Racha Koya in India

The Koya Racha 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 Racha Koya live in Telagana and Andhra Pradesh.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Racha 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. Racha 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 Racha 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.

Racha Koya usually live in villages. Occasionally, they can be found living with other tribal and non-tribal peoples. Racha 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 Racha Koya belong to one of five sub-divisions called gotrams. Every Racha Koya is born into a clan, and he cannot leave it. Birth, marriage and death are three important celebrations in Racha 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 Koya mythology, life originated from water. The 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 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 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 Racha Koya. They need quality medical care as well as health and hygiene education.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Koya Racha in India.

* Pray for Racha Koya families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.
* Pray for a chain reaction of Racha 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 Racha 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 Racha 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 Racha
People Name in Country Koya Racha
Natural Name Racha Koya
World Population 32,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Koitur; Raca; Racha; कोया रचा
People ID 21168
ROP3 Code 117991
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 3
Largest States
Telangana
25,000
Andhra Pradesh
6,600
Maharashtra
10
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 3
  Telangana 25,000
  Andhra Pradesh 6,600
  Maharashtra 10
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Telugu (18,000 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
Koya
15,000
Marathi Kui
Primary Language Telugu (18,000 speakers)
Language Code tel   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 4
Secondary Languages
  Koya 15,000
  Marathi 10
  Kui 0
People Groups Speaking Telugu

Primary Language:  Telugu

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1812-1966)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1818-1989)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1854-2016)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text 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 Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Telugu
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Telugu
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Film / Video The Pearl of Great Price
Film / Video The Story
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Gospel website in this language
General Got Questions Ministry
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.80 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
98.95 %
Islam
0.08 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.17 %
* 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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