Andh Tribal Community

Andh Tribal Community

Location- In the Indian states of Maharashtra, Telangana, and Andhra Pradesh, the Andh are a Scheduled Tribe. Andh are primarily found in the districts of Parbhani, Nanded, Yeotmal, and Akola.

The Constitution Scheduled Tribes Order, 1950, as amended by the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Orders (Amendment) Act, 1956, and the Bombay Reorganisation Act, 1960, have not recognised the Andhs as a scheduled tribe except in a few tehsils of Nagpur division and all five districts of Aurangabad division in Marathwada, as shown below.

Melghat (Amravati) (Amravati). Gadhchiroli. Kelapur and Sironcha (Chanda district). Nagpur division includes Wani and Yeotmal (Yeotmal district).

Aurangabad. Aurangabad division's bad districts include Parbhani, Nanded, Bhir, and Osmana.

History & origin- The Satavahana dynasty gave rise to the Andhs. The Andh community is India's oldest Hindu community. The king owned the lands and forests during Satvahan rule, but after the Satvahan king died, the East India Company declared all lands and forests to be under their control. This was the reason the Andh became isolated and stagnant. They appear to have originated in southern India, near Madras, which was once ruled by the Andhra dynasty. However, the identification is only used for people who had a long history of presence in central India by the turn of the twentieth century.

The Andh are the direct descendants of the Andhra dynasty, also known as the Satavahana dynasty, which ruled from the third century BC to the second century AD. Before the Marathwada region was isolated, Andh were the ruling Satvahan dynasty, but after Nijamshah's attack on this region, the Satavahana dynasty collapsed due to the death of the king, and the region had to be taken into 'Hyderabad Sansthan'. Following this devastating defeat, the Andh agreed to live as a tribe. The Andhs are primarily found in the hills of Telangana's Adilabad district.

They are further divided into two groups: the Vertali and the Khaltali.The Andhs are classified into two groups: Vartati (pure) and Khaltati (illegitimate). The Vartati are thought to be superior to the Khaltati. Vartatis and Khaltatis do not marry. However, both sections accept food from each other.

They identify as Hindus and have a relatively advanced level of education.

Language- These Andhs speak Telugu, Marathi.

Religious beliefs- The Andhs are predominantly Hindu.

Occupation- The majority of Andhs work in agriculture and are skilled and hardworking cultivators. Some of them are village patels. Many of them are landless day labourers who collect wild bees' nests and bring firewood from the jungles.

Culture & festival - Among Andhs, nuclear families are the most common.

They primarily celebrate Hindu festivals such as Dussehra, Diwali, and Sankranti, and they employ Brahmans for religious and ceremonial purposes. 

Khandoba of Jejuri and Bhavani of Mahur are their household gods. Ancestors engraved on metal plates are also remembered. Furthermore, they observe the Rola festival, during which they only worship bulls. Andhs' chief deity is Hanuman.

House - An Andh house is well-built, with mud walls, wooden doors, and tiled or grass-thatched roofs. A typical house has two rooms: a kitchen and a living room, each with a door but no windows. Well-to-do Andhs have large, well-built houses (wadas) within a walled compound, with an open verandah in front. a cooking area. a store room. a retiring room and separate cattle-sheds. The majority of the houses are separate from one another.

Style & attire - An Andh male wears a dhotar, a kudta, a bandi (short waistcoat), and a pataka, pagote, or topi (cap). Men used to wear a large red or white pagadi (turban), but this has been replaced by a white pataka of a cap. Caps are preferred by young men over fetas. Their ladies dress in a nine-yard lugade and a choli.

Several men wear anguthis (rings). kadas and balis (bracelets) (ear-rings)., Bangadya (bangles) and patalya are worn by women around their wrists, koparkhalya on their arms, and jodave on their toes. Some people wear tode on their legs. They enclose their "necks" in mangalsutra, saree, and ekadani. Other than bangles, mangalsutra, and jodave, they only wear ornaments on ceremonial occasions. Widows do not usually wear jewellery.

Food - Jowar is their staple food. They combine jowar bhakar and varan (a liquid preparation of pulse). They occasionally cook vegetables as well. Among the pulses are tur, urid, and mug. Vegetables such as val, chavali, pumpkin, and onions are staples in their diet.

They eat fish and meat but not beef or pork. Rich people eat meat once or twice a week on any day except Monday and Saturday.

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This blog was written by Jaya Singh, a content writer.