Kolha in India

Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Kolha
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 842,000
World Population: 842,000
Primary Language: Ho
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 1.26 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The meaning of the word "Ho" in their language is "man.” Ho is also a language spoken by a number of tribes including the Kolha people. Ho language speakers live in the forests in the Singbhum district of Jharkhand state, and in Mayurbhanj, Keonjhar and a few other districts of Odisha. They are also reported to be in a few districts of West Bengal and Assam. They originally inhabited only the Singbhum district of Jharkhand state, but they moved to the Mayurbhanj district of Odisha due to forest clearance. The Kolhas are zealous about their cultural identity and have a very positive attitude towards their language.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Kolha people prefer to live in the forest because they exist mainly on forest products. They also do agricultural work, but when their field work is over, the men go to the forests to hunt. They earn money by selling forest goods, such as oil seeds and gum from trees. They also collect the leaves of the Sal tree; they sew them together and make plates and bowls which are in great demand in north India.

Development has not had any impact on their lives. For example, none of the Kolha villages have electricity. Most Kolha live in mud houses with straw-thatched roofs.

What Are Their Beliefs?

They are animists by faith and worship the spirits of their ancestors.

The Ho people are very receptive to the gospel, and, as a result, many churches and worship groups have been established among them. Several Christian organizations work among them.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bible is being translated into the Ho language. Five books of the Old Testament have been translated, and the New Testament translation is nearing completion. The fast growing church will soon have God's Word in its mother tongue. Having the Bible in Ho will help the Christians to study the Scripture and to bear much fruit.

Prayer Points

Pray for this community to have all the basic amenities needed for life.
Pray for the Kolha people to give God praise and honor for his provisions.
Pray for their economic prosperity and for them to attain equality with other neighboring communities.
Pray for the translation of the New Testament to be completed soon and made available to Ho Christians.
Pray for their church to catch the vision of reaching their own people and others for Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project