Maravan in India

Provided by Joshua Project
Photo Source:  Copyrighted © 2020
India Missions Association  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Maravan
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 3,160,000
World Population: 3,258,000
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 2.46 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Forward Caste - Other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Maravans of south India claim to be descendants of ancient Tamil kings. Their name means "warrior" in the Tamil language. Traditionally the Maravans were the army of the Tamil dynasties. The Maravans also owned land and worked as farmers. Most lived in the rural areas, not in cities.

The Indian government has classified the Maravan as an Other Backward Class because of their widespread poverty and lower educational level. As an OBC, the Maravans are guaranteed positions in government and education. Many Maravan young people are taking advantage of their educational opportunities and obtaining careers as military officers and as leaders in business and government.

The large majority of the Maravans speak Tamil as their first language. Many also speak other south Indian languages.

Where Are they Located?

The vast majority of the Maravans live in the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu. Others also live in nearby Kerala and Karnataka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The main occupations of the Maravans are still farming and the military. Both men and woman work in the fields. Some of the younger educated Maravans are branching into different careers and moving to the large cities of south India.

The Maravan eat meat except for beef and pork. Rice is the main staple along with vegetables, fruits and dairy products.
The Maravans marry within their group, sometimes first and second cousins. The sons inherit the family lands and wealth. Divorce and remarriage is allowed.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The huge majority of Maravans are Hindus. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon and celebrate the major Hindu holidays.

The mother-warrior goddess Durga is given special place among the Maravans. She is pictured as having eight arms with weapons in each of her hands and seated upon a tiger or lion. The festival of Navratri celebrates nine nights dedicated to the nine divine forms of goddess Durga. She is believes to possess divine feminine energy or shakti capable of defeating the power of demons.

A small group of Maravan is Christians.

What Are Their Needs?

The Maravan need to hear the life-changing message of Jesus Christ in their Tamil language. They need to see Christ's love lived out before them. Christian schools and Christian teachers would be particularly helpful in meeting the educational needs of the Maravans.

Prayer Points

* Pray that the Lord sends Christian teachers and evangelists to the Maravans.
* Pray the Maravans see their need for the Prince of Peace and the forgiveness that he offers.
* Pray that the Christian Maravans receive training and become leaders in a growing Maravan church.

Text Source:   David Kugel