Konda Reddi Tribe – Culture and Social Life
Konda Reddi Tribe History
Konda Reddi tribe is one of the ancient tribes in India. They live on the hilly terrains of Bison hills which spread in East and West Godavari districts, Andhra Pradesh, along the banks of the river Godavari. Currently, the population is only in the hundreds, and livelihood depends on the forest products like honey, gathering medicinal plants, leaves, roots and so on. They follow a very ancient pattern of life. They don’t interest in plough agriculture, mining, factories and Urbanization work. The concept of their tradition causes them to evolute the greenery and spread the plants around the surroundings. They don’t destroy the forests and cause the eco-climate. Even the woods, which they clear for agriculture, are taken care of so that they regenerate after a few years. Their knowledge of processing fruits and maintaining the forest environment is admirable for all societies.
Social and Economic life of the Konda Reddi Tribe
Due to urbanization and pollution, the forest area has been declining. The administration itself failed to control this. So the decreasing size of the forests caused a threat to the lifestyle of the Konda Reddi tribe people. If the Government take the necessary steps to increase the richness of woods, they can continue to live like this forever. The woods are getting depleted constantly due to the tree falling and over-exploitation of the woods by the paper mills, which need a daily supply of large quantities of Bamboo.
They cultivate the crops in a distinct way called ‘Podu’. It is an ancient practice in hilly regions. At first, they produce the ‘Podu’ land for 3 or 4 years. Later, they left the land for cultivation, chose some land in another place, and cultivated it there. They prepared the calendar and marked the seasons for collecting various edible fruits, nuts, green leaves and small animals for hunting. When the season arrived, the Konda Reddi tribe women and children collected edible forest products for subsistence. Especially they collect honey and bamboo shoots. In the summer season, they collect the juice of ‘Caryota Palm’ for drinking.
They sell the ‘Podu’ cultivated products, honey, gathered nuts, roots, and other materials. They purchase cloth and provisions and require things. Forest is the place of a large number of bamboo plants. So Konda Reddi Tribe people collect bamboo, make baskets and chicken coops, and sell them in the market. The Tribal people worship Gods of nature; every family has their own God or Goddess. The household put up a long pole in front of the house and tied some neem branches to it, and worshipped as Muthyalamma. They celebrate the festivals during the changes of the seasons. Especially, ‘Mamidi Panduga’ is one of the most important festivals. The other important festivals are ‘Gongura Panduga’, which fell in September, and ‘Pachha Panduga’. During these festival celebrations, all gather together and share their happy movements.
Konda Reddi Tribe Family Life
Generally, they live on the hilltops. They built houses with bamboo and thatch. The house has ample space and is utilized for keeping the animals and kitchen garden. The tribal people are connected with solid bondage. They were together in the fields, gathering forest products and even hunting. Primarily the men work in cattle rearing and agriculture, whereas women and children gather food from the forest and weave baskets.