Paniyan in India

The Paniyan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The name Paniya comes from the root word pani, meaning work. The word refers to a worker or laborer and in general, a member of the tribe Paniya. They were literally slaves to the landlords in Northern Kerala.

The famous Valliyurkavu festival in Wayanadu district is reminiscent of the resultant slave trade. During this festival, slaves were sold, purchased or even exchanged by landlords and local chieftains, in front of the Bhagavathi temple. Annual pacts were renewed binding the Paniya slave to work for another year. Cloth, oil or a nominal amount were exchanged, to seal the deal. This practice slowly died, when slavery became illegal. The scars of this practice are still visible in how the Paniya conduct their lives.


Where Are they Located?

Paniya reside mainly in Northern Kerala (Wayanadu district), with relatively few in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. With the government resettling them in housing colonies, Paniyas now reside mainly in colonies of between eight and twenty-five houses. Very few among them have any form of education and their main means of income is subsistence farming and daily wage labor. They prefer not to associate with others living in the area.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Paniya do not have many religious practices. They tend to associate a spirit behind anything in their seen-world and include spirits of their dead for worship. Their main god is that of the forest, called kadubhagavathi, or kuli, which is neither male nor female. Its shrine is usually represented by one or more stones, placed under a tree. Their worship at this shrine is usually through offering boiled rice, half a coconut and a few coins. The Banyan tree is very significant in their unseen world as if they believe that spirits live on it.

A few Paniya have started following Jesus as a result of many years of ministry. These new Christians, though meeting together as a church, find it difficult to grow into maturity as the truths of the Scripture are not available to them in their language.


Prayer Points

* Complete freedom in their world view, from past scars of slavery and that they would become selfsufficient through education and economic development.
* The Paniya Christians to become strong in faith and reach their community through evangelism and church planting.
* The Word of God in their mother tongue to open their hearts to see Jesus and help them to grow in His love.


Profile Source:   Anonymous  
Expanded PDF Profile

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-10-02
People Name General Paniyan
People Name in Country Paniyan
World Population 111,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names Pannayar, Panniyar, पनियाँ
People ID 17834
ROP3 Code 113307
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 6
Largest States
Kerala
100,000
Tamil Nadu
10,000
Karnataka
600
Puducherry
300
Delhi
100
Andhra Pradesh
60
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 6
  Kerala 100,000
  Tamil Nadu 10,000
  Karnataka 600
  Puducherry 300
  Delhi 100
  Andhra Pradesh 60
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Paniya (79,000 speakers)
Language Code pcg   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
Malayalam
22,000
Tamil
10,000
Kannada
300
Tulu
30
Kodava
30
Hindi
20
Telugu
20
Primary Language Paniya (79,000 speakers)
Language Code pcg   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
  Malayalam 22,000
  Tamil 10,000
  Kannada 300
  Tulu 30
  Kodava 30
  Hindi 20
  Telugu 20
People Groups Speaking Paniya

Primary Language:  Paniya

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes
Bible-Complete No
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)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Paniya
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.01 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.35 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
98.52 %
Islam
0.17 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.94 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Philipose Vaidyar  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Anonymous  
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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