Introduction / History
The Shompen or Shom Pens people are a Scheduled Tribe living in Greater Nicobar Island of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands belonging to India. They were contacted first of all by a Danish admiral in 1846.
The Shompen call each other Buavela. They are hunters and they wear clothing only from the waist down but with no shoes. Bows and arrows are their weapons. They have spears and different tools. The Shompen hunt and eat pigs, birds and smaller animals. They eat fruit and gather and eat forest products.
The Shompen live in huts on stilts with mats inside and they have room for about four people. Cooking is done outside and not in their homes. Little is known about their language and there may be two of them that they speak that may be isolated languages. They mainly survived the 2004 tsunami because of them living in the interior of the island and being isolated.
The Shompen population has decreased and could be close to being extinct. Contact with people not in their group has contributed to this. They are partly nomadic. There are two groups of them, one being called Mawa. They are shy but are getting used to mixing with others. They also eat fish and honey. In 2014, the Shompen voted for the first time.
The partly nomadic lifestyle of the Shompen may cause a problem for the gospel message being given but not as much as is the case with some nomads as they would not be travelling in as big a region as many nomads do.
* Pray that the gospel message will be given in love to the Shompen leading them to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that God will give guidance on how to get rid of the language barriers when the gospel message is given to them.
* Pray that the Shompen will not become extinct.