for five days for a married person and three for unmarried person. They do not have "shraddh" ceremony, instead on the Akhatij day (commencement of agricultural year); the family will invite a member of the same sex as the deceased person and feed him/her with good food in the name of the dead. A few of them wear the sacred thread. Women have a half-moon tattooed on the forehead, between the eyebrows. Their cheeks are marked with a small dot and arms adorned with a representation of sacred basil.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The main deity is Ganpati whom they revere on the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi. They clean all their weaving implements, worship them, and make an image of Ganpati in cowdung to which they make offerings of flowers, rice and turmeric. On this day, they do not work and fast till evening when the image of Ganpati is thrown into a tank and they return home and eat delicacies. Some of them are followers of a saint named Koliba Baba. Other sects worship Vishnu, Shiva, Shakti and Mata Mai. They have several superstitious beliefs.


Prayer Points

* For Church-planting teams to work among them as there are no known mission agencies/churches working among them.
* For setting up of income-generating projects.
* For Christian community development and literacy workers.
* For a good response to the Christian radio program and the "Jesus" film.


Profile Source:   India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-10-10
People Name General Koshti
People Name in Country Koshti
Population in India 1,059,000
World Population 1,059,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 21
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Chaudhri, Cheda, Chetti, Chettiar, Dakunsali, Devanga, Devanga Brahman, Devanga Brahmin, Devangulu, Devra, Dewang, Halba, Hutgar, Jadra, Jandra, Jed, Julaha, Kashkoti-Devanga, Koli-Keskati, Koraga, Kosh, Koshta, Koshtha, Koskati, Kosti, Kusata, Kushta, Kushti, Kushtia, Kusta, Kustha, Lad, Lera, Nesevallu, Padampari, Sakuna Pakshi, Salewar, Sali, Sangunsali, Sedu, Seniar, Suler, Swakulasali, Togata, Togri, कोष्टी
People ID 17275
ROP3 Code 112646
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Kannada
People Group Koshti
Ethnic Code CNN23a
Total Subgroups on file 38
Largest Subgroups
(only 15 largest shown)
Halba
43,000
Mahratta
31,000
Bholia
17,000
Kostha
17,000
Kushti
17,000
Lad
17,000
Satsali
16,000
Devanga
13,000
Garewal
10,000
Debang
6,200
Deshkar
6,200
Gadhewal
6,200
Santaria
3,400
Gujar
2,400
Archer
2,100
Affinity Bloc South Asian Peoples
People Cluster Kannada
People Group Koshti
Ethnic Code CNN23a
Total Subgroups 38 (only 15 largest shown)
  Halba 43,000
  Mahratta 31,000
  Bholia 17,000
  Kostha 17,000
  Kushti 17,000
  Lad 17,000
  Satsali 16,000
  Devanga 13,000
  Garewal 10,000
  Debang 6,200
  Deshkar 6,200
  Gadhewal 6,200
  Santaria 3,400
  Gujar 2,400
  Archer 2,100
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 16
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Maharashtra
485,000
Chhattisgarh
254,000
Gujarat
87,000
Karnataka
85,000
Madhya Pradesh
54,000
Tamil Nadu
51,000
Odisha
29,000
Andhra Pradesh
8,500
Telangana
4,000
Uttar Pradesh
1,000
Delhi
300
Kerala
200
Jharkhand
200
Rajasthan
90
Dadra and Nagar Have
40
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 16
  Maharashtra 485,000
  Chhattisgarh 254,000
  Gujarat 87,000
  Karnataka 85,000
  Madhya Pradesh 54,000
  Tamil Nadu 51,000
  Odisha 29,000
  Andhra Pradesh 8,500
  Telangana 4,000
  Uttar Pradesh 1,000
  Delhi 300
  Kerala 200
  Jharkhand 200
  Rajasthan 90
  Dadra and Nagar Have 40
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Marathi (456,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 20
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Chhattisgarhi
167,000
Hindi
154,000
Telugu
128,000
Gujarati
76,000
Tamil
28,000
Odia
25,000
Khandesi
15,000
Ahirani
3,500
Kannada
2,900
Nimadi
2,800
Malvi
900
Pengo
700
Konkani, Goan
200
Kui
200
Kanauji
100
Other People Groups Speaking Marathi
Primary Language Marathi (456,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 20
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Chhattisgarhi 167,000
  Hindi 154,000
  Telugu 128,000
  Gujarati 76,000
  Tamil 28,000
  Odia 25,000
  Khandesi 15,000
  Ahirani 3,500
  Kannada 2,900
  Nimadi 2,800
  Malvi 900
  Pengo 700
  Konkani, Goan 200
  Kui 200
  Kanauji 100
People Groups Speaking Marathi

Primary Language:  Marathi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1807-1957)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1982)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1821-2002)
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 Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Marathi
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 Marathi
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: मराठी - Marathi
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.42 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.53 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  India Missions Association  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
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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