Introduction / History
The Adi Dravida of India are a low status caste. The word 'Adi' means 'beginning'. Their literacy level is said to be less than fifty percent so the gospel message should be given in oral form also. There are some professional workers among them such as doctors and engineers. They are mainly Hindus.
The Adi Dravida of Tamil Nadu speak, read and write in Tamil and they eat pork and beef and for a cereal they like rice. They marry within their own group. The men do agriculture. The women look after the family income details and they help with agriculture. The Adi Dravida also do rickshaw pulling among other work. They have an Association that judges in disputes. Hinduism is their main religion.
In Karnataka they speak, read and write in Kannada. Agricultural work is now the main work for a lot of the Adi Dravida. In the towns they are mainly in the shoe industry. They have festivals.
In Andhra Pradesh the Adi Dravida speak, read and write in Tamil. They can speak Telugu also. They have two groups, the Tamil Mala who are thought to be better as they are landowners and the Savu Mala who are gravediggers. They believe in monogamy and marriages tend to be adult ones now rather than child marriages. Divorce is allowed as is marrying again for the bereaved. The dead are buried except when the first child dies and when there is an abnormal death, then cremation takes place.
In Maharashtra the Adi Dravida live mainly in slums. They speak Tamil mainly and also Hindi and Marathi. Divorce and widows marrying again are not allowed. Property on the death of the father is given to the sons with the oldest son being in charge of the home. There are Hindus and Christians among them who are allowed to marry each other.
In Pondicherry they speak, read and write in Tamil. There are Christians among them also.
* Pray that gospel materials will lead the Adi Dravida to Jesus Christ.
* Pray that God will give them dreams and visions leading them to Salvation too.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999
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