Chenchu

Chenchu

The Chenchus are an aboriginal tribe of the central hill regions of Andhra Pradesh, India. Their traditional way of life has been based on hunting and gathering. In general, the Chenchu relationship to nontribal people has been largely symbiotic. Some Chenchus have continued to specialize in collecting forest products for sale to non-tribal people. 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. Caste Hindus living among them rent land from the Chenchus and pay a portion of the harvest. Dalits 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 farming themselves. Because of their long association with Hindu hermits and their refusal to eat beef, Chenchus are considered an unpolluted group by caste Hindus.

This article includes material from the public domain Library of Congress Country Study on India.

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