Aiyanavar in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Aiyanavar
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 6,100
World Population: 6,100
Primary Language: Telugu
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 3.87 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Hindu - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Aiyanavar or Ayyanavar are a Scheduled Caste. This means they have fairly low status. They were once toddy tapper (making alcohol from the sap of palm trees), fishermen and farmers. One of their roles was managing village Hindu temples. They served as caretakers and sometimes as priests.

They live in the southern states of Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They speak Telugu.

What Are Their Lives Like?

The livelihoods of the Aiyanavar people have moved towards more lucrative areas: government jobs, business and education. They are still caretakers of Hindu temples.

What Are Their Beliefs?

The Aiyanavar people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians or Jews. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.

Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama’s birthday.

What Are Their Needs?

At times the Aiyanavar people face discrimination because of their scheduled caste background.

Prayer Points

Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Aiyanavar communities.

Pray for the Aiyanavar people to understand and embrace that Jesus wants to bless their families and neighborhoods.

Pray for Holy Spirit anointed believers from the Aiyanavar people to change their society from within.

Pray for a movement in which the Holy Spirit leads and empowers disciples to make more disciples.

Text Source:   Joshua Project