Chenchu people

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The Chenchus are a designated Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Odisha.[1] They are an aboriginal tribe whose traditional way of life has been based on hunting and gathering. The Chenchus speak the Chenchu language, a member of the Telugu branch of the Dravidian language family. In general, the Chenchu relationship to non-tribal people has been largely symbiotic. Some Chenchus have continued to specialize in collecting forest products for sale to non-tribal people. Many Chenchus live in the dense Nallamala forest of Andhra Pradesh.

A government primary school for Chenchus at Chelama, Andhra Pradesh

The Chenchus are referred to as one of the Primitive Tribal Groups that are still dependent on forests and do not cultivate land but hunt for a living. Caste Hindus living among them rent land from the Chenchus and pay a portion of the harvest. Dalits also settled among them with the help of the Chenchus and learned agriculture from them, and the nomadic Banjara herders who graze their cattle in the forest also have been allotted land there. The Chenchus have responded unenthusiastically to government efforts to induce them to take up farming themselves.

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A tribal girl playing with a plastic bag in Nallamala forest

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "List of notified Scheduled Tribes". Census India. Retrieved 15 December 2013. 

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