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The Gadava are a primitive tribe classified as mundari or Kolarian on linguistic grounds. The word Gadava, Mitchell states, signifies a person who carries loads on his shoulders. The tribe call themselves Guthan. They speak a mundari dialect, called Gadava after tribal name and are one of the two-mundari tribes found so far south as Visakhapatnam.The Gadavas are a tribe of Agriculturists, coolies and huntres. The Gadavas are also employed as bearers in the hills and carry palanquins.There is a tradition that the tribes owes its name to the fact that its ancestors emigrated from the bank of Godavery river and settled in Nandapur, the former capital of Rajas of Jeypore. The Gadavas are also employed as bearers in the hills and carry palanquins. The Gadavas have a language of their own, of which a vocabulary is given in the Vuzagapatam Manual. The Gadavas living in such villages in the vicinity of the more civilized people forget their native tongue, dress and custom and took up those of the civilized man. It is now very hard to identify the tribe of such men unless they themselves tell us what their tribe is.They are enlisted as Scheduled Tribe. Besides Malkangiri this tribe is found in Koraput, Kalahandi, Sundergarh, Gangam, Sampalpur and Boudh Phulbani districts of Odisha. They like to marry within their relations. Cultivation and cattle rearing is the means of their livilihood.
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