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Language Documentation

Gutob-Gadaba Documentation

Gutob-Gadaba is a Munda language, spoken in Koraput district of Odisha and Visakhapatnam of Andhra Pradesh. It is classified as Munda sub group of Austro-Asiatic language family. But it is different from the Dravidian Ollar Gadaba language. According to 1981, 1991, 2001 census of India the population of all Gadaba in Odisha was 56,911, 67,138, 72,982 respectively.

Gutobs are largely agricultural society in profession. They are concentrated mostly in the Koraput District of Odisha and are found in large numbers in 40 villages of Lamtaput block. The social administration of the village will be handled by the Naik, Chalan and Barik. Here Naik is the village elder, who knows everything about the village. Chalan assists the Naik, selected from the elders of the village. Barik is from lower caste.

Their main food is ‘Mandia’ made up of ragi flour. Which keep them away from the starvation; they also eat all types of vegetables and meat. Eating snake was a practice but recently they stopped eating it. They regularly take local made liquor prepared by them. It is called as ‘penɖoːm’. They also take it in the ceremonies and festivals.

Gutobs are maintining their cultural practices and rituals. They sing traditional songs in Gutob in their indigenous festival. ‘Goter’ is the important death ritual practiced by the Gutob people. In this ritual all the Gutobs participate and thank or appease their ancestor spirits.

Gutobs do not worship portraits rather worship slabs of stones, earth and village. Gutobs are fond of wearing ornaments. ‘kɑːɡlɑ’ is a large neck rings made up of aluminium. It is significant to Gutobs, which shows them different from others. The language has glottal stop (ʔ) as its special feature, mostly occur at the end of the word. For example ‘sʊnoʔ’ is a word for ‘broom’. The speakers of Gutob are mostly bilingual or trilingual or multilinguals. They know their mother tongue Gutob and dialect of Odisha Desiya and some may know Hindi and also Telugu. Changes in Gutob culture are visible clearly in their language, dressing pattern, use of ornaments etc. The new generation of Gutobs are forgetting their language and using Desiya or Odiya. They started shifting to the Desiya language and approximately 85% of the Gutobs are no longer speaking their heritage language. Only the elders of the community could speak their indigenous language.
Transcribed word ɑleʔsiːr
Gloss laterally hanging rings on the head
Regional script (If any)
  head rings
Transcribed word kosɑ dɑːm
Gloss hair clip
Regional script (If any)
  hair clip
Transcribed word kɑːɡlɑ
Gloss Big aluminium neck rings
Regional script (If any)
  neck rings
Transcribed word loboŋkoɖɪ
Gloss nose ring
Regional script (If any)
  nose ring
Transcribed word kɪsɑːlo
Gloss traditional attire
Regional script (If any)
  traditional attire
Transcribed word sʊnoʔ
Gloss broom
Regional script (If any)
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