(Last Updated on : 11/08/2010)
Andh is a cultivating caste mainly distributed over the region of Berar. Andh tribe is one of the scheduled tribes of the country. They are mainly residing in the mountainous region of Adilabad District
in the state of Andhra Pradesh
. They are considered as the non-Aryan tribe belonging to the Tamil country. In the past, the region of the Andhra dynasty expanded across the southern region of the country. The Andh is segregated into two endogamous groups, namely, Vartali and Khaltali. Andh tribes comprising the Vartali segments are considered to be elites, while those falling into Khaltali segments are commoners. Intermarriage is prohibited between them. Again, Andh tribes are further divided into a number of exogamous family lines mainly carrying the surnames 'Intiperlu'. These clans are named after some animals or plants. Some of the names are Majiria the cat, Baghmare means tiger killer, Titawe from Titawa, which means a bird, Dukare from Dukar, meaning a tiger, Ringni, a type of tree, Dumare from Dumar, meaning an ant-hill.
Each Adman is an exogamous unit. What is interesting is to note that marriages are held not only through negotiations, the people eloping for marriages are also not uncommon. Marriage ceremonies of Andh tribe resemble the wedding ceremonies of Kunbi tribe
. Engagement ceremony is arranged between the months of October and December in Andh tribal communities. And the wedding usually takes place in between January and April. In Andh tribal societies, polygamy is also allowed. Widow re-marriage is widely prevalent among Andh tribes. However, no widow is allowed to remarry the brother of his late husband. Remarriage with other members of the same family line is also not accepted. Divorce is also permitted. In their societies, dead are usually buried. They bury the dead with its head facing the south direction in contrary to the customs of Hinduism
Andh tribes speak Marathi language
which was their mother tongue. Andhs are non vegetarians although they avoid consuming beef. Andhs are mainly agriculturists by profession; many of them work as labourers also. There are only few people who live on forest products that they have accumulated during hunting. Fishing too is also prevalent. They have caste committee or Panchayat. The general customs and traditions of Andhs reflect their aboriginal origin. Andh tribes are going for minimum education.