Bania Gahoi in India

The Bania Gahoi have only been reported in India
Population
338,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Gahoi Bania live in central India. This Hindu subcaste belongs principally to the Saugor, Jubbulpore and Narsinghpur Districts. Their home is the Bundelkhand country, which these Districts adjoin, and they say that their original location was at Kharagpur in Bundelkhand, from which they have spread over the surrounding country.

The Gahoi Bania tell a curious story of their origin to the effect that once upon a time there was a certain schoolmaster, one Biya Pande Brahman, who could foretell the future. One day he was in his school with his boys when he foresaw that there was about to be an earthquake. He immediately warned his boys to get out of the building, and himself led the way. Only twelve of the boys followed, and the others were still hesitating, when the earthquake began, the school fell in, and they were all buried in the ruins. The schoolmaster formed the boys who had escaped into one caste, calling them Gahoi, which is supposed to mean that which is left or the residue; and he determined that he and his descendants would be the priests of the new caste. At the weddings of the Gahois an image of the schoolmaster is painted on the house wall, and the bridegroom worships it with offerings of butter and flowers. The story indicates clearly that the Gahois are of mixed descent from several castes.

The subcaste has twelve gotras or sections, and seventy-two al or Anken, which are subsections of the gotras. Several of the al names appear to be of a titular or totemistic character, as Mor peacock, Sohania beautiful, Nagaria a drummer, Paharia a hillman, Matele the name of a village headman in Bundelkhand, Piparvania from the papal tree, Dadaria a singer.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The rule of exogamy is said to be that a man must not marry in his own gotra nor in the al of his mother or either grandmother. Their weddings are held only at the bride's house, no ceremonies being performed at the bridegroom's. At the ceremony the bridegroom stands in the centre of the shed by the marriage-post and the bride walks seven times round him. At their weddings the Gahois still use the old rupees of the Nagpur kingdom for presents and payments to menials, and they hoard them up, when they can get them, for this special purpose.

The rupee is sacred with the Bania, and this is an instance of the preservation of old accessories for religious ceremonies when they have been superseded in ordinary use. Polygamy is permitted, but is rare.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Gahois employ Bhargava Brahmins for their priests, and these are presumably the descendants of the schoolmaster who founded the caste. At the thirteenth-day feast after a death the Brahmins must be fed first before the members of the caste. On this occasion thirteen brass or earthen vessels are filled with flour, and a piece of money, and presented to thirteen Brahmins, while the family priest receives a bed and piece of cloth. The priests are said to be greedy, and to raise quarrels over the value of the presents given to them.

At the Diwali festival the Gahois worship the implements of their trade, pen and ink, and their account-books. The Gahois are Vaishnava Hindus, and abstain from all flesh and alcoholic liquor. They trade in grain and groceries, and are bankers and moneylenders.


Profile Source:   Piyush Gupta  

Prayer / Resource Links:
Global Prayer Digest: 2011-08-09
People Name General Bania Gahoi
People Name in Country Bania Gahoi
Population in India 338,000
World Population 338,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 6
Progress Scale 1
Alternate Names Gahoi Baniya, Gohoyi, Goi, Mahajan, Vania, बनिया, गहोई
People ID 19697
ROP3 Code 115149
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 21
Largest States
(only 15 largest shown)
Madhya Pradesh
109,000
Uttar Pradesh
108,000
Rajasthan
52,000
West Bengal
12,000
Maharashtra
11,000
Assam
8,100
Gujarat
8,000
Bihar
6,600
Haryana
6,600
Delhi
5,600
Punjab
3,100
Uttarakhand
2,500
Chhattisgarh
1,600
Jharkhand
1,200
Jammu and Kashmir
1,000
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 21  (only 20 largest shown)
  Madhya Pradesh 109,000
  Uttar Pradesh 108,000
  Rajasthan 52,000
  West Bengal 12,000
  Maharashtra 11,000
  Assam 8,100
  Gujarat 8,000
  Bihar 6,600
  Haryana 6,600
  Delhi 5,600
  Punjab 3,100
  Uttarakhand 2,500
  Chhattisgarh 1,600
  Jharkhand 1,200
  Jammu and Kashmir 1,000
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (273,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Bundeli
13,000
Marwari
11,000
Bengali
7,300
Dhundari
6,600
Awadhi
4,500
Gujarati
4,000
Marathi
3,300
Shekhawati
3,200
Kanauji
2,800
Bhojpuri
1,700
Assamese
1,600
Bagri
1,600
Bagheli
1,300
Mewari
900
Garhwali
800
Other People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (273,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 25
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Bundeli 13,000
  Marwari 11,000
  Bengali 7,300
  Dhundari 6,600
  Awadhi 4,500
  Gujarati 4,000
  Marathi 3,300
  Shekhawati 3,200
  Kanauji 2,800
  Bhojpuri 1,700
  Assamese 1,600
  Bagri 1,600
  Bagheli 1,300
  Mewari 900
  Garhwali 800
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2000)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video A Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Aasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Coconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Fathers Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Haqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Ten Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video The Final Prodigal (Indigitube.tv)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.28 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
3.72 %
Unknown
0.00 %
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2018  Michael E  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Piyush Gupta  
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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