Golla in India

Golla
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Golla
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 137,000
World Population: 137,000
Primary Language: Odia
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
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 Golla people are spread out different states of India. The word 'Golla' is derived from the Sanskrit word, 'Gopal' which means keeper of cows. They are known by different names such as Yadav and Patra in Orissa. There are also other occupational subgroups such as Nunia, Haldia, Panera, Chelia and Kondar among others.

Their speak Telugu but they are also conversant in Hindi and other regional languages. The Golla are land owners and a community that rears sheep and goats. Women are also involved in agriculture and animal husbandry. The women are very good in tattooing and sing folk-songs. The men folk participate in folk-dramas. They also perform holding red hot iron balls in their mouths, hot iron plates in their hands and swallowing long knives. The Golla Pedditi performs magic in the villages and receives grain and money in return.

As a community they practice community endogamy and Gotra exogamy. Bride price is a prevalent practice. The women wear vermilion, a thali and toe rings as symbols of marriage. Naming ceremonies are observed on the twenty-first day after birth. The dead are cremated and a purification ceremony is observed on the tenth day. Child labour is prevalent among the Golla.

They worship Krishna. They also have other village deities such as Mangala, Thakurani Rajamma and Korallama. They celebrate festivals like Dol Purnima, Rathjathra, Ganesh Puja and Lakshmi Puja. They worship their agricultural implements during the major festivals. The dead are buried and death pollution is observed for eleven days.

Alternate names: Yadav, Ahir, Gop, Ashtandra, Monda, Pedditi, Yerra, Mon

Prayer Points

* For the salvation of the people of the Golla community and that God may send several Christian workers among them and meet their spiritual and physical needs.
* That the Golla people may be freed from the practices of magic, child labour and other social evils.
* That the Golla community will be uplifted and empowered to live a dignified life through education and provision of better facilities and that they may give up the dangerous customs such as holding red hot iron balls in their mouths and swallowing long knives.

Text Source:   India Missions Association - Edited by Philipose Vaidyar  Copyrighted © 2021  Used with permission