Meena in India

Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Meena
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 5,505,000
World Population: 5,505,000
Primary Language: Hindi
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.14 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Tribal - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Meena tribe is believed to be a mixture of more than one tribe. A fishing community called Meenavar eventually became Meena. The Meena are known by their Meena language. They live in the hills of Rajasthan, a desert state in western India.

What Are Their Lives Like?

In summer, water is very scarce. Water is precious in most places and fetching it is hard with their wells. Women walk long distances with pots on their heads; this is a common scene in Rajasthan. They build homes that keep out the scorching heat of the Rajasthani desert. Men make tiles in the heat of the summer when there is no agricultural activity. They bake hand-made clay tiles in fire. Ladies will make brooms and mats from palm branches or distill liquor. Country liquor made from the mova flower is a common and favorite hot drink.

Lack of education, illiteracy and lack of access to proper facilities keep the Meena under the clutches of several sicknesses. Tuberculosis and death during delivery are both common in Meena villages. Though pastures are scanty, several of them are also involved in tending cattle, trying to make a living by the sale of milk products and selling calves.

They do not intermarry with other tribes. The younger brother of a deceased man can marry his widow. A married man has freedom and access on his older brother's wife and wife's younger sister. During weddings and other festivals, there is lots of drumming and dancing. As the drum music tightens, women loosen their dresses in a revealing way.

The dead are cremated. The corpse of men is wrapped in white cloth and the women in colored cloth. Raised platforms of rectangle shapes are raised as tomb at the grave behind the residence.

What Are Their Beliefs?

In the empty slopes of a hill among the cactus are wooden poles with flags. These are places of offerings and chants. Meena in the Udaipur area worship spirits and the chief among them is Magarababji. Meena believe in life after death. Those who do well in this life are supposed to be born as stars in the next birth.

What Are Their Needs?

These people need to put their hope and identity in the King of kings and Lord of lords.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving workers to go to the Meena people, and for their hearts to be ready to receive their savior.

Pray for families of believers loving and serving others to grow reproducing churches.

Pray for a chain reaction of families reaching families that result in thousands of new disciples who share their faith with others.

Pray for grace and truth expanding into their entire society as all believers learn to love others.

Text Source:   Joshua Project