Languages, traditions and culture of tribals to be protected: New dictionaries of unique tribal languages – Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute

MYSURU: For the first time, Karnataka State Tribal Research Institute (KSTRI) has come up with a novel initiative to preserve languages of tribals in the state. KSTRI is gearing to launch dictionaries of tribal languages.

As part of the work in the first phase, KSTRI is working on languages of Hakki Pikki and Dungri Garasia communities. Language experts have collected 3,500 words from each of those languages. The works, which contain meanings of tribal words in Kannada and English, will be published by this year-end. […]

The institute aims at promoting unique languages, traditions and culture of tribals in Karnataka. “Our intention is to protect, promote and educate the present youths on tribal languages. These unique languages are endangered with many people migrating to urban areas. We want tribal languages to be protected, and these dictionaries help us in achieving the same,” said KSTRI director T T Basavanagouda.

The institute is also mulling over bringing out dictionaries on Harin Shikari, Eruliga, Hasalaru Marathi and Siddhi tribal languages. For this, it has joined hands with Central Institute for Indian Languages and roped in scholars and eminent personalities form different communities. According to the authorities concerned, many people from Dungri Garasia, whose main occupation is ragpicking, have settled down in semi-urban areas, “because of which their language is on the verge of extinction”.

Source: “Dictionaries on tribal lingo to be brought out by year-end”, The Times of India, 3 December 2014
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Date Visited: 1 November 2021

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According to the Central Institute of Indian Languages in Mysuru, a language is ‘endangered’ when it has less than 10,000 speakers | Learn more >>


Table of the number of endangered languages with the states that they are spoken in according to India Today | Learn more >>

Indian states No. of languages Endangered Languages
Andaman and Nicobar Islands 11 Great Andamanese, Jarawa, Lamongse, Luro, Muot, Onge, Pu, Sanenyo, Sentilese, Shompen and Takahanyilang
Manipur 7 Aimol, Aka, Koiren, Lamgang, Langrong, Purum and Tarao
Himachal Pradesh 4 Baghati, Handuri, Pangvali and Sirmaudi
Odisha 3 Manda, Parji and Pengo
Karnataka 2 Koraga and Kuruba
Andhra Pradesh 2 Gadaba and Naiki
Tamil Nadu 2 Kota and Toda
Arunachal Pradesh 2 Mra and Na
Assam 2 Tai Nora and Tai Rong
Uttarakhand 1 Bangani
Jharkhand 1 Birhor
Maharashtra 1 Nihali
Meghalaya 1 Ruga
West Bengal 1 Toto

The Central Institute of Indian Languages, Mysore, has been working for the protection and preservation of endangered languages in India under a central scheme […]

Central Institute of Indian Languages (Official website):

Source: International Mother Language Day: 42 Indian languages heading towards extinction, India Today, 21 February 2018
Date visited: 21 July 2020

States and Union Territories

India, a union of states, is a Sovereign, Secular, Democratic Republic with a Parliamentary system of Government. The President is the constitutional head of Executive of the Union. In the states, the Governor, as the representative of the President, is the head of Executive. The system of government in states closely resembles that of the Union. There are 28 states and 8 Union territories in the country.[*] Union Territories are administered by the President through an Administrator appointed by him/her. From the largest to the smallest, each State/UT of India has a unique demography, history and culture, dress, festivals, language etc. This section introduces you to the various States/UTs in the Country and urges you to explore their magnificent uniqueness…

[*] From 29 states and 7 Union since the publication of “The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganisation Act, 2019” by the Ministry of Law and Justice, New Delhi, on 9th August 2019. Major changes concern the status of Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, henceforth listed among the 8 separate “Union territories” (formerly 7); and as a result of this change, the omission of Jammu and Kashmir (along with Ladakh) from the earlier list of 29 “States”. “Dadra and Nagar Haveli and Daman & Diu” are now grouped together as one, rather than two separate “Union territories”.

Source: States and Union Territories – About India
Date visited: 4 September 2021

More information about possible changes as regards tribal communities are found here | Nutrition >>

“Is it eccentric to live in beautiful scenery in the hills among some of the most charming people in the country, even though they may be ignorant and poor?” – Verrier Elwin quoted by G.N. Devy in The Oxford India Elwin >>

Related posts

Tip: click on any red marker for details on endangered languages in a particular region of India.
Please note: the facts and figures cited (via hyperlinks) links call for updates and fact checking >>
Learn more: Endangered languages: Peoples’ Linguistic Survey of India >>