Mahara in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

At one time the Mahara people, also known as the Mahar, were considered the lowest status. Today they are regarded as one of the common basket-making castes, though they consider themselves to have higher status than the others. They have Scheduled Caste status.


Where Are they Located?

The Mahara people live in Odisha, a state in eastern India. Usually they live in the western, inland districts within Odisha.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Unlike most other Hindu communities, the Mahara people bury their dead rather than cremate them.

This community does not do a variety of tasks; they are almost always basket-makers. Men and women are involved with this work along with children as young as age 10. They make and sell bamboo baskets to other communities, which means they have much contact with others. The Mahara people do not dress any differently than other rural peoples, so it might be hard to identify them.

Perhaps partly because men and women both do basket weaving work, the women are not looked down upon by the men. Their marriages, though arranged by family members, are characterized by cooperation, mutual help, respect, and understanding. When the couple marries, they settle in with the husband's family (a patrilocal pattern) until they have a home built. Childbirth takes place in the home of the husband's family, and an elderly woman from their community delivers the baby.

This community is poor, and their literacy rate is low. They are usually dependent on money-lenders which can potentially saddle them with life-long debt.


What Are Their Beliefs?

These Hindus worship a variety of gods, but their primary deity is Biswarkarma. Only low-ranking Brahmans officiate at Mahara spiritual events. The Maharas consult an astrologer before deciding on an auspicious day for their weddings.


What Are Their Needs?

The Mahara people need new markets for their baskets that will help them to flourish economically.


Prayer Points

Pray for an abundant blessing of Mahara families and communities as they embrace Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords.
Pray for a movement to Christ that will spiritually enrich the Mahara community.
Pray for spiritual openness to Jesus Christ that will not be hindered by the false belief in religious institutions rather than the person, Jesus Christ.
Pray for an unstoppable disciple-making movement during the 2020s.


Scripture Prayers for the Mahara in India.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/17401/BG
Peoples of India: Odisha, vol XVI, part 2, pp. 1080-84, K.S. Singh


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Mahara
People Name in Country Mahara
Alternate Names Mahar; Mahra; Mehar; Mehra; महरा
Population this Country 6,000
Population all Countries 23,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 17401
ROP3 Code 112801
ROP25 Code 304934
ROP25 Name Mahara
Country India
Region Asia, South
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 7
Largest States
Assam
2,100
Odisha
1,800
Chhattisgarh
1,600
Manipur
200
Meghalaya
100
Arunachal Pradesh
100
Mizoram
50
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 7
  Assam 2,100
  Odisha 1,800
  Chhattisgarh 1,600
  Manipur 200
  Meghalaya 100
  Arunachal Pradesh 100
  Mizoram 50
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
3.24 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.60 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.16 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Odia (1,500 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Assamese
1,300
Chhattisgarhi
1,000
Bengali
900
Hindi
300
Bhatri
60
Primary Language Odia (1,500 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Assamese 1,300
  Chhattisgarhi 1,000
  Bengali 900
  Hindi 300
  Bhatri 60
People Groups Speaking Odia

Primary Language:  Odia

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1811-1956)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1809-2000)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1815-2021)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
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Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Odia Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Four Spiritual Laws Campus Crusade for Christ
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
General Gospel website in this language General / Other
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links (Oriya) Scripture Earth
General YouVersion Bible versions in text and/or audio YouVersion Bibles
General Zume Training Zume Project
Mobile App Android Bible app: Odia YouVersion Bibles
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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