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the collective name for a number of peoples and tribes in central India (including the Maria, Muria, Bhattra, Dhakar, Dorla, and Koya) who speak dialects of the Gondi language, a member of the Dravidian language family, and the languages of the surrounding peoples (Hindi, Marathi, Telugu).
The Gonds live in the mountain and forest regions of the Chota Nagpur Plateau, mainly in the Bastar district of Madhya Pradesh. They are being gradually assimilated with the neighboring peoples. The population of the Gonds who have retained their own languages is more than 2 million (1970, estimate). Until recently, the Gonds engaged in slash-and-burn farming, hunting, and gathering. Settled farming continues to play an ever larger role in the modern economy, and crafts (metalworking, weaving) are being developed. Their religion combines the worship of both ancient Gond and Hindu gods.
REFERENCENarody Iuzhnoi Azii. Moscow, 1963. (Bibliography.)
M. IA. BERZINA