Aksali Sonar in India

The Sonar Aksali 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

According to Hindu legend the first Sonar was used by the goddess Devi to destroy a powerful demon who was made of gold. The Sonar convinced that vain demon that he would look better if he were polished, which meant he had to be melted down. When this happened and the demon was destroyed, Devi rewarded the Sonar by giving him the head of this demon.

There are subgroups of the Sonars based on location. They are part of the Vaishya caste groupings, the third in rank of the four. Vaishyas may not have the status of the higher two caste groupings, but they often have more wealth, since they are businessmen and merchants.


Where Are they Located?

Sonar live primarily in Maharashtra state, but there are also sizable populations in Uttar Pradesh, Punjab, Bihar, and Odisha.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Known for their work with gold and silver, Sonars produce elaborate jewelry and ornaments, using precious and semi-precious stones. Some engrave deities on plates of gold and silver as well as pendants. Others cut and polish diamonds. Typically, the Sonars own their own jewelry stores, while others are paid for skilled designs in delicate filigree.

Being a skilled goldsmith brings status in Hindu India. In a Hindu wedding, the bride literally wears her worldly possessions as products made by the Sonars. Even if a Sonar is not present at a wedding, their presence is felt by everyone who sees the bride decked out in a Sonar's beautiful golden artwork. Sonars have contact with just about every Hindu community. For that reason, if members of the Sonar community became believers, they could potentially influence all Hindu people groups.

Today, their role is becoming more diverse. Some are skilled artisans who develop beautiful jewelry and art work. Others are landowners, pawnbrokers, or money lenders. They are becoming more educated as a community which is opening doors for more opportunities.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Sonars are Hindus who worship the regular Hindu gods, especially Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth. They also have family, clan and regional gods that they worship. Along with other Hindu communities, the Sonars celebrate Holi, Dussehra, Janamashtami, Navrati, and Diwali.


What Are Their Needs?

Sonars need humility and the desire to serve the God who created all gold, and everything else they see. They need to taste and see that the Lord is good … and great!


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Sonar Aksali in India.

* Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Sonar families and community leaders to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
* Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among Sonar peoples in the 2020s.
* Pray that soon many members of the Sonar communities will have faith that is more precious and durable than gold.


References

https://peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/sonar/
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/sonar-aka-soni-people/
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/Sonar-Goldsmiths/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sunar


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Sonar Aksali
People Name in Country Sonar Aksali
Natural Name Aksali Sonar
Population this Country 68,000
Population all Countries 68,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names सोनार अक्सली
People ID 21239
ROP3 Code 118062
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 4
Largest States
Maharashtra
44,000
Gujarat
23,000
Rajasthan
300
Dadra and Nagar Have
200
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 4
  Maharashtra 44,000
  Gujarat 23,000
  Rajasthan 300
  Dadra and Nagar Have 200
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Marathi (29,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
Gujarati
27,000
Hindi
8,900
Ahirani
1,000
Konkani
800
Khandesi
700
Dhundari
100
Marwari
40
Primary Language Marathi (29,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
  Gujarati 27,000
  Hindi 8,900
  Ahirani 1,000
  Konkani 800
  Khandesi 700
  Dhundari 100
  Marwari 40
People Groups Speaking Marathi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.53 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.47 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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