Kachchi in Kenya

Main Language
Largest Religion
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

In 1949, the Indian government allowed one representative from each tribal group to be in the legislature. The state of Cutch was the least developed at that time. However, in spite of their disadvantages, some of the Cutch have become very successful. Many migrated to Kenya and Tanzania and now live in the main cities and along important trade routes. Although living conditions in these countries vary, the Cutch who have emigrated are usually from the higher, wealthier castes and have maintained several aspects of their own culture. Many of them work as masons and merchants.

Where Are they Located?

The Cutch Indians are concentrated primarily in Central India, particularly Uttar Pradesh. Their language, Kachchi, is one of the Sindhi languages. Many of the Cutch who live in India also speak Hindi.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Since the Cutch are scattered throughout various states in central India, their lifestyles differ from place to place. They are classified into several divisions and subdivisions that may eat together, but not intermarry. Child marriages are common, even as early as age ten.

The average Cutch tribe is made up of a caste of vegetable growers or gardeners. Some grow grains and cotton. In southern Pakistan and west central India, there are Cutch who live in Rann of Kachchh. There, salty sand bars have been deposited for centuries, causing flooding during monsoon season. For that reason, settlements are limited to low, isolated hills. There, the Cutch live in bamboo houses made with thatch roofs. Their gardens are located next to their homes.

Although it was a long time in coming, the Cutch in the lowland districts of Kutch obtained permission to have a local legislature. For decades, the government had appointed chief commissioners to be in charge of village politics. The local legislatures provide them with the right to manage their own affairs. Many important and very wealthy Muslim merchants, who originated in the Kachchh District of western Gujarat, are now widespread throughout India.

The Kutch shield, which reads "courage and confidence," accurately represents the general character of the Cutch. They were a neglected people for centuries, until in the 1950s when they were finally introduced to modern conveniences, roads, and a railway proposal. Their courage and confidence have enabled them to make much progress since that time.

In Kenya and Tanzania, Kachchi is only spoken at home. Schools are taught in English, even though only some of the Cutch in Tanzania have learned English. The Cutch in Kenya are often bi- or trilingual, speaking either English and/or Swahili as well as Kachchi.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Cutch are largely Hindu, with the remainder following Islam. The religious practices of the Hindus vary greatly, however. In Gujarat, for example, their beliefs are a mixture of Islam and Hinduism. Both Muslims and Hindus observe the special Hindu festival of Holi, and have household gods. Those in Africa, on the other hand, do not hold as many folk beliefs. This can be attributed to their introduction to and familiarity with technology and education.

All Hindus worship many gods, some of which are animals. Cows are sacred, but they revere monkeys, snakes, and other animals as well. They teach such things as yoga and reincarnation (a continual cycle of death and rebirth). They believe that the soul may be reincarnated as an animal or as a human. The law of karma states that every action influences how the soul will be born in the next life. If a person lives a good life, his soul will be born into a higher state. Whereas, if he leads an evil life, his soul will be born into a lower state, perhaps even as a worm! The cycle continues until spiritual perfection is achieved. Then the soul enters moksha, a new level of existence, from which it never returns.

Hindu shrines contain sculptured images of their gods. Everyday priests wash and dress the images and bring them food. This is not considered idol worship since they believe the gods are actually present in the images.

The Cutch Hindus hope to better their positions in this life and in the life to come by exhibiting charity, being devoted to the gods, and showing mercy to fellow humans and cows.

What Are Their Needs?

Though the Cutch have overcome many physical obstacles since the 1950s, they remain in bondage to spiritual chains of the past. Both Hinduism and Islam are formidable influences.

Resources such as Christian broadcasts and literature are needed to help spread the Gospel more effectively. Most of all, laborers are needed to live among them and demonstrate the love of God towards them. Unless the Cutch see Christianity lived out, they will never understand that true peace is found in Christ alone.

The power of evil expressed in the thousands of Hindu gods must be broken before the Cutch can respond to the Gospel. Intercessors are needed to stand in the gap for these precious people. Likewise, only prayer can break the strongholds of Islam.

Prayer Points

Ask the Lord to call people who are willing to live among the Cutch and share Christ with them.
Pray that the Cutch who speak English will be evangelized and take the Gospel to their own people.
Ask God to strengthen, encourage, and protect the small number of Cutch believers.
Ask the Holy Spirit to soften the hearts of these Hindus and Muslims towards Christians so that they will be receptive to the Gospel.

Scripture Prayers for the Kachchi in Kenya.

Profile Source:   Bethany World Prayer Center  

People Name General Kachchi
People Name in Country Kachchi
Pronunciation KAH-chee
Alternate Names Cutchi Indian; Kachchhi; Kohli; Parkari
Population this Country 82,000
Population all Countries 174,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous No
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 17128
ROP3 Code 112475
ROP25 Code 309233
ROP25 Name Cutch (Kachhi)
Country Kenya
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nairobi, Mombasa, and main trade routes   Source:  Ethnologue 2016
Country Kenya
Region Africa, East and Southern
Continent Africa
10/40 Window No
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank Not ranked
Location in Country Nairobi, Mombasa, and main trade routes.   Source:  Ethnologue 2016

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.10 %)
0.30 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
69.70 %
20.00 %
0.00 %
Other / Small
10.00 %
0.00 %
Primary Language Kacchi (82,000 speakers)
Language Code kfr   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 1
Primary Language Kacchi (82,000 speakers)
Language Code kfr   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 1
People Groups Speaking Kacchi

Primary Language:  Kacchi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (2013)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2010-2013)
Bible-Complete No
Possible Print Bibles
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 Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Kacchi Jesus Film Project
Film / Video World Christian Videos World Christian Videos
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
General Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Nevil Zaveri - Flickr  Creative Commons 
Profile Source Bethany World Prayer Center 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.