Kachari Sonwal in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Kachari Sonwal or Sonowal are an indigenous people who live in northeast India. They are a subgroup of the larger Kachari tribe. The name Sonwal comes from the word for gold. The traditional occupation of the Sonwal was panning for gold during the Ahom kingdom.

Today the Sonwal are primarily engaged in agriculture. They grow rice, betel nut, sweet potatoes and cotton. Betel nut is a mild stimulant chewed in social situations. Sonowal women are expert weavers of cotton and every young woman is given a handloom upon her marriage. The Sonowal also raise poultry and have cattle for dairy products. The Sonwal are believed to have a very rich traditional knowledge of indigenous medicine.

The primary language of the Sonwal is Assamese. Many also speak Hindi so they can communicate with outsiders.


Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Sonwal live in the northeastern Indian state of Assam. Smaller groups live in Arunachal Pradesh and Meghalaya.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Sonwal marry within their Karachi tribe but not witin their particular clan. The groom's family pays a bride price for the young woman joining their family. The newly married couple lives with or near the groom's family. Most Sonwal live in extended families within their villages. Sons inherit their father's property while daughters inherit their mother's clothes and jewelry.

The Gaonbra or head of the village is the key man of the village. He presides over the village assembly of elders. The village council is a center of solving disputes of the villagers. The punishment given to the guilty is according to the nature of the crime. Ex-communication is considered to the severest form of punishment.

The main foods of the Sonwal are rice, dairy products, poultry, sweet potatoes, vegetables and fruit.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Sonwal practice Hinduism strongly influenced by folk religion. They use their own priests not the services of Brahmins. They have their own village shrines and generally to not visit Hindu temples. Sonwal consider Shiva, the destroyer god, to be their primary deity.

The three festivals or Bihus of the Sonwal revolve around the Assamese agricultural year, spring, fall and winter. The people dance, play music, feast on special foods, and perform rituals to ensure the success for the crops for the upcoming year.


What Are Their Needs?

The Sonwal need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see the love and mercy of Christ demonstrated in practical ways. They must see that their folk religion will not forgive their sins or give them eternal life.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the few Sonwal Christians might grow spiritually and reach out to their brothers and sisters with the gospel.
* Pray for the Holy Spirit to give the Sonwal people a love for God's Word and a desire to spread its influence.
* Pray that God will overthrow spiritual forces of darkness opposing the spread of His Gospel among the Kachari Sonwal people.


References

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sonowal_Kacharis
http://explorationswithanilrajput.com/2016/05/majuli-sonowal-kachari-tribe-culture/
http://thebodotribe.blogspot.com/2016/02/the-sonowal-kachari-tribes.html


Profile Source:   David Kugel  

People Name General Kachari Sonwal
People Name in Country Kachari Sonwal
World Population 278,200
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 6  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 6
Alternate Names Bodo Kacari, Boro, Sadial, Sonowal, Sonwal, कचारी
People ID 17296
ROP3 Code 112674
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 3
Largest States
Assam
258,000
Arunachal Pradesh
17,000
Meghalaya
2,100
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 3
  Assam 258,000
  Arunachal Pradesh 17,000
  Meghalaya 2,100
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Assamese (241,000 speakers)
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 30
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Boro
26,000
Dimasa
7,700
Amri Karbi
900
Bengali
800
English
400
Hindi
400
Mising
300
Khasi
200
Rabha
200
Garo
100
Deori
80
Karbi
60
Kok Borok
50
Tiwa
20
Kharia
20
Primary Language Assamese (241,000 speakers)
Language Code asm   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 30
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Boro 26,000
  Dimasa 7,700
  Amri Karbi 900
  Bengali 800
  English 400
  Hindi 400
  Mising 300
  Khasi 200
  Rabha 200
  Garo 100
  Deori 80
  Karbi 60
  Kok Borok 50
  Tiwa 20
  Kharia 20
People Groups Speaking Assamese

Primary Language:  Assamese

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1822-1974)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1819-1993)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1833-1995)
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 Christassam recordings
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Assamese
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Path of Light (Indigitube.tv)
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: অসমীয়া - Assamese
Text / Printed Matter Christ for the Nations
Text / Printed Matter OneHope resources for children and youth
Text / Printed Matter World Missionary Press Booklets
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.94 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
2.67 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.04 %
Islam
0.21 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.02 %
Unknown
0.12 %
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.


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