Pulayan in Sri Lanka

Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Pulayan
Country: Sri Lanka
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,700
World Population: 1,115,700
Primary Language: Tamil
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 11.79 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: Yes
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Pulayan people know a lot about the word pollution. Their name is derived from pula, which means pollution. And as members of the lowest rung of Hindu society, they are often treated like trash.
They live mainly in India’s southern states of Kerala and Tamil Nadu, but some are in nearby Sri Lanka.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Along with most other low caste communities, the Pulayans are landless. Many are engaged as agricultural laborers, serving higher caste landowners without significant pay. They are known to be talented craftsmen and basket makers. They also have a tradition of oral storytelling and folk songs. When the Pulayan are not working to please their landlords, they enjoy singing and dancing to the music of drums and stringed instruments.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Their economic status parallels their spiritual state. The Pulayans are enslaved by a host of gods, including Mankombu Bhagwati, Siva, Vishnu, and Ayyappa. Fortunately, there are some in Sri Lanka who follow the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.

What Are Their Needs?

The Pulayan people need the Holy Spirit to direct them into a loving relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ.

Prayer Points

Pray for God to change the identity of the Pulayans from “people of pollution” to “people of Light and Life.”
Ask him to set them free from the social and economic bondage of being low caste.
Pray for them to be open to the gospel, to begin seeking to please the Lord Jesus Christ, and to respond with singing and dancing for God's glory.
Pray for loving workers to go to the Pulayan people until they are discipling others.

Text Source:   Joshua Project