Introduction / History
The Juang are one of the nine Munda-Santal tribes. Traditions regarding the origin of the Munda-Santal tribes are uncertain, but we know that the Juang people once earned their living by harvesting goods in the forests and selling them until the British Raj declared these forests their own and forced local people to stop living there. The Juang people are among what the Indian government calls the "scheduled tribes. " Because scheduled tribes are underdeveloped, the Indian government has attempted to bring them into the mainstream of political and economic life. In 1949, tribes were "scheduled" for special treatment.
What Are Their Lives Like?
Each Juang village has both a local headman and a priest. They offer a chicken as a sacrifice when they consult the priest. The Juang people are desperately poor, subsisting on agriculture, hunting, fishing, and weaving. They, along with other tribal groups in Odisha, have lost valuable lands to industrialization and the forest industry. Today, the government is trying to preserve forests, so cultivation shifting is limited. There is also an increase in the amount of irrigated land. As a result, they have developed other sources of income. They include working in the tea plantations of the northeast, working in the steel industry, or working as day laborers for local Hindu landowners. Both men and women work to bring home adequate income for their families. The Munda-Santal tribes are divided into clans which recognize a common ancestor. The clans often marry those who are from other tribes; however, there are smaller sub-tribes who are permitted to marry only those within their group.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Although they have some Hindu beliefs, Juangs practice mostly ancient animistic rituals. Their supreme god is the sun god. However, they have also adopted the Hindu deities in addition to tribal gods and goddesses. The Hindu village priest is the ritual specialist, and they observe many Hindu festivals. They have a firm belief in an almighty creator and also in "mother earth. "
What Are Their Needs?
In places where the gospel is being preached to the Munda-Santal, many listeners almost immediately receive Christ after the village council talks it over. These precious tribes are ripe unto harvest; they simply need people to show them the way to the true God!
* Scripture Prayers for the Juang in India.
Pray for his kingdom to come and his will to be done among the Juang people. Pray for a movement of Juang households to study the Bible and accept the blessings of Christ. Pray for a spiritual hunger that will drive the Juang people to the arms of Jesus. Pray for workers who are filled with the fruit and the power of the Holy Spirit to go to the Juang people.