Introduction / History
The Munda of Bangladesh are part of the larger Munda group, most of whom live in India. Racially the Mundas are proto-Australoid. Within Bangladesh they tend to live in villages which are separate from but near Bengali villages in western Rajshahi division. There are also some Munda living on the tea estates of Sylhet division. The Munda living on the tea estates do manual labor in the tea gardens for a daily wage. Many of those living in Rajshahi division work as seasonal day laborers for Bengali land owners. The Munda in Bangladesh used to own and farm their own land, but in recent years many have lost a lot of their land and now are dependent on the meager daily wages they receive when there is work for day laborers. As a result, many Mundas live day-to-day, waiting to buy their food for the evening until they have received their pay for that day. Thus,
some major needs of the Munda are job skills training and also land rights intervention. The Munda who live in Rajshahi division are primarily Christian, and among the Christians, most are Catholic. A smaller portion of those living on the tea estates of Sylhet division are Christian. Many call themselves Hindu, though they may in actuality follow a traditional religion. Nominalism is prevalent among the Munda of Bangladesh, and an evangelical mission could work to meet not only their physical needs but also their spiritual needs.