Introduction / History
The Parengas are a tribal people, also known in India as a Scheduled Tribe. Scheduled Tribe status means that they are low in status. Their name comes from a word meaning "subjects." In the distant past they wore tree bark for clothes. Today there is nothing in their jewelry or clothes that sets them apart from other communities.
Where Are they Located?
The Hindu Parenga people live in Odisha, a state in eastern India.
What Are Their Lives Like?
This Scheduled Tribe works as farmers. They usually own their own land, but they do not use modern farming techniques as a rule. Most of the time their fields are watered by rain, not by irrigation, and most of them only use manure rather than chemical fertilizers. They supplement their incomes by working for others. Parenga children begin working at age nine or ten, and they seldom get much education, especially the girls. They have their own folk dances and music.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Parenga people have many clans, and each member is considered a sibling of the others, so they do not marry within their clans. There are five ways marriages are decided: By elopement, by capture, by parental negotiations, by exchange, and by service where one family does work for the other in exchange for the marriage. After the wedding, the wife is involved with all aspects of family life, and she is key to contributing to the family income. The Parenga have both nuclear and extended families, determined by the preference of a particular family.
The Parenga people are officially Hindu, but like most tribal people, they have their own set of gods. Hundi or Nisani are their village gods. They also worship a number of Hindu gods.
What Are Their Needs?
This people group needs to find new ways to make a living since their land will only hold up for so long before it becomes less fertile.
Pray that the sheer wonder of knowing Jesus and the impact He has on their lives and the joy He brings spur believers to share Christ with the Parenga people.
Pray the hearts of the Parenga people would be stirred by a sovereign work of the Holy Spirit readying them for the time when they hear the gospel message being shared with them.
Pray they will experience dreams and visions of Jesus leading them into a saving relationship with Him.
Pray for an unstoppable disciple-making movement among the Parenga people.
Scripture Prayers for the Parenga in India.
Peoples of India: Odisha, vol XVI, part 2, pp. 1183-87, K.S. Singh