(Last Updated on : 07/07/2011)
Tribes of Andhra Pradesh
have added grandeur to the region with their rich heritage of culture, innocent lifestyle and age-old ethnicity. In other words, customs, rituals, fairs, festivals of these tribes of Andhra Pradesh have drawn the attraction of all the anthropologists of the country who have conducted surveys on them with enthusiasm and vigour. In Andhra Pradesh presently there are 32 lakh tribals, 50 lakh nomads and other backward people in Andhra Pradesh. Their habitat spreads along the coastal and mountain strip of the Bay of Bengal
from the Srikakulam district
to the Khammam district
and Godavari districts right up to the north-eastwards to the Adilabad region.
Maximum tribes of Andhra Pradesh are settled in the hilly and forest regions of the state. In the manner of making houses, too, these tribes of Andhra Pradesh have also left their marks of exuberance and artistry. Their physical stature is short and stout. They have long heads, well-defined thick eye brows. Protruding mouth and snub noses are also among their physical characteristics. The general colour of the skin is whitish and the hair is black and crinkled.
Various Andhra Pradesh Tribes
The tribes of Andhra Pradesh are classified into two groups. One of the groups is present across the hilly tracts of the Deccan Plateau
and by the Godavari River
and Krishna River
. The Chenchus of Srisailam hills are part of the second group.
and Koyas belonging to the Bhadrachalam and Simhachalam hilly areas, bear the complex features of Mongolids and Australids. Thirty-three types of tribes are found in eight districts of Andhra Pradesh. The most prominent among them are the Khonds, Kolamis, Nayakpods, Koyas, Kondadoras, Valmikis, Bhagatas, Savaras, Jatayus, Gadabas, Yanadis and Chenchus.
There are certain nomadic tribes namely Piccukaguntlu, Balasanta, Saradakandru, Viramushtivaru, Bavanilu, Birannalavaru, Kommuvaru etc are Telugu nomads whose main occupation is ballad singing.
Culture of Andhra Pradesh Tribes
The tribes of Andhra Pradesh worship their own pantheon of nature gods and goddesses and continue to revel in their ancient customs and manners. The language which they use does not have a proper script and it has come down by the word of mouth. These tribes are firmly grounded by traditions. The laws of society and tradition are followed very strictly by the tribes of Andhra Pradesh. The leader of the tribal society is a very important figure. All other members strictly obey him and he is the person who has control on all the aspects of tribal life. The tribal communities happily participate in the feasts and festivals of the community. They sing and dance. The Yanadis, the Chenchus, the Koyas and Savaras and the Khonds of Adilabad are typical in their way of life. They are simple people. They have no artificiality among them. They are basically honest and true people.
Occupation of Andhra Pradesh Tribes
Some of the tribal are occupied in trade and commerce, while their womenfolk are part of cottage industries like making toys, baskets, mats, beads and cosmetics. The way of living of these tribes are nomadic and they change their settlements based on the change in weather. The tribes enjoy lives in their own way. Their ways of recreation make them happy. Their forms of entertainment make their lives less difficult.
Among non-Telugu nomads, Lambadis also called Sugalis (Banjaras) are very prominent. Rajasthani tribes were people who had taken to a nomadic way of life and moved in batches towards the south of the sub-continent. Some of them are found in rural areas. They are itinerant traders. Besides the Lambadis, mercenary soldiers of Maharashtrian stock have settled down mostly in Telengana. They are called `Are` and they speak a dialect, which is a mixture of Marathi and Telugu. Their occupation is agriculture. They have only a spoken language. Their manners and customs are different from those of the country of their domicile.