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Map Source: People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
|People Name:||Mala (Hindu traditions)|
|Christian Adherents:||0.16 %|
|Online Audio NT:||No|
|People Cluster:||South Asia Dalit - Mala|
|Affinity Bloc:||South Asian Peoples|
The Mala are also known as Adi-Andhra. They can be found in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry and Karnataka. They speak the Telugu language along with the regional languages and write in the Devanagari script. The Mala have various sub-groups such as Charu, Reddi, Parayan, and Bandari. The traditional occupation of the Mala is agricultural labor in the fields of land owning communities, and cotton weaving.
Now they work as shopkeepers and vegetable vendors and some work in cotton and oil mills. Some are employed in various government offices as teachers, doctors, administrators, engineers and in defense services.
Their staple cereals are rice and finger millets or ragi. Mala people smoke an indigenous cheroot or Chutta. Both men and women habitually drink toddy and arrak, both alcoholic drinks. They make crude drums out of cattle hides and are customarily employed to play these drums during village festivals. They participate in cultural activities during the Ambedkar Jayanthi festival.
The Mala people worship family deities such as Yellamma and ancestral spirits. Urkondi Irrana in Andhra Pradesh is their sacred center. The Mala Dassari or Mala Jangam is a specialist who looks into sacred matters. Their services are always sought for funerals. They sing songs known as Pogatha in praise of the departed soul. They also sing devotional songs to Hindu gods.
The Mala people need to put their hope in the King of kings, realizing that he is the one who gives them worth and dignity.
Pray for God to send several Christian workers to meet their spiritual and physical needs.
Pray that God may deliver Mala people from the smoking cheroot and drinking toddy and arrak.
Pray for spiritual hunger leading to a movement to Christ.