Isai Vellalan in India

The Isai Vellalan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

Isai means music. Isai Vellalar is a relatively recent community identification for those who are part of one of the minstrel occupations usually involving music or dance for sacred purposes. They give their performances at Hindu temples. Commonly the men perform with drums or windpipes and the women dance. Many women from the notorious Devadasi community (dancers and sacred prostitutes) are associated with the Isai Vellalar community. Their ancestors were nomads. The Isai Vellalar live primarily in Tamil Nadu and speak, read and write in Tamil. The Isai Vellalar also live in Pondicherry.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Some of them are landowners, some are not. They work as musicians, cultivators and other work. There are professionals and politicians among them. They have a traditional caste council that looks after their interests. They usually marry their cousins. The bride's family pays a dowry to the groom's family. They allow for divorce and remarriage. They have large families. On the death of the father, the sons inherit the property with the oldest son becoming the new family head.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Hinduism is their religious and cultural affiliation. Spiritual beliefs of Hindus are very diverse from those who worship only one god to those who worship hundreds of them to those who are philosophical and do not worship any.


What Are Their Needs?

The Isai Vellalar people need to put their hope and their identity entirely in Jesus Christ, the one who offers life to the full.


Prayer Points

Pray that the council leaders will lead their people to a movement to Christ. Pray for spiritual openness and a willingness to accept salvation by grace alone. Pray for intercessors and workers.


Scripture Prayers for the Vellalan Isai in India.


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Vellalan Isai
People Name in Country Vellalan Isai
Natural Name Isai Vellalan
Alternate Names Aiyer; Ayyangar; Isai Vellalar; Iyengar; Iyer; Melakkaran; वेल्लालन ईसाई
Population this Country 168,000
Population all Countries 168,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 3
People ID 21274
ROP3 Code 117748
ROP25 Code 303242
ROP25 Name Isai Vellalar
Country India
Region Asia, South
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 2
Largest States
Tamil Nadu
165,000
Puducherry
1,800
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Tamil Nadu 165,000
  Puducherry 1,800
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.73 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.27 %
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.
Primary Language Tamil (168,000 speakers)
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Tamil (168,000 speakers)
Language Code tam   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Tamil

Primary Language:  Tamil

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1714-1956)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1715-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1727-2024)
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
YouVersion NT (www.bible.com) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings General Ministry Resources General / Other
Audio Recordings Love letter to you from scripture Father's Love Letter
Audio Recordings Online Audio Scripture Talking Bibles
Audio Recordings Recorded oral Bible Oral Bibles
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Tamil Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions Got Questions Ministry
General Comprehensive list of Tamil Resources General / Other
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
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. Learn more.



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