Konda Reddis are recognized as Primitive Tribal Group. Their population as per 1991 Census is 76,391.
Konda Reddis are inhabiting on the banks situated on either side of river Godavari in the hilly and forest tracts of East and West Godavari and Khammam districts of Andhra Pradesh.
Their mother tongue is Telugu in its purest and chaste form and a unique accent.
Konda Reddy tribe is divided into exogamous septs for regulating matrimonial relations. Like other Telugu speaking people their surnames are pre-fixed to individual names. Generally, each sept is exogamous but certain septs are considered as brother septs and marriage alliances with brother septs (agnate relations) are prohibited.
They are primarily shifting cultivators and largely depend on flora and fauna of forest for their livelihood. They eat a variety of tubers, roots, leaves, wild fruits etc., They collect and sell non timber forest produce like tamarind, adda leaves, myrobolan, broom sticks etc., to supplement their meagre income. They cultivate largely jowar, which is their staple food. They also grow chodi, red gram, bajra, beans, paddy and pulses. They eat pork but do not consume beef.
Family and Marriage
The Konda Reddi family is patriarchal and patrilocal. Monogamy is a rule but polygamous families are also found. Marriage by negotiations, by love and elopement, by service, by capture and by exchange are socially accepted ways of acquiring mates. Levirate is vogue. They worship Muthayalamma (Village deity), Bhumi Devi (Earth Goddess), Gangamma Devi (River Goddess) etc., and celebrate festivals like Mamidi Kotha, Bhudevi Panduga, Gangamma Panduga and Vana Devudu Panduga.
Konda Reddies have their own institution of social control called ‘Kula Panchayat’. Each village has a traditional headman called ‘Pedda Kapu’. The office of the headman is hereditary and the headman is also the Pujari (priest) of the village deities. The younger brother or nearest male relative of ‘Pedda Kapu’ acts as his assistant and substitutes in case of absence of Pedda Kapu from village and he is called Pinna Pedda’. The offences like adultery, incest and cases of divorce and inter dining with persons of other community are dealt by the village panchayat.
The men and women folk jointly perform the traditional colourful dance viz., Bison horn on festive and marriage occasions. One of the men folk wears headgear made up of bison horn and one or two among them carries big drums and Konda Reddy men and women dance together rhythmically to the tune of the drums.