Introduction / History
This Scheduled Tribe lives as farmers in Odisha. They are also known as Holva. They dress and look the same as other communities, so you could not tell them apart from other rural communities. There is no anthropological information available to describe their history, so we know little about their past.
Where Are they Located?
This Hindu tribe lives in Odisha and Andhra Pradesh.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The population of the Pentia tribe is declining. They are farmers who supplement their incomes by selling produce they find in the forest. Wives contribute to the family income, but they do not have very much power within a family.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The most prestigious way to marry is through negotiations, but sometimes this people group has marriages though elopement or through the groom's family capturing the bride. After the wedding the couple lives with the groom's family for a while; we call this patrilocal. They don't begin to live together until an auspicious day is set. They visit her family for five to nine days before living with the groom's family. Usually a man only has one wife, and they marry as adults. Most Pentia families are nuclear, meaning they only have husband, wife, and children under the same roof.
They are animists who also worship some of the Hindu gods, especially Nisani, their family deity. They also worship other gods.
What Are Their Needs?
Like all other people groups that do not have a gospel witness, the Hindu Pentia people need to have the chance to live the abundant life offered by Jesus Christ.
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 Pentia people.
Pray the hearts of the Pentia 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 Pentia people.
Scripture Prayers for the Pentia in India.
Peoples of India: Odisha, vol XVI, part 2, pp. 1220-24, K.S. Singh