Sherdukpen in India


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Expanded PDF Profile

Introduction / History

The Sherdukpen's oral history says that they originated from the marriage of a Tibetan prince with a princess of Assam, possibly of Kachari origin. Sherdukpen culture and language are strange in that they are distinct from the other Tibeto-Burman varieties in Arunachal Pradesh. This suggests they once migrated into the area from far away. Most of the Sherdukpen people live either in India's northeastern state of Arunachal Pradesh or in Bhutan.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of the Sherdukpen people are farmers who supplement their diet through hunting and fishing. Some have livestock. They use simple tools for their work.
Visitors to their communities can easily identify the Sherdukpen because their dress is totally different from that of other nearby peoples. The men's dress consists of a shawl, waist belt, jacket and a cap made of yak's hair. The Sherdukpen women wear a white cotton or silk gown called a sinka.
The Sherdukpen language is part of the Kanauri branch of the Tibeto-Burman family. There are dialect differences between the Sherdukpen spoken in different villages.
Before a wedding can take place, a suitable bride price must be negotiated between the families of the bride and groom. The groom's family must come up with an acceptable form of payment to compensate the bride's family for all the years of expense and effort they spent in raising the girl. The most common form of marriage is a negotiated arranged one. The parents of both the boy and the girl arrange the marriage. The girl is ritually eloped by the boy's parents and their relatives. After the bride price has been settled, a Buddhist lama is called in to consult the horoscopes to determine the best time and day for the wedding to take place. These days love marriages are becoming more common.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Buddhism first came to the Sherdukpen in the mid-1700s. Almost every one of them identifies as Buddhist today.
The Buddhist lamas, known as chize, double as shaman priests among the Sherdukpen. They perform weddings and funerals and act as mediators between the spirit world and the community. Thus, the primary felt need of the Sherdukpen is about dealing with the spirit world, not following the teachings of Gautama Buddha.


What Are Their Needs?

For countless centuries the Sherdukpen people, few in number yet unique, lived and died without any knowledge of the gospel. There are only a handful of Christ's disciples among this people group.


Prayer Points

Pray for the authority of Christ to bind hindering spiritual forces to lead them from darkness to light.
Pray for signs and wonders among them and for great breakthroughs with a rapid multiplication of disciples and house churches.
Pray for bold workers who are driven by the love of the Holy Spirit to go to them.
Pray for an unstoppable movement to Christ among them.


Scripture Prayers for the Sherdukpen in India.


References

Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest, Copyrighted © Used with permission


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  
Expanded PDF Profile

People Name General Sherdukpen
People Name in Country Sherdukpen
Population this Country 4,200
Population all Countries 4,400
Total Countries 2
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Jioaonpu; Ngnok; Sainji; Sajee; Thungjee; शेरदुकपें
People ID 18087
ROP3 Code 113588
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country They inhabit the Bomdila Subdivision of the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. The three main villages are Rupa, Shergaon and Jigaon.   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Arunachal Pradesh
4,100
Assam
70
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 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Location in Country They inhabit the Bomdila Subdivision of the West Kameng District of Arunachal Pradesh. The three main villages are Rupa, Shergaon and Jigaon..   Source:  Peoples of the Buddhist World, 2004
Total States 2
  Arunachal Pradesh 4,100
  Assam 70
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Buddhism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
97.11 %
Christianity  (Evangelical Unknown)
0.74 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
1.39 %
Islam
0.11 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.20 %
Unknown
0.45 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Sherdukpen (3,200 speakers)
Language Code sdp   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Unknown
Total Languages 9
Secondary Languages
Hindi
200
Nyishi
80
Sartang
20
Assamese
20
Naga, Wancho Nepali
Adi Garo
Primary Language Sherdukpen (3,200 speakers)
Language Code sdp   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 9
Secondary Languages
  Hindi 200
  Nyishi 80
  Sartang 20
  Assamese 20
  Naga, Wancho 10
  Nepali 0
  Adi 0
  Garo 0
People Groups Speaking Sherdukpen

Primary Language:  Sherdukpen

Bible Translation Status:  Translation Started

Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2023  Peoples of the Buddhist World, Asia Harvest  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. Read more