Photo Source: Copyrighted © 2021
Isudas All rights reserved. Used with permission
Map Source: People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
|Christian Adherents:||0.02 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Dalit - other|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The Kalbelia live a nomadic life and have belonged as members of the lower castes, shunned by mainstream society. Their main occupation has been catching snakes and trading snake venom. Hence, the dance movements and the costumes of their community bear a resemblance to that of serpents. Traditionally, Kalbelia men carried cobras in cane baskets from door to door in villages while their women sang and danced and begged for alms. They revere the cobra. Kalbelias have traditionally been a fringe group in society, living in spaces outside the village where they reside in makeshift camps called deras. They move their deras from one place to another in a circuitous route. More recently, performing arts are a major source of income for them, and others are employed in agriculture. They are Hindu.
Spiritual opposition can be expected as Jesus is presented to this Hindu community. Workers need to prayerfully prepare for this.
Perhaps some of the Kalbelia will discover the Jesus film and Gospel recordings on the Internet, as well as scripture. Pray the Lord will prompt them to listen, view and download, and that he will give them understanding.
None of the Kalbelia community have reported themselves as Christians to the Indian census. There probably are no followers of Jesus among them today. Perhaps the Lord will soon call many to himself, and they will need prayer support.
Please pray this low caste community will find ways to improve their standard of living. They need better education for their children, and they need employment opportunities.