Karmali in India

Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.
People Name: Karmali
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 153,000
World Population: 158,300
Primary Language: Maithili
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.11 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: New Testament
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 Karmali people of India are a scheduled tribe.

Where Are they Located?

Karmali people live in the state of Jharkhand.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Karmali people build their rectangular homes with mud walls, tiles, bamboo, and wooden walls.
They breed and eat pigs; as a result, other tribes regard them as having low status and do not accept food and water from them.

They have one spouse except in cases of barrenness or the death of a spouse. They don't marry within the same clan or with members of a different tribe. A bride price in paid in cash or with goods by the father of the groom. Fathers or guardians arrange the marriage. The boy's father contacts the girl's father, and the village priest helps to arrange the date of the marriage. A soil digging ritual is performed by women in both houses. The couple has bathing and food regulations. Oil is put on the couple and they are blessed by the families, and a feast follows. The bride stays for a week, then her father takes her home where she stays for one year. Karmali kinship is determined according to parentage and marriage. Lineage is through the father.

Karmali people make baskets, axes and sickles. They sharpen and repair tools and sell them to agricultural tribes and castes. They have difficulty getting raw materials, and daily wage earning has become a common source of income.

Karmali have a community Panchayat (association) and all family leaders are members. The leader is called Mahato and is also the village chief. Panchayats hear cases having to do with divorce.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Karmali people are Hindus who worship many gods. They also believe that spirits of their ancestors live in their houses. They make sacrifices to gods and spirits along with their priests. They also practice witchcraft and celebrate festivals.

What Are Their Needs?

Various visual, audio, and written Christian resources are available in the Hindi language, but Karmali people are still unreached.
They do not see their need for the Savior; their gods have blinded them to God's truth.

Prayer Points

Pray that Karmali people will be drawn to Hindi Christian radio broadcasts.
Pray that Almighty God will raise up Indian churches to lovingly and boldly evangelize this unreached people group resulting in entire Karmali families putting their faith in Jesus Christ and discipling others.
Pray for the Lord to raise up two Karmali believers this year who will spread Christ's fame throughout India.
There are Karmali believers in neighboring Bangladesh; pray that they will make disciples of their kinsmen in India.

Text Source:   Karen Hightower