Loi in India

Send Joshua Project a photo
of this people group.
Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Loi
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 103,000
World Population: 103,000
Primary Language: Meitei
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.05 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Loi or Lois people of India live in the northeastern state of Manipur. They are an indigenous tribe whose name means "Scheduled Caste" in Meitei, the official language of Manipur. The use of the name Loi or Lois is controversial because these people see themselves as part of the larger population of Meitei people in Manipur. The Indian government has distinguished the Loi from the Meitei and has given the Loi the designation of Scheduled Caste. This category allows the government to give the Loi special consideration for public jobs and university admissions. Illiteracy is an issue for the Loi. The Indian government is working to educate the children of the Loi so that they can enter into modern society.

The Loi are at the bottom of the seven-leveled Manipur caste system. They are often not permitted entrance into Hindu temples. As a result the Loi have their priests and shrines. The primary language of the Loi is Meitei. Many also speak Assamese.

Where Are they Located?

The Loi people live in India's northeastern state of Manipur.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The Loi are an agricultural people who live in rural villages. They wet farm rice as their main crop. They also grow palm trees for their oil and wood. They are vegetarians except for eating a special type of pungent fermented fish.

Loi marry within their group. Young people are allowed to choose their spouse but must get the approval of their families. Sons inherit their father's property. Village chiefs and elders settle legal problems and promote the interests of the Loi. Village shamans are the first persons the Loi see for spiritual and medical problems.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Loi practice their brand of Hinduism mixed with folk religion. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon, especially their supreme god and forest god. The Loi venerate their ancestors and feel they must placate the evil spirits that inhabit the natural world. Hindus believe that by performing rituals and good works that they will attain moksha or freedom from the endless cycle of birth, death and rebirth. The Loi visit their shrines and offer prayers, food, flowers and incense to their gods.
Only a few Loi are Christian believers.

What Are Their Needs?

The Loi need help in educating their children. The Loi would benefit with access to modern medicine. They could also use help in learning new job skills. Most of all, the Loi need to hear and understand the life-changing message of Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray that the tiny group of Loi believers would be established in the faith and share the gospel with their brothers and sisters.
Pray for Loi families to be drawn to Jesus and to the Bible to find out more about the true God.
Pray for a movement to Jesus to multiply among Loi families and communities

Text Source:   Keith Carey