Aher Bhil in India

The Bhil Aher 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

There are two divisions of Bhil: the Central or "pure" Bhil, and the Eastern or part-Rajput Bhil. The Central Bhil live in the mountain regions of India, particularly in the states of Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Rajasthan. They are known as the connecting link between the Gujarati and the Rajasthani. They speak Bhili, which is an Indo-Aryan language.

Many years ago, Bhil rajas (kings) permitted immigrants from the plains to settle in the hill regions. To safeguard their independence and rule, the Bhil fought against the Moghals, the Maratha and the British.

The Aher Bhil peoples have always been experts in handling bows and arrows. In fact, the name "Bhil" was derived from the word billee, which means "bow." For years, the bow has been a characteristic weapon of the tribe, and the men usually carry their bows and arrows with them. They are known for their rugged independence, but also for their banditry.


Where Are they Located?

The Aher Bhil live only in India’s western state of Maharashtra.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Many Bhil are being threatened by the Sardar Saravor Dam Project which when completed will flood the land where many Bhil currently live. Though re-settlement plans have been discussed, they remain incomplete.

Today, the Aher Bhil primarily work as farmers, field laborers and village watchmen. With a growth in population, most of their land holdings are small and generally non-productive. The women wear brightly colored clothes. The city boys are distinctive from other Hindus because they tie rags around their heads, wear earrings, and carry swords or guns.

The Central Bhil are usually shy and love their independence. Festivals, dance, drama, and music are a large part of their culture. The length and enthusiasm for these events is usually directly proportional to the amount of alcohol that is consumed.

The Aher Bhil usually marry within their own classes. If they do marry someone of another class, the person of the lower class must convert to the higher, leaving behind all family ties. This custom is strictly enforced among the Bhil tribes.

Each Aher Bhil village is led by a head man who deals with disputes. Respect among family members is strong, and there is a great sense of connection between the living and the dead. Property is shared equally by the male descendants. Bhil villages are rather widely scattered. The houses are located in fields where they grow millet, maize, wheat, and barley. Bhil highlanders live in tidy houses made with walls of sticks intertwined with small branches. The roofs (shaped like bee-hives), are usually made of clay tiles, but are sometimes made of straw and leaves.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Almost all of the Aher Bhil practice ethnic religions that have been highly influenced by Hinduism. They consider Shiva to be the supreme god. Ancestor worship (praying to deceased ancestors) is also popular. They call upon shamans (priests) to offer sacrifices to the many gods and mud idols.


What Are Their Needs?

Much intercession is needed to see Aher Bhil eyes opened to the truth.


Prayer Points

* Scripture Prayers for the Bhil Aher in India.

* Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Aher Bhil people.
* Pray for a movement of Aher Bhil households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ.
* Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Aher Bhil people to the arms of Jesus.
* Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Aher Bhil people.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16414/IN
https://www.britannica.com/topic/Bhil
http://www.ecoindia.com/tribes/bhils.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhil_people


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Bhil Aher
People Name in Country Bhil Aher
Natural Name Aher Bhil
World Population 33,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names भील आहेर
People ID 21009
ROP3 Code 117860
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 1
  Maharashtra 33,000
Website South Asia Peoples

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Ethnolinguistic map or other map

Primary Language Marathi (18,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 11
Secondary Languages
Bhili
9,900
Khandesi
1,800
Bareli, Pauri
1,300
Dungra Bhil
600
Vasavi
400
Bareli, Rathwi
300
Bareli, Palya
200
Ahirani
200
Hindi
20
Gujarati
Primary Language Marathi (18,000 speakers)
Language Code mar   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 11
Secondary Languages
  Bhili 9,900
  Khandesi 1,800
  Bareli, Pauri 1,300
  Dungra Bhil 600
  Vasavi 400
  Bareli, Rathwi 300
  Bareli, Palya 200
  Ahirani 200
  Hindi 20
  Gujarati 0
People Groups Speaking Marathi

Primary Language:  Marathi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1807-1957)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1982)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1821-2015)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
Virtual Storehouse
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories in Marathi
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Marathi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
General Bible Visuals
General Four Spiritual Laws
General God's Simple Plan
General Gospel website in this language
General Got Questions Ministry
Mobile App Download Bible from Google Play Store
Text / Printed Matter Bible: मराठी - Marathi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.05 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.70 %
Islam
0.08 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.18 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more

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