Paniyan in India

The Paniyan have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The name Paniyan comes from the root word pani, meaning work. The word refers to a worker or laborer and in general, a member of the tribe Paniyan. They were literally slaves to landlords in northern Kerala.
The famous Valliyurkavu festival in Wayanadu district is reminiscent of the resultant slave trade. During this festival, slaves were sold, purchased or even exchanged by landlords and local chieftains, in front of the Bhagavathi temple. Annual pacts were renewed binding the Paniyan slave to work for another year. Cloth, oil or a nominal amount were exchanged, to seal the deal. This practice slowly died when slavery became illegal. The scars of this practice are still visible in how the Paniyan conduct their lives.
Paniyan reside mainly in northern Kerala (Wayanadu district), with a few in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Paniyans now reside mainly in colonies of between eight and twenty-five houses. Very few among them have any form of education and their main means of income is subsistence farming and daily wage labor. They prefer not to associate with others living in the area, which isolates them from contact with Christians.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Paniyan do not have many religious practices. They tend to associate a spirit behind anything in their seen-world and include spirits of their dead for worship. Their main god is that of the forest, called kadubhagavathi, or kuli, which is neither male nor female. Its shrine is usually represented by one or more stones, placed under a tree. Their worship at this shrine is usually through offering boiled rice, half a coconut and a few coins. The Banyan tree is very significant in their unseen world as if they believe that spirits live on it.


What Are Their Needs?

A few Paniyan have started following Jesus because of many years of ministry. These new Christian believers, though meeting together as a church, find it difficult to grow into maturity as the truths of the Scripture are not available to them in their language.


Prayer Points

Pray for complete freedom from past scars of slavery, leading them to put their identity and hope in the King of kings.
Pray they will become self-sufficient through education and economic development.
Pray the Paniyan Christians will disciple their community, turning their hearts to the only savior.
Pray that the word of God in their mother tongue will soon open their hearts to see Jesus as he is: the only savior of mankind.


Scripture Prayers for the Paniyan in India.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Paniyan
People Name in Country Paniyan
Alternate Names Pannayar; Panniyar; पनियाँ
Population this Country 119,000
Population all Countries 119,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 2
People ID 17834
ROP3 Code 113307
ROP25 Code 306518
ROP25 Name Paniyan
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 6
Largest States
Kerala
105,000
Tamil Nadu
12,000
Karnataka
700
Puducherry
400
Delhi
100
Andhra Pradesh
60
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 6
  Kerala 105,000
  Tamil Nadu 12,000
  Karnataka 700
  Puducherry 400
  Delhi 100
  Andhra Pradesh 60
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.13 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.38 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.07 %
Islam
0.19 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.22 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Paniya (66,000 speakers)
Language Code pcg   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
Malayalam
23,000
Tamil
10,000
Kannada
300
Tulu
30
Kodava
30
Hindi
20
Telugu
20
Primary Language Paniya (66,000 speakers)
Language Code pcg   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 8
Secondary Languages
  Malayalam 23,000
  Tamil 10,000
  Kannada 300
  Tulu 30
  Kodava 30
  Hindi 20
  Telugu 20
People Groups Speaking Paniya

Primary Language:  Paniya

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes
Bible-New Testament Yes  (2016)
Bible-Complete No
FCBH NT (www.bible.is) Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Paniya Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
General Faith Comes By Hearing - Bible in text or audio or video Faith Comes by Hearing
General Scripture Earth Gospel resources links Scripture Earth
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Philipose Vaidyar  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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