Introduction / History
The Thadou are an indigenous people who live in the hill country adjacent to the Imphal Valley in the northeastern Indian state of Manipur. The Thadou share many cultural affinities with the many other tribal groups who live near them. In 1983 there were 125,100 Thadou living in India and 26,200 living in Myanmar (Burma). The Thadou language belongs to the Tibeto-Burman family of the Sino-Tibetan languages.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Thadou settlements are located in forests. Sites on the tops of ridges or just below ridges are preferred. Villages are not arranged according to an established urban plan and there is no marking of the perimeter of a village. The village chief's house is usually the largest dwelling within the village. Outside it (and outside the homes of wealthy villagers) there is a platform upon which men gather to discuss matters of importance and to mediate disputes. The typical Thadou dwelling is about 6 meters long and 5 meters wide. The rear of the house is elevated 1. 5 to 2 meters above the ground while the front of the house rests on the surface of the sloping ground. Wooden posts and rafters are used for the household frame. Thatching grass held in place by split bamboo is used for the roof and bamboo matting is used for the walls. The house contains one large roof and a front veranda. The interior room is used for cooking, storage, general living and sleeping. The veranda is used for the pounding of rice. An enclosure (of wood tied together by bamboo or cane) may surround the house to protect the household garden. Banana plants are usually found near Thadou villages.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Almost all Thadou claim to be followers of Jesus Christ. Unfortunately, many of them are Christians in name only. Most are still influenced by folk religion. The Madiga believer that spirit inhabit the objects of nature. These animistic beliefs are inconsistent with the teachings of the Bible.
What Are Their Needs?
The Thadou feel that they are destined to be rulers of the earth. This attitude led to the Anglo-Thadou War/Kuki rebellion of 1917-1919. In spite of their defeat then, the Thadou maintain the belief that a promising future awaits them. The Thadou need trained pastors and Bible teachers who can explain to them the Word of God and what God requires of them.
* Scripture Prayers for the Thadou in India.
Pray that Thadou parents are able to provide adequately for their children. Pray for a spiritual hunger that will give the Thadou people a willingness to learn and obey the teachings of the Bible. Pray for a strong disciple making movement that will bless the Madiga people this decade.