Banjaras introduce regional culture in Telangana agency areas జూలై 15, 2016Posted by M Bharath Bhushan in Adilabad, Bonalu, Culture, Economy, Gond, Lambada, politics, ST, Telangana.
They can no longer be told from Telangana culture
S Harpal Singh, The Hindu, Adilabad, July 15, 2016
Banjaras, known as Lambadas, settled in Adilabad district are slowly embracing local traditions
It may not be too long before the Banjaras of Adilabad district, popularly known as Lambadas, get completely assimilated into local Telangana culture given the speed with which changes are being adopted by the community.
Those living along the banks of Godavari river, mostly in Dilawarpur, Nirmal, Laxmanchanda, Mamda, Khanapur, Kadem, Jannaram and Dandepalli mandals have already shed much of their customs and it is not easy to identify them as they are no different from other locals.
The 40-family strong Banjara community at Medampalli village in Khanapur mandal even celebrates Bonalu, essentially a Telangana festival. Amgoth Sunita Limbaji Naik, the village sarpanch says invoking goddess Pochavva during Bonalu bestows good health upon the community.
Though the Medampalli Lambadas have been celebrating Bonalu for the last few years, the Potharajus who dance during the procession belong to the traditional Devanthollu or what the Banjaras call Devathodia community. This also marks cultural cohesion among the different local communities.
The nomadic Banjaras from north India had been visiting the southern States for ages, but it is only at the turn of last century that they slowly began settling down in these parts. From transporting goods they gradually took to agriculture which incidentally was the first change that the community adopted. The settlers also learnt Telugu thereby breaking the language barrier. The Banjaras in the Godavari belt now speak Telugu as good as their compatriots and it is difficult to identify them through language.
It was during the last three decades that the Lambada women quit wearing their traditional colourful ‘bana’. They now wear the saree like the locals do which has them even physically resemble the latter. The hard working Banjaras have turned farming into a successful proposition over the years. As a community, they are notable for cultivating paddy in the Godavari belt.