Introduction / History
The Thoti are a small group of tribal people who live in southeast India. Most have integrated into Indian society and become Hindus. Many now work as agricultural laborers. A smaller portion of the Thoti people still lives as a tribal people in the forests of Telangana. The Indian government has classified the Thoti as a Scheduled Tribe, which gives them public jobs and special consideration for university admissions. A large proportion of the Thoti are unable to read and write.
Where Are they Located?
The two main languages of the Thoti are Telegu and Tamil. Many Christian resources are available in both languages.
This tribe lives mainly in Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, states in southeastern India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Thoti are a tribal people in transition. Many have left the tribal lands seeking a better life in more urban areas of southeast India. Most of these people are working as agricultural laborers as they lack education necessary for most jobs in modern India.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Thoti women were traditionally tattoo artists for the larger Gond tribes. Some still practice this trade while others work as domestics or in farming.
Since the Thoti are a tribal people, they are considered outside of the Hindu caste system. This means they are viewed as Dalits, even lower than the lowest caste of Shudras. They face discrimination is getting jobs and gaining entrance to school for their children.
The Thoti tribe practices Hinduism missed with animism. They worship and serve selected gods of the Hindu pantheon. They offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefit. There are many forms of Hinduism, each with its own deities and beliefs.
What Are Their Needs?
The main yearly holidays of the Thoti people are Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.
The Thoti need schools for their children. They need access to modern medicine. They need to learn how to read and write. They need to learn new jobs skills. Most of all, the Thoti need to hear and respond to the gospel of Jesus Christ. Only Jesus can get them right with the one, true God of the Bible.
* Scripture Prayers for the Thoti, tribal in India.
* Pray for gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Thoti people for Jesus and that in God’s sovereign timing their hearts would be open and ready to follow Him.
* Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended Thoti families so the gospel will spread rapidly among this people group.
* Pray for the spiritual lives of the Thoti people to become fruitful as they follow Christ.
* Pray for the lives and culture of the Thoti people to evidence the rule and reign of the Kingdom of God as they open to the gospel, and for the beauty of Jesus to be seen in them.