Nayadi in India

The Nayadi have only been reported 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

The name of this people group comes from the word nayattu, meaning hunting.
They are one of the lowest of the untouchables of the Hindu castes living in southern India's Malabar Coast. They are probably one of the original inhabitants of Kerala. The Nayadi speak Malayalam. This people group is found only in India, mainly in the state of Kerala with a few also residing in the states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.


What Are Their Lives Like?

In recent years their age old cultural heritage and knowledge systems have been rapidly disappearing. The Nayadi spend their days searching for water and firewood, making ropes, and gathering herbs for sale. Once skilled hunters and trappers, modern Nayadi are scavengers and beggars. Many are reduced to panhandling on city streets.
They have their own peculiar cultural traditions, religious customs, cults, totems, legends, myths, folklores and medicinal practices. These tribals have an in-depth knowledge of the surrounding flora and utilize over 500 plant species for treating various ailments.
As members of the Dalit communities, they may accept assistance from higher classes, but cannot return the favor. They are not accepted by caste Hindus. Until fairly recently the Nayadi were not even allowed to walk the same streets as Brahmins.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Nayadi believe in a pantheon of Hindu gods. They also worship regional deities such as Mallan, Malavarhy and Parakutty. Being hill dwellers, they worship "maladeivangal" (Gods of the mountains) to appease the mountain spirits for their life and protection.
The Nayadi keep memorial monuments to deceased ancestors beneath a mango tree in a special garden. During this ceremonial ritual, they offer solemn prayers for the souls of the departed in hopes of being protected from the ravages of wild beasts and snakes.


What Are Their Needs?

The present generation of Nayadi is struggling to obtain higher education because of their low caste position. The authorities responsible for them turn a blind eye to their plight and sometimes refuse to issue "community certificates," which is necessary for them to pursue education. Children who are educated through various social organizations are often forced to abandon their dream of entering colleges which serve as portals to modern civilization. Their low caste status also blocks access to good employment opportunities which could raise their standard of living.


Prayer Points

Pray the Nayadi community gets fair access to clean water, healthcare and education.
Pray that the Lord breaks down the barriers of the caste system so the Nayadi may have justice and equality.
Pray for Holy Spirit empowered laborers to be sent to preach and demonstrate Gods love to them.
Ask God to pour out his Spirit, softening hearts and opening eyes that have been blinded by the god of this world.
Pray for mission agencies and churches in Kerala to have a burden to reach the Nayadi people.
Pray for Nayadi disciples to make more disciples.


Scripture Prayers for the Nayadi in India.


References

https://www.globalprayerdigest.org/issue/day/2008/09/11
http://www.keralaculture.org/historic-heritage-gallery/the-nayadi-community-in-kerala/489
https://www.newindianexpress.com/states/kerala/2011/may/11/nayadis-struggling-for-higher-education-252007.html
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/3747563/


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

Additional Info
Global Prayer Digest: 2008-09-11
People Name General Nayadi
People Name in Country Nayadi
Population this Country 101,000
Population all Countries 101,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
Alternate Names Nayattukar; Nayudu; नायड़ि
People ID 17768
ROP3 Code 113229
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 10
Largest States
Gujarat
95,000
Kerala
3,300
Karnataka
700
Dadra and Nagar Have
400
Tamil Nadu
300
Daman and Diu
100
Andhra Pradesh
80
Goa
50
Telangana
20
Puducherry
20
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 10
  Gujarat 95,000
  Kerala 3,300
  Karnataka 700
  Dadra and Nagar Have 400
  Tamil Nadu 300
  Daman and Diu 100
  Andhra Pradesh 80
  Goa 50
  Telangana 20
  Puducherry 20
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
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 Gujarati (74,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
Hindi
7,200
Malayalam
3,300
Kannada
300
Tamil
100
Konkani
100
Marathi
10
Primary Language Gujarati (74,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
  Hindi 7,200
  Malayalam 3,300
  Kannada 300
  Tamil 100
  Konkani 100
  Marathi 10
People Groups Speaking Gujarati

Primary Language:  Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1809-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1820-1985)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2021)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
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Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gujarati Jesus Film Project
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Photo Source (Representative photo)
Copyrighted © 2023  Isudas  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
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