Tanti (Hindu traditions) in India

Tanti (Hindu traditions)
Photo Source:  Anonymous 
Map Source:  People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Tanti (Hindu traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 4,826,000
World Population: 5,021,900
Primary Language: Bengali
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.01 %
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 Tanti are said to have originated as weavers and providers of cloth since the days of ancient Bengal. They were known for great skill in weaving and the ability to produce both fine linens as well as more common everyday fabrics. Not too long ago, virtually every Tanti home would have had a loom. The Tanti people are found across the northeastern portion of India. The greatest concentration is believed to be in the state of Bihar. There are also some in Uttar Pradesh, West Bengal, Bihar, as well as Bangladesh. They tend to live in villages outside of major metropolitan areas. They are slightly less concentrated than some groups because their designation started with their occupation rather than a particular tribe or group. The Tanti tend to be mixed with other lower caste groups that are also spread throughout the region. This makes it difficult to identify any one area as specifically Tanti. There are, however, villages that have been found to be primarily Tanti scattered throughout the areas mentioned.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Today, much of their trade has been taken over by factory production and imported goods. Many are now doing subsistence level work either of weaving or other manual labor within villages. They often do not have clean water or a steady food supply. In relation to the rest of India they are seen as being part of the backward castes or the scheduled classes (Dalit). Regardless of which is exactly right, they are definitely considered among the lowest status communities. A few Tanti have moved into cities and achieved an education and greater roles in society. This is still, however, limited to a small percentage of the overall people group.

What Are Their Beliefs?

In terms of beliefs, the majority of Tantis are Hindu. Many are born into Hinduism and like others in India believe that to be who they are as a people means to be Hindu. There is also a sizable portion who are Muslim, and this number continues to grow. One difficulty with this group, as with others in India, is to separate the cultural identity from the religious beliefs. They need to understand that they can be Indian and Tanti but still follow Christ.

What Are Their Needs?

They have a need for clean water and help with sanitation issues. Since so much of this group is found in rural India, they do not have ready access to modern medical facilities. Some groups are trying to help this situation by providing funds for water wells. Most of all, the Tanti need to hear and understand the message of Jesus Christ. He alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.

Prayer Points

Pray for a desire among the Tantri to investigate the claims of Jesus Christ. Pray for a disciple making movement that will bless the Tanti people this decade. Pray for the Lord to send out workers to the Tanti people to share with them the gospel.

Text Source:   Keith Carey