Author: K S Singh
Editor(s): K S Singh, D L Prasada Rao & Shaik Yaseen Saheb
Publisher: Affiliated East-West
ISBN/UPC (if available): 8176710067
The Anthropological Survey of India launched the People of India project on October 2, 1985 to generate an anthropological profile of all communities of India, the impact on them of change and the development processes and the links that bring them together.
As part of this all-India project, the ethnographic survey of all communities of present-day Andhra Pradesh was taken up in collaboration with local scholars. The results of the survey were discussed at workshops held in Mysore in July 1987 and later.
The identity of the Andhra, which goes back to 6th century B C, has evolved through history. This identity is now defined, inter alia, by language, territory, couture, cuisine, folklore, life-cycle ceremonies and local forms of religion. Andhra Pradesh has the largest number of communities in India (386), including the largest number of artisans and non-pastoralist nomads. Its ecology explains the presence of numerous tribes, including the primitive groups, peasants, pastoralists, fisherfolk and others in its three distinct regions. The minorities present in sizeable numbers, have maintained their identities and enriched Andhra ethos. Wile Telugu is the dominant language and the language of the State, there are other languages spoken which belong to the Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic and Indo-Aryan families. The incidence of bilingualism is high in Hindi, Urdu and other Dravidian languages. The ethnographic traits that stand out are the higher incidence of forms of consanguineous marriages, particularly FSD, MBD, and uncle-niece, among a large number of the communities, a marked presence of the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes, brideprice-and now dowry, reportedly the highest in the country-divisions such as phratry and moiety among the Gonds and other groups, interperu or surname exogamy, etc. Sororal polygyny, male and female equigeniture, women's multiple roles in the socioreligious and economic spheres, their equality in many communities and their equality in many communities and their struggles, an extensive distribution of arts and crafts across communities, vibrant folk and classical traditions represented by the typical Andhra Dance, Kuchipudi. Andhra also returns the highest incidence of child labour, a larger number of the landless community etc. Another feature has been the dominance of a few communities who have spread across most of the state and moved into government service, business, trade and industries wit attendant benefits in education, politics and economy. Andhra has seen the rise of the Bhoodan movement for land distribution, it has been a centre of many popular struggles, a pioneer in Panchayati Raj and rural development, women's empowerment and overall development, and is now a leader in information technology.
K S SINGH is the former Director General of the Anthropological Survey of India.
D L PRASADA RAO is the former professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Andhra University, Waltair.
THE LATE N V KAMESWARA RAO, Anthropologist (Cultural), was the first State coordinator.
SHAIK YASEEN SAHEB, Anthropologist (Physical), is the present coordinator and Editor.