Ethnography of Agency Goudu Tribe in Andhra Pradesh
TCR&TM Andhra Pradesh
Goudu Naiko Agro-Forest based
CENTRE FOR ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL STUDIES HYDERABAD
Agency Goudu, is a cattle breeding scheduled tribes, living in the tribal areas bordering Andhra Pradesh and Orissa. The ancestors of this tribe originally belongs to Gaudo caste of Orissa state and they have migrated to the Agency areas of Visakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam districts long back and permanently settled there. Due to their stay in the scheduled area quite a long time they got scheduled tribe status. They speak corrupt form of Oriya language and they consider Oriya as their mother tongue. However, they also speak the regional language Telugu with others. Traditionally, Agency Goudu tribe had pastoral economy. At present their economy is considered as agro-forest based like that of other tribals in the study area. At present they directly or indirectly depend on land and forest. Some of them are employed as private bus conductors, low ranked government servants, and a few of them are teachers and other government salaried employees. Marriage by negotiation, exchange, elopement and service are some of the modes of acquiring mates in this tribe. Bride price (Konyo-Mullo) is practised among the Goudu in both cash and kind. Divorce is acceptable with the consent of traditional panchayat. Widow and divorce remarriages are allowed. Junior sororate and senior levirate marriages are also acceptable. The rule of descent and residence is male side only. However, the women participate equally in social, ritual, and religious activities and are given an equal status with their men folk. The Goudus have their own traditional tribal council or panchayat called pradhano. Their traditional tribal head is called Naiko (Naidu) and his position is hereditary in nature. In the past Goudu community people used to construct their traditional type of thatched houses with the locally available material which have been replaced by tiled houses and R.C.C buildings. A few graduate employed youth are also found in the community. A considerable number of Goudu families are benefited by the welfare programmes of I.T.D.A. Social and cultural changes are noted among the Goudu people due to their culture contact (Acculturation) with the castes of plains, and also with the effect of modernization, urbanization education, employment and mass media.