Eti Koya in India

The Koya Eti have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Koya language, also called Koyi, is closely related to Gondi and has been strongly influenced by Telugu, the tongue of the neighboring Hindu population. The Koya are one of the few multi-racial and multi-lingual tribal communities in India. Most Koya speak either Gondi or Telugu, in addition to Koyi.

Since India's independence from the British in 1947, the Indian government has increased its influence over the Koya peoples. As a result, the Koya have rebelled numerous times. The Koya resent the restrictions that have been placed on their use of reserve forests and distillation of liquor. They also resent the hydroelectric projects and rehabilitation of refugees in their land.


Where Are they Located?

The Eti Koya live only in Odisha, India.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Eti Koya are primarily farmers. They once shifted from one plot to another, farming various areas. However, the government has now restricted their movement and has encouraged them to farm on fixed plots. They showed the Koya how to farm coconut and coffee. They also granted the Koya permanent ownership rights to their land if they would grow rice there. In the hill regions occupied by the Koya, there are still no permanent farms. They grow crops in small clearings for only two or three years. Rice and tobacco are the main cash crops for those in the hill regions.

Their staple food is sorghum, but they have a strong affinity for palm juice. The Eti Koyas consider the palm tree as a gift of nature, and every family owns at least four to eight of them. During the four-month palm season, Koya families live almost entirely on palm juice.

Because their income from farming is very low, many of the Eti Koya who do not own land work as hired farm laborers. Others weave bamboo baskets and sell them at the weekly markets to Hindu merchants. They also are excellent hunters. Good hunters are regarded as heroes. Hunting is valuable to provide food and protection from wild animals. Many still use bow and arrows for hunting and to attack their enemies. Koya gather forest produce to supplement the vegetables grown in their home gardens. Cattle are symbols of wealth, and they are kept for their dairy products, meat, fertilizer, and trade. They are also used in religious sacrifices.

The Eti Koya usually live in villages. Occasionally, they can be found living with other tribal and non-tribal peoples. Eti Koya villages are located near dependable water sources. The larger villages are situated near the rivers while the smaller ones can be found in the hills and jungles. Their wood, thatch, and mud houses are built without windows. They usually have two rooms and a porch around the outside.

All Koya belong to one of five sub-divisions called gotrams. Every Eti Koya is born into a clan, and he cannot leave it. Birth, marriage and death are three important celebrations in Koya villages. The family group is called the kutum. Sons usually live separately from the family, but still work the farm with their parents and brothers. They practice monogamy. Most marriages among adolescents are arranged by the parents with the consent of the girl. Marriage ceremonies last for three days in the summer when palm juice is plentiful. They involve both the bride and groom's villages.


What Are Their Beliefs?

According to Eti Koya mythology, life originated from water. The Eti Koya practice their own ethnic religion, but also worship a number of Hindu gods and goddesses. Many Koya deities are female, the most important being the "mother earth." Village priests carry out their sacrifices. They believe their main deity still resides in a cave in the Bastar region.

The Eti Koya do not believe in heaven, hell, or reincarnation. When a person dies, his body is carried on a cot which is covered with grain, liquor, new clothes, money, and a cow's tail. At the appropriate place, the cot is faced towards the West, and the body is burned. They place the ashes in a clay pot. The Eti Koya believe that their spirits either linger about the clay ancestor pot, patrol the sky over the village or wander about the village disturbing daily life.


What Are Their Needs?

Cholera, smallpox, and malaria are big problems for the Eti Koya. They need quality medical care as well as health and hygiene education.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Koya Eti in India.

* Pray for Eti Koya families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Eti Koya families reaching families that results in thousands of new believers who share their faith with others.
* Pray for grace and truth expanding into the entire Eti Koya society as all believers learn to love others.
* Pray that churches and believers will bless their entire people group in such a way that God’s love will change the Eti Koya people like yeast changes dough.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/17282/IN
https://www.indiantribalheritage.org/?tag=koya
https://www.thebetterindia.com/130765/koya-tribe-odisha-female-journalist/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Koya_(tribe)
http://www.peoplesoftheworld.org/hosted/koya/
https://www.encyclopedia.com/places/asia/japanese-physical-geography/koya


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Koya Eti
People Name in Country Koya Eti
Natural Name Eti Koya
World Population 36,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Dora; Eneti Dora; कोया एटाइ
People ID 21166
ROP3 Code 117989
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Odisha
36,000
Andhra Pradesh
20
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Odisha 36,000
  Andhra Pradesh 20
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Koya (13,000 speakers)
Language Code kff   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Dorla
Dialect Code 3977   Global Recordings Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
Odia
12,000
Gondi, Northern
6,900
Hindi
2,500
Halbi
1,000
Bhatri
300
Kuvi
100
Parenga
40
Pengo
40
Telugu
30
Primary Language Koya (13,000 speakers)
Language Code kff   Ethnologue Listing
Primary Dialect Dorla
Dialect Code 3977   Global Recordings Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
  Odia 12,000
  Gondi, Northern 6,900
  Hindi 2,500
  Halbi 1,000
  Bhatri 300
  Kuvi 100
  Parenga 40
  Pengo 40
  Telugu 30
People Groups Speaking Koya

Primary Language:  Koya

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1882-1889)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1997-2016)
Bible-Complete No
Bible-NT Audio Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Virtual Storehouse
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Koya
General Gospel website in this language
Text / Printed Matter Online Bible text (Scripture Earth)
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.45 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.37 %
Islam
0.11 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.07 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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