Introduction / History
A Kumhar legend says that "once Brahma divided sugarcane among his sons and each of them ate his share, but the Kumhara who was greatly absorbed in his work, forgot to eat. The piece which he had kept near his clay lump struck root and soon grew into a sugarcane plant. A few days later, when Brahma asked his sons for sugarcane, none of them could give it to him, excepting the Kumhara who offered a full plant. Brahma was pleased by the devotion of the potter to his work."
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Kumhars are the communities that traditionally made pottery and other clay goods for sale. They also made toys and even Hindu idols with clay or terracotta.
They have low caste status, though they are certainly not at the bottom of the Hindu pecking order.
There are a couple of Kumhar communities, one of which is called Sutaria. This subgroup lives in Gujarat and speaks Gujarati.
Those who remain potters sell their good locally, but the more fortunate have found international markets. It is very difficult for these hard working people to make a living as potters. Therefore, a good percentage of them have gravitated to farming and animal husbandry.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Men dominate in the Sutaria Kumhar social structure. Men get credit for the goods they produce even when the wife does a large share of the work. Kumhar girls marry young and seldom get much education.
The Sutaria Kumhar are Hindu and pray to the Lord Shiva, the destroyer god, and Goddess Mother Mata.
What Are Their Needs?
Sutaria Kumhars need to learn new job skills. They need good schools for their children. Education is a challenge for the Kumhar since many of them lead nomadic lives. Children often quit school after a few years to help their parents earn a living. The Kumhar frequently lack access to modern medicine and clean water.
Believers can offer them Global Recordings Network materials and Scriptures in Use materials so they can listen to God's word as they work. God's word does not return void!
Since there are no known believers among the Sutaria Kumhars, pray that they will hear and respond to the Lord's voice.
Pray for a movement of Jesus to heal and strengthen Sutaria Kumhar communities.
Pray that Sutaria Kumhar council leaders will come to Christ and lead others to him.
Pray that the church around the world will remember the Kumhar communities in intercession.
Scripture Prayers for the Kumhar Sutaria in India.