Konda Reddi Tribe

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Overview:

The indigenous knowledge of the Konda Reddi tribe, a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group inhabiting the Papikonda hill range in the Godavari region, has proven resourceful.

About Konda Reddi Tribe

  • Konda Reddis is a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group inhabiting the banks of the river Godavari and also in the hilly forest tracts of Godavari and Khammam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
  • Their mother tongue is Telugu in its purest and chaste form, with a unique accent.
  • Subdivisions:
    • The Konda Reddy tribe is divided into exogamous septs for regulating matrimonial relations.
    • Like other Telugu-speaking people, their surnames are prefixed to individual names.
    • Generally, each sept is exogamous, but certain septs are considered as brother septs, and marriage alliances with brother septs (agnate relations) are prohibited.
  • Family and Marriage:
    • The family is patriarchal and patrilocal. Monogamy is a rule, but polygamous families are also found.
    • Marriage by negotiations, by love and elopement, by service, by capture, and by exchange are socially accepted ways of acquiring mates. 
  • Religion: The primary religion practiced by the Konda Reddi is Folk Hinduism, characterized by local traditions and cults of local deities worshiped at the community level.
  • Political Organization:
    • They have their own institution of social control called ‘Kula Panchayat’.
    • Each village has a traditional headman called ‘Pedda Kapu’.
    • The office of the headman is hereditary, and the headman is also the Pujari (priest) of the village deities.
  • Livelihood:
    • They are primarily shifting cultivators and largely depend on flora and fauna of forest for their livelihood.
    • They collect and sell non timber forest produce like tamarind, adda leaves, myrobolan, broom sticks, etc., to supplement their meagre income. 
    • They cultivate largely jowar, which is their staple food.

Q1) What is a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG)?

PVTGs are a more vulnerable group among tribal groups in India. These groups have primitive traits, geographical isolation, low literacy, zero to negative population growth rate and backwardness. Moreover, they are largely dependent on hunting for food and a pre-agriculture level of technology. Currently, there are 2.8 million PVTGs belonging to 75 tribes across 22,544 villages in 220 districts across 18 states and Union Territories in India. According to the 2011 Census, Odisha has the largest population of PVTGs at 866,000. It is followed by Madhya Pradesh at 609,000 and Andhra Pradesh (including Telangana) at 539,000.

Source: Konda Reddi tribe’s indigenous knowledge of Indian laurel tree proves resourceful