Tamadia in India

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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Tamadia
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 1,400
World Population: 1,400
Primary Language: Odia
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Dalit - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

The Tamadia are also called Teli Bhumij or Tamaria. They have no cultural symbols or special dress to identify them. As a scheduled caste they have somewhat low status in Hindu society. They have no subgroups, but they do have their own clans and gotras. They live in northern Odisha.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Traditionally the Tamadia have been oil pressers, but machines are quickly taking over this work. They are often sharecroppers now, so they must maintain good relations with landed communities.

Like most peoples in India, rice is their staple food. A typical meal for the Tamadia would include rice, dal, a vegetable curry and sometimes fish. They can rarely afford meats like mutton.

The gotra (clan) is very important to the Tamadia people. They believe their gotras carry a mystic connection. Each gotra has a special animal that represents them. They must marry outside their gotra.

Children become members of their father’s gotra. In the past they married as children, but now the Tamadia people marry only as adults. They keep their marriages monogamous (between one man and one woman) except for rare cases. The marriage is defined by respect. A wife does not even speak the name of her husband. A husband must consider his wife to be an essential partner for their activities. They all treat elderly members of their family with respect.

In some ways, women take a low status role in the Tamadia family. All inheritance goes through the males. If the father dies, the wife is merely a steward of the family property until her oldest son is of age. Daughters are considered to be “temporary” members of the family since she will join another family when she marries.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Though they worship Hindu gods and attend Hindu festivals, their hearts are linked to village deities. They have purjari (priests) who lead them in worshipping these spirits. If there is an epidemic, they hold a special ritual. Though they don’t have their own sacred specialists, the Tamadia appease their ancestral spirits each year.

What Are Their Needs?

The Tamadia people need to be given the chance to hear the life-changing gospel so they can enjoy life to the full.

Prayer Points

Pray for loving gospel workers to catch a vision for reaching the Tamadia people for Jesus and that in God's sovereign timing the hearts of these people would be open and ready to follow him.

Pray for Jesus movements to bless extended families so the gospel will spread rapidly.

Pray for the spiritual lives of the Tamadia people to become fruitful so others will be drawn to Jesus Christ.

Text Source:   Joshua Project