Introduction / History
The Kuruba of India are one of the oldest people groups in the country. They live in Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Maharashtra and Karnataka. The word Kuruba means warrior. They are farmers and shepherds by tradition as well as in the present day. The Kuruba speak Kannada, Marathi, Tamil and Telugu.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Kuruba live in all regions of Karnataka. They read and write Kannada. The Kuruba are not vegetarians and they eat cereals such as rice and wheat. They are a people average in size. Marriage is allowed amongst cousins. Divorcees and the bereaved can marry again. Property goes to the sons when the father dies. There is a birth pollution that is regarded for nine days and the ceremony of naming the baby takes place on the tenth day. The couple is married at the home of the bridegroom. Their dead are buried and there is a ten day death pollution period. They use modern medicine and do family planning. In addition to farming, they weave rough blankets made of wool.
In Tamil Nadu, the Kuruba speak Kannada with members of their family but can speak Tamil and they read and write Tamil. The oldest son becomes in charge of the family when the father dies while the property is given equally to all the sons. They bury their dead. Besides shepherding, the Kuruba are in several other types of work.
What Are Their Beliefs?
They are Hindus and worship the god Shiva and celebrate traditional festivals such as Mailara Jaatre.
Hinduism, especially when devoutly followed, is an obstacle to the gospel but many are coming to Jesus Christ in India when they see the reality of Christianity. More prayer is needed here.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999
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