Collection Description

Culture Name


Culture Description

The Telugu people are found throughout southern peninsular India but are concentrated in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana states, where Telugu (a Dravidian language) is an official language, and in the border areas of neighboring states. Empires and kingdoms existed in the region since 250 BC, combined in part with British colonial rule beginning in the eighteenth century and replaced since Indian independence by the local government hierarchy of the democratic state. Villages range in size from several hundred to many thousand in population. Rice is the major crop and sugarcane, tobacco and cotton are important commercial crops. Local society is organized by patrilineal clans, patrilineages, and a Hindu caste system. Ritual and festivals help to mediate caste relations and maintain community cohesion.


Select the Culture Summary link above for a longer description of the culture.


Asia --South Asia



OWC Code


Number of Documents


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Number of Pages


Collection Overview

Documents referred to in this section are included in eHRAF World Cultures and are referenced by author, date of publication, and title where necessary.

All documents in the file are community studies that focus on Telugu village social structure and organization with specific attention to culture change (Dube 1955), power relations based on status, wealth and caste (Hiebert 1971), and the role of ritual in mediating caste relations (Tapper 1987), with fieldwork respectively performed during the early 1950s, 1960s and 1970s.

For more detailed information on the content of the individual works in this collection, see the abstracts in the citations preceding each document.

Overview by

Ian Skoggard

begar – local administrative system – use TERRITORIAL HIERARCHY (631)

bhagavan – transcendent deity – use SPIRITS AND GODS (776)

devudu – transcendent deity – use SPIRITS AND GODS (776)

grama devata – village deity – use SPIRITS AND GODS (776)

jajmani – local economic system based on caste – use CASTES (564)

jati – occupational caste – use CASTES (564)

mandal – sub-district administrative unit – use DISTRICTS (634)

panchayat – village council – use COMMUNITY COUNCILS (623)

puja – religious ritual – use RITUAL (788)

pujari – temple official – use PRIESTHOOD (793)

taluk – township – use TOWNS (632)

yantra – charm – use MAGIC (789)

zilla – district – use DISTRICTS (634)

Indexing Notes by

Ian Skoggard

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