Introduction / History
The Munnur or Munnuru Kapu have tilled the soil of south India for hundreds of years. Their name means 300. A past king of Hyderabad called for 300 soldiers of this people group to act as his personal bodyguards. In times of war the Munnur served as soldiers and officers in the armies of the dynasties of Andhra Pradesh. In times of peace they went back to the traditional occupation of farming.
Where Are they Located?
Today most Munnur continue to practice agriculture. They also raise animals for dairy products and for sale. Some own their own land. Others work as laborers on land owned by others.
The Munnur are considered a backward caste. They are entitled to special benefits such as guaranteed spots in universities and public jobs. The Munnur are thought to be Shudras, the fourth and lowest major caste of Hinduism.
In times past many Munnur were illiterate. That is changing. Elementary schools are open the villages where the Munnur live today. While most Munnur are famers, some have taken jobs in public service and business.
The primary language of the Munnur is Telegu.
Most Munnur live in the southwest Indian states of Andhra Pradesh and Telangana. Some also live in other Indian states.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The lives of the Munnur revolved around the wet and dry seasons of the subcontinent and around the holidays of the Hindu calendar. Their two main crops are rice and wheat. They also grow vegetables and fruits to supplement their diet and to sell to others. Some women work as domestics of richer Indian households. Some of the young men join the Indian Army and send money home to support their families in the village.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Munnur often engage in cross-cousin marriage. The young person marries a cousin, the son or daughter of the brother of their mother. Families arrange marriages. Weddings and other important life rituals are officiated by Brahmin priests or village priests. Child marriage was the ancient custom among the Munnur. That practice is changing now to adult marriage with the consent of the young persons.
Unfortunately, many Munnur children work in the fields with their parents and only receive a minimal education.
The Munnur practice Hinduism, the ancient religion and culture of Indian. They worship and serve the many gods of the Hindu pantheon. They worship Shiva and Vishnu as their primary deities. They offer flowers, food and incense at the gods' temples. The Munnur participate in the yearly Hindu festivals of Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of lights and Navratri, the nine-day celebration of autumn.
What Are Their Needs?
The Munnur need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to see that the Hindu gods will not save them from their sins. They also need help in their villages with educational, vocational and medical issues.
* Pray the Lord sends Indian Christians to share the good news of Christ with the Munnur.
* Pray that the Munnur would hear and respond positively to the claims of Christ.
* Pray that God would move Christians workers would come to live in the villages of the Munnur and help meet their spiritual and physical needs.