Mappila in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Subgroups: 4

Subgroup Name Population
Jonakan 3,904,000
Thangal 2,446,000
Methan 1,185,000
Thirugantla Unknown

Introduction / History

The Laccadive Mappilla live in the Lakshadweep Islands off the southwestern coast of India. Malayalam is the state language of Kerala and its script has been significantly influenced by Arabic. The term mappilla is a combination of two words: maha, which means great and pilla, which is an endearing term that means child.

The people of the islands migrated from the Kerala coast around the seventh century. They came as Hindus, but later converted to Islam. The Laccadive Mappilla attribute their conversion to the work of an Arab missionary. The Muslim communities resulted from the unions of Arab sailors and merchants with native women. The islanders have been in contact with the mainland Mappilla through trade and sporadic migrations. The Laccadive Mappilla are unique in that they have maintained a matrilineal society (line of descent is traced through the women) in spite of their Islamic beliefs.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Lakshadweep Islands are covered with coconut trees, which provide the basis of the Laccadive Mappilla's economy. The coconut supplies coir (the husky fiber, which can be used to make ropes or mats) and copra (coconut meat). These products provide the main industries on the islands. Vinegar is also derivative of coconut sap and is sold on the mainland. Breadfruit (an evergreen timber tree with edible fruits) runs a distant second to coconut in economic importance. Other foods that are raised include papayas, plantains (banana-like fruits), yams, sweet potatoes, maize, and beans.

Each island has various mosques and one or two schools for religious education. Within the last ten years, the government has made efforts to establish high schools and primary schools for girls.

Since 1956, the Laccadive Islands have been a Union Territory with the headquarters of administration at Calicut on the mainland. The local administration of each island is carried out by an Amin, who is appointed by the Administrator of the Laccadive Islands. He is usually selected from the Island Council of Elders, which consists of the heads of lineages.

The common matrilineal unit in the islands is called Taravad, in which individuals trace their descent by a common ancestress in the female line. For example, the right to share in property passes through female members. This system began centuries ago when the men were needed to manage negotiations in trade. Their periodic absence from the island facilitated the adoption of matrilineal blood lines. Maintenance of individually owned property was only possible if the women who stayed behind could officially speak for the family on the man's behalf.

Monogamy (one husband, one wife) prevails among the Laccadive Mappilla, in spite of the fact that Islam may allow a man to have as many as four wives. Cross cousin marriages are preferred, and marriages usually take place shortly after puberty. The man has true authority over his wife only if he stays with her until after all of her male relatives have died. He is then able to manage her property. A man has little authority over his children. Divorce is easy and common; over half of their marriages end in divorce.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Laccadive Mappilla belong to the Shafite School of the Sunni branch of Islam. Their religion has the typical characteristics of Islamic beliefs and practices, in addition to certain local features that have developed according to their particular way of life. Every child has to read the Koran completely in Arabic at least once, but the meaning is not explained to them. Priesthood is inherited through the females.


What Are Their Needs?

The Bible, the Jesus film, and some Christian broadcasts are available in the Malayalam language; however, very few of the islanders have responded to the Gospel. Prayer is the key to reaching them for Christ.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Mappila in India.

* Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to go to India and share Christ with the Laccadive Mappilla.
* Pray for the effectiveness of the Jesus film among these people.
* Ask God to use the few Laccadive Mappilla believers to share Christ with their own people.
* Ask the Lord to raise up prayer teams who will begin breaking up the soil through intercession.
* Pray that God will open the hearts of India's governmental and religious leaders to the Gospel.


Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2006-09-27
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-08-24
Global Prayer Digest: 2012-07-15
Global Prayer Digest: 2015-09-08
Global Prayer Digest: 2016-10-14
Global Prayer Digest: 2017-10-27
People Name General Mappila
People Name in Country Mappila
Pronunciation MAH-pee-lah
World Population 9,257,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 185
Alternate Names Bhai, Byari, Jamma Mappila, Kaka, Kodava, Mapara, Mapilla, Mopla, Moplah, Moplaha, Saheb, मप्पीला
People ID 17452
ROP3 Code 112857
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 26
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Kerala
8,638,000
Karnataka
414,000
Tamil Nadu
112,000
Maharashtra
56,000
Puducherry
13,000
Delhi
2,400
Andhra Pradesh
1,800
West Bengal
1,300
Uttar Pradesh
1,300
Telangana
1,300
Madhya Pradesh
1,100
Goa
1,100
Gujarat
1,000
Lakshadweep
1,000
Rajasthan
800
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 26  (only 20 largest shown)
  Kerala 8,638,000
  Karnataka 414,000
  Tamil Nadu 112,000
  Maharashtra 56,000
  Puducherry 13,000
  Delhi 2,400
  Andhra Pradesh 1,800
  West Bengal 1,300
  Uttar Pradesh 1,300
  Telangana 1,300
  Madhya Pradesh 1,100
  Goa 1,100
  Gujarat 1,000
  Lakshadweep 1,000
  Rajasthan 800
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Malayalam (9,049,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
Urdu
25,000
Konkani
19,000
Tulu
11,000
Konkani, Goan
2,300
English
1,800
Tamil
200
Primary Language Malayalam (9,049,000 speakers)
Language Code mal   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
  Urdu 25,000
  Konkani 19,000
  Tulu 11,000
  Konkani, Goan 2,300
  English 1,800
  Tamil 200
People Groups Speaking Malayalam

Primary Language:  Malayalam

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1811-1968)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1829-1995)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1841-2004)
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 Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible
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 Malayalam
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 Gateway Scripture
Text / Printed Matter Bible: മലയാളം - Malayalam
Primary Religion: Islam
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
0.00 %
Islam
100.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Kerala Tourism  Creative Commons  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
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.