Mahara in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

At one time the Mahara people, also known as the Mahar, were considered untouchables, meaning they had 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

* Scripture Prayers for the Mahara in India.

* 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.


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
World Population 13,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Mahar; Mahra; Mehar; Mehra; महरा
People ID 17401
ROP3 Code 112801
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 7
Largest States
Assam
1,700
Odisha
1,400
Chhattisgarh
1,300
Manipur
200
Meghalaya
100
Arunachal Pradesh
90
Mizoram
40
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 7
  Assam 1,700
  Odisha 1,400
  Chhattisgarh 1,300
  Manipur 200
  Meghalaya 100
  Arunachal Pradesh 90
  Mizoram 40
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Odia (1,400 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
Assamese
1,400
Chhattisgarhi
1,000
Bengali
800
Hindi
300
Bhatri
60
Primary Language Odia (1,400 speakers)
Language Code ory   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 6
Secondary Languages
  Assamese 1,400
  Chhattisgarhi 1,000
  Bengali 800
  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  (1815-2014)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Virtual Storehouse
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
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 Oral Bible stories in Odia
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 Odia
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Gospel website in this language
General Gospel website in this language
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible: ODIA - Oriya
Text / Printed Matter Bibles, Bible League
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
3.44 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.40 %
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.
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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