Baiga 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

Baiga is a subgroup of the Romani. Baiga means “sorcerer-medicine man.” Many Baiga believe they are descendants of the Rajputs of medieval India who were expelled from their homeland by Muslim invaders. They became grain-carriers and weapon-makers for Muslim troops. Others wandered throughout India and beyond, as a destitute, ignored, and misunderstood people. Their only valuables were the tools they used in professions, such as masonry and blacksmithing.


No matter where they live throughout the world, Romani subgroups are linked linguistically. All Romani languages belong to the North Indo-Aryan language family. When the Romani began traveling from India to different regions of Europe hundreds of years ago, they developed different dialects.


The largest group of Romani remaining in India is the Lambadi (or Gormati). Other groups include the Tamil nomads, the Indian Romani, the Kanjari, and the Baiga. India’s Baiga live in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, with a small number living in neighboring Bangladesh.


What Are Their Lives Like?

The Baigas often practice live-in relationships rather than formal marriages. A man who marries a woman must pay her family for losing her labor.


The Baiga are noted for their relationship with the forest and their ability to gather forest produce, wood and other goods to sell. Some specialize in making broomsticks, iron tools and needles. Others have developed the art of tattooing. Baiga women are known for their tattoos. Baiga women love tattoos; early in life, they tattoo their foreheads, and as the years pass, they sometimes tattoo their entire bodies. Tattoos are for cosmetic purposes. Baiga women also love the idea of a tattoo’s permanence.


A Baiga will only settle down when he cannot adapt to the needs of the region. Those who farm are reluctant to continue harvesting from the same land year after year. They believe this would scratch the breast of mother earth and eventually weaken her. Baiga people believe babies must be born “into the lap of mother earth.” For this reason, a woman will have her baby while lying on a rug on the ground.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Baiga are Hindu, but they have combined Hindu practices with their own beliefs. Baigas follow folk beliefs and mix them with taboos. One taboo among the Hindu Baiga is that a woman's hair must not be combed or let down long in the presence of men. Another is that a woman should not pass in front of a man who is sitting but behind him.


What Are Their Needs?

Many live in poverty. Usually, the only clothes a Baiga owns are the ones on his or her back. An unsanitary lifestyle has created many physical needs among them. The quality of health care, nutrition and education is poor. Most children do not attend school. They need adequate educational opportunities to raise their standard of living. For this reason, the state of Chhattisgarh considers the Baiga a vulnerable tribe, partly because of their low literacy rate.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Baiga in India.

Pray for the Baiga culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.


Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Baiga family and community leaders in India to seek his face and enjoy his blessings.


Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a movement to Christ among the Baiga people in India.


Pray that their dire conditions will soon lead the Baiga to seek the One True God who yearns to give them the peace and joy of the Lord.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Baiga
People Name in Country Baiga
Population this Country 573,000
Population all Countries 576,000
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 2  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 11
Alternate Names Baidguar; Baigani; Panda; बैगा
People ID 16296
ROP3 Code 111422
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 10
Largest States
Madhya Pradesh
416,000
Chhattisgarh
90,000
Uttar Pradesh
47,000
West Bengal
14,000
Jharkhand
3,700
Maharashtra
500
Bihar
500
Odisha
400
Uttarakhand
200
Sikkim
60
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 10
  Madhya Pradesh 416,000
  Chhattisgarh 90,000
  Uttar Pradesh 47,000
  West Bengal 14,000
  Jharkhand 3,700
  Maharashtra 500
  Bihar 500
  Odisha 400
  Uttarakhand 200
  Sikkim 60
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (468,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 44
Secondary Languages
(only 15 largest shown)
Chhattisgarhi
64,000
Gondi, Northern
11,000
Bengali
6,900
Bagheli
6,700
Kanauji
4,800
Santhali
2,800
Ho
2,700
Bhojpuri
1,400
Munda
1,200
Odia
500
Mundari
300
Marathi
300
Magahi
200
Awadhi
100
Bhili
100
Primary Language Hindi (468,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 44
Secondary Languages (only 15 largest shown)
  Chhattisgarhi 64,000
  Gondi, Northern 11,000
  Bengali 6,900
  Bagheli 6,700
  Kanauji 4,800
  Santhali 2,800
  Ho 2,700
  Bhojpuri 1,400
  Munda 1,200
  Odia 500
  Mundari 300
  Marathi 300
  Magahi 200
  Awadhi 100
  Bhili 100
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1835-2012)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (Global Recordings Network)
Audio Recordings DAVAR Partners recording, Old Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (Faith Comes By Hearing)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Hindi
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (EngSub)
Film / Video Coconuts
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Father's Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video The Hope Video
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.01 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.22 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
96.78 %
Islam
0.21 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.02 %
Unknown
2.75 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Simon Williams / Ekta Parishad - Wikimedia  Creative Commons 
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more


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