Chenchu people

The Chenchus are a Dravidian tribe, a designated Scheduled Tribe in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Karnataka and Odisha.[1] They are an aboriginal tribe whose traditional way of life been based on hunting and gathering. The Chenchus speak the Chenchu language, a member 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 sparse and deciduous Nallamala forest of Andhra Pradesh.

Chenchu tribal hunting.jpg
Chenchu man hunting, Nallamala Forests, Andhra Pradesh
Total population
c. 65,000
Regions with significant populations
Andhra Pradesh, Telangana
Chenchu language
Related ethnic groups

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. Non-tribe people living among them rent land from the Chenchus and pay a portion of the harvest. Other people 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 agriculture themselves.

See alsoEdit


  • Fürer-Haimendorf, Christoph von (1943) The Chenchus: A Jungle Folk of the Deccan. London: MacMillan and Co.
  • Betageri, Prahlad (1993) Adavichenchara Samskruti. Bangalore: Karnataka Sahitya Academy. (in Kannada)


  1. ^ "List of notified Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 7 November 2013. Retrieved 15 December 2013.

External linksEdit