Places they inhabit :
Chenchu inhabit in the Nallamalai hills, which have been the part of the
Nagarjuna Sagar Tiger Sanctuary for centuries in Andhra Pradesh India. They
are mainly found in the districts of Mahabubnagar, Nalgonda, Praksham,
Guntur, and Kurnool.
of Chenchus :
The origin of the Chenchus, is connected with the Lord
Mallikarjuna of the Srisailam temple, who was the personification of the
Lord Shiva. Once their lived husband and wife in the small hut near the
Srisailam temple. Both of them were very happy with their life but they had
no children. They pay homage at number and temples and worshiped many
deities but were in all vain. One day they of them were haunting in the
forest. On returning back they found Lord Mallikarjuna in the forest and
told him about their sorrow. Lord Mallikarjuna granted their wish on one
condition that they would dedicate their child to him. They both adreed and
after nine months when the women gave birth to the female child, she
dedicated her to the Lord Mallikarjuna. In the three years of age the girl
child left her parents and started living in the forests under the Chettu
tree. As she was living under the chettu tree she was called as the
Chenchita. One day, while roaming in the jungle she met Lord Mallikarjuna
and felt in love with him. He was also attracted to the girl and married
him. The descendants are called Chenchus, which means children of the girl
who was living under the cheetu tree.
Language and Resemblance :
Chenchus talk in Chenchu language with the Telgu accent. Their language is
also known as Chenchucoolam, Chenchwar, Chenswar or Choncharu. Chenchus have
short height with long head, well defined eyebrows with the flat nose. They
have jet black curly hair and their complexion varies from wheat gray to
brown. Chenchus have broad faces. They are characterized by independence and
personal freedom. Young people are free to marry whomsoever they like and
can get apart whenever they like. Their present habitat is confined to the
rocky hills of the in the Nallamalai hills, extending on both sides of the
Krishna River. They live in bee hive shaped tiny huts with wattle walls.
Chenchus are good climbers.
Culture and Economy :
Chenchus live in the forest areas. They move in groups in the forests
searching for the fruits, roots, tubers and honey. They make leaf cups and
leaf plates out of tobacco leaves, tamarind, mahua flowers and sell them in
the local marker, where they are in the great demand. They also make use of
the mahua flower in making the liquor, sell able in the market. Chenchus
love smoking and make tobacco cigarettes consumed by themselves. Honey is
the favoutite among them all. Chenchus are good haunters, they can be seen
haunting for the animals like deer, wild boar, rabbit, wild cock, rat and
birds. They use bow and arrow for haunting. Apart from root, tubers, and
fruits, Chenchus love eating money fresh.
Chenchus worship number of deities. They mainly believe in Bhagaban taru
who lives in the sky and look after the Chenchus in all their doings.
Another deity they worship is Garelamai Sama, who is the Goddess of forest.
She is believed to protect them from the danger, especially when they are in
the jungle. Apart from these they pay homage to Potsamma- the God who cures
the diseases like the small pox and Chicken pox, Gangamma, the deity of
water, Mayasamma, the deity who protects the Chenchus from enemies. Chenchus
have also adopted certain religious practices from Hindus.